• Welcome to the new Internet Infidels Discussion Board, formerly Talk Freethought.

How do you detect a jerk?

Rhea

Cyborg with a Tiara
Staff member
Joined
Feb 1, 2001
Messages
13,580
Location
Recluse
Basic Beliefs
Humanist
Just a general question, not solving anything personal. In discussing with others the phenomenon of ending up with someone who is not what you thought. Mostly romantic partner, but maybe business partner or hobby friend as well.

I’d be interested in a discussion about how you discover who people are. Is it intuitive, or is it purposeful? What do you look for. How do you prevent yourself from overlooking red flags. How do you create situations that reveal?

I have a few ways I do this,, but I expect there is a lot of good advice out there in the world, and I am interested in it.
 

rousseau

Contributor
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
12,512
In my world I don't really think in these terms. It's more like .. everyone is welcome until they're not. There is a Canadian astronaut named Chris Hadfield who sums it up well here.

It's the 1, 0, -1 theory. Everyone you know can be categorized as either helpful, neutral, or unhelpful. I don't vilify the unhelpful people, but I do try to mitigate the negative impact they have on my well-being, and if it gets bad enough they get shut out completely.

So to more directly answer your question, what I'm looking for is if a person shows mutual respect, listens to me when I communicate my needs, is open to civil communication, and doesn't detract from my overall well-being. If they actually are detrimental to my well-being they don't become the enemy or othered, they just become someone I'm weary of and cautious around.
 

Toni

Contributor
Joined
Aug 11, 2011
Messages
16,169
Location
NOT laying back and thinking of England
Basic Beliefs
Peace on Earth, goodwill towards all
In my (most egregious) case, I was very much infatuated and genuinely in love with someone who almost everyone else agreed was a jerk. He wasn't the most handsome guy I ever dated but he did have a certain appeal that, as it turned out, attracted a lot of female response. I still feel a little bad that I fell into that trap. I like to think I go for more the hidden gems than the dimestore rhinestones. Eventually, the jerkiness and obvious character flaws revealed themselves. The 2.5 breakups didn't hurt, either. Last one was on my birthday. It really just took me believing what my eyes and ears were telling me, and actually what they told me the first time I saw him. But being very young and unused to being so physically attracted to someone plus a very serious depression created some big goggles for me. So, my word of advice: If most of your friends and family think that someone is a jerk/asshole/whatever: probably they are. Yes, you might be seeing that secret softer, gentler, sweeter side that lies beneath the (many) layers of asshole but the asshole part is just as real and much more on display than the other part. The good parts don't outweigh the parts that treat people (you, other people) badly.

The other instance: I once and only once met someone I 'knew' on an online forum (not this one). On line, they were really nice and we shared some interests. They were in the area from out of state, getting some medical treatment and we met up. It turned out that her spouse (who was with her) was kind of a Big Deal in a particular subset of pop culture (I had no idea) and they were shocked when I picked up the tab for the brunch we shared (being a good host for my state and all). So, cool so far----but at the same time, she expected me to jump to her tune to......convince my husband to cancel a class or better, me to call in sick to work and to drive our dog (we shared a love for the breed) to visit her in the hospital where she was having non-life threatening surgery. Through a blizzard. 50 miles, one way. There was just no way I was calling in sick to do an unreasonable favor for someone I only barely knew, much less violate hospital policy to do it, blizzard or no blizzard. While I fully understand that her husband's fans often expected far too much from him, it seems that they were also accustomed to people being happy to jump through all sorts of hoops for them. Just: No. And to follow up, she went out of her way to be an asshole to someone who was new to the forum we both belonged to for no other reason than she could---and part of me thinks, because I was supportive.

Now, there was probably 30+ years between the guy I was infatuated with and this person I thought was really nice because we both loved the same dog breed but truthfully, I think that the guy was an aberration. I usually have a really good...shit detector but it failed me with him, and the guy I briefly dated before, both in college and both during a prolonged period of very, very deep depression. Other guy, I figured out and believed myself pretty quickly. I could feel my real self look at both of those guys and say: Nope but a part of me.....did it anyway. Oh, being young and foolish and clinically depressed is a really good way to find yourself in a relationship or 'relationship' with a jerk/asshole. But the good thing is that I learned to trust my instincts more after that and dodge the guys who tripped my creep (or in these cases, jerk) flag, no matter how appealing they might otherwise be.
 

