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“Abrasive.” “Brash.” “Brutally honest.” When you read those words, the negative connotations and sentiments behind them hit you right away. People generally use them to describe someone who is a bit over the top, a guy who does nothing to soften the punches he throws. He may come to be known as an asshole or a bully, someone who talks a lot of smack and isn’t afraid of making anyone angry. Perhaps you don’t want to be someone like that, but let me ask you this: Wouldn’t you rather be “abrasive” and “brash” than “shady” and “conniving?”
As a young adult, your beliefs and values are more solidified than they have been at any other point in your lifetime. During college, you’ll run into thousands of new people, many of whom you’ll have fundamental disagreements with. Among those people, some of them will become your enemies. Regardless of how much you “don’t care what other people think about you,” these enemies can be great motivation to outperform others and better yourself.
When one of your enemies says or does something that pisses you off or could damage your name, the route many people go is a foolish one: Talk shit behind the person’s back, subtweet them, etc. All this approach shows is that they’ve gotten under your skin. The world would be a better place if you just called them out in person.
There are numerous benefits to calling somebody out on their shit. For one, you get right down to the point. No “he said, she said,” no misunderstandings, no bullshit. You’re forcing the other person to back up their stance and tackle the issue on your terms. No matter the outcome, they are going to respect you for addressing them head-on. We no longer live in a world where disputes need to be decided with fistfights or duels, but that doesn’t mean confrontation isn’t necessary.
Sadly, being a man of action that takes people to task on their disagreements is frowned upon in a lot of circles. This is especially true in the campus environment, where one word that isn’t carefully chosen can land you neck-deep in hot water with all kinds of people. It’s gotten to a point where actually calling someone out when you have a problem with them is strange and unusual. It’s still worth every bit of flak you’ll take, though. You might find yourself at the brunt of a lot of criticism from your peers, but in the end you’ll know that you did what was necessary. In a day and age where it’s not popular to be direct and to the point, it’s very rewarding to be assertive and show no fear.
So, whether it’s that guy who’s been bad-mouthing your fraternity, the girl who gets too drunk at your parties, or the administrator who won’t cut you a break, give it a try — call them out on their shit..