Reality Check

Carolyn Magner

Disarming Jerks

Carolyn Magner | September 01, 2010

Don’t allow yourself to get pulled down to their level


Dear Carolyn,

Do jerks know they are jerks? Or do they actually think they are like everyone else? We work with a guy who treats everyone like dirt. He is mean as an old porch dog and as quick to strike as a river snake. I believe that he knows how unpleasant he is to others and does it anyway. One of the guys disagrees and thinks he’s oblivious to his own unpleasant personality.

What do you think? We have a case of beer riding on your answer. Also, if you have time, how do you deal with jerks?

Jake

Dear Jake,

In my experience, unpleasant jerks do not believe they are jerks. They tell themselves that they are “direct” or “plain spoken” or “someone who tells it like it is.” I have always felt a sense of pity for angry self-righteous folks because they attack from fear of not measuring up. I also believe that your outer self reveals your inner self. Those jerks are not particularly happy with themselves and compensate by pointing out the flaws of those around them

The more important question is how to deal with jerks. If you are forced to work with him, you must detach your personal feelings from your interactions. Don’t allow him to live in your head rent-free. Be courteous, but don’t engage. Fires stop burning when the fuel is gone.

Sorry about the beer you have to buy!

I’m just say’n.



Dear Carolyn,

I was once quite the looker and was very popular with the boys. I married a wonderful man, and we had a long happy marriage until he recently passed away. Now, I’m in my late 60s and still driving a truck, depressed at the thought of living the rest of my life alone. However, I have no idea how to meet men. I’m not attractive anymore and feel like I don’t have anything to offer. I’m not asking for advice, but if you have any, I’ll take it.

Carla

Dear Carla,

I will try to help based on a few clues in your letter. One, you had a long, “happy” marriage. That’s an accomplishment that is rarer than you might think. So here you are, in your late 60s and about to re-enter the dating world. Because, Honey, that’s what you need to do. Forget about how you looked in your youth and take a look around the truckstop. Those 60 year-old guys fueling their tanks don’t look anything like the young studs of your youth either. Take a deep breath and jump in feet first. Look at Internet dating sites that attract an older crowd. Put the word out to your friends, family and church members that you are interested in meeting someone. Be confident. Smile. Enjoy life. The rest will fall in place.

I’m just say’n.



Dear Carolyn,

I’ve been seeing a cute trucker for about two months now. I’m head-over-heels in love with him and am dying to tell him how I feel. But something is holding me back. Do you think it is okay for the girl to use the “L” word before the guy does? I’m pretty sure he loves me too, but he has not said it yet. One small thing I ought to mention though. His Facebook status is still set to “single.” He’s not on Facebook much, so I don’t think that’s a big deal.

What do you think?

Sherry

Dear Sherry,

Well, I am a big believer in listening to that tiny voice in your head that whispers, “think about it.” If more people listened to that little voice, there would be a lot less work for advice columnists, lawyers and tattoo removal services. My advice is to slow down and take it easy. There’s no rush. Love will reveal itself in its own time. If this is the real thing, it’s worth waiting for. Oh, and Honey? Keep an eye on his Facebook status.

I’m just say’n.

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