5 Ways to Spot a Jerk

Jerks are cruel, crass, and contemptible people. They have only one person’s interests at heart and in mind — their own. Despite most peoples’ desire to stay away from them, they will always be an inevitable part of dating. The danger is that jerks often start out very charming. This can leave us blindsided to their worst qualities, while starting to fall for their best. Then, once the relationship is far enough along to make it more difficult to walk away, their true nature begins to rear its ugly head.

Jerks know their best audience, and so they tend to prey upon partners with the kindest hearts. This is because these generous people are usually the most accepting and forgiving of their faults. Here are five questions to ask yourself if you suspect you might be dating a jerk:

How do They Treat Others?
These folks often work from pre-drafted scripts, but what they can’t always control is how they treat the people around the person they are trying to impress. This may be seen as rudeness towards a waiter, or a condescending remark to an ice cream vendor. Another clue is how they treat their own family. Even if you have never met their family, if they speak negatively of them, this could be a warning sign of how they will treat you later on. Just because you aren’t the brunt of their wrath today doesn’t mean you won’t be tomorrow. In fact, it is inevitable you will one day be on the receiving end of this kind of behavior.

Are They Overly Critical?
One of the most common ways a jerk fails to cover their critical tendencies, is when talking about an ex. While their reasons may seem legit as to why they dislike these, as they say, “lazy,” “boring,” or “unkempt” folks, remember, you could be next in line. It is bad practice to bring up exes during a date, and even worse to talk about them negatively. Also, if after going out with someone for a period of time, you find yourself feeling depressed or disliking yourself, look very closely at how they make you feel. They may have already begun bringing you down. Negative gestures in the beginning can be subtle, so subtle in fact, you might not even recognize them until you’re already miserably in love.

Are They Unavailable for Group Outings?
A jerk may be able to pull the wool over one person’s eyes, but probably not their friends and family, too. For this reason, they will try to avoid group outings. Another sign of being in the clutches of a jerk is if you find yourself spending less time at these events. It may be subtle at first, such as ‘something that just came up’ that keeps you from going, but remember, the people who are important to you should also be important to your partner. To a jerk, their best position of control is when nobody else is around to challenge them, such as a concerned parent or friend. If the people around you are picking up warning signs, perhaps you should be as well.

Do They Have Unpredictable Mood Swings?
A jerk will inevitably lose their cool, which will be seen as a lack of emotional control or mood swings. Everybody has a bad day, but if you find their behavior particularly threatening, either physically or verbally, you are most certainly dealing with a jerk. A very dangerous one. And for those kind-hearted individuals who will see this as a challenge to help someone become a better person, may I remind you that these people rarely change. They are usually incredibly resistant to altering their core jerk qualities, and by choosing to become entangled with them, you are putting yourself into a dangerous situation. If they really want to change, point them towards a good counselor.

Are They Narcissistic?
A jerk has three best friends: ‘me, myself, and I.’ The narcissist doesn’t care about anyone unless that person has something they want. If you happen to be among one of these desires, you could find yourself lavished by much attention, adoration, and romance. That is until the first problems appear, destroying their fantasy of your perfection, altering their focus from wooing to one of demand and criticism. These people may say, “I love you” within the first couple dates, then change their mind just as quickly. They usually have a long string of failed relationships (none of which are their fault, of course).

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