When Will You Dump Your Significant Jerk?

It’s another one of those bizarre holidays to celebrate! Dump Your Significant Jerk is both a day and a week celebration, just in case you need a while to work up the courage.

Dump Your JerkWhen will you dump your significant jerk?

This holiday launches the week before Valentine’s Day. Each is a total opposite of the other and yet, they do go hand in hand.

We might be a jerk to others, I hope I’m not and I certainly don’t have these people as friends.

Or we might be a jerk to ourselves. In either situation, we need to know how to identify either the jerk around us or the jerk within us.

Can’t we all be a jerk at times?

Or we talk to our self like we are one?

Here’s my own introvert perspective on how to say good bye to either in our life because being a jerk knows no type style boundaries.

But maybe someone in our life is a jerk. Certainly, if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend you want to say goodbye to, then consider this week as your perfect opportunity.

But I’m too long married for this! Besides my husband is quite lovable, and far from a jerk, most days. He even does the dinner dishes.

But it could be your chance to say “hasta la vista.” 

I didn’t care for the bland dictionary definition of jerk so I searched for something until one I found that made me think, “Yes, that’s it!”

Over at Grammar.com there’s an essay from 1961 by a former newspaper columnist, Sydney Harris.

I love how Harris ends with:

“A jerk, then, is a man (or woman) who is utterly unable to see himself as he appears to others. He has no grace, he is tactless without meaning to be, he is a bore even to his best friends, he is an egotist without charm.”


This caused scenes of the Bing Bang Theory television show to flash through my mind. It’s one of my favorites of the few television shows we watch. Sheldon is often a jerk to his friends to include his girlfriend Amy.

But like the Harris definition, Sheldon is clueless that he is a jerk. Just watch one short scene and you will see.

A jerk only cares about them self. Whether the person is mean or whiny, it’s likely they are self-absorbed.

Why would you insult someone purposefully? And why would you complain without meaning to find a resolution? Don’t insult me saying you’re just being honest.

And the jerk within you? Sometimes I suffer from comparitis. It’s gotten less over the years but still I compare myself to others. I’ve blogged about this several times. It’s just the kind of thing that a jerk would do. “I’m better than …” or “They aren’t as good as…” Regardless of which side of the equation I put myself on, it’s not a helpful thing to say to myself. Since I still have bouts of this jerky voice in me, I’m on the hunt to turn this habit around this week.

A jerk hears and sees only what they want. I can be somewhat like this as a customer. But it does take quite a push.

Right now I am borderline being a jerk with a vendor who has yet to deliver on a product from almost 3 months ago. They won’t return my calls or emails. What is funny is they are turning out to be a bigger jerk than me.

I emailed them earlier this week letting them know, “you have a voice mail to listen to from me.” Guess what? They emailed me back saying, “We’re out of town and can’t check voicemail. Sorry.”

Hold me back from my next jerk move, please.

And the jerk within you? Maybe we could take the lead from the jerk who only sees what they want. Sometimes our self-talk is just the opposite. “Gosh that was silly of me,” or “Maybe I can’t sell.” You know what that jerk in you says.

So this week, say goodbye to that part of you. Think only, “I can, I will, I do, I deserve.” Good riddance to that jerk.Believe in Yourself

A jerk can be mean. I’m a big fan and admirer of Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple. If memory serves me, more stories of his rude and controlling behavior antics surfaced after he died. No one can deny he was brilliant. Jerk is probably the kinder word to use compared to people who worked with him who had different labels. The one and only time I met him in person there was hardly time to form any impression.

My guess is his success was in spite of this. It doesn’t excuse jerk behavior though.

And the jerk within you? We might be upset with ourselves because we didn’t quite make a goal we set. Or we might think we want to get back at someone because they treated us badly, the jerks. That’s close to where I am with this vendor.

If I stop and think about it, unless I have no options left which is highly unlikely, being a jerk would likely rebound to me.

Time to dump your significant jerk?

In the end we just aren’t as happy as we deserve to be when we are either with a jerk or have that jerk within us.

This is a holiday worth celebrating and acting on!

Imagine either letting go of a sour relationship or getting into a better relationship with yourself?

How bothered are you with jerks in your life?

Can you identify an occasional jerk with you?


