Biting the hand that picks your teeth

What would you do if one of your friends had a big piece of broccoli in their teeth that they were oblivious about, and the two of you were about to go out clubbing? That’s a no brainer. If they’re your friend you’d say, “Sucka MC, you got some mad broccoli all up in your grill. You betta check yo self in the mirror before you wrigggity wreck yo self.”

Growing up I went through a series of bad haircuts. In fact, it was pretty late in life before I ever had a good haircut, which in one sense is good, because the repulsiveness of my haircuts probably kept me from getting a few STDs. But that’s hardly the point. The point is that I knew a lot of friends through the course of those haircuts who should have told me I looked like a water logged circus clown. These friends would have told me if I broccoli in my teeth. So why didn’t they tell me my haircut sucked?

It’s not just broccoli and haircuts we should be calling out our friends on. We all know acquaintances, family, and friends who are habitual fuck ups in life, and the story of their lives is being watched by people who know they’re fucking up but don’t want to say anything because it would be rude or it’s not their place.

I used to know just such a fuck up, and I always felt guilty every time he made an ass out of himself, because he didn’t realize it, but everybody did, and they were just going to let him keep on being an ass and keep ruining his life. Well I couldn’t live with that on my conscience. So one day I had a long conversation with him about how he was making his life harder, and he needed to put more thought into the decisions he made, yada, yada, yada.

He lashed back. Asked me what made me think I was so great. From then on he was quick to criticize me. I’d made an enemy by trying to help him. And all the people he thought were his friends just kept laughing at him behind his back and letting him be a dumb ass. But I didn’t give up. There were a few times after that when he did something stupid again, and I said, “This is what we talked about. That was a bad idea, and you’re going to regret it, and when that happens you need to analyze the situation and learn a lesson from it.” His stupidity always came back to haunt him, and he never learned a lesson…but he did resent me more.

It was ironic that he thought I was a prick, because I was the most honest, concerned, and helpful friend he had in that circle. It absolutely blows my mind the unwavering resolve people have when it comes to not listening to (or more precisely, thinking about) advice and staying stupid. I’ve seen this time and time again, even when people ask you for advice. You give it to them, they argue with you, do the opposite, regret it, and then do the same damn thing over again and wonder why their life sucks.

So do you think I was being a prick by calling ole’ boy out on his fuck ups? Don’t answer. It’s a trick question. It doesn’t matter if I was being a prick. The mother fucker needed someone to point of the proverbial broccoli in his teeth by any means necessary for his own good. If I came across harsh he should have cussed me in public to save face and then listened in his head.

Do your self and the world a favor. Embrace criticism. It’s better to lose face (Ironically, usually the only person you’re losing face to is your self.) and look like a dumb ass for a minute than to be a dumb ass for the rest of your life.

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