rousseau

Contributor
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
12,512
In my (most egregious) case, I was very much infatuated and genuinely in love with someone who almost everyone else agreed was a jerk. He wasn't the most handsome guy I ever dated but he did have a certain appeal that, as it turned out, attracted a lot of female response. I still feel a little bad that I fell into that trap. I like to think I go for more the hidden gems than the dimestore rhinestones. Eventually, the jerkiness and obvious character flaws revealed themselves. The 2.5 breakups didn't hurt, either. Last one was on my birthday. It really just took me believing what my eyes and ears were telling me, and actually what they told me the first time I saw him. But being very young and unused to being so physically attracted to someone plus a very serious depression created some big goggles for me. So, my word of advice: If most of your friends and family think that someone is a jerk/asshole/whatever: probably they are. Yes, you might be seeing that secret softer, gentler, sweeter side that lies beneath the (many) layers of asshole but the asshole part is just as real and much more on display than the other part. The good parts don't outweigh the parts that treat people (you, other people) badly.

The other instance: I once and only once met someone I 'knew' on an online forum (not this one). On line, they were really nice and we shared some interests. They were in the area from out of state, getting some medical treatment and we met up. It turned out that her spouse (who was with her) was kind of a Big Deal in a particular subset of pop culture (I had no idea) and they were shocked when I picked up the tab for the brunch we shared (being a good host for my state and all). So, cool so far----but at the same time, she expected me to jump to her tune to......convince my husband to cancel a class or better, me to call in sick to work and to drive our dog (we shared a love for the breed) to visit her in the hospital where she was having non-life threatening surgery. Through a blizzard. 50 miles, one way. There was just no way I was calling in sick to do an unreasonable favor for someone I only barely knew, much less violate hospital policy to do it, blizzard or no blizzard. While I fully understand that her husband's fans often expected far too much from him, it seems that they were also accustomed to people being happy to jump through all sorts of hoops for them. Just: No. And to follow up, she went out of her way to be an asshole to someone who was new to the forum we both belonged to for no other reason than she could---and part of me thinks, because I was supportive.

Now, there was probably 30+ years between the guy I was infatuated with and this person I thought was really nice because we both loved the same dog breed but truthfully, I think that the guy was an aberration. I usually have a really good...shit detector but it failed me with him, and the guy I briefly dated before, both in college and both during a prolonged period of very, very deep depression. Other guy, I figured out and believed myself pretty quickly. I could feel my real self look at both of those guys and say: Nope but a part of me.....did it anyway. Oh, being young and foolish and clinically depressed is a really good way to find yourself in a relationship or 'relationship' with a jerk/asshole. But the good thing is that I learned to trust my instincts more after that and dodge the guys who tripped my creep (or in these cases, jerk) flag, no matter how appealing they might otherwise be.

Maybe I have a harder time answering the question because in the majority of cases.. the women I've met haven't been jerks. Usually I've been the jerk, or at least inexperienced.

From what I've seen in relationships, negative qualities are often overlooked because both parties are .. getting what they want. It's easier and more pleasant to continue enjoying the fruits of the relationship, than it is to make oneself single again, even if the relationship isn't ideal.

Throughout my life I never thought in those terms, I was always analyzing partners for marriage potential, and if they wouldn't make a good partner and mother, or the time wasn't right, I moved on. This is in part why I'm living such a healthy and happy life now.

Outside of relationships I really don't think in these terms, but I do find that I can read people's personality fairly quickly. There are a huge amount of tells of what a person is really like, if you know what you're looking for, or listening for.
 

Toni

Contributor
Joined
Aug 11, 2011
Messages
16,169
Location
NOT laying back and thinking of England
Basic Beliefs
Peace on Earth, goodwill towards all
In my (most egregious) case, I was very much infatuated and genuinely in love with someone who almost everyone else agreed was a jerk. He wasn't the most handsome guy I ever dated but he did have a certain appeal that, as it turned out, attracted a lot of female response. I still feel a little bad that I fell into that trap. I like to think I go for more the hidden gems than the dimestore rhinestones. Eventually, the jerkiness and obvious character flaws revealed themselves. The 2.5 breakups didn't hurt, either. Last one was on my birthday. It really just took me believing what my eyes and ears were telling me, and actually what they told me the first time I saw him. But being very young and unused to being so physically attracted to someone plus a very serious depression created some big goggles for me. So, my word of advice: If most of your friends and family think that someone is a jerk/asshole/whatever: probably they are. Yes, you might be seeing that secret softer, gentler, sweeter side that lies beneath the (many) layers of asshole but the asshole part is just as real and much more on display than the other part. The good parts don't outweigh the parts that treat people (you, other people) badly.