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  1. Hi Patricia, great post. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to either avoid the jerks in life if possible and if not (say they are a relative, neighbor, coworker) just let their jerkiness slide right off my back. Because their opinions don’t matter anyhow, right? :). That’s the best part of aging, you so caring so darn much about what everyone thinks. Lol
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Poached Eggs Made Simple: #RecipeMy Profile

  2. Cheryl Therrien

    There are those in my life who are jerks at times. I cannot say that I have those who are full time jerks in my life. I do have a jerk within me who is my own worst enemy. She gives me grief, not others, quite often.
    Cheryl Therrien recently posted…Watermark Plus for Mac by Pearl MountainMy Profile

  3. Jerks we have to get rid of. If that’s not possible, say a colleague, we just have to realize what we are dealing with and not take it personally. There are a lot of women in this world that are married to jerks and haven’t got a hope in hell of getting rid of them though. Unless they want to ruin their lives. The best thing such women could do is probably to try to move the family to a country where they have legal rights. Maybe by finding great jobs the husband can apply for. Move there, become citizens and then get the legal system to deal with the jerk,
    Catarina recently posted…What will happen to global growth?My Profile

  4. Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie)

    Ah jerks were born at the beginning of time, right? Even when they are related by blood, the jerks of the world seem to multiply! Maybe it has something to do with the ever encroaching attitude of entitlement…it made millions of jerks! But on a really personal level, I do try to avoid them as much as possible. And I think we all have a jerk from within…the one who picks on you! LOL Maybe sometimes we need that jerk to effect change? Or maybe there is a kinder way to do that, too. GREAT post Patricia:)
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently posted…Valentine’s Day… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

  5. Donna Janke

    Although, as you’ve mentioned, we all have jerk moments, I don’t have any full-time jerks in my life. As funny as I find Sheldon on Big Bang Theory, in real-life I am appalled at how we so often put up with jerk behaviour just because someone is brilliant or powerful.

  6. I tend to agree with Susan. If there are jerks in my life, and I imagine most of us have one or two, I can’t be bothered being bothered by them My time is too precious. Reading this post however, showed me I better get rid of a little jerk inside me ….will work on that this month.
    Lenie recently posted…Host A Heart-Healthy Tea PartyMy Profile

  7. Yes, dump “our” significant jerk not just this Valentine’s Day but all the days of our lives. I like this perspective, thank you Patricia for emphasizing to us the importance of looking within than out.

    Although I love Sheldon, it just resonates so much of the reminders around us and us. So, again, this is a perspective.

  8. Beth Niebuhr

    I’ve known my share of jerks. I hope I’m not considered one but people’s perceptions vary. I try to avoid jerks and I’m much more ruthless about doing so than I was when I was younger. I love your comment about how you handle people who don’t reciprocate.
    Beth Niebuhr recently posted…Can Facebook Really Boost My Business?My Profile

  9. I’m too old to deal with jerks. I let them loose and I don’t wait for Valentine’s week to do it. My husband is the nicest guy in the world, thank goodness, so he doesn’t even come close to the jerk label. Some of my clients are jerks. One ex-client was the biggest jerk I’ve ever met and I dumped him. I didn’t mind releasing him and the income he represented, but it felt like blood money because he and his entire company treated me so disrespectfully. I try not to be a jerk, but I think we all act a bit jerky sometimes. As I age, I try to be careful, but sometimes the words just pop out. A privilege of nearing my sixth decade, I think.
    Laurie Hurley recently posted…Letting Go Is HardMy Profile

  10. But who among us can confidently say that they have never acted like a jerk. Like Harris’ definition. I can think of a few other words that would fit the type of person he describes.
    Ken Dowell recently posted…No, I am not traveling around the world, I am walking in a circle around EpcotMy Profile

  11. Most enjoyable, Patricia! Sydney Harris’s definition is a gem: A jerk is “an egotist without charm.” Often without even a shred of tact or basic decency as well. Thanks for sharing.
    Ramona McKean recently posted…Charlie Hebdo, What Will it Take? Part IIMy Profile

  12. Kire Sdyor

    Hi, my name is Kire and I’m a jerk. It’s been 23 hours since I was last a jerk. Hopefully this support group BHB will help me with my jerk tendencies and I can avoid knee-jerk reactions and begin my new career creating artisan jerky. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my wife and kids for all their love and caring during this trying time as I try to dump my inner-jerk. Thank you.
    Kire Sdyor recently posted…Princess and the PeeMy Profile

  13. It isn’t easy to dump some jerks but sometimes you have to be realistic: we cannot be friends. This is a one-way street and you zap me off my energy. Not easy to do but a must if we wish to remain sane. I rather give my energy to those who also support me when I need it.
    Alice recently posted…Be more productive in the deep end of the pool.My Profile

    • Patricia Weber

      Indeed Alice – jerks can just drain us, and quickly. Better to either dump them if they are in your life, or if they are relatives, visit sparingly.

