Drama Sparks: The Half-Asser

This is a six-part series about the almost invisible behaviors that spark negative drama and attention. Select the tag, "Drama Sparks" to see them all. 

Let me introduce the voice of the Half-Asser.  The comments below have a flippant tone flavored with a touch of carelessness

When asked to report on their project: "Oh yeah, I forgot we were supposed to do that"

When the group meets to discuss a report: "I tried looking at the report, but then I saw how small the font was...yikes!"

When you ask about an email you know you sent: "You sent me the email...I'm not sure it went through"

When are trying to start a meeting you planned together: "What's going on today? I accidentally read last weeks agenda."

These quotes are all representative of the Half-Asser. This is the person who feigns effort without fully taking responsibility.  It's easy to slap a "LAZY" label on this person, but that isn't really what's going on here. 


Let's take a closer look. At a recent conference, I was standing with a group of half-assers (you know who you are). It was during a break and right before break out sessions where we would all have to locate rooms for the session we signed up for.  Here is what the conversation sounded like. 

"What's going on next?" 

"I have no idea what I signed up for"

"Huh, what's next?"

"This place is a maze, I have no clue where to go."

Eventually, a Judgy McJudgerton standing nearby said this; "Don't you have schedules and maps in the folders that you are HOLDING IN YOUR HANDS!?!?"

The irony of intention is the half-asser desires to have a good time, but instead of taking responsibility for their experience they "play dumb" until they get reprimanded; which isn't fun at all! The Judgy response in the example above plays into their myth that this is stupid, boring, and others are keeping me from having a good time. 

Instead of responding to their perceived ignorance, access their ability to be creative, spontaneous and playful by interacting with them in playful ways. If you want to get the whole-ass instead of the half-ass try saying things like, "Seriously, what a bummer." "Dude, it's the worst." And if you are willing the half-asser will really appreciate responses with some swearing...they are suckers for irreverence and boundary-pushing. 

If you ARE a Half-Asser remember that you have the ability to make hard boring stuff fun. Turn it into a game, find a way to laugh often, or give it your own unique spin. A great mantra for the Half-Asser is "Even sucky stuff can be fun."  

Next up in the series: The Socially Awkward

These concepts are all part of Process Communication Model. Take a course to find out more about PCM.

Images from Hope Holz. Check out their original internet debut here: https://hopeholz.com/tag/half-ass/