The other instance: I once and only once met someone I 'knew' on an online forum (not this one). On line, they were really nice and we shared some interests. They were in the area from out of state, getting some medical treatment and we met up. It turned out that her spouse (who was with her) was kind of a Big Deal in a particular subset of pop culture (I had no idea) and they were shocked when I picked up the tab for the brunch we shared (being a good host for my state and all). So, cool so far----but at the same time, she expected me to jump to her tune to......convince my husband to cancel a class or better, me to call in sick to work and to drive our dog (we shared a love for the breed) to visit her in the hospital where she was having non-life threatening surgery. Through a blizzard. 50 miles, one way. There was just no way I was calling in sick to do an unreasonable favor for someone I only barely knew, much less violate hospital policy to do it, blizzard or no blizzard. While I fully understand that her husband's fans often expected far too much from him, it seems that they were also accustomed to people being happy to jump through all sorts of hoops for them. Just: No. And to follow up, she went out of her way to be an asshole to someone who was new to the forum we both belonged to for no other reason than she could---and part of me thinks, because I was supportive.

Now, there was probably 30+ years between the guy I was infatuated with and this person I thought was really nice because we both loved the same dog breed but truthfully, I think that the guy was an aberration. I usually have a really good...shit detector but it failed me with him, and the guy I briefly dated before, both in college and both during a prolonged period of very, very deep depression. Other guy, I figured out and believed myself pretty quickly. I could feel my real self look at both of those guys and say: Nope but a part of me.....did it anyway. Oh, being young and foolish and clinically depressed is a really good way to find yourself in a relationship or 'relationship' with a jerk/asshole. But the good thing is that I learned to trust my instincts more after that and dodge the guys who tripped my creep (or in these cases, jerk) flag, no matter how appealing they might otherwise be.

Maybe I have a harder time answering the question because in the majority of cases.. the women I've met haven't been jerks. Usually I've been the jerk, or at least inexperienced.

From what I've seen in relationships, negative qualities are often overlooked because both parties are .. getting what they want. It's easier and more pleasant to continue enjoying the fruits of the relationship, than it is to make oneself single again, even if the relationship isn't ideal.

Throughout my life I never thought in those terms, I was always analyzing partners for marriage potential, and if they wouldn't make a good partner and mother, or the time wasn't right, I moved on. This is in part why I'm living such a healthy and happy life now.

Outside of relationships I really don't think in these terms, but I do find that I can read people's personality fairly quickly. There are a huge amount of tells of what a person is really like, if you know what you're looking for, or listening for.
Not during those college years but even in high school, I realized very quickly that if someone said they didn’t want kids, my interest went to zero, like flipping a switch. Not even close to worth considering.

As I wrote, I was dealing with (or not dealing with it, really) a serious clinical depression. I honestly don’t know how much of it was my age, my family circumstances ( this was shortly after my mother’s traumatic brain injury) —and how much of the depression was genetic based. I didn’t learn for many years that depression and related mental illness was significant in one side of the family because it just wasn’t talked about. The most seriously affected members had died before I was born. I didn’t really draw the lines as far as genetics go until my kids hit adolescence and to a varying degree experienced depression.

When I started to get to know my husband, I was working on putting myself back together after a couple of really bad years. The thing about him is that he was/is pretty transparent. He obviously liked me and wasn’t afraid to let me know. He wasn’t demanding of my time and affection—happy for both but didn’t have a fit if I was busy or talked to other people. He was open and affectionate. He was unabashedly fond of animals and small children. He had no…guile, I guess. No pretense about him at all. He was smart and kind and funny but not at other people’s expense. Yes, sometimes he can act like a jerk —we all do sometimes. But that’s an aberration and not a character feature. I could trust him—and that is everything. And I learned to trust myself after a couple of very bad years.

The only qualms I had were that I wasn’t ready for a serious relationship. I was a mess and I knew it. He didn’t seem to notice. I didn’t think it would last. It’s been….more than 45 years.
 
