Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jerk Theory

As the world’s premiere scholar on misanthropology (the study of mankind’s hatred for each other), I feel it is my duty to come up with theories that explain the hateful behavior we experience every day.

And so, my loyal readers, I present to you: Jerk Theory.

Jerk Theory operates on one principle: the old adage, “Nice guys finish last.”

The “logic” behind Jerk Theory is simple. We as a culture acknowledge that assholes get their way, ergo being an asshole is one way of “not finishing last.” Since being nice and accommodating leads to one being taken advantage of, it stands to reason that being an intolerable jackass who will not budge on anything will result in increased success.

Now, I’m not suggesting that being a jerk will actually increase one’s success. Rather, I am suggesting that many people are jerks as a self-defense mechanism.

“But Bret, what about ‘You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?’”

First of all, that is not actually true. You will literally catch more flies with vinegar than with honey. Try it.

Second, you’re forgetting the basic message of that quote, which is that people can be manipulated. You aren’t catching flies so they can be your pals, you’re doing it to destroy them. In point of fact, jerks use such manipulative practices like flattery all the time. What makes someone a jerk is not the fact that they are constantly being rude and mean, but rather it’s their intentions.

Think of it this way: if a guy joins a feminist group in order to pick up chicks, is he really supporting women’s liberation? Even if he stands up and talks about how smart and great and amazing women are, if his intention is solely that of getting women in bed to be used as sexual objects, he’s being a jerk.

But this doesn’t have to be how the world works. Nice guys don’t finish last because that is the natural order of things, they finish last because we let them. Women predominantly date jerks, not kind, patient listeners. And while I’m focusing on the male/female dynamic, the same is true in nearly every other field: business, science, academics, politics… we tend to give more credit to the one who fights tooth and nail than we do to the one who patiently waits their turn and considers the needs of others.

We can actually choose to change this paradigm. How? Well, many women have already started doing so, by realizing they don’t have to settle for a jerk. When it comes to the bedroom, nice guys often do finish last, and maybe this is why women will sleep with a nice guy more than just the one time.

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