Are you a jerk?
10: You think that this article is about you.
Clearly, you are the Master of the Universe.
The most vainglorious image of oneself on print media is still no-image. The all that conquers nothing. He is everywhere. Be scared.
I am sorry to inform you that this piece is not directed towards any one person or group of individuals in particular. Let us put an end to this right now. The world really does not revolve around you, jerk.
Some people tend to shut down all outside activity - always assuming that all written work, language, or action is directed towards them selves only. The uber serious psyche perceives nonexistent slights and must dominate all conversation to thwart any unjustified scheme. This egocentric mentality drains, confounds, and exasperates any reserve of energy held by others located within close proximity. Well, here is a shocking newsflash, Mister:
The world will still turn if you were to drop dead right now. Yes, humanity will miss you - but the world will still turn.
Nothing is that serious. Nobody is that serious.
Saving Grace: Maybe this article really is about you. Analyze the following words and strive to mitigate whatever jerk-like tendencies fester within your person prior to the point where the damage is irreversible.
9: Where are your Friends?
Guessed it for ya hopeless flop.
Few people will purposefully maintain the nerve to deal with outright tyrants. Perhaps close family and work colleagues will tolerate rampant, inconsiderate behavior out of love and necessity. The jerk may even reference an extensive list of 'friends' in name only.
Self-centered behavior is parasitic and drains positive energy from the room. All comers are at their wits end - refusing to waste precious resources to rescue simpletons from the dark side. You may very well represent that irrevocable, lost cause jerk.
Your phone calls go unanswered and are never returned. Maybe the other party mysteriously breaks meeting dates, time and time again with little or no explanation.
Even if that is actually half-true when they are all rfid microchipped it won't happen again as this makes it easy to track them down from where they are and then go join them for the fun!
The technological epitome of advanced Western civilisation.
Are you a jerk?
Saving Grace: You are a beautiful woman. You are a rich man. You are too "nice" and submit to every design that is against your best interests - retaliating with subtle passive-aggressive behavior that will damage any relationship.
Also, one may be extremely busy, relatively new to an area, or completely shy to the point of paralysis. Still, close relations must acknowledge and gravitate towards your inner warmth and character. You may be close to few others due to circumstance - but are always able to maintain a small circle of supportive friends and demonstrate the ability to foster strong working relationships. Somebody, somewhere is willing to fall upon the sword for you.
8: You are broke.
American defeatism. "Give it all you've got" at the watering hole is a classic example.
Are you a jerk?
You may very well be such an obnoxious oaf that no individual will intimately share his dreams with you, or aggressively seek to refer you towards others that are willing to come to your assistance. Profound negativity crushes the aspirations of all outside parties and is detrimental to growth. Go-getters understand the importance of positive thoughts and may proactively avoid the area altogether.
Of course, birds of a feather flock together.
The few 'friends' that you do commiserate with are also miserable, broke, and beaten mad-at-the-world malcontents. This negativity is a self-propagating loop of weak effort, failure, anger, and deeper exasperation.
Saving Grace: Considering today's surging education costs, runaway inflation, housing bust, and wretched stock market - being of modest means is more of a badge of honor and par-for-the course than it is the identifier of a true psychotic.
7: You are a drunk.
Saying "I was drunk" in a mock third person perspective.
10 million Americans abuse alcohol every year, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Booze is readily available for consumers to self-medicate and escape reality by delving into an alternative, parallel universe. The alcohol exacerbates already bizarre behavior. The angry drunk berates all things - emerging as a monster to abuse and destroy any entrant within his or her personal circle. The binge drinker is also prone to "drunk dialing," or intoxicated late-night phone calls of terror and general harassment.
Of course, this fool shirks all responsibility by placing the culpability directly upon the liquor - that is if they even remember what happened the night before.
"But I was drunk!"
And so was Santa.
Saving Grace: You are a happy dunk. A drunk, but happy nonetheless. Yes, I know that you love me.
6: Inability to pay homage. Or paying homage to another when one was being featured. A helpful example would be Henry Kissinger when people can't get over Elvis Presley.
A total deplorable asshole that transcended even the jerk status.
Are you a jerk?
Do you hate everybody?
You just might be a jerk.
A true monster lacks the ability to utter niceties concerning anything or anybody. Clearly, we all toil beneath your grandstanding beacon of Greatness. We are only worthy of bowing down in awe of such power.
The egomaniac remains on the hunt for props and reassurances. The caveat: subtle recognition is never enough. Nothing short of an outrageous fawn fest complete with sheer pomp and pageantry will do.
The outright demand for recognition is indeed a dead giveaway for the true story that manifests itself as the Highway to Jerk City. Ironically, the all-consuming pitiful self-esteem demons under gird such maddening behavior.
