I’m a jerk

Posted by Doc
Mar 09 2009

Well, maybe not so much any more. But I definitely was.

What do I mean by “jerk?”

I believed that what I wanted came first. I believed that what I thought was more important that what other people thought. I believed that I was entitled to tell them that I was right and they were wrong. I believed that it was okay to be “honest,” regardless of how the other person felt about it.

What brought this to mind?

I was sitting looking at my wife, and wondering why she stuck it out. Truly. She met me when I was pretty much at my peak of jerk-ness, and survived all it took – including martial arts and a heart attack – for me to learn how important other people are. And for me to start taking responsibility for my own feelings and behavior.

(If you get the impression that I think my wife is a remarkable woman, you’re right.)

I’m still a jerk sometimes. I still forget to think first, and think in the right way, about the people around me. It’s true – I’m imperfect.

Like you.

One of the hardest lessons of my life has been learning to stop, think, look, and think again before I speak. In fact, I’ll include writing emails in “speaking.”

When I write an email, I read it through and edit it at least three times.  Because I’ve made too many mistakes by making too many assumptions or by not stopping to think.

At least with an email, the other person can take their time before dealing with their reactions and responses.

In person, the impact is frequently much worse.

Can you stop being a jerk?

9 Responses

  1. Twitter Comment

    rt @athought I’m a jerk [link to post]

    – Posted using Chat Catcher

  2. Twitter Comment

    RT @athought : Blogged: I’m a jerk
    [link to post]

    – Posted using Chat Catcher

  3. Steve Donie says:

    I’m working on it! First thing is to admit that you are, or at least that you have jerkish tendencies. I never would have guessed it of you, though.

  4. Damana says:

    That is a brave thing to say out loud. It makes you look the opposite of a jerk.

    Good onya.

  5. Twitter Comment

    Insightful, as usual: [link to post]

    – Posted using Chat Catcher

  6. Adam Kahtava says:

    Great post, reminds me of something Randy Pausch said in the Last Lecture:

    “I used to be just like you. I was in denial. But I had a professor who cared about me by smacking the truth into my head. And here’s what makes me so special: I listened. … I’m a recovering jerk. That’s what gives me the moral authority to tell you that you can be a recovering jerk, too.”

  7. Rick says:

    This just goes to show you… Women like to date jerks and will date them before a well-adjusted guy.

    • Somewhat of a stretch from my post, but an interesting stretch. There’s no doubt that women (and men) will date jerks. As to whether they will prefer them to “a well-adjusted guy” is debatable (speaking on behalf of, although not necessarily one of, the well-adjusted guys and the women who love them).

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