#372- I Look Like the Jerk
Most of us act like a jerk at times—that’s just life. Some work really hard to prove they are not a jerk by overcompensating while others double-down on their behavior and defensively say, “I don’t care what people think!” Both are avoidant, fearful reactions based on how others perceive you. When you truly accept who you are (the good and the bad), how people label you does not drive your behavior or affect how you view yourself. And very often who the “jerk” is in a given situation depends on who you ask.
Let’s say you recently ended a relationship where your ex was cheating on you. Clearly, he/she is the jerk, right? But then you hear this person is telling others that YOU are the asshole, always talking about yourself and wanting him/her to change. You’re appalled that people feel sorry for your estranged mate who is clearly the bad guy in this scenario. Focusing on how people perceive you or your ex is a great distraction from your own feelings. It also allows you to avoid taking responsibility for your actions in the relationship—including why you chose to be there. Life isn’t black and white. Instead of playing the “who is the jerk today?” game, wouldn’t it be nice to remove the labels and just allow everyone to be who they are… including yourself?
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