Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Sour OJ” Lesson on Compassion Is One Everyone Needs to Hear — and Many Don’t Understand

I enjoy listening to Gary V — mostly for his unabating, addictive energy. But also for the nuggets of social and cultural wisdom that occasionally pop up amidst lessons on wine, sports, investing, and marketing.

For those not familiar, Gary Vaynerchuk (Gary V, for short) is the founder of Vaynermedia, a once-was wine critic, and a digital marketing maven. He’s the quintessential “go-getter,” and a business idol for many entrepreneurs who look to emulate his success strategies.

While a lot of his Twitter feed features retweets, he does post original content — not a small amount of it video. Recently, in fact, he tweeted something that really stood out to me. It was titled, “No One Needs Your Sour OJ.”

In essence, the message is this: “Don’t bring down someone else’s day with our (O)pinions and (J)udgment.” In other words, ditch the sour OJ.

But there were some striking insights in his 45-second video that are worth calling out.

First, he frames opinions and judgments as intentional actions: “If you’re living your life, navigating your day, and decide … [that you] are interested in using your judgment and opinion to bring [another person] down, make them unhappy, bring negativity and darkness to them… Can someone remind me what the value of that is?”

Lesson? Ragging is not accidental. It’s very much intentional — which means we are conscious of moments when we “bring negativity and darkness.” We are equally as able to stop it.

Second, he gets to the “why,” which is critical to cutting the judgment reflex at its root: “I understand why it’s happening. You’re in a bad place. You’re not feeling great. You see someone who seemingly isn’t and you want to tear them down.”

Lesson? The world isn’t your punching bag. Stop taking out your hurt and anger on those who don’t deserve. Take a step back, then take a good look at yourself and the root of that hurt/anger. That’s the only way to get true resolution.

Compassion, understanding, kindness — they’re not rocket science. But they’re also not possible until you remove behavioral and emotional roadblocks.

Step 1: Know that when you bring down someone else, it’s intentional and have the power to stop it.

Step 2: Also know that if you feel compelled to bring down others with your sour OJ, it’s likely coming from a place of internal strife. Take a look at that before you do damage to others.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

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