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When I was with Jerkface, I twisted myself into an emotional knot mostly every day, trying to make him understand that I just wanted him to treat me with kindness. Every time he told me I was inconveniencing him by having the flu, or asked me why I dared to spend $7 on a shirt at Goodwill, or accused me of not loving him because I wanted to have dinner with a friend, I would desperately try to explain why those kinds of insults or accusations were hurtful to me because I – LOGICALLY – figured that if only he knew and understood how much pain he was causing me, HE WOULD STOP.
But guess what? Jerkfaces aren’t logical. You can’t reason with them, because they aren’t reasonable. They see the world differently than we do. In their world, there are only winners and losers. And if they aren’t “winning,” as in one-upping you and making you cry, then guess what? They’re “losing.” It doesn’t make any sense to us, because it’s not logical. But to them, in their messed up jerk brains, this is how the world works.
The Jerkface version of give-and-take is: You give. They take.
So when you approach Jerkface all reasonable and grown-up-like, you’re thinking, ok this is a give-and-take. I’ll give a little and s/he’ll give a little and then I’ll take a little and s/he’ll take a little, and it will all balance out. But see, the Jerkface version of give-and-take is like this: You give. S/he takes. Always. Forever. In fact, while you’re thinking, “If I share my feelings, then s/he will share too and then we’ll finally understand each other and the pain will stop,” Jerkface is thinking you just showed all your cards and now s/he KNOWS how to get under your skin for the rest of your miserable lives together.
If you’re new to this Jerkface stuff, you might still think that this couldn’t possibly be true, that YOUR Jerkface is different and you have the magic touch to fix what’s broken through your patient, undying love. I hope you’re right. I really do. Maybe your Jerkface isn’t truly a Jerkface and is just temporarily in pain and can be rehabilitated. I would love for that to be true and for you to be able to dismiss this post and this site and break through their pain and live happily ever after.
But if you eventually realize your Jerkface is really a Jerkface, you’re not alone and you don’t have to feel bad anymore. Keep coming back to this site. Go to a meeting. Write your own blog. Read some books. This one about verbal abuse saved my life. And remember: you’re not crazy. You’re just not a jerk.
You can’t reason with a Jerkface. When you give, they take. When you share your feelings, Jerkfaces use your confessions against you. You are playing a different game. You want to compromise and reach a mutual understanding. Jerkfaces want to WIN, and in order for them to win, someone has to lose. Guess who that is?