1) Is he/she a jerk or just someone in “jerk mode”?
2) If it’s a case of someone in “jerk mode”, why is he/she in jerk mode?
3) How can I make sure I never do to someone else what he/she is doing to me?
The Rationale: We are all more than capable of being jerks. Extreme emotions (manic highs and depressive lows) tend to switch us into “jerk mode.”
The Focus: These questions take the focus away from the “what an idiot” reaction. The focus here is to empathize and understand why the other person might be behaving that way.
Action: No action is required at the moment as the act of attempting to empathize and understand changes the way we look at the situation.
The only action required is to file the experience in our memory bank for a situation in the future when we might find ourselves in a similar situation. And, given life’s tendency of bringing things back a full circle, the chances are high.