Your emotional baggage is not a golden ticket to be a dick

emotional baggageI was involved in a conversation recently where people were talking about someone they were kinda friends with. I say kinda because hanging out with this often charming, clever and humorous person was akin to hanging out with a sweet, fluffy animal who occasionally tried to inviscerate you when you weren’t watching.

This ‘kinda friend’ was regularly rude, arrogant, self-entitled and a little bit on the aggressive-when-pissed-side of fun drunk… but then someone added, “He’s has a tough life.”

Here’s the thing. Your emotional baggage is not a golden ticket to act like a dick.

Urban Dictionary: Act like a dick

Meaning: to act like a self-centered narcissist whose only concern is himself and what he/she wants. Everyone else doesn’t count.

We’ve all met someone like this. Someone who we give a little extra leeway to because we know that have had it tough, or we feel they need a smidge extra forgiveness because they were dealt a shit hand.

In fact, I’ve dated some dudes like this.

Some dudes with terrible behaviour which I kept excusing time and again because they were, in my exact words, doing the best they could with the tools they had been given.

But everyone is doing the best they can with the tools they’ve been given. Although everyone’s toolboxes are stacked differently from birth, we are all also only able to look at life through our own carpentry apprenticeships.

Are you following? Perhaps I’ve gotten a little too deep into my own obscure handy man analogy but stay with me.

Our own personal shit and its depth is subjective, but everyone – EVERYONE – has shit.

You may take your crap out on others and feel like you’re totally entitled to do so, or it may even just shine through in a spectacularly shitty attitude. Or maybe you’ll do my personal favorite which is self-sabotaging behaviour which hurts everyone around you.

A dirty-great chip on your shoulder is a great disguise. It can be worn like a protective cloak that you can hide behind to shield what’s really going on underneath your facade.

I’m not sure which I chose when I was working all of this shit out. I hope I wasn’t an arsehole to those around me. I used a lot of drugs with frightening frequency and had an intimate love affair with an eating disorder for many years. If I wasn’t a dick to others, I was certainly a bit of a dick to myself.

RELATED: How an attitude of gratitude can bring you inner peace

Now, what I’m about to say may not be popular, and of course, there are some atrocities from which people may struggle to return from but let’s talk about the time when we need to move on from the shitty hand we got dealt or the shitty experiences we’ve had, and choose something else for ourselves.

Anyone who has ever had anything crappy happen to them has the choice to stay in the negative, or they can choose something else. Something positive. Something lighter, and shinier, and overall more fulfilling because it doesn’t weigh you down like a bag of steaming poo.

It’s not easy. Oh, hell no.

Deep personal work, self-reflection, and self-development can sometimes feel like tearing away strips of skin with a blunt vegetable peeler but I honestly cannot recommend this sweet torture enough.

RELATED: How I stopped being mental as

I’m often astounded by the fortitude of some of the most profoundly mistreated, abused or persecuted people who choose to forgive their abusers and send them love. People who take their horrific upbringings or circumstances filled with abuse or neglect, and go on to live fulfilling lives without anger or regret.

My point is about you. You can choose today, this second, to let all that negative energy go. It does not serve you, and it only holds you back from having fulfilling relationships and living a beautiful life.

And, my darling, you deserve all that and more.

4 ways to get over your baggage and quit being a dick


Taking a mirror to yourself is sometimes not only surprising but painful. The thing is if you are unaware of, or give no shits about your shitty behaviour you need to take a good hard look at yourself.


I firmly believe every single human could do with some therapy. Simply having an impartial ear to be your sound board and work through any old sneaky issues you have in the closet that prevent you from moving forward is invaluable.


Yep, this one is a big one. A huge step towards letting your shit go is choosing forgiveness. The beauty of this is, you don’t actually need to tell the person if you don’t want to. You just wholly and souly need to do it in your own head and heart.

Helping others

I’ve heard it time and again… the Streets Barber talked about it in our interview, and recently I heard the incredible Turia Pitt talk about it. If you want some perspective on your own shit, go and help someone else. Go volunteer at a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, or help a neighbour who is in need. Serving others fills us with purpose and joy. You can’t be a dick while you’re helping others.


Have you checked my coaching page to see if you are the right fit for any of The Your Good Life programs?

I’d love to get to know you better and help you move past whatever is holding you back and level up your life today.

Check out this great Ted talk about how asking for help is a strength.