9 Ways Not To Be A Jerk

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Frustrated Young Man

Maybe it’s just me but lately it seems like everywhere I go, I see bad behavior.  And I’m not talking about children or teenagers, I’m referring to adults!  Adults who are supposed to set the example, adults who complain about the behaviors their children have.  By no means am I perfect, I 100% admit I have flaws but I will argue that I’m more considerate of other people than most.  Based on my observations in just the last week, this is my top 9 Ways Not To Be A Jerk list.  If you know someone who falls into any of these categories, send them the link.  Just maybe they’ll “get it.”

Put your grocery cart away where it belongs.  Nothing infuriates me more than coming out to my car and finding a shopping cart wedged against the side of it.  Especially when the return stall is just a few feet away.  Come on people!  It doesn’t take much more effort to walk a few feet and put the cart away.  When I see people who fail to put their carts back, I wonder what their houses look like.  Do they fail to clean up after themselves at home?

If you’re going to pull out in front of me when I’m driving, gun it.  I shouldn’t have to slam on my brakes because you’ve decided your only opportunity to merge into traffic is to do so in front of me.  Especially don’t pull out in front of me and then immediately turn on your blinker to turn.  That’s beyond stupid, it’s dangerous.  I’m usually hauling pretty precious cargo in my vehicle: my family.

Don’t compare your child to mine.  As parents we put enough pressure on ourselves, we don’t need you to remind us that our child hasn’t talked, walked, swam, learned Spanish, climbed Everest, etc. as quickly as your child has.  When your child is in therapy as an adult because you’ve micro-managed their every move, I’ll try not to secretly snicker.

Don’t talk on your cell phone at the movie theater.  It doesn’t matter if there are only 4 people in the theater, if you need to have a telephone conversation, get up and leave!  I paid money to watch The Secret Life of Arrietty, not listen to your conversation about nothing.  In fact, while we’re at it, let’s also remind everyone on planes we don’t care about your conversations either.  Especially when you’re 20 rows away and I can hear it.

Throw your cigarette butts in the trash.  Why people think throwing their cigarette butts on the ground or out their car windows is OK, I’ll never know and this comes from an ex-smoker!  Yes, cigarette butts stink and you don’t want them in your car.  So either quit smoking in your car or empty your ashtray the next time you get to a stop.  Don’t throw it on the ground or worse yet, flick it out the window as you’re driving so it lands on my car.

Don’t smoke near entrances to restaurants.  Many cities/states have banned smoking in pubic places such as restaurants, bars, etc.   Restaurant owners/managers, don’t let your employees OR customers smoke by the entrance to  your establishment.  It’s an immediate turn-off and I probably won’t return.  Do the decent thing and create someplace for them to smoke so I don’t have to walk through it.

Use please, thank you and excuse me.  Why are these words missing from our vocabulary?  How do we get them back?  When your server brings your meal to you, say thank you.  Yes, it’s their “job” but also isn’t it your job to be a respectful, decent human being?  Completely ignoring them and acting like they are beneath you is insulting.  It’s embarassing for us who have to witness it.

Hold the door.  Again, we’re back to basic manners.  Hold the door open for the mom with the stroller, the lady with her hands full or the gentleman because he probably never gets the door held for him.  This simple, small gesture goes a long way.  Longer than the time it took out of your day to hold that door.

Stay on your side of the aisle.  The aisles of a grocery store are not one ways (though, that would be a nice idea).  If you see oncoming traffic, i.e., me with the shopping cart with a car on the front of it that is impossible to drive, please move to one side of the aisle instead of cruising down the middle.  It makes it easier for everyone, especially the person who has to clean up the display of canned goods that I run into trying to maneuver around your cart.

These are just a few of the things that we need to pay more attention to.  Some behaviors aren’t intentional at all, some can be accidental but all can be improved.

What behaviors leave you scratching your head in amazement?

Image: Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About Sarah

Mom. Blogger. Runner. Hiker. Insomniac. Not necessarily in that order.


  1. Cigarettes near a restaurant should be banned.  You go for fresh food and then wham a whiff of them and it’s over.  Cell phone use during a movie is another pet peeve of mine too! 

  2. It drives me NUTS when I’m walking into a store with my children and people are standing there smoking. I mean HELLO. My child can smell that! Jerks. I’m glad you posted this.

  3. It drives me nuts when I am driving the car with the kids and another car decides that I drive too slowly and is driving too close behind me.. 

  4. Another traffic pet peeve that I have noticed in the recent years of commuting – whenever possible, please merge for oncoming traffic. Somewhere along the line we have all become selfish individuals. I used to live out east and am disappointed that my fellow midwesterners have adopted the same driving style.
    For those annoying drivers – instead of waving the middle finger – give them a big THUMBS DOWN for their horrible driving skills, it gets their attention and is a nicer (and unexpected way) of showing your feelings 🙂

  5. Word! lol I totally agree!

  6. My husband and I have been talking about adults being children lately because he’s dealing with in-fighting at work and I’ve had some other “issues” going on. My pet peeve is backstabbing and passive aggressiveness. If you have a problem with me, tell me. If you have a problem with someone else, tell them!! I’m all for lending an ear, but then you need to solve the problem and not act childish and pout.

    • One my co-workers used to say she was worried about today’s youth because she managed their parents!  Because if their parents acted the way they do, then their kids were doomed.  She’s so right!!

  7. Oh my goodness – YES to every one of these! But especially pulling out in front of me – I’m constantly yelling at other cars ! Thanks for a good laugh today – I needed to know I was not alone!

    • I honk my horn daily at people.  It seems like at least once a day, someone pulls out in front of me and guess what, it’s usually men!  

  8. While we’re at it? DOn’t lick your fingers while you eat. May not make you a jerk, but I don’t want to be around you!

  9. Add to the list—“Don’t compare your child OR PET to mine.” It’s amazing how often people think that owning a pet is just like having a child.

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