God, just being a person these days is exhausting! How are we supposed to know if what we’re doing is good, bad, or somewhere in between? A lot of philosophers would say that having good intentions makes us good people, so as long as we’re not trying to hurt someone, we’re never really a jerk. But Batman — the best philosopher — says in Batman Begins “It’s not who we are underneath, but what we do that defines us.”
So even if we meant to do good, doing bad things makes us bad? There’s no winning!
Thankfully, there is a place to go to find out whether or not you’re a jerk, and that place is the internet. When you turn to an objective, clear-sighted group of Redditors, they’ll rule one way or the other — either you are being a jerk, you’re not being a jerk, or everyone in involved in the entire situation is being a jerk.
Check out these stories of people trying to figure out whether or not they’ve been a jerk, and then get the internet’s unbiased rulings.
I’m a girl, which you need to know for this story to make sense.
So in September, my dog died. It wasn’t totally unexpected because he was 13 and had health issues due to being neglected by his first owner.
So a few nights after he died, T found me sitting up in the living room. I basically told him I was having trouble sleeping even with sleeping pills because I was used to having my dog sleep with me for five-ish years. T took me back to my room, tucked me in, and then got on top of the covers with a blanket and stayed with me. It was really nice of him, and I was happy having someone with me.
Next morning B comes over and finds us like that and flips out and accuses us of sleeping with each other and sneaking around behind her back. She slapped both of us at different points in her tirade.
T calms her a bit and explains everything and we both apologize for what it looked like. B is still not satisfied and gives an ultimatum. I have to move out that day, or she’s done with T. T says they’re done then because he’s not kicking me out.
I’ve apologized a few times for how things went down. T insists I didn’t do anything wrong. He says she’s always dramatic and that’s why they broke up the first time too. But B and her friends are harassing me on social media, and even mutual friend M thinks I should have told T to go to his room. So am I the jerk here?
Not every interaction between men and women has a sexual connotation. Your friend was just there to help you in a time of grief. And if he was sleeping on top of the covers with both of you fully clothed, I think that’s pretty indicative of a not so sexy night.
You’re not the jerk here. That dude is in love with you, though.
So I have a friend that I’ve known since we were both 6 (we’re 22 now). We haven’t seen each other in years because I moved away but we still talk on Snapchat pretty much everyday.
We have a snap streak going and so she clearly saw that it was my birthday with the cake emoji but she ignored it. I had posted a birthday cake my family got me for my birthday on my story and she replied to it with “wow that looks good”. At this point, I was annoyed because it really isn’t hard to say happy birthday so I’m not sure why she was avoiding it. We’ve been wishing each other happy birthday every year too.
So I messaged her like “wow is it that hard to say happy birthday”. I know it was petty but I was annoyed. Am I the jerk?
The world doesn’t revolve around you just because it’s your birthday. She might have thought she said it already, or just hadn’t said it yet, or maybe, just maybe, a lifetime friendship is more important than two words.
People have lives, they got stuff on their minds. You have pretty much zero right to expect people to remember birthdays, and even less to make a stink about it. If something like this is enough to piss you off, well, you are gonna have a hard life.
My very handsome and wonderful boyfriend of two years is 23, I’m 22. When we met, he was in the military, so he was kind of forced to be clean-shaven 24/7 for about 4 years. I constantly told him how great he looked clean-shaven and VERY early on voiced my opinions on facial hair.
It’s like she’s never even watched Game of Thrones.
I’ve never much cared for beards, I think it has a look of uncleanliness to it and I personally can’t stand the feeling of kissing someone with facial hair. Like, at all.
He’s also in college now. I think managing how you look and being presentable around professors and such is important, because getting out of school you want those people to sing your praises in letters of recommendation when looking for a big job. Including their impressions on how you carry/take care of yourself. And if you are/look respectable and professional. He doesn’t seem to have the same stance and wants to grow out his beard in school, then shave before jobs when he graduates.
