Do you ever have one of those days that you seem to be hit with an overabundance of jerks crossing your path? Some days unfortunately can bring multiple jerks our way. Other days, it only takes one super obnoxious jerk to mess with an otherwise great day.

Whether it’s one jerk or several, we must never let them steal our day from us! You know what I mean…someone irritates us, treats us rudely or is …well…a real jerk. We have all probably fallen into the trap of staying upset with someone long after they are gone. We give their toxicity a life even though they are no longer around us. Not good!!

We need to stay in the moment and not get stuck in the past (or future) so we can be fully present in the worthwhile living of our days. We especially want to avoid any extra time reliving bad moments from the past- whether “the past” means 5 minutes ago or 5 years. We’d probably all agree, however, that this is usually much easier said than done. So we must create our imaginary (but very essential!) anti-jerk toxicity “tool boxes” that will help us minimize the damage done by jerks who may invade our days. Here’s a partial list of some tools you may want to have on hand:

  • A steadfast positive attitude ready for any challenge
  • A rock solid sense of humor
  • A calm demeanor to help avoid potentially harmful knee-jerk reactions
  • An imaginary pocket full of memories that make us smile when circumstances make it lots easier to frown
  • A place to write down or type in all the jerks’ names

Wait a minute – why do I want to write it down and remember their names? Many psychologists have preached about the huge and lasting value of journaling, writing stuff down that is bugging us, getting angry feelings out of our bodies and onto paper or recording our gratitude lists and so much more. And, I must say that writing “stuff” down that’s bugging us does indeed help us to get on with our days in a positive and productive way. Likewise, it helps a good deal in minimizing any jerk-generated damage.

Soooo …. here’s one form such a list could take:

Please download this 1 page Jerk Worksheet to help you deal with the Temporary and Permanent jerks in your life in a healthy way. Jerk List. This PDF even includes a tidbit section.
Right click to save. Click to view online.

Click the link/image above, take a good look at my Jerk List and review how it works below:

  1. When a jerk crosses your path, decide if they are just a temporary jerk (like a family member who is truly awesome (most days), but is really, really bugging you at the moment!)
  2. If just a jerk for a small space of time or for even a day, add their name to your temporary list.
  3. If the person is going to always be a jerk in your eyes, then they get the “honor” of making your permanent list.
  4. And, if there is anything further you need to do as a result of the jerk moments in your days, then note that in the bottom section of my form — “Tidbits to Remember”– to help you not forget to do whatever further it is you want/need to do.
  5. At the end of the day (or sooner if must leave your list unattended), shred it…
    really, S-H-R-E-D it! I speak from experience and why risk hurting feelings or angering a family member or co-worker or…. possibly even a friend who has temporarily annoyed the heck out of you? This list is not intended to do that, but rather to help us dispel of our annoyances, anger or other frustrations and to get on with living our days positively.

I am hoping you’ll find this form useful as countless others have through the years of my sharing it – we need simple and functional “tools” to help defuse our anger, to get the bad feelings out of our bodies and onto a computer screen or paper so that we can truly let it go and get on with our days.

Without such “tools,” we can all too easily keep chewing and re-hashing uncomfortable, maddening moments over and over in our heads, letting them simmer and fester and ultimately become much far bigger than they should be. Such unproductive and negative behaviors on our part zaps the energy right out of our sails and days and no jerk is worth that – ever! Not to mention that life is just too dang short to waste any of it.
Bottom line: The jerks in our lives can be extremely frustrating IF we let them. I once read that frustration is 90% self-pity (Ouch! that truth hurts). I believe we all must continually be striving to maximize the quality of our days and to minimize the damage from any stresses.

And – in closing, In share the value of my personal favorite and best de-jerking and de-stresser “tool” – which is articulated far better by the great American write, Kurt Vonnegut:

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I, myself, prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.”

About the author 

Nancy Byerly Jones

Nancy Byerly Jones and her husband reside on their mountainside ranch (“Little Hee Haw Farm”) with an energetic “family” of horses, donkeys (large and miniature), dogs and cats. Their favorite pastime is sharing the joy and fun of their animals and ranch life with their family, friends and clients.

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