By Reap Paden
In case you didn't know it, some people think I am a jerk. I am sometimes. I am going to share with you some of my beliefs and they way I go about things ....The art of being a jerk,if you will....
I have always figured people deserve some measure of respect until they deserve to lose that respect.
Always listen to the other side of the story, there are always two sides and the truth, almost always lies somewhere in the middle. There are some exceptions to this depending on the mental state of one or both sides.
If both parties in a dispute are reasonable people you can usually chalk up any differences to a misunderstanding of facts or actions.
Talking on the phone or in person for 5 minutes can settle a text-only dispute which has dragged on for 5 years.
Always admit when you are wrong and put more energy into admitting it than you did into being wrong in the first place.
Never assume you know the real story unless you were personally present for any and all events involved (and even then you may still be wrong).
Before you speak, write or act out about another persons actions on the ..Internet..,or anywhere else always remember those actions can never be taken back completely, ever.
Remember many people are quite different behind a keyboard than they are in real life. Many times even they are not aware of it.
Do not confuse facts with opinions. For example-
Fact - Helium is lighter than air.
Opinion - Balloons are pretty.
When someone offers an olive branch, never beat them with it. I can not stress this one enough. I have made many very good friends following this rule. It has sometimes caused me to be betrayed but the good FAR outweighs the bad effects of this rule.
Never make up stories or tell lies about people to save face....this one is a duh but I feel like it should be said.
Keep in mind everyone has made mistakes, everyone has baggage, EVERYONE. Anyone who says they have not or don't is lying.
Remember, many people learn from mistakes. Do not hold one mistake (or even two) against a person when they are trying to make things right.
Do not allow a person to say things about you which are untrue unchecked. This is not a good idea because humans have a tendency to view silence as supporting an accusation, besides that you should have enough self esteem to stand up for yourself. This does not mean becoming an 'instant asshole' it means addressing things true to your form and allowing people to figure out what rings true. If you are honest it does not matter if people believe you or not you know the truth.
Never allow one person's opinion (or a group's even) to drag you down. As long as you can look yourself in the mirror,in the eye for one minute then you usually are doing the best you can do.
There are times when you should keep your mouth shut and listen.....
There are times when no answer is the correct answer. I wish I could give you some hard rules on this....trust your instinct is the best I can do.
'Taking the high road' doesn't always mean not addressing things, it is the way you address things which indicates which 'road' your are taking.
Sometimes the low road is the only way to go.....make sure you get back on the right road ASAP, but a little detour can be good at times.
If you follow these rules then you can be assured people will think you are a jerk.....Speaking for myself...I am OK with it....