Is It OK to Be a Jerk When You're Right?

A proper jerk is someone who's in the right, knows it, and stands their ground with poise.

Richie Frieman
5-minute read
Episode #388

First, let me say that jerks suck. You should never go out of your way to be a jerk, however, sometimes when you are in the right, and you’re dealing with a scammer, you may be perceived as a jerk. See, a jerk doesn’t care about others, just themselves. But with that, having the mentality of a jerk can come in handy when making sure you’re not being taken advantage of.

I mean it’s one thing to make your case, but it’s another to stand your ground, plant your flag, and argue your side until justice is served. To this, when sticking up for yourself properly, and you’re in the right (two clear points), who really cares how the other person views you? So, let’s not annoy too many people while proving a point with my top three quick and dirty tips on how to be a proper jerk:

Tip #1: Personal Property

Literally two hours before I wrote this article, a United States Postal Service (USPS) truck backed up into my kids' brand new basketball net and bent the pole in two, essentially ruining it. This basketball hoop (pictured) was purchased in late April for “not cheap” and professionally installed: digging the foundation, pouring cement, constructing the hoop, etc., just last weekend. However, I guess a large, ten-foot structure, with 60” backboard and bright orange rim wasn’t enough for the USPS driver to see as point in which to stop. Also, my driveway can easily fit several cars, let alone one lonely USPS truck. Long story short when the USPS officer came back to my house (the driver hit the hoop, then left without telling us and then told their boss), needless to say I wasn’t too thrilled with their “less than generous” concern for my property.  I understand this is just a basketball net (new or old) but the point is, the manager got very annoyed with me when I told her that (in her words) “several weeks minimum” to fix the hoop, was not acceptable. I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m a jerk … and frankly I don’t care.

Now, let me point out a key factor here; I did not raise my voice (although it’s justifiable), curse (which is uncalled for but I felt it), or claim anything so bizarre that would warrant her to get mad at me. She admitted they did it, she acknowledged they left the scene but when they said that there would be “a lot of paper work” with “several weeks before it could be fixed,” I stopped being Mr. Nice Guy. Instead I went into Mr. You Destroyed My Property Now Fix It, with a calm tone and outlined the facts. When someone damages your property and it’s clearly their fault it’s improper for them to do whatever possible to get out of fixing it. She may not have said it but my firmness on the grounds of their incompetence surely made her think I was a jerk… however she’s wrong – I’m a mannerly jerk. I’m right, they’re wrong and you can’t allow people to work the system to avoid responsibility when it comes to your property.

Tip #2: Relationship Jerks

“That JERK!” said every single person who has been dumped. Guy or girl, whenever someone is told it’s not going to work anymore, the other person can sometimes identify the dumper as a jerk. In the cases of love gone wrong, it’s improper to flip out on the person who just dragged your heart across the coals. When someone does you wrong, it’s hard to hold back. I’ve been there and I get it. You’ll want to scream and shout, but when you’re faced with a broken heart, you have to use a proper sense of restraint and if need be try being a proper jerk. Even though the real jerk is the person who either cheated on you, lied or grossly misrepresented themselves you have to look at it from a different angle. This is first and foremost. However, when someone crosses the line of good behavior, they’ll likely be too shallow to see their faults. Therefore, they view your behavior as jerkish.