How to Not Be a Dick

How to Not Be a Dick

The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast with Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Music Credits: Wimps, “Baggage”

Finding Mutual Understanding

Let’s face it: we all have moments. But the question of how we handle these moments when we feel (justifiably!) angry or frustrated with other people is critical, as well as asking what we do with the moments when we lose our cool. While everyone is in agreement that there is a time and place for healthy anger, sometimes the lines can get blurred around whether you’re setting appropriate limits… or whether you’re just being unnecessarily aggressive about making your feelings known. In life coaching and therapy sessions (and especially couples counseling sessions), the topic often comes up of how to grow in emotional intelligence to be able to communicate well, even when you’re upset.

How do we find that balance? This perfect balance between not being a pushover and having a right to your feelings must be weighed out with having compassion for other people. This gets especially difficult when you’re dealing with other people who may not be behaving well themselves. It’s challenging for all of us. (#lifegoals!)

The easy (but less mature) thing to do in the face of conflict is to lash out in anger, push people away, or freeze people out. It’s much harder to stay in the ring and find a path of mutual understanding and repair.  

Emotional Intelligence Skills

At Growing Self we talk a lot about emotional intelligence, and how vital it is to having not just great relationships, but career success too. We think of “emotional intelligence” as being the ability to understand other people and communicate effectively, but one of the crucial core skills of emotional intelligence is actually self-regulation. Self-regulation can be defined as the ability to manage big feelings appropriately, and in such a way as to not damage important relationships. Choosing kindness, processing anger, decompressing after stress, and finding ways to overcome obstacles are all signs of good self-regulation.  

Easier. Said. Than. Done…. particularly when you’re feeling attacked or disrespected. But when you learn how to regulate yourself and handle tough interpersonal situations well, YOU have the opportunity to find solutions, build bridges and strengthen connections.

What Does it Mean to ‘Be a Dick?’

But, we can all be a bit of a dick sometimes (yes, even women). When we’re feeling hurt or unhappy, it’s easy to become self-absorbed, and to forget to consider the needs, rights, and feelings of others. We usually feel justified when we’re being dickish, especially if we feel that we’ve been wronged by the target of our dickishness.

But eventually, it catches up to us. Being unkind leaves you feeling regretful, or at least conflicted. It can also lower your self-esteem, cause you to accept unkind treatment from others (because a deep part of you believes you deserve it), and it can create trouble in your career. Living with integrity attracts true friends, bright opportunities, and healthy relationships into your life.

How To Not Be A Dick

On the latest episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast, I had the great pleasure of speaking with NYC-based psychoanalyst Dr. Mark Borg about this subject, and his insights into how to lead a more compassionate life. Dr. Borg is the author of the book, “Don’t Be a Dick: Change Yourself, Change Your World” and he shared thoughtful strategies for how to:

  • Gain the authentic self-awareness necessary to catch yourself when you’re slipping into unnecessary “dickishness”
  • Handle challenging interpersonal situations with grace and tact
  • Cultivate the mindset that will help you stay compassionate with people who are not behaving well
  • Develope strategies to handle extremely triggering situations with your family around the holidays (without getting sucked into conflict)
  • Use the power of empathy for yourself, and others, in order to make the world a better place

All that, and more, on this episode of the podcast. (Both the video and audio versions are included below!)

I hope this perspective and advice helps you and the people you love.

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

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How to Not Be a Dick

The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast with Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Music Credits: Wimps, “Baggage”

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