How to be a jerk

Unfortunately, I know a few people who don’t need to read this. They have perfected the art form. Maybe they don’t realize it, but if for some reason you find your head bobbing along as you read this, pay attention.

As an Autistic, I have a very keen sense of sarcasm. Yes, I do mean to be sarcastic because I really can’t stand some of the things people do. However, sometimes it not read as sarcastic and then I have some ‘splainin to do. Sometimes I speak directly to the point and it’s seen as sarcasm. Again, explain it and move on. But some people are just au naturel jerks.

Let’s start with what should be obvious. Someone does something for you, in a good way, you say thank you. Walking through a door and dropping it into the next person’s face is being a jerk. Being part of a conversation and not allowing anyone else to speak, you are being a jerk. Insisting your way is the only way, you are being a jerk. Pushing people around because “you can” makes you a jerk.

Using people for your gain, as in accepting gifts and not saying thank you, makes you a jerk. Using said gift to hurt the gifter makes you a jerk. Telling people to butt out because you have no room in your life for advice makes you a jerk. Not making room for the people you consider friends makes you a jerk.

Speaking rudely about other people to your friends makes you a jerk. Lying to people makes you a jerk. Taking advantage of people makes you a jerk. Trashing someone on social media makes you a jerk.

I think you have the idea. If you would want someone to do any of the above to you, then you need to reexamine you state in life. There is no reason for you to accept someone in your life who is a continuous jerk. We all make mistakes and I feel those should be forgiven. However, a pathological jerk just needs to leave you alone.

What can you do to resolve any tendencies toward being a jerk that you may exhibit? Start with the opposite of the above example. Try the “do unto others as you would have then do unto you” philosophy. Think about your behavior. Is it kind? Would want to hear the same thing? Is it productive? I won’t go into truthful because that’s subjective, but the truth can be said in ways that don’t paint you as a jerk.

Your challenge: Distance yourself from people who insist upon being jerks. They thrive off your reactions, so don’t give them any. Work to improve your own behavior so you become a better person and can withstand the occasional jerk. Evaluate your friends and if you want to keep them, tell them when they are being jerks. Otherwise, send them on their way.

Together, we can make things better. Maybe stop a bully or two along the way. It’s definitely worth the shot.

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