While these cases might be quite obvious, the same applies to all other kinds of trying. By trying I mean to aim to adjust oneself or something else according to certain ideas and ideals of how things should be.
Have you ever tried to meditate and then became disappointed that it didn't work? Tried to relax or to fall asleep? Tried to be a good person? To be or appear more contended, more friendly, more understanding, more intelligent, more whatever?
All these strategies of trying lead to tension, pretending, self-deception and eventually disappointment. They might make you feel better for a certain amount of time, but ultimately they are like lying to yourself. Trying to live according to ideas and ideals - be it in small everyday activities or in the big picture - is like painting yourself and your life in nice colours, while you still live in the mud. Ideas and ideals will not take you out of that mud, they will just make the mud look nicer or seem to disappear for a while. You have the choice to either live in nice looking mud or to really clean up.
I think this applies to all cognitive-behavioral therapies we nowadays find in psychology. They try to make you think that you are worthy, pretty, good and whatever else and if you make it a habit to tell this to yourself and to act as if it was true, it might seem to work, you might really start believing it. But the reasons why you considered yourself unworty, ugly and bad are still there. They don't disappear by trying to overwrite them, by opposing them verbally, intellectually and practically.
Actually they do not disappear by opposing them at all. They will only disappear when your desire to make them disappear ceases, when you take a deep, honest and non-judgemental look at them, when you really understand them deeply and existentially (and not just intellectually). In a nutshell: Stop the war inside! (or "Resist not evil", as Jesus put it)
That is no fun and not easy and it might not be done on a weekend, but it does seem to be the only way to clean up the basement of our mind.
So do not try to be 'good', just fully and non-judgementally accept how much and what kind of 'bad' stuff there is in you. Ifthere is e.g. anger, rage, resentment or whatever kind of deeply rooted aversion you can find (and you will find them!), just recognize it, accept it, feel it, see how it looks like and which thoughts and sensations accompany it, and especially: Do not judge it! If necessary and possible, get into it, become completely one with it and shiver in anger. You will be surprised how good that feels!
If you manage to do this, there is no need to try to be good, to try to be anything else than you already are. If you manage to do this, things will take are of and get better by themselves! Beyond all the effort and will power of trying that govern our lives, there is a far greater power, which is on your side as soon as you stop resisting it. Our trying is that resistance, the illusion that we need to use will power to change what is.
Awareness of what is, is the only key to real change. Everything else is a surrogate.
Do not merely believe or reject this intellectually, for it is not meant as another idea or an ideal. If it speaks to something in you, just do it and see what happens. Do not try not to try. If you find yourself trying, just be aware of that trying and it will naturally and gradually cease by itself.
Regarding this it seems there's something to learn from nature and from real assholes. Nature never tries. Plants grow naturally and without effort. Animals do something or they don't. The don't waste their time worrying what to do next or trying to do it right. And real assholes are not trying to be assholes, they are just assholes! They are not being bad while trying to be good, they are just what they are. No trying, no hiding, no pretending, no deception, no disappointment. They probably can sleep very well at night!
Trying to be good is actually as useless as trying to be bad. And who would ever consider TRYING to be bad? In the case of the real asshole action as well the really good one, everything comes naturally. The ass and the saint are most likely not even aware of how bad or good they are!
This is of course not to say that it's 'good' to be 'bad'. It is just to say:
Whatever you do, stop trying.
(References that come to mind are the teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti, Anthony De Mello and Ashin Tejaniya)