Imagine teaching a class when all of a sudden in walks a bearded man…
I’ve told him how he would look better/more presentable if he’d shave. He doesn’t seem to care as much about that sort of thing. And I have on many occasions, mentioned how the beard scratches me and is uncomfortable when kissing and stuff. He has also on DOZENS of occasions said he’d do ANYTHING to make me happy/more comfortable. I usually jokingly say, “Even shaving your beard??” He laughs it off and doesn’t respond, or will also jokingly respond with something like “Anything EXCEPT that…”.
So. Am I the jerk for continuing to encourage him to shave?
His face, his choice. You’ve voiced your opinion, and can bring it up rarely but you don’t get to dictate what he does with his beard any more than he gets to tell you you’re required to keep your hair a certain length.
He may just be relishing the freedom of not having the military forcing him to look a certain way, and the longer he has it the better and less “patchy” it will come in.
Not one professor will remember him. So don’t make it about his future, this is all about you and how you feel.
I drink soda often and have done so for a major part of my life, is it healthy? Not really, but I enjoy it.
Whenever we buy soda, I often drink my part far faster than her even if I’m trying to hold back (I’m weak). I’m always refilling by buying new soda, however, my wife says it’s not fair that I drink more soda than her.
How much more though?!
Personally I simply feel like if I really want a soda, I should be allowed to, but am I the jerk for thinking like that?
And just to clarify, financial-wise we’re not rich, but not exactly poor either. We do have a shared budget though which might lead to her feeling of unfair.
Your wife needs to grow up! You are children doing the old “that’s yours and this is mine” routine… you buy the soda in your weekly shopping bill and it’s for household consumption. If she thinks you are drinking “her share” just buy more so she can have as much as she likes too.
And another commentor of course pinpointed the bigger issue…
If this isn’t about money, it sounds like your wife is annoyed by your lack of self-control.
You should ask your wife is this is really about the soda or that you are going into her part that you guys allocated and then decided, “well it’s okay if I go take her share as long as I replace it.” Then there is no point in allocating the soda in the first place.
She’s 17, on her way to many scholarships in the medical field and into a ton of extracurriculars. She’s been in varsity cheer since last year and tried out for the competition squad this year because it “sounded fun” and she placed as an alternate.
Once she found out she was an alternate, though, she decided that her volunteer hours were more important because she isn’t “part of the team” and was going to drop out. I told her that if her volunteer hours were more important, it should be the case whether she was an alternate or not and that she was quitting because she didn’t get what she wanted and is using excuses.
I told her it would reflect poorly on her and, had this been a job, she would not get a reference or be considered for rehire. She started crying, because… 17-year-olds. I feel like it’s a pretty good life lesson, but… am I the jerk here?
– [account deleted]
She’s doing more than I did at her age, and I got accepted into better schools than I should have. You just ripped on her for no reason, and aren’t even sorry about making her cry.
Two years from now:
“Help my daughter is not the same cheerful girl she seems anxious and depressed what could I have done wrong.”
So I have this one teacher that no one likes. You know the type, the one that keeps the class back at lunch to finish the lesson, that literally gives you a detention for anything, and all that stuff.
Literally? A detention for anything? Even learning?
Anyway I was in class with my friend (I won’t name names, so I’ll just call him Jack) and the teacher was droning on about dividing fractions. Jack dropped a pencil and went down to pick it up, but didn’t hear what the teacher told us to do. He whispered to me to ask me what the teacher had said and I was about to whisper back but then the teacher yelled at us “NO TALKING WHILE I’M TEACHING!”. I tried to explain that I was just helping Jack, but she cut me off and gave us both detentions.
Of course, I didn’t think this was fair, so when the bell rang I grabbed a piece of dried gum off her chair and slipped it into her coffee while she wasn’t looking.
Am I the jerk for doing this? I think it was kind of fair for all those mean things she had done, but I need confirmation.
This teacher sounds strict sure. You obviously understand that they have expectations and a different method to their classroom, it’s on you to change your behavior to fit, not the teacher’s.
Try to understand that school is an opportunity to learn how the real world works. In this case, you have to understand that sometimes your behavior has to be moderated depending on the people you’re interacting with.
Take the detention, move on and try to work within the teacher’s expectations in the future. In the end it will help you more than antagonizing them further.
You’re the jerk because it’s not a prank as you put it. Also I’m sure you hardly achieved anything at all by doing that.