Be Nice, Until It’s Time To Not Be Nice

This morning, for some odd reason, I started thinking about Patrick Swayze in the movie “Roadhouse.”

Let’s be fair, it’s not a classic of American cinema. It’s a cheesy movie with a few really great scenes that makes it stick out. One of those scenes, in particular, stuck in my head today.

It’s the scene where he’s talking to the bouncers at the Double Deuce and he’s telling them how to handle things going forward.

Here’s the clip (edited):

Be nice, until it’s time to not be nice.

In the context, he’s talking about a job with a high risk of confrontation. Drunk people don’t make good judgments, by and large, so bouncers are occasionally forced to fight. 

But it’s also good advice in our contentious times where everything is controversial and nothing is beyond causing offense, it seems.

Life on social media and in the real world has gotten volatile. It’s hard to know how to go, which is why I started thinking as a Barbarian.

But that attitude, the idea of living your life as if you risk having your skull split open while being prepared to split skulls yourself if need be, can be summed up pretty well by Swayze’s lines here. Be nice, until it’s time to not be nice.

Now, this introduces a problem, though.

You see, being nice is seen by some as weakness. They see it as something to exploit, something they can capitalize on. They see you as nice and want to take advantage of that niceness.

If they’re smart, they’ll do it subtly, over a period of time. They’ll do it slowly enough you might not even realize they’re taking advantage of you until it’s too late.

But most people aren’t that smart.

So what do you do when you realize that people are taking advantage of you? Well, then it’s time to not be nice.

I’m not saying you beat their asses, though that might be warranted. It’s rarely permissible by the rules of society, after all, unless they start it. But you’re not obliged to continue to be treated badly either.

What you’re dealing with, however, are people who want to take advantage of your civilized nature. They know you will likely do nothing to them, so they have no fear of you. They have no reason to fear you.

Unfortunately for them, you’re a Barbarian. They should fear you. They should fear your rage.

While you have to navigate the rules of society, bear in mind that those rules really just require you to get creative in how you deal with them.

Oh, declaring them dead to you is fair. They’re probably even halfway ready for that.

But you can split their skulls as no civilized man, even if only in a metaphorical sense. 

Make sure people know what you’ve been dealing with. Provide witnesses who can vouch for it–you and I both know that others will probably see it before you will–and provide evidence. Make it clear who and what they are.

More importantly, though, you’re making it more difficult for them to do this to other people. You’re making it so they have to repair their reputations, which means going against what you declared them to be.

In other words, use their actions to destroy any reputation they may have. Cut them off socially, if possible. Make them pay.

You were nice. Until it was time to not be nice. 

But when that moment comes, descend upon the wicked like the fiery hand of God.

Society may say we have to play by their rules, but that doesn’t mean we have to be anyone’s doormat.

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The Ideal Person

For the last while now, I’ve been working toward something. I’ve been working toward making myself into something. I’ve written about my thoughts and a bit about why I’m not the only one who should work toward this something, even.

But I haven’t even really defined precisely what this something is. I’ve touched on it, but I haven’t really defined what it is that this Modern Barbarian really is.

Today, I’m going to try and do that. I may add to some of this at a later date, but this is where the entire concept stands as of this moment.

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Reach For Greatness

Most of us like to believe that we have value. We demand others treat us as though we do, and for good reason. We’re free men and women. We have a right to expect to be treated as if we matter.

But then we go through life, eventually dying, and what do we leave behind?

Oh, we have our families who will miss us, but what about beyond just that?

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Master Everything

Yesterday, I kind of screwed up with my work. It wasn’t a major mistake, probably an easy one to make, but I still screwed up. No one was angry with me, no one chewed me out, nothing like that. They just let me know a correction needed to be made, they’d made it, and if there was an issue with how they did it to let them know.

In fact, the only person who was upset was me.

You see, I don’t do well with mistakes. At least, I don’t do well with my mistakes. I tend to try to be understanding of others and their mistakes, but I somehow don’t do well with my own.

Why is that? 

Because I believe in trying to master everything.

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Why You Should Live Like Everyone Is A Barbarian

Earlier today, I wrote about a story for the day job. In it, a man did something pretty stupid, and also very tool-ish, and I thought about it for a bit.

I needed to talk about it here, just a bit.

You see, this jackwagon pulled a gun on a worker at a Popeye’s in Louisiana.

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Valar Morghulis

I’m not in the habit of sharing stuff from social media, especially when I’m not entirely sure where it came from or whether it’s true or not, but I saw this one this morning and I had to talk about it. 

It’s probably fake, because it’s just too awesome to be true, but a guy can dream, right?

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Finding Balance

Recently, a friend of mine was talking with me. He told me he’d been reading stuff here and he was concerned.

I asked him why, and he responded, “Because the stuff you’re talking about, it can build up in someone. Over time, they can become too aggressive and you’re not talking about ways to ramp that down.”

It’s a fair point. I haven’t been.

So, I need to step back and fix this. After all, I can tell you all day long that despite being Barbarians, you still have to play by society’s rules, but if you don’t know how to ramp things back (and most of you actually do), then you’re screwed.

You need to have a way to find balance between the naked aggression many of us feel in our very souls and the need to step back and let things either unfold as they must or just fizzle out.

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