Your time is precious. Once you spend it, you don’t get it back.
And it’s rough to say, but not everyone deserves your time. To take it further, not everyone is decent. Some people are colossal bags of shit and they will pollute your life just being around them.
I really suck at lying. That’s something I put in my books because it’s funny. I’m still startled, shocked, dismayed when I encounter people who regularly tell falsehoods. Sometimes about the most insignificant subjects.
I’ve spent a lot of time in my life trying to make nice with people who didn’t deserve it. Where no matter how much effort I expended, I wasn’t going to magically transform them into proper humans.
This is something I still have issues with.
It happened at work a lot. Work is a place where you’ll be thrown together with people that you would have otherwise never associated with. And you not only have to interact with them, you have to cooperate with them. One of my very first temp jobs I met one of the sleaziest humans I’ve ever encountered. Rodrick. I still remember his name like 30 years later. He screwed his sister out of a ton of money. He used to brag that he had a “girlfriend” in the Cayman Islands who was (as I recall) 13 or 14 years old–young enough that I was shocked into silence. He was in his mid-30s. And he always tried to screw over his co-workers every chance he got.
My next job I met a similar person. She was the ugliest woman I’ve ever seen and just a horrible individual. The two were likely related. One of my early mentors said something like, “you catch yourself feeling sorry for her, and then she will stab you in the back or otherwise go out of her way to hurt you and you’ll remember why you hated her in the first place.”
I’ve met a ton of people in my small social cliques who were not only terrible individuals and liars, but would just relentlessly try and hurt others. Myself, for example. And I remember trying and trying to be friendly. Going, it must have just been some misunderstanding or we got off on the wrong foot. It’s such a small clique we’re in and we have so many shared interests that they can’t be all bad. But no. They are “all bad” enough that you aren’t going to fix them.
What got me thinking about this was on my dog walk home. I saw a guy with a dog, I’d seen many times before. I live in a tiny city and we’re a block apart. He has a big dog. I have a big dog. It’s like being a punk rocker with a mohawk and seeing your next door neighbor is a punk rocker with a mohawk.
I tried being friendly and talking. And I just didn’t get his vibe. He was a prick. What was worse, he treated the dog horribly. The dog was a fashion accessory for him. If he was a gal, you’d call him a bimbo. Jimbo? Joebo? Or just bimbo? I’ve seen him roller blading, with his PUPPY and it’s struggling to keep up behind him on an 8 foot leash, careening around and almost getting run over by bikes. It shouldn’t even be running on concrete that young. I saw him today and his dog was emaciated, forced to keep up with him on a motorized skateboard.
He saw me, looked away. He spotted a gal with a dog 1/4 block away and stopped and turned around to hit on her. I could see his dog was terrified of him. It would literally cringe when he moved around.
I had been speaking to my neighbor about vaccines and Libertarians and whatever and I knew he hung out with that guy. I had brought him up because I was talking about what you should and shouldn’t do with a dog–my neighbor was puppy sitting.
And he goes, I don’t hang around with him any longer. He’s super sketchy. And he told me about how that guy had tried to get him to do some schemes that super broke Federal laws. And not like silly stuff. When he told me, I immediately said, “oh, wow.” And I’m not typing it out because I don’t want an agency to knock on my door saying, spill. But really serious shit. And this guy is a hardcore Libertarian.
So that dude, who I had waved at 50 times and smiled at and said hi to, I just realized, as close as he is to me, as similar as our dogs are, and as often as we’ll bump into each other, he’s a piece of crap. I’m wasting my time, my life, trying to be friendly. Fuck him, he doesn’t deserve it. And it’s really rough to think like that, because I’m not a piece of crap.
But not everyone deserves your time. You don’t have to punch them. That would take time as well. But as sad as it is, not everyone deserves even a smile or nod.