Tuesday, July 30, 2013
The Truth about Jerks
The Truth about Jerks
We’ve all either been a jerk to someone or we’ve been on the receiving end of someone else’s jerk-like tendencies. We’re all human. It happens.
People are jerks sometimes; no question…it’s an unfortunate reality. The fortunate reality, however, is (or can be) how we choose to react when people around us are…in a word - a jerk.
They may NOT know better
Though it may be hard to believe, that person on the other end of the phone, across the aisle, across the conference room table, or in the next room, may not know how to act or react in certain situations. In some cases, even if they know what’s right, they may not know how to show it, say it, or do it.
Something else may be going on in their life
Jerks are not indigenous to our current location, current place of employment, or current city
Despite our natural tendency to romanticize ‘the next season’ or ‘our next place of employment’ (you know…’that’ place or ‘that’ company where it ‘would’ be so much better), the grass isn't greener (with fewer 'jerks') someplace else. Jerks have a funny way of surfacing, no matter where we find ourselves.
They're probably scared of something
One of my favorite authors and guru on Leadership and Marketing, Seth Godin, published a blog post several months ago entitled, “Snark and Fear”. The main idea of the post was that if/when people get snarky with us; we should ask them what they’re afraid of.
Jerks may have needs
They may very well need help. Whether it is financial assistance, someone they can call a friend, someone to make them laugh, or perhaps just something or someone to put their mind at ease…they may have a huge hole the size of Texas in their life, and they may need something or someone.
Wait…maybe…in reality they're not a jerk after all
It could be that they may not be as bad as we think.
Not sold? Still not buying it?
I wasn’t either…until I remembered that I, too, have been a real jerk to people at one time or another. Then I thought, “wouldn’t it be nice if people gave me the benefit of the doubt when I was a total jerk…”
That's reason enough to be that person to the "jerks" in our lives, because they're no different than us. I bet deep down, they're not really jerks.
So when people are total jerks to us, going OneMoreStep, smiling right back at them, meeting them where they are, and perhaps even figuring out a way to help them could be way more fun and productive.
Too often we try to get back at them or win the argument or prove our point. Every time I do that I get myself in trouble or make matters much worse. Then…who’s the jerk?
That’s the truth about jerks.
Have a great day.
Posted by Taylor Scott at 6:15 PM