Toward a Theory of Unpleasant Behavior

Eric Schwitzgebel in Literary Hub:

The opposite of the jerk is the sweetheart. The sweetheart sees others around him, even strangers, as individually distinctive people with valuable perspectives, whose desires and opinions, interests and goals, are worthy of attention and respect. The sweetheart yields his place in line to the hurried shopper, stops to help the person who has dropped her papers, calls an acquaintance with an embarrassed apology after having been unintentionally rude. In a debate, the sweetheart sees how he might be wrong and the other person right. 

The jerk’s moral and emotional failure is obvious. The intellectual failure is obvious, too: No one is as right about everything as the jerk thinks he is. He would learn by listening. And one of the things he might learn is the true scope of his jerkitude—a fact about which, as I will explain shortly, the all-out jerk is inevitably ignorant. This brings me to the other great benefit of a theory of jerks: It might help you figure out if you yourself are one.

More here.