Tuesday, June 18, 2013

You Take The High Road, I'll Take the Low Road

And I'll get to Scotland afore ye... bitch.

Okay, so MAYBE that's not how that goes. And while interpretation of this song has been debated over the years, I'm fairly certain it had nothing to do with revenge or grudges.

But hey, that's what we're going to talk about today!

So cut yourself a slice of serious pie, we're going to briefly talk about the metaphorical high and low roads we encounter and which to take.

There exist in this world a very particular brand of people--they come in all genders, shapes, sizes and colors so for the purposes of clarity, let's call these people 'douchebags'.

Now the average douchebag has a myriad of reasons how he/she came to be and it's a case by case transformation so I can't really explain them as a whole to you, but I can say that no one is born one. It's a taught and practiced behavior.

Douchebags are often blatant in their identity, they stand proud and uncaring, but every now and then you will find one who has ninjaed their way into your life. This could be through work, your circle of friends--many of you, I'm certain, have even dated a douchebag and for that you have my sympathy.

And the truly irritating thing about douchebags is that they will go out of their way to try to get a rise out of you... and you can't let them.

"Taking the high road" is the only way to avoid getting caught up in a grudge match that only began because they wanted it to. But you know that.

So I'm going to talk about the part that a lot of people don't like to.


It really does, can we be honest about that? I'm not saying I've ever regretted it but the feeling of pay off is a lot more delayed and far less satisfying.

But, and I have to stress this, you absolutely have to do it.

I've had to deal with some particularly frustrating professional douchebags over the years and especially in a work setting, taking the high road is important. And you'll find in the end that they really do end up looking like the foolish one in the end, but I'm not going to lie and say this is an easy thing to do.

My brain is filled to the brim with exit strategies. I'm sure some psychiatrist would delve into my childhood and pull out various instances that trained me into this bizarre survival mode, but screw that guy, he isn't here and I'm not paying him.

I'm talking Batman vs The Justice League level exit strategies. From the moment I meet someone, my brain starts to calculate on how exactly one would defeat them should they ever turn on me.

Now you know why sometimes I go by the name of "Karma".

But that disturbingly calculating function is completely thwarted by this irritating little thing--for discussion purposes we'll call it my "Moral Compass"--that insists none of these plans ever be acted on. And my  Moral Compass is right. They shouldn't.

I know I'm not alone in all of this.

So really this blog post is to empathize. I get it. I understand how frustrating it is to watch a bully walk away completely oblivious that with just a few words you could completely destroy them.

Because you know it's not right. Because you know in the long run it isn't worth the effort. Because you know both the kindest and the cruelest thing you can do to a douchebag... is ignore them.

...unless, of course, you're a former assassin and someone killed your loved ones and tried to kill you too... then forget what I said.


  1. My brain does a similar exit-strategy-plan constrained by moral-compass, and you're right, the high road is hard, but worth it. :)

  2. I like this post. Spot on. The high road is always the best.

    I've found that douchebags really have a deep-rooted insecurity. One can't be that dysfunctional and negative without having some sort of childhood trauma being at the very root of it. It is a misdirected defense mechanism that drives their snarky rage.

    The act of "douchebaggery" is really a desperate cry of help and loneliness. Their ugliness towards their fellow humans is deep-rooted in pain. They want to escape the pain, but they don't know how.

    This is one of my favorite movie quotes... I think of it whenever people do evil things. It has even made a few douchebags cry.

    "...I also know that for as long as you can remember, you've struggled with your own black heart and always lost. Your very face has changed as the beast claws its way out from within you. You're in great pain, aren't you?
    You know what evil lurks in the hearts of men, for you have seen it in your own heart. Every man must pay the price for redemption. This is yours." - The Tulku (From the movie: The Shadow)

    A lot of times, one finds that douchebags were bullied when they were young... and like a poor, dumb, wounded animal, they are just repeating the cycle - not even smart enough to see that they are alienating themselves from the rest of society. Someone took away their self-empowerment and they are desperately trying to get it back (even by negative means).

    If we get negative karma points for thumping a douchebag, and we get zero karma points for ignoring them, how many karma points do we get for helping a douchebag heal their wounds?

    I don't know if I've made any sense. Reading your post made a few thoughts sprout in my head.