Last edited:

Rhea

Cyborg with a Tiara
Staff member
Joined
Feb 1, 2001
Messages
13,580
Location
Recluse
Basic Beliefs
Humanist
For me, if I’m considering a relationship that counts on a person - business, romantic, partnership - I try to look for a situation that will have some challenges. Not fake things just to test someone, but doing something that includes challenges that might be part of a future situation, and simply withhold judgment until after the situation. To try to fend off infatuation until after viewing them in a situation that requires response. Try to make myself view them objectively. It doesn’t always work, but it’s something I try to do.
 

TV and credit cards

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
4,802
Location
muh-dahy-nuh
Basic Beliefs
Humanist
How to identify a jerk? By being mindful of how they treat people who don’t matter. Just a little jerk humor to lighten the mood. But seriously folks, one way is I watch how a person might take advantage of a situation, specifically if it is at the expense of another.
On my last ship, I was in charge of a wonderful group of techs. All of them good people. Usually you’re going to have at least one problem child in the division. The gods had never been kind to me. Well, while the gods did favor me this time, the command did not. They knew how good I had it and set out to rectify the situation. How? By sticking not one but two “floaters” in my group. Floaters are guys who can not get along with anyone. Floaters get sent to lots of small bullshit schools while in port just to get them out of everyone’s hair for awhile. They also get assigned to whatever collateral jobs that pop up. These jobs are most prevalent during lengthy shipyard periods.
So there was this collateral job Problem Child #1 had of coordinating shipyard work going on within the department. He had been doing it for awhile and was to hand it off to Problem Child #2 first thing Monday morning. So we’re all sitting around on the Friday afternoon prior to when in walks Problem Child #1 asking Problem Child #2 if he is good to go taking over the the job. “Sure”, says #2. “Okay then, I’m going to go tell the department head you’ve got”, says #1. He repeated, “You’ve got it.” This is where my ears perked up. “Okay, sure”, says #2.
Moments later, in walks #1. “The DH wants to see you in his office”, he says to #2 and walks away. Moments later, in walks #2: “He fucked me!” “I’ve got to work the weekend.”
This pissed me off as I had been working with #2, trying to make a decent sailor of him. He wasn’t such a bad guy. His problem was he didn’t take teasing well. People picked up on this and had made a target of him, so his life in the navy was not going well. I treated him well and had ensured the techs had done so too. #1 on the other hand was an irredeemable POS of little value to the navy or humanity.
So off I went in search of #1. Unfortunately, I found him in the hangar bay in civilian clothes, leaving for the weekend. A hangar bay is a very large open space in an aircraft carrier where sound travels well and there are usually many people milling about. Now, there’s this rule of leadership to praise in public and correct in private. Well I broke that rule. I don’t remember all of what I said but it was less than thirty seconds in I realized I must have been saying it quite loudly as many in the hangar bay had stopped to watch. So I ended my public correction. Told #1 to leave my presence immediately and turned and walked away. I was wrong to have spoken to him in such a manner and in public but satisfied just the same.
 

rousseau

Contributor
Joined
Jun 23, 2010
Messages
12,512
In my (most egregious) case, I was very much infatuated and genuinely in love with someone who almost everyone else agreed was a jerk. He wasn't the most handsome guy I ever dated but he did have a certain appeal that, as it turned out, attracted a lot of female response. I still feel a little bad that I fell into that trap. I like to think I go for more the hidden gems than the dimestore rhinestones. Eventually, the jerkiness and obvious character flaws revealed themselves. The 2.5 breakups didn't hurt, either. Last one was on my birthday. It really just took me believing what my eyes and ears were telling me, and actually what they told me the first time I saw him. But being very young and unused to being so physically attracted to someone plus a very serious depression created some big goggles for me. So, my word of advice: If most of your friends and family think that someone is a jerk/asshole/whatever: probably they are. Yes, you might be seeing that secret softer, gentler, sweeter side that lies beneath the (many) layers of asshole but the asshole part is just as real and much more on display than the other part. The good parts don't outweigh the parts that treat people (you, other people) badly.

