Dec 16, 2017

This, then, is your awkward predicament: you don’t feel like a jerk, but this might just be because you’re such a jerk. And if you introspect honestly, asking yourself if you’re a jerk, you’ll find you aren’t, even if you usually are. So is there any way to determine, objectively, if you’re a jerk? Schwitzgebel thinks there is: stop looking inside yourself, and look at how you view other people instead. Do you find yourself often feeling besieged by idiots? Since jerks take such a dim view of others, that’s a red flag. “Everywhere you turn, are you surrounded by fools, by boring nonentities, by faceless masses and foes and suckers and, indeed, jerks? Are you the only competent, reasonable person to be found?”
If so, bad news: you’re probably a jerk, at least sometimes. On those days when you seem to have an issue with virtually everyone you meet, it’s a good bet the cause is whatever all those encounters have in common. And, not to be a jerk about it… that’s you.