Be Nice — Especially on National Be Nasty Day

Here’s a news flash for readers of this career advice blog… 

March 8 is National Be Nasty Day.  Hard to believe, but true.  In my book, being nasty is never good, nor the way to life and career success.  The other day, I got a press release email promoting a book called The Snark Handbook: Insult Edition.  Here is an excerpt from the email…

This year, on National Be Nasty Day, celebrate by refreshing yourself on some of the greatest insults ever uttered in film, television, politics, and literature!  The Snark Handbook: Insult Edition provides a comprehensive list of the perfect insults for every situation, spoken by everyone from Oscar Wilde to David Letterman!
Snark expert and bestselling author Larry Dorfman, who is also the author of the original Snark Handbook, comes up with witty phrases on a daily – even hourly – basis! Here are some of his latest snarks:

“Christine Aguilera has had a tough few weeks after her Super Bowl snafu. She had been offered an opportunity for a “do over” by the Brooklyn Cyclones, a Mets farm team, but refused. Word is that she’s also recently been rejected for the lead singer slot in two Christine Aguilera cover bands.”

“A former mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, who served four terms and was one of the city’s most popular leaders, won’t get a new government center named for him because of his name. Harry Baals (pronounced like you think it is) is the current favorite in online voting but two members of the city council, Anita Head and Holden McGroin, have refused to allow it.

“NYC’s mayor Mike Bloomberg is in trouble again for making an insensitive stereotypical Irish joke at a dinner for the American Irish Historical Society. Something about drinking. He’s allowed…after all, a man of his stature automatically becomes and honorary leprechaun.”

The press release writer seems to have an exclamation point addiction! 

But I digress.  I shared this press release not because I think that being nasty is a good thing to do, but to reinforce a point I make in my latest career advice book, Success Tweets.  Tweet 50 says, “Jettison the negative people in your life.  They are energy black holes.  They will suck you dry; but only if you let them.”

Insults and snarking are the mark of cynical people.  Cynics like Larry Dorfman are negative people.  They are also dangerous, because they are seductive.  Even I admit that the three snarks above are funny, albeit in a cruel way. 

That’s the problem with cynics.  They always have something witty to say about others – usually others’ shortcomings.  At first, they seem to be funny and amusing.  But spend time with cynics, and you’ll find that they have little joy in life except in pointing out and reveling in others’ problems and failures.

Ambrose Bierce may well be the world’s biggest cynic.  I often see quotes attributed to him on line.  In the early 20th century, he published a book called The Devil’s Dictionary.  Even I admit that some of his definitions are pretty funny.  However, I get tired and frustrated after reading more than one or two.  Here are a couple of quotes from The Devil’s Dictionary…

“Optimism:  The doctrine that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly, everything good, especially the bad, and everything right that is wrong… It is hereditary, but fortunately not contagious.”

“Calamities: Two kinds — misfortunes to ourselves, and good fortune to others.”

No wonder ole’ Ambrose was called “Bitter Bierce” by his contemporaries.  First he bashes optimism, then he suggests that human beings see the good fortune of others as a personal calamity.

Here are a couple of other entries in The Devil’s Dictionary…

“Politeness: The most acceptable hypocrisy.” 

“Perseverance: A lowly virtue whereby mediocrity achieves an inglorious success.”

Do you know any people like Ambrose Bierce and Larry Dorfman?  If you do, my best career advice is to hold them at arm’s length.  While you may find them to be witty and entertaining at first, they will drag you down in the long run.  They will not help you create the life and career success you want and deserve.

Point 6 of The Optimist Creed says…

“Promise yourself to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are of your own.”

This is 180 degrees from what Ambrose has to say.  Successful, self confident people aren’t jealous or upset by the success of others.  They are genuinely pleased when they see others succeed.  They see the success of others as an inspiration.  They use it to motivate themselves to achieve bigger and better successes. 

Cynical, negative people choose to see others’ successes as a personal affront.  Take it from a career success coach, these kinds of people will not help you create the life and career success you want and deserve.

The common sense career success coach point here is clear.  Successful, self confident people don’t let negative people into their lives.  They follow the career advice in Tweet 50 in Success Tweets.  “Jettison the negative people in your life.  They are energy black holes.  They will suck you dry, but only if you let them.”  Avoid cynics.  They are jealous and petty; unhappy when others succeed.  Make a conscious choice to spend time with positive, optimistic people.  Avoid negative, pessimistic ones.  And you’ll be on the road to the life and career success you want and deserve.

That’s the career advice I take from National Be Nasty Day.  What do you think?  What do you do to distance yourself from the negative people in your life?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment.  As always, thanks for taking the time to read my musings on life and career success.  I value you and your feedback.


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