Summary of How to Tell If You’re a Jerk

If you think everyone around you is terrible, the joke may be on you.


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How to Tell If You’re a Jerk summary
Determining whether you’re a “jerk” takes careful introspection – not an easy task for most jerks.


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Everyone can be a “jerk” sometimes, but some people are better at it than others. Author, blogger and philosophy professor Eric Schwitzgebel takes a light-hearted look at the weighty and familiar personality commonly known as a jerk. Schwitzgebel shares insightful anecdotes backed by academic studies to define what makes someone a jerk, to explain the mind-set of jerks and to help everyone reduce their level of “jerkitude.” getAbstract recommends this article to readers who suspect they might not be as lovable as they hope.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How “jerks” look at the world around them,
  • How to become self-aware of the jerk you might be and
  • How to reduce jerk responses in life.


Since being a “jerk” isn’t “straightforwardly observable” or “evaluatively neutral,” it is difficult to know if you are one. In you’re trying to become more self-aware, and consequently change any negative behaviors you identify, knowing if and how much of a jerk you are presents a serious challenge...
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About the Author

Eric Schwitzgebel is an author and professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside. He blogs at The Splintered Mind and his latest book is Perplexities of Consciousness.

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