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littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Thursday, August 7th, 2008 09:36 pm
you don't have to choose the dick

If this sounds preachy it's because I am preaching, but to myself.

Each of us has a choice to make, every time we're confronted by inappropriate behavior -- could be from someone familiar, or from someone encountered for the first time. It's often in the latter case that the decision is more crucial, because there is usually scant context against which to make it.

Generally the scenario is pretty simple: someone acts in a way that irritates you. A stupid lane change, a harsh comment in a blog post or conversation. Your choices are: that person is a dick, or there is another explanation. It's amazing how fast the decision is made; sometimes the dick choice is so reflexive that we don't realize it (often because the other explanation is not immediately apparent), which is why it's so important to remember that it IS a conscious choice.

Earlier tonight, some friends and I played golf after work. There's still enough light to get 9 in if you don't start too late and keep up a good pace. I hit an unplayable shot off the first tee and decided to hit another, which went three feet. Teed it up again. Fairway. And off our foursome went. We were on the heels of the group in front of us the entire time, but were playing casually, so took mulligans here and there. On the final tee, we were waiting for the group ahead of us to sink their putts when the foursome behind us approached the green we just left. A few minutes later, they finished the hole and approached us as we finished teeing off.

One said, "How many shots are you guys taking?"

A couple of us laughed, and I said, "Well as few as possible, isn't that the goal?"

Another said, to me, "I saw this dude take three shots off the first tee."

I understood their point now. I agreed that I did.

The first one said, "You don't take three tee shots when you're starting at 6:30."

I told them to have a nice round.

These guys made the dick choice. It's getting dark and they've seen us taking extra shots. Their choice is: we are dicks, or there is another explanation. In this case, the explanation was that it didn't matter how many shots we were taking. We were on the heels of the group ahead throughout the round. We couldn't have been moving faster.

The reason I need a reminder is because it wasn't until I was driving home that I realized I had made the dick choice about them.

23CommentReply


(Anonymous)
Friday, August 8th, 2008 06:04 am (UTC)

This is a really great reminder for all of us! Thank you for sharing :)


ReplyThread
dotcombabe
dotcombabe
Naomi
Friday, August 8th, 2008 06:04 am (UTC)

This is a really great reminder for all of us! Thank you for sharing :)


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glowing_fish
glowing_fish
Matthew Harris
Friday, August 8th, 2008 06:38 am (UTC)

I don't have to, but I so often DO

Shut up, Terrence.


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mariotta
mariotta
Mariotta
Friday, August 8th, 2008 08:35 am (UTC)

"The reason I need a reminder is because it wasn't until I was driving home that I realized I had made the dick choice about them."

hah, yep. I have to tell myself all the time that generally people are not evil but have positive intent. :)


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sinndar
sinndar
Tracy
Friday, August 8th, 2008 02:20 pm (UTC)

You might have actually been right though. ;)


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littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Friday, August 8th, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC)

True -- here and in all such decisions -- but I guess whether that possibility is worth it is another choice. I guess for me, even if those 10 seconds is all the interaction I have with these guys in my life, I'd like to be the sort of person to make the effort to make it a positive experience than a negative one. But then again I'm rather blithely optimistic. :)


ReplyThread Parent
sinndar
sinndar
Tracy
Friday, August 8th, 2008 08:56 pm (UTC)

Yep, me too. And I like your theory. Sometimes I like to play devil's advocate though.


ReplyThread Parent
crackmonkey
crackmonkey
Hue hue hue
Friday, August 8th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)

Dude, you are such a dick for posting this.


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freakylynx
freakylynx
Freaky Lynx
Friday, August 8th, 2008 02:41 pm (UTC)

When I find myself losing patience or getting annoyed, I try to take a big breath and relax - just think of it in the grand scheme of things it really doesn't matter.


ReplyThread
luvsammy
luvsammy
Samalamity
Friday, August 8th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)

This is a really great sentiment. More and more lately I have tried to STOP and think about the reasons why a person may have said or done something, rather than getting angry right away. Usually this applies to small things, like parking in my space, and not genuinely awful things, like stabbing someone. You get the idea.


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littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Friday, August 8th, 2008 03:34 pm (UTC)

Good point, if I was in an ambulance after a bar brawl coughing up blood, I doubt I'd be cheerfully suggesting "It's ok, the guy probably had a reeeally rough day at work."