True jerks can dish it - but can never take it. These people caustically downgrade and ridicule the ideals of other parties, without any requisite concern to their own homes being in order.
Saving Grace: Intelligent people refuse to succumb to blind, sheep-like idol worship.
5: Conspiracy Theorist
This loser tops it all. He bitches about money because he's money's bitch and he doesn't have too much money to bitch about.
Are you a jerk? Did I just write that? Are you really reading this? Do I, author Kofi Bofian even exist?
Are these words the propaganda of a Big Oil pawn for ExxonMobil? Am I the agent of George W. Bush? Am I a strategically placed tool-proxy for Barack Obama?
The world is constantly scheming and plotting evil machinations against your person. The government is airlifting crack-cocaine into the inner city; The D.E.A. is being paid off to look the other way - blatantly ignoring Clinton, NC methamphetamine factories because rural folks are expendable (never mind the linked meth bust article - it is a forged document by a naïve media that is in cahoots with the Feds); and pinstriped, crooked fat cats control the banking system. Of course, 'The Man' and his minions within the Federal Government are all behind this extravagant pay-to-play Ponzi scheme that has been created to mock and destroy the likes of you.
Oh, yes. Your wife is involved in a steamy, five-year affair with a young, good-looking, wealthy captain of industry. Certainly, she will leave you at any moment for this gentleman.
Hmph. What nerve! The pompous imposter!
Can't she see? He is only "successful" on account of his family connections. His parents greased the hands of the Harvard admissions department with hefty endowment contributions that bought influence. Also, his well-built physique is not the manifestation of tireless hours of weight lifting - the nincompoop has been shooting up more steroids than Mark McGwire!
Certainly, your accomplishments would be far superior to this pompous simpleton if you were afforded similar bloodlines and opportunities. The game is rigged at the penthouse level to subjugate the masses to a life of misery. The moneyed, special-interest group of beautiful hucksters has already sealed one's Fate with this basic mandate.
What is the point of even trying?
Are you a jerk? Did I really just write that?
Saving Grace: The world is not always sweet.
4: Erratic behavior
Are you a jerk?
Have you gone mad?
Unisex madness possibility.
Are you prone to scream, berate others, burst into tears, disappear into a sullen abyss, and emerge unscathed to present a full-fledged Cheshire-Cat grin within a span of twenty minutes?
We do not seek to be subjected to erratic, contradictory behavior. One remains guarded amidst a pattern of such outbursts, uncomfortably trudging through and slipping past obvious psychological mine fields. Although a level of pure ease is impossible to achieve within business settings that demand performance, such feelings are unacceptable in regards to friendly relations.
I know. I know. You hate me, love me, and do not wish to see me ever again after gushing over this gee-golly gosh-darn wonderful world. You hate me. Again. I am terribly sorry that I was unable to recall the name of your pet ferret that escaped from his cage in 1987.
Saving Grace: You really are mad! Interestingly, the range of Americans suffering from at least one form of mental illness during the past 365 days runs from 20 to a shocking 82 per cent. The Surgeon General includes bipolar mania, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic attacks as particular mental illnesses.
Perhaps with the pressures of a modern day, industrial era - we have all gone just a little batty!
3: People call you a Jerk.
Emo Tom calls you out. You're finished.
Are you really a jerk?
Do the whispers of "attitude problem," escalate into "self-absorbed - egomaniac" name calling rants featuring the words "b---,"a----," or "[insert pejorative here]" with alarming frequency?
Do associates coin the phrase "that's just (insert your name here) being (insert your name here)," in response to your wayward attention mongering antics?
You are probably a jerk.
Saving Grace: None. Unless the name-callers fit the description of this here article.
2: This article is not about you.
Of course it isn't!
It's good to have allies. Even if they are all just fingers made of clay.
1: This article has reached you from another person.
You are a jerk.
0: (Unspoken but obvious)
You are an infinity jerk!!!!!
Yes, we all exhibit selfish, egomaniacal behavior from time-to-time as a means to cope with the pressures of modern society. The pleasure principal and fight or flight strategies are essential means to preserve our individual psyche and physical frame from danger. Still, the exhibition of the aforementioned behaviors and characteristics in large doses amongst varying circles of associates is the mark of a crippling, debilitating mindset. True jerkdom is a parasitic, cancerous mentality that implodes upon itself, degenerating into an infinite loop of inevitable failure.
Let us summarize the algorithm.
Are you a jerk?
1: Unwittingly, even purposefully destroy everything.
2: Dismiss all responsibility.
3: Retaliate against punishment.
4: Repeat by instigating yet another round of damaging behavior.
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