Someone treating the person they’re dating well doesn’t automatically mean they’re not a jerk. It’s possible for a guy to seem like a dream to you on the surface, but then display a bunch of subtle red flags suggesting he’s actually not a nice person. From being rude to the wait staff to gossip, here are 9 signs he’s a jerk.
- He’s rude to people he doesn’t have to be nice to. You can tell a lot about someone by how they treat people they don’t have to be nice to. It’s one thing for him to be nice to his co-workers or clients. There’s nothing noble about being nice to people to whom it’s in your best interest to be nice. But it is a sign of kindness to be nice to people whom you don’t have to. A good example is the wait staff at a restaurant. If he is rude to these kinds of people, it’s a huge red flag that he’s not a kind person.
- He doesn’t feel remorse when he makes mistakes. Making mistakes doesn’t make you a jerk. But not feeling bad when you hurt other people? Kind of. This shows that someone lacks empathy and compassion, since they can’t or won’t understand how their actions have affected someone else. It’s also a sign that they have a huge ego; they might feel bad, but can’t bring themselves to admit that they were wrong.
- He makes bigoted comments. Bigotry comes from a sense of superiority and a lack of empathy. So if he makes bigoted comments, even under the guise of being funny, it’s a subtle sign that he’s a jerk. If he says nasty things about women, people of color, people’s religious beliefs, the LGBTQ+ community, or any group that has been traditionally discriminated against/oppressed, it’s not a good sign. This is especially the case if you point out that his comments are inappropriate or hurtful and he doesn’t take that on board.
- He treats animals badly. This is probably one of the most urgent signs that you need to ditch this guy. Treating an animal badly shows a total lack of empathy. It means he doesn’t understand how another living creature is feeling, which is a worry. People who lack empathy are more likely to harm others because they don’t feel bad about things that the majority of people would. If he actually hurts animals, then get out of there ASAP. Seriously, that’s what serial killers do.
- He talks a lot about people behind their backs. It’s a subtle sign that he’s a jerk if he regularly talks about others behind their backs. That’s especially the case if he talks about people he is close with, like friends and family. This shows that he can’t be trusted not to talk about you behind your back, or to act in your best interest when you’re not there.
- He’s not happy for his friends and family. Granted, it’s hard to be happy for other people when you’re not happy in your own life. But even though we may feel normal twinges of jealousy when we see people around us succeed, we should simultaneously be happy for them. It’s okay to be happy for the people you love and to also wish that your life was going better. But actually refusing to be happy for those you love is a massively jerky move.
- He takes pleasure in other people’s misfortune. Taking it a step further, it’s a huge red flag that he’s a jerk if he actually takes pleasure in other people’s misfortune. The German term for this is schadenfreude, which literally translates to damage-joy. The root of this is usually not being happy with one’s own life and not wanting anyone else to succeed either. But a kind person—the kind you should date—doesn’t like to see other people in pain, no matter how his life is traveling.
- He constantly badmouths his ex. Surprisingly, it’s actually not a good sign if he hates his ex with white-hot passion. If he badmouths her or calls her crazy, it gives you an indication of how he treats people who don’t please him. Maybe she dumped him or rejected him. Maybe she didn’t live up to his standards. Verbally tearing her apart shows that he has temper tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. It also shows that he holds grudges and he can’t handle rejection.
- He insults you behind the guise of humor. There’s a fine line between humor and real insults. If he says things that hurt your feelings but tells you not to get offended because it’s only a joke, that is a sign that he’s a huge jerk. Not only is he purposefully making you feel bad, but he doesn’t want to take responsibility for it and doesn’t want you to hold him to account. That’s why he emphasizes that it’s just a joke. In this way, he gets to hurt you without looking like the bad guy.