Summer is here! I’m thrilled to be approaching the summer vacation that will allow me to spend a lot of time creating memories with my family. But let’s face it, I live with three teenagers, who are not always the kindest people in the world, and whose brains sometimes amass into a flurry of hormone-controlled impulses that can make for stressful times.
I spent most of my Memorial Day weekend on Pinterest gathering ideas for summer projects and challenges for our family to participate in, and I realized that none of our projects are going to be accomplished if we don’t have some basic ground rules. Actually, there’s one basic rule for summer survival in our family – all the others fall upon this one.
I am not a jerk whisperer.
Nor will I try to be. I can’t even remember where I first heard that sentence, but it is now my parenting and life mantra. While this is the absolute key to living with three teenagers, especially when we’re all creating wonderfully, happy memories together, I’m also employing this rule when dealing with adults as well.
For the record, let’s establishing a working definition of the word jerk. I realize that we all have probably encountered jerks in our lives – so I asked my community of friends on Facebook to define in the most non-profane manner possible – the word jerk. Here are some of the responses:
Thoughtless; inconsiderate; selfish; rude; self-serving
Inconsiderate, rude, narcissistic, idiot
A delicious spice mixture and/or an inconsiderate self absorbed schmuck
A dance move. Wait. What?
A conscious idiot spewing negative rhetoric and/or persona across the masses
Narcissistic person; Unhappy clown
I know for a fact that I am not the only one who may deal with jerks, but I did want to share my summer plan for my choice not to live with jerk behavior. You see, my personality would ordinarily encourage me to deal with the jerk- ergo jerk whispering – but in the words of pop singer Meghan Trainor, “No.”
Here are my guidelines for dealing with jerks. Feel free to share and use whatever works for you, because no one should have to deal with jerks. Ever.
- It’s in my best interest and yours for me to process jerkish behavior before I reply through my own words or actions. I will probably leave the room or get off the phone or need to get away from you so I can process what happened alone. Not allowing me to do that, or encouraging me to respond instantly will not end in a good way.
- If you send me a text message that sounds jerkish, I will not acknowledge it nor will I reply at all.
- I will forgive you without you asking for forgiveness. Please remember though, that forgive does not equal forget. I will forgive but I probably won’t forget.
- I will seek first to understand the why behind your jerkishness, but that’s just for my understanding. Even if I understand the reason, the behavior will still not be tolerated.
- If this behavior is a pattern for our interactions, you will be sent to the universe. This means there will no longer be a need for you to play a role in my life until the work of God, the Universe, or a higher power of another name handles it. There is a lot of work that needs to be done for you to come back from the universe. A lot. Do it and come back or stay there, it’s totally up to you.
- I will secretly feel sorry for you that this is the existence in life you have chosen. That’s sad.
- I believe that jerkishness is an illness (that can be contagious) and if I diagnose you with said illness, you will need to undergo the appropriate treatment for it; more than likely in the universe and with a good dose of boundaries.
- I want to live in the solution, not the problem. After all, I know what the problem is…you’re acting like a jerk. In order for us to heal and move past it, I will live in the solution instead of the problem. That means we work together to resolve the issue so it doesn’t happen again.
9. Step 1: Jerk. Step 2: Bully. Step 3: Abuser. I will watch you closely to see if you follow this pattern. If you do, all contact will cease and I don’t care who you are or what your relation to me is. (Fyi, If the person in question is a teenager that I gave birth to, we don’t make it past Step 2.)
10. I will give more chances based on your relationship to me, just because. Yes, my children will have more chances, because they are my children. Everything we do is a teaching moment. Adults on the other hand, will not be given the same considerations, so don’t even ask.
If you’re an avid reader like I am, but you struggle with jerk whispering, here are a few book that may help you. Affiliate links are included.
Parenting Teens With Love and Logic
So tell me, how do you deal with people you encounter who act like jerks?
19 thoughts on “I Am Not a Jerk Whisperer”
I love that you don’t let them get to you. I am the kind of person who takes everything personally and let the negativity bum me out ;(
Dont let the jerks get you down! Love these tips/reminders about how to handle those types of situations!
Karen | GlamKaren.com
I used to let stuff get to me but I have learned to not bother with it. People are who they are, not who you are. Great reminder to just do what you know how to do.
I wish I never had to deal with jerks. Alas, they are a part of my everyday routine anymore. They have become so commonplace that I know exactly how to deal with them when I run across one. That’s sad.
They’re toxic and do not deserve to be in my life and they do not deserve being even a second of a thought on my mind. Bye bye!
First of all your title is the best ever. And I wish I didn’t have to deal with jerks, ha!
First of all, your post title is amazing! And second, I wish people weren’t jerks….makes things so much harder!
I am getting a shorter fuse as I get older for dealing with jerks. But at the same time I am finding it easier to just let go and ignore them in my life and not let them bring me down.
Yup, always axe the jerks. Sometimes it can be hard but one you cut all ties there is an immediate sense of relief!
I’m so glad you don’t let them get to you. I’m trying to rid myself of toxic people and toxic friendships. So far it has made my life much less stressful.
It is so hard to let toxic ppl not get to you! I wish I had an answer but I struggle!
I used to let people like this bring me down ad get to me but now I have removed anyone like this from my life and I am much happier! I cut ties with people but it was well worth it.
I try to surround myself with positive people after get rid myself from toixic circle of friends. Life will be much easier and full with peace if people just stop acting annoying.
I try to surround myself with positive people after got rid from toxcid circle of friends. It makes my life much easier. Love the fact that you gave tips on how to deal with this type of people.
I have met many jerks in my time but like you it has made me stronger and more mindful of how I should I treat people who are mean. I like the three stage process.
I am trying to learn to tune out negative people and bullies if you will. It is hard adn I applaud you for not letting them get to you.
The first thing I try to remember is that them being a jerk is more about them and less about me. Whenever I keep that in mind I find am able to handle the situation better.
I usually try to kill them with kindness and not let them see my feathers ruffled. But now I am a mom with twin 5 year olds. I don’t have time for anyone else’s shenanigans!
Love these tips on letting people not get to you. And so good to hear how you block them off!