The other instance: I once and only once met someone I 'knew' on an online forum (not this one). On line, they were really nice and we shared some interests. They were in the area from out of state, getting some medical treatment and we met up. It turned out that her spouse (who was with her) was kind of a Big Deal in a particular subset of pop culture (I had no idea) and they were shocked when I picked up the tab for the brunch we shared (being a good host for my state and all). So, cool so far----but at the same time, she expected me to jump to her tune to......convince my husband to cancel a class or better, me to call in sick to work and to drive our dog (we shared a love for the breed) to visit her in the hospital where she was having non-life threatening surgery. Through a blizzard. 50 miles, one way. There was just no way I was calling in sick to do an unreasonable favor for someone I only barely knew, much less violate hospital policy to do it, blizzard or no blizzard. While I fully understand that her husband's fans often expected far too much from him, it seems that they were also accustomed to people being happy to jump through all sorts of hoops for them. Just: No. And to follow up, she went out of her way to be an asshole to someone who was new to the forum we both belonged to for no other reason than she could---and part of me thinks, because I was supportive.

Now, there was probably 30+ years between the guy I was infatuated with and this person I thought was really nice because we both loved the same dog breed but truthfully, I think that the guy was an aberration. I usually have a really good...shit detector but it failed me with him, and the guy I briefly dated before, both in college and both during a prolonged period of very, very deep depression. Other guy, I figured out and believed myself pretty quickly. I could feel my real self look at both of those guys and say: Nope but a part of me.....did it anyway. Oh, being young and foolish and clinically depressed is a really good way to find yourself in a relationship or 'relationship' with a jerk/asshole. But the good thing is that I learned to trust my instincts more after that and dodge the guys who tripped my creep (or in these cases, jerk) flag, no matter how appealing they might otherwise be.

Maybe I have a harder time answering the question because in the majority of cases.. the women I've met haven't been jerks. Usually I've been the jerk, or at least inexperienced.

From what I've seen in relationships, negative qualities are often overlooked because both parties are .. getting what they want. It's easier and more pleasant to continue enjoying the fruits of the relationship, than it is to make oneself single again, even if the relationship isn't ideal.

Throughout my life I never thought in those terms, I was always analyzing partners for marriage potential, and if they wouldn't make a good partner and mother, or the time wasn't right, I moved on. This is in part why I'm living such a healthy and happy life now.

Outside of relationships I really don't think in these terms, but I do find that I can read people's personality fairly quickly. There are a huge amount of tells of what a person is really like, if you know what you're looking for, or listening for.
Not during those college years but even in high school, I realized very quickly that if someone said they didn’t want kids, my interest went to zero, like flipping a switch. Not even close to worth considering.

As I wrote, I was dealing with (or not dealing with it, really) a serious clinical depression. I honestly don’t know how much of it was my age, my family circumstances ( this was shortly after my mother’s traumatic brain injury) —and how much of the depression was genetic based. I didn’t learn for many years that depression and related mental illness was significant in one side of the family because it just wasn’t talked about. The most seriously affected members had died before I was born. I didn’t really draw the lines as far as genetics go until my kids hit adolescence and to a varying degree experienced depression.

When I started to get to know my husband, I was working on putting myself back together after a couple of really bad years. The thing about him is that he was/is pretty transparent. He obviously liked me and wasn’t afraid to let me know. He wasn’t demanding of my time and affection—happy for both but didn’t have a fit if I was busy or talked to other people. He was open and affectionate. He was unabashedly fond of animals and small children. He had no…guile, I guess. No pretense about him at all. He was smart and kind and funny but not at other people’s expense. Yes, sometimes he can act like a jerk —we all do sometimes. But that’s an aberration and not a character feature. I could trust him—and that is everything. And I learned to trust myself after a couple of very bad years.

The only qualms I had were that I wasn’t ready for a serious relationship. I was a mess and I knew it. He didn’t seem to notice. I didn’t think it would last. It’s been….more than 45 years.

That sounds a bit like how my relationship with my wife went. When we started dating we'd already been living together for two years (I was her tenant, although she is only 8 months older than me).

At the time we were both 27 and she was very inexperienced, to the point that she had never really kissed anyone. So I turned out to be a good guy to partner with as I was patient enough to show her the ropes of .. everything. But even in the early days I knew she'd be a fantastic mom and partner and that I'd likely end up proposing, and here we are.
 

Angry Floof

Tricksy Leftits
Staff member
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
14,529
Location
Sector 001
Basic Beliefs
Humanist
I met one guy who had a crazy beautiful mind. He was hilarious and had a unique and youthful way of perceiving the world, and wrote lovely poetry.

