Everyone who knows me knows that I can be a jerk. But I think if we're all being honest here (and I really hope we are), I think we can all be jerks from time to time.
We snap at our husband because he doesn't take out the trash. Or scream at the slowpoke in front of you on the highway. Maybe we even yell at a seemingly kind, Midwestern lady on the street, "Are you walking or shitting your pants?"*
*But she was going so slowly!
It pains me to admit it (even though I definitely just did), but sometimes I'm not nice. Sometimes I don't see the good in others.
I'm too caught up in myself. I'm worried about being on time or have expectations for how things should be going that are...well...not how things are actually going.
When our expectations get dashed (and it happens all the time), we can become annoyed, frustrated, or, worse still, a total jerk.
In order to combat some of my jerkier tendencies, I've created some everyday games--games you can play as you're going about your day--to help you see the good in others and stop being such a primo jerk.
6 Fun Everyday Games to Help you See the Good
It's hard to be a jerk when you're doling out compliments. So do that. Dig deep, see the good, and then let people know what's fantastic about them.
The only catch is that these compliments have to be sincere.
Compliment people's hair, their clothes, their ideas, their joie de vivre.
The more compliments you give, the more you win...
There's something great about all of us. Sure, you could choose to focus on the shitty things about others. But, then you'd be a jerk, wouldn't you?
Or you can take the path less jerky and imbue people with greatness.
The next time you're chatting with someone, focus on how spectacular they are. They are Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and the Dalai Lama all rolled into one!
The more you focus on how rad someone is, the less you can focus on yourself, which means you win again, you egocentric jerk.
Instead of focusing on how many times someone says "like" or how your face will explode if they say "I'd like to piggyback on that idea," you need to check yourself.
Instead, focus on finding the poetry in whatever people are saying to you.
Don't think "I don't care" when the electrician is explaining the nuance of...electriciany things. Instead, listen for repetition and rhythm and metaphors. Listen for the flow of the language.
And once again, you'll start to see the good instead of dwelling on the bad.
Side note: Would it kill you to learn a little about electriciany things?
Side side note: I recently changed a car battery with my husband for the first time in my entire life. It was incredible, and I felt totally butch. However, that's not at all related to this article. But I did post a cute picture of me holding the old car battery on Instagram. You should totally follow me on Instagram btw!
Another great way to stop being a jerk is to get extreme with your ability to see the good. This next everyday game isn't just asking you to see the good. It's asking you to see the magical, super mythical and miraculous qualities of the people you encounter throughout your day.
Let's say your friend is annoying you. Instead of stewing on things you don't like, see the good. Maybe you imagine that they're a saint or a mythical creature or a Carebear. It's hard to be annoyed at a Carebear.
And the more magical you make people, the more you win. Because you'll start seeing the good instead of being a jerk.
See the good.
Another fun way to see the good is to treat people like teachers. Not teachers you hated in school but wise old teachers like Maggie Smith at Hogwarts.
Imagine whoever you're talking to is Confucius or Socrates or whatever. Listen for the gems of wisdom instead of waiting for them to screw up.
Jerks wait for people to fail. Cool people are listening to learn.
Finally, turn your pet peeves into pet pros. Here's what I mean: the next time you get annoyed that someone is loud chewing or clipping their toenails in front of you, challenge yourself to turn that shit into a positive.
Loud chewers have strong jaws. They are free spirits who don't care about social norms or "being polite." How liberating that must be for them!
Public toenail clippers are concerned with their grooming. That's good. And they feel comfortable enough around you to do an obviously kind of gross and private thing right in damn front of you.
If you can turn your pet peeve into a pet pro, you've definitely won the game of trying to see the good. Your prize? You're no longer a jerk. Congratulations.
You know what would be amazing? I think it would be amazing if you subscribe to Play your Way Sane here. What's in it for you? Wow, that's a real jerk attitude. But there is something in it for you. I'll help you Play your Way Sane throughout the year and keep you updated on all the exciting news in the Play your Way Sane world. You'll also get a bonus game each month to help you play your way more mindful, joyous, and connected.
It's my way of giving back and...not being a jerk.