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Teach me to be a jerk

  1. Nov 10, 2008 #1
    Seriously, this is not a joke. I'm too nice and it gets me nowhere.

    Consider this...

    The cable guy today knocked down my $2000 flat screen TV. My mom was bitching at him and told him he or his company was gonna pay for it. So me and him went outside to discuss it. I could see the guy was sad and that it was an accident, and lets face it - cable guys don't make great money. So I said... "you know what, thanks for the service, and don't worry about it". Instantly he had an evil grin, and I regretted letting him off at that instant. I told my mom what happened, and she slapped me said said I'm a [insert female body part].

    Now this isn't the only instance where my niceness screwed me over. I can probably name another dozen cases. I'm the kind of guy who will hold your door open or tell the surgeon not to worry when he screws up. I let a multi-dollar bank off a late payment even though it cost me $200 in lateness... "things happen" i say. I'm just too emotional. I can't have people walk all over me anymore. Girls tell me their life stories but never want to be involved with me, probably because they know I won't be able to stick up for them. So what do I do? Inject myself with testosterone? Do I go to a random bar and get someone to rough me up?

    I am desperate :frown:

    And thanks for reading :smile:

    no... lets try that again.

    Oh you've made it to the end? I'm glad I wasted 5 minutes of your life. :devil:
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2008 #2


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    What a jerk! You think anyone is going to help you after that?!
  4. Nov 10, 2008 #3
    If I was like that in real life, then I wouldn't need this thread :cry:
  5. Nov 10, 2008 #4
    Maybe you let the TECHNICIAN off the hook, but you can still go after the cable company for damages. what they choose to do to the technician is there decision. You decided not to go after him personally is all that I can see.

    And from personal experience, you eventually get to a point where you get sick and tired of people using you, and you will quit. Get mad at yourself. And then promise not to let yourself into that situation again. You recognize the behavior patterns, so think through the scenario next time and make sure you don't repeat the pattern again.
  6. Nov 10, 2008 #5


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    One needs to be assertive. In this case, don't let the cable guy off. If he broke it, then his employer (and he) are liable for it. Make them pay. Call the cable company service manager, and write a letter, although you should have immediately done it before the cable guy left.

    Also, one can be assertive and still be nice.
  7. Nov 10, 2008 #6

    Chi Meson

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    What they said, you jerk! (Is this helping?)

    Seriously, re the TV, a discussion between the son and the cable guy is not a release from liability. The worker should be "bonded" which means "it is covered." Don't let it go for too long. If discussion with the company doesn't go anywhere, find a legal service to draft a letter. It may cost $100, but you will get the TV replaced.

    As far as being "too nice," I sympathize. Is your nicety also combined with an ironically quick temper? Mine is.

    This is me:
    nice nice nice nice nice nice nice nice A-HOLE sad nice nice nice nice nice

    Things worked out though. I'm 43 and quite happy with things as they have been for the last 20. I honestly think the most important thing I have done along the way is stay in good physical shape. It's my tonic for everything (as regular readers might know): running. ANyone can run, and anyone can get good at it. All of my best friends are also runners. My wife is a runner. I speculate that many sad people out in the world simply do not know they are supposed to be runners. All it takes is good shoes.

    Enter as many 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathons as you can, and hang out at the finishline tent, because that is where the other nice people are ( not "at the Gym").

    (No I do not get a dollar for every person I convert to running)

    Get good shoes.

  8. Nov 10, 2008 #7
    I disagree Chi, I've met many more nice people at the gym than I have runners!

    I don't know many runners. :(
  9. Nov 10, 2008 #8
    Your mom has ruined you. It is all her fault for beating you down your whole life. :wink:
  10. Nov 10, 2008 #9
    Most people take kindness as a form of weakness, but I think it's easier to scorn and scrutinize than to praise someone. I think you did the right thing, there was nothing that cable guy could've done to remedied the situation, it's not like he has $2,000 burning a hole in his pocket. Call the company and be assertive, if they're a good reputable company they should get you a new TV in a heartbeat. I still like to believe that people are inherently good, even though reality might prove me wrong on numerous occasions. Just remember that mean people suck!!

  11. Nov 10, 2008 #10


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    It's not about being a jerk. You can politely assert your rights. There is no need to get angry or rude in order to make sure that people don't walk all over you. You can have a spine without having a big mouth.

