Everybody suffers an unfair setback on occasion, but to hear this guy tell it, he’s been knocked down every step of the way. No matter the situation, he passes the blame and asserts his personal superiority. Unless you want to become one of his countless excuses, avoid this jerk at all costs. Here are some warning signs to keep in mind:
He always flakes. A guy who holds himself accountable won’t want to let you down because he knows that rude behavior reflects poorly on him. If he’s late once, he’ll make sure to leave the house earlier next time or ask to meet half an hour later so he has plenty of time to get ready after work. A blame-spreading loser will keep you waiting then attribute his tardiness to all the bad drivers who caused him to miss six green lights instead of acknowledging that downtown traffic is a constant and if he doesn’t plan for it, he’s the one at fault. After all, you made it to the meeting spot in time and you drove the same route he did.
He thinks way too highly of himself. Healthy self-confidence is great but for the little this guy has accomplished in life, he sure has a lot of nice things to say about himself. To hear him tell it, he’s pulled himself up by his bootstraps the whole way with zero assistance from anyone else. Anyone who’s so inclined to lavish himself (or herself, for that matter) with undue praise probably finds it difficult to accept fault when things aren’t going well. All that bravado is sometimes a defense mechanism signaling that he’s incapable of accepting critique.
He can remember literally every bad thing anyone’s ever done to him but none of the good. You’ll never catch him reminiscing about the time his English teacher stayed after school to tutor him before a big final exam but he’ll be happy recall the way she caught him at the senior prom with a bottle of Jack and almost caused him to lose his diploma (the bottle wasn’t even his, of course). He seems to filter out any positive memories in favor of woeful tales about the bad ol’ days.
He rants his head off on social media. This dude spews constant venom online. He’s a master of passive-aggressive references to all the “haters” that are making his life so tough. He positions himself as a heroic underdog and immediately makes derogatory comments when someone disagrees with him. He’s proud of his “bluntness” but it’s not edgy or rebellious. It’s whiny and tactless. Even if he’s always complimentary toward you, pay close attention to how he treats others—especially when he’s operating from the safety of his Facebook account.
He can never catch a break. Does the poor man suffer the world’s worst luck? Is there a conspiracy to ensure his downfall by way of constant small annoyances? Or—which is more than likely the case—has he actually not mastered the basic life skills that keep most people afloat despite the storms they weather? Nobody’s obligated to throw this boy a rope. It’s high time he learned to swim.
He justifies bad behavior by citing his own painful experiences. It’s a shame he went through that rough patch, but now he feels entitled to behave like a douchebag because somebody wronged him once. Instead of admitting his hurt and trying to prevent similar treatment toward others, he uses his history to excuse his own BS. How cool would it be if he could learn to work out his crap using empathy instead of resentment?
He makes derogatory comments about his ex. And by the way—big surprise!—it’s totally HER fault that he can’t stand her. She’s a psycho, he says. She wronged him and he was always a good guy. He gave her everything, and she left him in the dust. Nobody denies that relationships are complex or that every story has two sides, but one thing is irrefutably true: a good guy doesn’t try to discredit his former girlfriend to his new one. Not under any circumstances.
He has no close friends. Standing alone, this might simply mean that he lives in his own head and doesn’t attach easily. Proceed with caution though if he has a crap ton of drinking bros and other superficial acquaintances but no true confidants. He probably has trouble with close relationships because nobody can stomach hearing him moan about how everyone is out to get him.
When you call him out, he uses faulty logic to diminish his responsibility for the situation. You don’t nag the dude every time you find him a little annoying but you want to clarify the big “must haves” and “can’t stands” in the relationship. So when something major requires discussion—say, his refusal to treat your best friend politely—you communicate your needs. The conversation goes down the rabbit hole faster than you can say, “What the hell just happened?” Instead of focusing on the one personal issue at hand, he attempts to reframe the whole discussion in broad terms, calling up unrelated evidence to suggest that you’re somehow the one truly in the wrong. WTF?
He believes that political correctness is the source of everything wrong with society. He doesn’t understand your preference for bias-free language. He’s constantly reminding you that women mistreat and abuse men too and that people of all races and creeds can be horrible to one another–as if you ever denied these facts or claimed that such behavior was acceptable. When he screws up at work, the “oversensitivity” of his coworkers is at fault for the disciplinary action he faces—because, yeah, it’s really that hard for him to remember that we’re all human beings, not punchlines.
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