ReplyThread Parent
adventure_girl
adventure_girl
adventure_girl
Friday, August 8th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)

Great post. I need to remind myself too sometimes.


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evilnel
evilnel
Evilnel
Friday, August 8th, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)

I think this is what's called in social psychology the fundamental attribution error. We attribute behaviors others make to an internal (dispositional) trait--they are a jerk by personality. But for ourselves we attribute behaviors to external (situational) circumstances--I am having a bad day, I didn't mean to snap. I think the balance comes when you realize that there are some jerks out there and sometimes it really is just a bad day, but most of the time it falls somewhere in the middle. It's human nature to make these attributions to people, so don't feel bad that you did it to them. Be happy that you are aware you're making that error and trying to stop yourself. :)


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fozz47
fozz47
needs better respect for your superiors
Friday, August 8th, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC)

I find myself being possibly "a dick" when I get stressed over time, like the sun is going down, and I start to look to blame the closest thing (besides myself or the rotation of the earth) that I could blame.

Case in point, went on a backpacking trip where we planned to hike in a little at night. it was dusk and we were looking for the right forest service road, which always takes a few passes and looks at the map. Well I was getting frustrated with the person driving, somehow I instinctively put some type of blame on them, even though I was navigating and really I should have known we'd be in that predicament at that time, and that we'd figure it out. Thing is, if I had been driving, I probably would have been frustrated w/ the navigator just because I was stressed about loosing daylight before we found the trail head.


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jef182
d
Friday, August 8th, 2008 07:05 pm (UTC)

The truly dickish thing to do would have been to call the starter and have you removed from the course. I've seen it happen-


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thatsassylassie
thatsassylassie
thatsassylassie
Friday, August 8th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)

This reminds me of that whole "tolerance" thing I was telling you I am struggling with. I guess I am now at the point of "I don't have to like everyone, but I should be civil to everyone." Yeah, you know, whatever. :D


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ellettra
ellettra
Na zdraví
Saturday, August 9th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC)

way to say it! i have a friend who consistently chooses the dick choice, and it affects her attitude tremendously.

i have thought of this as the "diarrhea/woman in labor" scenario myself. for example, someone is behaving poorly in traffic. instead of, say, shooting them, assume that they either have diarrhea or a woman in labor in the back seat. i think this way generally because one time *i* was the one who was about the shit my pants, and someone FOLLOWED ME HOME. i jumped out of my car practically holding my own ass and screamed that i was going to poop myself and for them to GO AWAY. their mouths fell open and i managed to get inside without incident. but man, that really stuck with me.

giving people the benefit of the doubt is generally a very good thing, i have found, especially in a society that is increasingly suspicious.


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tricksantiks
tricksantiks
Brittania
Saturday, August 9th, 2008 03:37 am (UTC)

oh man....haha it would certainly stick with me too.

Lessons to be learned all around, here. :)


ReplyThread Parent
ellettra
ellettra
Na zdraví
Saturday, August 9th, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC)

it was.... gross. :) and horrifying. but i definitely learned a great lesson.


ReplyThread Parent
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Thursday, August 14th, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC)

That must have been incredibly traumatic, but I hope you don't mind if I thought that was pretty damn funny to read. :)


ReplyThread Parent
cheekyassmonkey
cheekyassmonkey
tori
Saturday, August 9th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)

i have a long answer for this, but it is too late, and i've cooked two dinners already, so i'll keep it simple.

yes, some people act like assholes, but we cannot possibly know the reasons why. i also prefer to play at less serious venues and at off times so as not to encounter the higher percentage of dick-like behaviour, so that i can mostly just not have to deal with it, because i play golf for fun. i play everything for fun. hell, i live for the fun ;)


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tricksantiks
tricksantiks
Brittania
Tuesday, August 12th, 2008 07:12 am (UTC)

Hey Tim, I just want you to know that this post has been on my mind the last few days. It's even come up in conversation with people who have no idea what I'm referring to... I try to explain, "You just...you don't have to make the DICK choice, ya know? You should read my friend's blog about this." Etc..
I get *the stare* and then it's MY turn to make a choice ...or not... :)

Just wanted to say thank you, that's all.

Brit


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littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Thursday, August 14th, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC)

:D Thanks for your thoughts.


ReplyThread Parent