How not to be an asshole. Just be lekker | Lisa Steingold

How Not to be an Asshole. Just be lekker

how not to be an asshole
I hope that whether you just want to be a better human, or you really want to change how you are in the world, that this blog sheds some light.  Here's how not to be an asshole.

It’s pretty ridiculous that I’m writing this blog because if you’re an asshole, this probably won’t be on the top of your reading list.

That said, we’re all assholes at times and sometimes we just need a reminder.

I hope that whether you just want to be a better human, or you really want to change how you are in the world, that this blog sheds some light. 

Here’s how not to be an asshole.

Don’t be an asshole – Why it matters

Here’s the thing. The only way you’re going to have fulfilling relationships is by not being an asshole. 

You may think that you have to be a douche at work to succeed but it isn’t true. I’m not going to waste my time arguing that.

However, as far as your personal life goes, it’s super important. 

Do you want a …

Great intimate relationship?

Close relationship with your kids?

Relationship with friends?

Then you’re going to want to follow the 5 basic ways not to be an asshole and just be lekker, as we say in South Africa. 

“Don’t be a doos, just be lekker.”

It means don’t be an idiot, just be nice.

A real-life asshole example

Last night I went to dinner with friends. I had my back to the table behind me but my friends told me that the guy hit the woman he was having dinner with. 

Asshole move, to say the least. 

She started crying. 

Our whole table went silent. 

We got up to tell the bar owner. 

Then we went outside. Not 5 minutes later the lady from the restaurant walked out. We asked if she was ok and amidst a flood of tears she told us she was. She told us not to worry. 

She got in her car and left. Thank goodness!

I have many words for that guy but anyway. He was being an asshole. 

I doubt he would ever read this blog. But I live in hope. 

To the guy at the restaurant, this is for you. 

Don't be an asshole

5 ways not to be an asshole


1. Treat others how you’d like to be treated

Put yourself in someone’s shoes. How would you feel in that situation? How would you want to be treated?

2. Communicate…WELL

If you have something to say to someone, ask yourself this first. 

  • Is it helpful? (Not to you – to the other person)
  • Why do I want to say it?
  • Does it need to be said?

This is especially true when you are giving someone difficult feedback or having a difficult conversation. 

Say what you need to and deliver the message. To be clear is to be kind. 

But first reflect on the questions.

Are you saying something to be right or to be helpful? There’s a BIG difference!

Maybe what you have to say doesn’t need to be said. The world isn’t necessarily waiting to hear your opinion. (Yes, this was a big shock to me too!)

3. Respect other’s decisions

Uff this is a hard one for me. 

Because how can X other person not see that their way is wrong? 🤣 

Ultimately you have to let others walk their path, whether that other is your daughter, brother, lover or friend. 

Everyone has a right to live their life, to vote for who they want to, to eat the foods that they want to or don’t want to etc.

Of course, when we care for others, we want the best for them. But ultimately you are responsible for your decisions and they for theirs. 

It can get tricky. For instance, I am absolutely against drinking and driving. I have had friends in the past who didn’t mind drinking and driving. In the end, I refused to go out with them. While I respect their decision, doesn’t mean I have to make it my own.

TIP – if you’re trying to be right, then you’re definitely out of the game and most likely acting like an asshole. 

4. Find your pain

The biggest reason that assholes behave like assholes is because they’re carrying some kind of wound. 

As the saying goes, hurt people hurt people. 

If you’re behaving like an idiot, it’s probably because something is going on inside of you. Go see a therapist. Get some help. (It really is ok to ask for help.)

Go and find your pain and you’ll stop taking it out on others. Sort out your issues, and change your life. It’s that simple. 

Think you don’t have pain? Oh my friend, we all have pain. If we don’t acknowledge that, it takes over our lives.

5. Remember you have no idea

You have no clue of how someone feels, or what’s going on in their life, unless they tell you. 

So don’t guess. Don’t assume.

Assume only that you have no clue. Go from there and you’ll be good because you’re likely to ask more questions. 

Be curious, ask questions and see just how much you learn about someone else. 

It doesn’t mean

Even if most of the time you remember how not to be an asshole, it doesn’t mean that you won’t make mistakes.

It also doesn’t mean you won’t snap at the people in your life on occasion.

And it certainly doesn’t mean you’ll be perfect. 

Being a lekker human doesn’t mean that you can’t ;

  • Have boundaries
  • Say no
  • Have difficult conversations
  • Do what works for you
  • Put yourself first

You can still be a great human and have boundaries and acknowledge your needs and take accountability for yourself. In fact when you do this, you’re likely to be not only a great human but a power one too!

No one owes you a thing. Take responsibility for yourself and watch your world unfold like magic!

In fact, being a lekker human means you have to do those things. It’s just the way that you do it that matters. 

Bottom line – don’t be an asshole, just be lekker

We all know someone who’s a real dick. 

If you have to live with someone like that, get help and if you need to, get out.

If you’re reading this because you know you need to change your ways then I commend you for having the courage to face yourself. Every day having an intention to be a better human makes a big difference. 

And let me tell you something. I was an asshole. I had an affair in my marriage which is something I will regret for the rest of my life. 

It took me a long time and many hours of self-inquiry to make some sense of what happened and why but I’m glad I did. 

I wouldn’t be where I am otherwise. 

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