Do you ever have those days when you know, with absolute certainty, that you are a big fat jerk?
More often than I like, actually.
I mean, I try to be a good person. I try to be kind, to be generous, to be welcoming. I do. I try.
But sometimes in the middle of a visit or a social event, I step back just long enough (like 2 seconds) to listen to myself, and I have to think, “Oh, my God. What a JERK.”
Sometimes it’s because I’m not listening well enough. Sometimes I catch myself doing that awful, selfish thing. I sorta, kinda listen to the other person just because I’m dying for the other person to pause so I can respond.
And then there is the whole “I know everything” syndrome from which I have suffered for years. I HATE people who answer every comment with how much more they know about everything than I do.
No kidding. I can’t STAND that. I mean, maybe I mention something about making homemade ravioli and the other person immediately jumps into a long lecture about the proper ratio of semolina to whole wheat flour. It does not matter if that person lived in Tuscany for a year studying under a master chef. It still just plain pisses. me. off.
So why do I do the same thing to my own friends and family?
I don’t know.
The other day I had a rare and very treasured visit from two family members. Two wonderful women who I’ve loved for 40 years. Women who are kind, smart, funny, loving, and (thankfully) forgiving. We started to talk about the medical issues that face us in middle age. You know, aches, pains, insomnia….I should have listened. I should have asked how they were feeling. I should have commiserated and made supportive sounds.
Instead I launched into a stupid lecture about medical treatments, benzodiazepine dependence and the benefits of cannabis butter.
Even as the words were flowing like a backed up sink right out of my big mouth, I was thinking, “Shut up, shut up, shut up!!!!”
I guess its a good thing to recognize my weaknesses and personal foibles. That way I can a) keep myself awake for three nights in a row telling myself that I’m a horrible person and am totally undeserving of friends and b) work toward being a better listener, friend, relative.
It also helps to put these thoughts into a little blog that is rarely read. That way I’ve thrown it out there, given it to the universe and possibly garnered a few supportive comments.
BUT: tell me the truth! Don’t you just HATE those know it all types?
12 thoughts on “Jeez, what a jerk”
I think that sometimes (often) it takes great skill to simply sit and listen and keep quiet. I definitely don’t have the full skill yet, but I have noticed that I can catch myself more often as I’ve moved through middle age so I will only take credit for being half of a know-it-all and hope that I don’t revert back to jerk status 😉
And yet, I’m still a jerk…..
I think you’re being a little harsh on yourself, but yes, it’s definitely annoying when people only ‘listen’ to find a gap where they can steer the talk back to them. I love to talk, but I try to practice taking a really deep, slow breath, & seeing if I can tune into what the person is really meaning, rather than just jumping on in. Supposedly it is also the best approach with teenagers too, rather than giving them all our good advice & life experience. Be kind to yourself 🙏🏼 G
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I fear I’ve been too kind to myself. I was an actual jerk when my sweet relatives were here….argh!!!
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I do not know that Karen you speak of! It’s a hard balance between similar experience and MINE IS BETTER! I do know those people though that just won’t shut up! (That said…I think you need to make me a dirty martini soon!)
See, with a dirty martini or two, I’m less of a jerk! Or…you’re less of a judge of jerkiness….Come by for drinks, please!!!!????
My pet peeve is someone who talks incessantly without taking a breath or a pause to let anyone else interject a statement. A know-it-all it a lesser sin. And I’m sure you’re not that way all the time. Right? We all have those feelings we’ve said way too much at times. And a long recital of medical ills is a perfect chance to do so. Take it easy on yourself.
Oh, I know what you mean! I know a few of those folks…I try hard NOT to talk over other people, but I am definitely a yacker. And I’m not always a jerk…but sometimes? Yup. I am.
Glad I’m not the only one who hears herself being a jerk, and yet somehow finds herself unable to listen to the little (and wise) voice telling her to shut up until she’s thoroughly finished pontificating. We all like t spout off, give yourself a break.
We definitely need to meet one of these days! What if we instantly drive each other nuts?? LOL!
Can I like this 10,000 times!?! I am so happy to hear that I’m not alone in my jerkdom. I stew and keep myself awake half the night regretting every selfish/jerky word trying to think of ways I can make it right … yet again. (And there I go talking about myself … what a jerk!).
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Yup, it’s like a tape loop, right? ALLLLLL night…why did I say that? Why didn’t I say this???
We can form a Jerks United club!