You Don’t Have To Be An Asshole

By Ijeoma Oluo

Here’s some advice: Don’t Be An Asshole.

That’s it.

You’ll be amazed at what a difference this will make in your life. Wake up in the morning and say, “Today I will Not Be An Asshole.” Then go out and Don’t Be An Asshole.

Here are some great ways in which you can Not Be An Asshole:

-Tip more

-Use your turn signals

-Don’t correct random strangers on the internet

This boy is Not Being An Asshole

-Don’t support Trump

-Let drivers merge into your lane

-Let the devil advocate for himself

-Don’t critique people’s bodies

-Don’t critique people’s clothing

-Respect pronouns

Don't Be An Asshole to this woman
Don’t Be An Asshole to this woman


-Believe people

-Vote for education funding

-Don’t tell homeless people to “get a job”

Look at this dad Not Being An Asshole
Look at this dad Not Being An Asshole

-Make eye contact with service workers (provided that different neurological ability doesn’t prevent you from being able to comfortably do so)

-Don’t wear perfume to the office

-Don’t give diet advice

-Don’t troll on the internet

Now, I could go on and on — that’s the great thing about Not Being An Asshole. There are hundreds of opportunities a day to achieve this. Why, just today, I can say that I’ve managed to Not Be An Asshole about 90% of the time. Pretty good, right? Gold star for me.

And the great thing about this is that, even if you fuck up, you can still turn it around with the number one way to Not Be An Asshole:


This dude is sorry for being an asshole
This dude is sorry for being an asshole

Oh man, this is the golden ticket to Not Being An Asshole Success. When you forget that you are trying to Not Be An Asshole or maybe you didn’t realize that you were not Not Being An Asshole, being able to say, “Sorry I was an asshole” is a great way to get yourself back on the path of Not Being An Asshole!

This is a great resolution to do with friends as well, because you can hold each other accountable — like diet buddies, only actually good for your well-being and self-esteem. When you see your buddy slipping, you can assist with the friendly reminder, “Dave, remember? We’re Not Being Assholes.” And you can congratulate each other, “Gosh Sarah, that 20% tip is genuinely Not Asshole of you!” Maybe make sticker charts!

Forget all other advice this year, just write this in permanent marker on all surfaces of your home: DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE. Let’s all Not Be Assholes! Make this a better, brighter, more Asshole-free year!


Lead image: YouTube

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