    For the TV issue or other similar issues, there is no need to be mean to the poor guy who broke it; insults won't fix your TV. In all your communication remember that the goal is to get your TV fixed, not to get something off your chest, nor to punish anyone. Simply get the guy's name and his supervisor's name and number. Take a photo, call the supervisor, and (most importantly) write a letter documenting all of the facts (including dates) and describing your proposed remedy. Give them a chance to do the right thing. If that doesn't work then take it to the BBB. I have never had that not work.

    Oh, write the letter even if the phone call goes well, you need to have a written record in situations like this.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
  12. Nov 10, 2008 #11


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    I`m gonna take a swing at this. You tell me honestly if the following words ring true or not.

    You don't love yourself.
    Your self-worth is low and inside you don't really believe you deserve to be treated with respect.
    You're a people-pleaser. You try so hard to make people like you. You crave for external validation that you are a good and lovable person, because inside you don't really feel that way about yourself. You are likely to be afraid of conflict and afraid to stand up for yourself and let your voice be heard.

    If the situation was reversed, and you were the cable guy and damaged someone else's $2000,- TV, you probably wouldn't expect people to let you off the hook, and if they'd scold you for it, you agree with them and beat yourself up over it. You don't treat yourself with the same kindness as you treat others, because you have no self-respect.

    The above is either completely off-the-mark or a hard and probably painful truth.
    If it is true, rest assured that there is hope, but you HAVE to change the way you see yourself, because it will hurt you, those around you (and, sadly, the woman in your life you love so much if she allows to let you become friends.)
  13. Nov 10, 2008 #12
    How can you say this ?

    I know people that love themselves yet they are also very nice to others.

  14. Nov 10, 2008 #13
    You're not being nice, you're being a push over. Stop being a push over. There, problem solved.
  15. Nov 10, 2008 #14
    Yeah, he is way too "vanilla"

  16. Nov 10, 2008 #15


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    I agree. This was my immediate thought on reading the OP. Nice is trying to resolve the damage to the TV without getting the guy's boss involved, or threatening to sue. Being a pushover is what you did of completely letting him off the hook for the repairs. And, in that situation, if you know you cave in too easily, why did you even get involved? You should have just stepped aside while your mother handled it. There's a lot of middle ground between pushover and jerk, and you need to find it.
  17. Nov 10, 2008 #16


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    If a nice gesture truly comes from the heart and the other person accepts it, you would not feel like you were 'walked over', taken advantage of, you would not feel regret and there would be no problem. Unfortunately, this is not the case here.
    I think khemix isn't truly being himself and expressing his inner-self, out of need for approval and fear of disapproval from others.

    I feel this is the case, because I can identify with his stories. I've been there myself, badly, and have gotten out of it.
  18. Nov 10, 2008 #17
    Exactly. This also goes with the whole "Women like jerks" thing. No, they don't, they like confidence, and being a jerk makes you appear to have more confidence than being a pansy.
  19. Nov 10, 2008 #18

    Didn't we once emailed with each other over some QFT stuff ?
    Like a few years back...

  20. Nov 10, 2008 #19
    I used to be like that at one point in my life. And boy does it suck. The issue is not about being nice, but as pointed out having no self-respect, and no value.

    First you must accept, and let go any events in your life that didn't cultivate self-respect and your values to blossom so to speak.

    Once you did that, you have to redevelop them again by accumulating the good feelings of small successes in these fields. Once you build up on this, you should project self-respect subconsciously.

    In order to do any of that you have to brake your daily routine ASAP, because your daily routine made you the way you are today.

    Start with improving your health. Exercise more and get a better nutrition. (I second running its fun, and burns lots of calories).

    Work on better confidence. Strike up a convo with random people. Pick up a book on comedy and humor.

    And by the way, no mother should treat you like crap.
  21. Nov 10, 2008 #20
    low testosterone could be a problem. so could high estrogen or prolactin. try going a week without ejaculating and see if it improves your symptoms. testosterone should peak after one week and stay elevated as long as you refrain. no, this is not a joke, i can find the abstract if you're interested.

    if estrogen is the problem, an aromatase inhibitor might help. if prolactin, there's a drug for that too. this is where an endocrinologist could help.
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