Stop Wasting Time on Crappy People

Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we’ve lived.” - Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek Generations

Time is our most precious resource because it can never be regained or recovered.  And the last thing we want to do is unwittingly waste our most precious asset.

James Altucher wrote some great articles on how to deal with crappy people (and internet trolls) who seek only to lure you into wasting your time, energy, and physical well-being by engaging in fruitless interactions with them.  Every now and then, we all seem to unwittingly fall into this trap.  I’ve summarized some of Altucher’s key points here to help you quickly realize the trap you’re falling into and plug that wasteful leak as quickly as possible.

“Emotional– If someone is a drag on me, I cut them out. If someone lifts me up, I bring them closer. Nobody is sacred here. When the plane is going down, put the oxygen mask on your face first. Family, friends, people I love – I always try to be there for them and help. But I don’t get close to anyone bringing me down. This rule can’t be broken. Energy leaks out of you if someone is draining you. And I never owe anyone an explanation. Explaining is draining.” – How to be THE LUCKIEST GUY ON THE PLANET in 4 Easy Steps

“Crappy people: People who will do you harm, no matter what you do, for no reason at all. They never will get it. They will say and do things to you and they will never ever understand how evil they are. .. And you will hate them. HATE THEM. And they knock on the door of your brain at three in the morning and they want to yell at you. And you yell back. And they yell back. And on and on. All day. All afternoon. The ongoing conversation with the shittiest people in the world. They will torture you, kill you, rape your wife and slit the thoughts out of your mind and not even care because they think they are doing the right thing [not to mention they're probably whacked-out substance-abusers on drugs and alcohol too]You know who I’m talking about. Because you have a good 20 or 30 of these in your life just like I do. They might even be former friends, relatives, neighbors, bureaucrats, whatever, whoever, whenever. They swoop down on your life and are just plain crappy and they won’t even know it. .. This is the worst category. I’ll tell you one more anecdote. Two seconds ago someone posted a horrible comment on my blog. I won’t repeat it. Racist, mean, rude to me, whatever. I deleted the post, blocked the user, blocked his IP address. And then I was going to send him an email telling him what I thought of him. I was angry. Then I stopped myself. You have to stop yourself.  

Remember this: When you get in the mud with a pig, you get dirty and the pig gets happy.

There is only ONE only way to deal with these people in a way that will make you happier instead of sadder. ONE WAY. And it always works.


  • Completely ignore them.
  • Don’t think about them.
  • Don’t talk to them.
  • Don’t write them.
  • Most important: Don’t give them advice. They will NEVER listen to your advice. It’s arrogant and stupid to think they will. It will only lead to  more cycles of pain for you. The goal for me is to stop all cycles that cause me any pain at all. Giving advice to crappy people will only result in more pain for you. That’s the only possible result. Much better to be happy than to flush knotted up brown advice down a toilet that caused you agony to push out. This is hard.
  • Most important: Never gossip about them behind their backs. Just completely disregard. We don’t care about their happiness or how evil they are. We only care about you. Its hard to do. Never ever talk about them behind their backs. Repeat this 500 times. This is hard also. Because it’s an addiction.

This isn’t easy. It’s a daily discipline. Much easier to do a 1000 pushups. I had an article recently on the Wall St Journal site that had 971 comments. No exaggeration when I say 950 of the smartest anonymous trolls on the internet called me an idiot moron and worse. I ignored all the comments. Great. I could care less. I was the winner there. [This also applies to dealing with stupid and insecure people who abuse you or treat you poorly.]” – How to Deal With Crappy People

Q: When is revenge justified?  A: NEVER. It is never ever justified. I have had people do horrible things to me. Horrible. But lets say I have 40 years left to live on this life. Any time spent on revenge will reduce the number of happy days I have left. Not only is revenge never warranted but even thinking about it wastes brain cycles.  It’s like in the above example: “Bill who?” That’s why its such a great saying, ‘the best revenge is living well.‘ I have plenty of ways to revenge the stupid, crappy people I’ve had to deal with. I’d rather walk by the Hudson River, read a book, and have a waffle. (Note: if we are talking about violence, there are proper channels for dealing with it: police, support groups, documentation, etc)” — The Crappy FAQ: All Questions Answered About Crappy People

Time. A girl I used to date called me up crying. She said, ‘I’m fat. Everyone is ripping me off. I’m getting insomnia. And I’m going to run out of money in two years.’ She had been married to someone very successful and had two years left on her alimony payments.  I said to her, ‘Well, I have the solution that will solve all of your problems.’ She wanted to know what it was. I said, ‘Stop eating at that fancy steak restaurant every night. Stop drinking until two in the morning. Stop hanging out with that same group of people you are always complaining to me about. That’s it. Then come back to me in six months I bet everything will be better.’  She said, ‘I can’t do that. My whole lifestyle depends on those things you just said. ‘So now she weighs more, has less friends, less money, and is more scared. She’s considering surgery to help with these things but I’m not sure what surgery will help. Meanwhile, she has three million dollars in the bank and is 100% convinced she is going to go broke within five years and obsessively thinks about it.  Most people have no clue about time management. But the basic idea is: Avoid dinner and TV and you’ve just saved yourself 100s of hours a month. HUNDREDS! And you will lose weight, you will wake up earlier, when you have time to be creative in silence (I’m writing this at 5am).” — Get Rid of Your Bad Habits


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