  14. Safariontheblog

    Hi Patricia, Lol Great Post! I have one or two jerks in my life.
    I think the older we get we learn to deal with the jerks in our life. Channeling your energy to those who support you is the way forward. Life is too short! We haven’t got long on this planet. Why waste it on jerks?
    Safariontheblog recently posted…Watch. Listen. Alsarah & The Nubatones "Soukura"My Profile

    • Patricia Weber

      Chin We I think the reason we might waste our life on jerks is because we don’t/can’t/won’t cut them off. So with getting older we recognize it and are less tolerable of it.

  15. Great post Pat, and I like that you included oneself in this category. Always so much easier to blame another person, when in fact it’s you who are being the jerk. Im not fond of Valentines day as a holiday – commercialism at its worst as far as I’m concerned, preying on peoples emotions both positive and negative – so what a perfect week to dump your jerk!!
    A.K.Andrew recently posted…Do you Want to Start #Writing Like #Steinbeck?My Profile

    • Patricia Weber

      AK if I left myself out as on occasion being a jerk – and knowing it – it would just be inauthentic. I think a couple of people mentioned, indeed we would not be truthful if we said we were never a jerk, whether on purpose or without awareness.

  16. I need to dump the significant jerk within me. That jerk shows up much more than the significant jerk toward others. The Sheldon video is a good alarm to examine oneself and behavior that exposes us as a jerk.
    Edward Reid recently posted…InspirationMy Profile

  17. I love The Big Bang Theory and Sheldon, the narcissist, is a great example of the oblivious behavior you describe. Unfortunately, I have someone like this in my life, someone who has played a prominent role in my life, and with whom I have decided, I cannot completely sever ties. This person insults me every single time we speak. I have decided to stay quiet and not dignify those insults with a response. One of the quotes I use from my first book is, “Being stubborn is not the same as being smart.” This is something I have had to learn in order to avoid the jerk track within myself.

  18. Thank you Patricia. By understanding where the other person is coming from and that they are oblivious, it makes this type of relationship more tolerable. The quote, “What you think of me, is none of my business,” also comes to mind, as worth remembering with regard to not taking anything personally.
    Michele Harvey recently posted…Healthy Snacks for ChildrenMy Profile

  19. HI, I’m sure once in a while we meet people who are real jerks, you are right, this people only cares for themselves, being aware is the best thing to do to avoid them and always remember, whatever they say should not matter in our lives. Thanks for sharing. Great reminder for all us.
    lynne recently posted…Are You Making These 7 Costly Mistakes?(Part 2)My Profile

  20. Vernessa Taylor

    Hi Pat,

    The clip gave me a good chuckle. 🙂 Being a techie-type myself, I understand the fellow’s total lack of sensitivity and empathy. I guess that would be the jerk in me empathizing under the heading of “just being honest” and “emotion gets in the way of saying what you mean.”

    Personally, I have to temper that, which is kinda my true nature; filter it before I act or open my mouth!

    Thankfully, there aren’t really any jerks in my life. And if my behaviored is “jerkish,” I hope folk will let me know.

    Thanks for this one — something to think about and pay attention to.
    Vernessa Taylor recently posted…Too Much Paper? Adopt A Managed Print Services MindsetMy Profile

  21. Jeannette Paladino

    Pat — Oh my gosh, I’ve met so many jerks in my life. They come in different varieties, like the jerk who makes a left turn from the right lane and cuts you off. Or, someone who sidles up next to you in the supermarket line trying to muscle in ahead of you. I just step aside and with a sweep of my arm say, “Go right ahead. Be my guest.” Makes me feel better but my sarcasm doesn’t even register on the jerk!
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…How to Network, Find a Job and Build Relationships on LinkedInMy Profile

  22. I totally love the concept of significant Jerk! Too Funny! I feel we are secretly like our pet dogs. I walk my dog down the street, and if she finds something randomly wrong with the dog we are passing (or that dog finds something wrong with her), they start barking at each other and being real jerks. For no clear reason! I sometimes think humans are wired in a similar way, and when someone threatens us (emotionally or otherwise), we fight for our turf. I think it is a nice concept to be more patient and less of a jerk. This is especially true when talking to ourselves. It sucks to use hurtful self-talk, but I’m sure many of us are guilty of it.
    Erica recently posted…Mattress Stain Removal – Purple Smoothie EditionMy Profile

