The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t by Robert I. Sutton

4. How to Stop Your “Inner Jerk” from Getting Out

  • It is important to realize that acting like an asshole as a communicable disease. Think of it as emotional contagion. It’s easy to catch it from your boss and don’t think that you can’t catch it. If you are looking for a job be sure to do your homework. It’s easier to say no to a situation than it is to get out. You don’t want to get into a too-much-invested-to-quit situation if you can sniff out the assholes in the first place.
  • If you have a job you need strategies to deal with assholes if you can’t just quit. Certainly, you should avoid them when you can. More on this later. Look for companies that feature cooperation rather than competition. Constant rating can also promote competition and asshole behavior can often come with it. At the end of the chapter you have a self-test to see where you fit on the asshole spectrum.

5. When Assholes Reign: Tips for Surviving Nasty People and Workplaces

  • Somehow you have to become emotionally detached from the assholes in your life. If you can’t escape a source of stress, try changing your mindset about what is happening. Reframing can help. Avoid self-blame, hope for the best but expect the worst, and try to be indifferent. Do not take someone else’s anger personally. Low expectations can help. Don’t be surprised if they do what they have always done. Think pleasant thoughts when you can. Look for small wins and consider meetings where people stand as they don’t last as long. It’s also easier to detach when you meet via Skype or telephone conference.
  • Hang out with the non-assholes as much as possible and exchange coping strategies. One is to never yell back as it is likely to make them worse. You can try to explain why you don’t deserve an asshole’s wrath. Confronting an asshole is risky. Try to observe what happens when someone else does the confrontation before you try it yourself.
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One Response to “The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t by Robert I. Sutton”

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