But it turned out that he was a pain pill addict and he became weird and manipulative as pain pill addicts do, but when I tried to end it, he started calling constantly. I stopped answering so he left messages that were increasingly cruel and threatening. I figured out how to block his numbers, so he turned to a messaging app. One morning I signed in and there was a mountain of crazy messages from him, threats, a pic of something I had sent him with my address on it, meaning he was telling me that he had my address. In one of the phone calls, he pretended to be at the airport near me, even pretending to talk to someone asking for directions.

There was a kid, a teenager, who for whatever reason tricked me into talking to him again, so I had to once again tell him to please not contact me ever again.

I believe it was the addiction that made him behave like this for the most part. I truly hope that he got the help he needed and is free now. Still don't ever want contact with him, though.

Also I want to note that I was not really scared that he would actually do the things he threatened. He just liked trying to scare women. He never had a truly cruel vibe, but I saved his messages in case at some point it seemed more serious or if he continued to find ways to contact me or humiliate me on a discussion board where we both had been.members for years and so he knew I had friendships there.

I left that community after that and I don't know if he continued to make posts about me. This was also a time when a coworker was spying on me, following me to that board, signing up, having private conversations with other members, taking pictures of me without my knowledge or consent and sharing them there, giving hackers my personal info, and more. They started hacking my devices, watcing all my Internet activity, playing a game that gave out my location and inviting people in the area to stalk me around and take photos of me, and more.

Very long story, and I never saw this level of malice and jerkitude coming from some of the people involved. I think someone also contacted a couple of employers of mine after I left that job. Life has been so hard since then, never really knowing if anyone is still invading my privacy or stalking me in the grocery store or post office. I believe it has stopped, but the anxiety and depression and despair that has come from all this has never gone away. I have no proof, only my story of what I know happened, some guesses, and a few messages from a couple of people who knew about all this or some part of it so there's no point in going to law enforcement.

Anyway, that's why I'm sad and crazy and hate leaving the house. I write every post here and on Facebook and messaging with the awareness that one of these cockroaches is reading it. The anxiety is only slightly better now that it seems to be over since about 2018.

Ok, so that went more tmi than necessary. 😂 Thanks for listening. It helps.
 

Elixir

Made in America
Joined
Sep 23, 2012
Messages
21,863
Location
Mountains
Basic Beliefs
English is complicated
There was a really pretty girl in 7th grade who I had a crush on. One day she called me at home and told me she liked me, which put me through all kinds of changes. It didn’t take long to realize she was a jerk. That hurt. But…
I can’t think of any relationship I ever had with any jerks after that. They’ve all been really good people IMHO.
Guess I’m not a useful authority on detecting jerks.

Angry Floof said:
The anxiety is only slightly better now that it seems to be over since about 2018.

That really sucks. Wish I could tell you “hey that was me and I promise not to do it again ever ever ever”, but alas.
I’ve had a person or few lash out at me for various reasons, but no terror tactics like you’ve been subjected to.
{{{hugs}}} is all I got. 😢
 

Angry Floof

Tricksy Leftits
Staff member
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
14,529
Location
Sector 001
Basic Beliefs
Humanist
There was a really pretty girl in 7th grade who I had a crush on. One day she called me at home and told me she liked me, which put me through all kinds of changes. It didn’t take long to realize she was a jerk. That hurt. But…
I can’t think of any relationship I ever had with any jerks after that. They’ve all been really good people IMHO.
Guess I’m not a useful authority on detecting jerks.
Me, either. At this point, though, I'm like, give me your best shot. But I also have had non-jerks in almost every in-person sex or romantic relationships. None of them were violent or abusive in any way. I'm grateful for all the good men I've known.
 

Toni

Contributor
Joined
Aug 11, 2011
Messages
16,169
Location
NOT laying back and thinking of England
Basic Beliefs
Peace on Earth, goodwill towards all
I think that jerks are callous towards other peoples’ feelings. Their feelings come first and they don’t consider other people’s feelings unless they are forced to. To a certain extent they are just oblivious . Most of us are, at some point, even momentarily, a jerk. We try not to be but we’re human and we are all self centered sometimes.

But there are those who not only consider other people’s feelings and vulnerabilities, they exploit them for their own needs and relish the destruction they leave in their paths. They often play the part of victim in the destruction they deliberately cause and feed on the sense of power they gain. These people are sociopaths. That’s a whole different thing than a jerk.
 
Top Bottom