Avoid Being A Jerk
The other day while eating lunch at Five Guys with my wife, I noticed another guy sitting with whom I presumed to be his wife. He was feverishly staring at his phone, which he had not set down the entire time I had watched him. Wearing his football jersey on Saturday afternoon, I’m guessing he was following the college football games.
His wife was left to sit and eat in silence as her husband was consumed with the device. I pointed this out to my wife, who is more of a people watcher than I am. “Wow, he just looks like a jerk”. "Yeah" I agreed, knowing my game didn't start for a few more hours.
As I watched him, I began to think of the joy he must be in his day to day life.(I could be way off base as he may work non-profit for charitable causes, dress up as Santa every year at the local hospitals and volunteer at the humane society, but that really wouldn't help my story.)
Watching him walk, his demeanor just reeked of jerk. With a smug arrogant look on his face you could just tell. I thought to myself, I hope I don’t do that. Then I started thinking of things people do in public that make them come off as being jerks. As the wheels started turning, I came up with a list of a few things we can all do to avoid being jerks.
Here are some easy ways to avoid being a jerk
Appear to care about other people – Just try; you don’t have to actually care. Hold a door open, or maybe let someone go in front of you in line. It’s amazing what a little courtesy will do, give it a shot.
Attempt to smile– After you get the hang of the caring thing, try doing it with a smile on your face. I know, tricky huh? It may take some practice, but a small, pleasant smile doesn't mean you’re less manly, in fact, it’s the opposite; it means you are comfortable with yourself around others. Which brings to mind...
Why so serious? It's okay, you can laugh. Everything is better when you can laugh.
Avoid showing off your vast superiority – You are a God amongst mortals, and it pains you interact with us and our kind. You roll your eyes and huff and puff when forced to give more than a one word answer. Just take a breath and try to bear it.
Manners - If you bump into someone, say excuse me. If someone holds the door say thank you. Simple enough. After some practice, you will be able to do it without even thinking.
Get off your cell phone - When you are ordering food at Subway, paying for gas, or especially the movie theatre. One thing at a time, pay attention so others don't have to listen to you talk about nothing.
Just give up the parking space- Sure, you were there first, but why not just take the one a few spots down. The walk won't kill you, and it saves a lot of stress.
You don't need to fight - There are very few times when you need to actually fight someone, letting someone merge into your lane of traffic is not on the list. Just let them in and everything works out.
Language- Have you been to an NFL game lately? If not, don't bring the kids. I've heard my share of bad language before, but the language and behavior at some sporting events can be brutal. When in public, we should all try to watch our language.
Stop Complaining - It seems some people cannot be pleased. Sure, there are times when you are wronged, but for some, nothing is ever going to be good enough. If you do need to complain, try to treat the waiter/waitress, cashier, or person on the phone with respect. It may even help you get what you want.
If we all make an effort not to be jerks, think of how pleasant our day to day experiences can be. I'm sure we will not suddenly become a society of Leave it to Beaver style smiles and perfect manners, but we can make life just a little easier on ourselves.