  23. I would say we have all been jerks, I know have. But as you point out there is a major distinction between a jerk who loves being a jerk and someone who snaps on occasion. I think, would like to think, that most of us try to keep this under control. I think the definition you found is spot on. Sometimes these folks are ego maniacs and cannot see anything they are doing is in any way hurtful to others. Dumping a jerk was always a relief sprinkled with pleasure 🙂
    Tim recently posted…America’s Dead SeaMy Profile

  24. Really enjoyed your article Patricia. I’m quite certain I have my jerk moments, especially when I get frustrated with people not pulling their weight in a project, and I admit to being a recovering perfectionist with occasional slips. These days I take my time getting to know people before getting too involved and have no problem quickly weeding out anyone I perceive to have jerk tendencies because it’s a lot easier to let someone into your life than to send them on their way. 🙂
    Marquita Herald recently posted…How Self Reflection Can Help You Create a Better FutureMy Profile

  25. Pamela Chollet

    This is an interesting idea, dumping the jerks in our lives. Toxic relationships with others or yourself is a downward spiral and never ends well. When I come across someone who is a “crazy maker” I try to remind myself that I have the choice to r accept and respond to the behavior or not. Sometimes it’s tough not just to smack them upside the head.
    Pamela Chollet recently posted…What You Ought To Know About MothersMy Profile

  26. You want to talk about jerks, I think I have a topper. I knew a guy who was with the same girl for years. Sometimes, mostly in the early winter, he would break up with her, and they would get back together after New Years. Come to find out, the years he broke up with her was when he did not have extra money and did not want to buy here a Christmas present.

  27. I love the Big Bang Theory! Makes me laugh everytime. Would I be a jerk if I suggested that Dump Your Jerk Day should come AFTER valentines day? I mean, if he’s such a jerk, he certainly at least owes you chocolates before you dump him?!? But seriously, you make some really great points here. It’s much harder to get rid of the jerk within.

  28. Methinks you should cut Steve Jobs some slack, Pat. When you’re up against the Microsoft behemoth (which crushed Netscape, you may recall), you’ve got to be somewhat of a cold-hearted bastard.

    • Interesting Andy. That you would think I wasn’t giving Jobs the benefit of the doubt?

      What I said about Jobs lead off with this: “I’m a big fan and admirer of Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple.”

      Then I remembered, that others were offering stories of his rude and controlling behavior antics after he died.

      I commented how I met him in person but just long enough to shake his hand.

      While it true he was up again a giant, for me anyway, being a jerk to his employees if true, was misdirected. That’s my sense of it.
      Patricia Weber recently posted…Increase Your Awareness To Blog More From Your HeartMy Profile

  29. I read this post from first word to last as I felt, it is something related with me. At times it is hard to get rid of jerks around you and sometimes, its not your choice to accept or reject, you find them pinned on you from others.

    I also believe here that after having such people around, we also become one….Sadly. Even if our heart tells us opposite to do, but with them we do not want to be much different. Speak the way they speak, do in return what they do to us.
    At times, you have options to run, but you can not avail them, may be you are not good enough to identify them, it is sad fact of life.

    This is also my experience that slowly, slowly your inner voices fades and ultimately dies, as you accept that you can not leave the company so you accept better, be one of them, so you are not hurt much , with any kind of expectations, from them, even if you do not want to.

    But I surly will try to say bye to the jerk within me, if not to those, with me. :'(.
    Here I too hope and pray that others also do same…. and I am confident they will, some day.
    andleeb recently posted…#Kashmir Solidarity Day: 5th FebruaryMy Profile

  30. Andleeb, if we are stuck with a jerk for reasons beyond our control, then your wisdom needs to accompany us: ” slowly your inner voices fades and ultimately dies ”

    It’s more the jerk within us we can leave behind more confidently, as you noticed. Thanks.
    Patricia Weber recently posted…Dog Inner Peace Wisdom on Valentines DayMy Profile

  31. this was an eye opener to me – it was a different kind of thing. It actually set me to thinking and telling myself, “It’s time to say goodbye to the jerks out there and within me!
    Lynne recently posted…The Psychology of Coaching Optimists and PessimistsMy Profile

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