You are currently viewing A**holes: A theory by Aaron James (Guest Review by Armando Rios)

A**holes: A theory by Aaron James (Guest Review by Armando Rios)

Being able to develop self-awareness has slowly become a must in today’s society.
We’ve developed a disconnect from ourselves and our peers to the point where we
don’t become conscious of how do we put ourselves towards the world. In this book,
the author examines the tendency of a**holes, what makes a person become one
and how can we reach a consensus on this subject.

The book caught my attention after watching a short film on why sometimes aiming
for success in life may imply engaging in behaviours or activities which may categorize
one as an “a**hole”. Clearly, this is something we’d never want to become in the long
run. We tend to adopt a set of personality traits, such as being detail oriented when
working, and at other times we may have a set of deviant behaviours that may be
categorized as traits of an “asshole”.

The book states that if we could reach a consensus where all ends meet, an asshole
is someone who lacks self-awareness and his personality is predominant of the
characteristics which usually make someone an “asshole”. Having set themselves
morally above his or her peers and feeling entitled in the sense of thinking his behaviour is without fault. On the other hand, the ones affected are the ones to be at risk of either, making the person
realize that they’re wrong or normalizing it. Do we become liable for stopping and
sponsoring an a**hole?

Take, for example, a not so social person. This person might lack the social skills to
engage with others and may struggle by showing interest, he may shelter
themselves by being socially awkward or defend themselves with a behaviour that
makes their peers not engage with the person and file him as a jerk for not being
interested. On the other hand, take a look at being explicitly nice but backfiring and
ending up being an asshole. Presidents have turned out to be too much of a people
pleaser and ending looking weak with failing policies and submissive behaviour
leading. Other presidents may lean towards being harsher but with policies that put
their countries on the right path, thus leading to actual progress and their people
considering electing presidents who may show the characteristics of an a**hole.

The book invites us to run an assessment and see within our society, our peers and
even us, to see how we could categorize one as an asshole. It puts us on a position
where we revisit figures that we may have put as “martyrs” and realize that they were
not fully transparent and that they’d hide these “darker” chapters in their lives and put
them for their own advantage to boost their brighter side. We have to analyze and
see what really makes for a true “a**hole” in our day to day lives.

Special thanks to Armando Rios for submitting this guest review. If you like what you’ve read, give him a follow @parallax_mtb; Facebook: Parallax MTB Website: Email: [email protected]