1. You refuse to accept your mistakes and learn from them
Your inner jerk is accountable for the misery you indulge in whenever you feel hurt for no reason. It’s like the world turns its back on you and you are, once again, a helpless, frightened child with no escape and no safe place to turn to. In reality, this has a lot to do with childhood trauma and the patterns it ingrains into our lives due to our upbringing. Accepting your own mistakes is hard and can take years to resume.
Consider that each time you feel threatened or called out on your behaviour, you have the possibility to question or discuss that.
You are an adult now, and the fears and painful memories of your childhood are not with you in the present anymore. They will never be washed from the face of the Earth, but they have ran their course.
Disallowing your inner jerk to step in and disabling him from reigning over your consciousness are the first milestones you need to push towards in order to regain your sense of equanimity.
Accepting that a mistake does not define who you are as a human, and choosing to learn from it is the best way to silence your inner jerk forever.
2. You stay in relationships that are bad for you
The inner jerk has a strong voice and a big temper when it comes to interpersonal relationships. It can turn on your biggest fears and it can alter your template of a healthy union. Your one unbeatable card against the inner jerk is your intuition. But we don’t use that full speed ahead because we are tempted to listen to the voice that questions everything that could be good for us.
So your intuition and your inner jerk both sit on your shoulders, like good and evil, arguing around your head about the best way to go.
What usually happens is this:
Your whole body warns you about the failure of this relationship. It doesn’t mean the other person is bad, it’s just not the person you can fulfil yourself next to. This is your intuition speaking.
Then comes in your mind, governed by your inner jerk, saying things like “No, I must try harder” or “This can’t be true” or “I am terrified to leave because I don’t know if I’ll ever meet anyone good enough for me again and being alone is simply so overwhelming I just don’t know how I will cope with life”.
You are torn between the two decisions and eventually stick to that limbo until the decision is forced upon you.
But the secret is to not give your inner jerk credit. No matter how hard a breakup will seem until it’s actually done, you have to allow your intuition to speak.
3. You feel so stressed you want to kill yourself
The inner jerk thrives on stress and will always whisper you’re not doing enough. It’s responsible for you becoming a workaholic, burning yourself out to exhaustion and growing anxious about the achievements others have. It makes you feel like a jerk who will never make it, mostly because others are always better.
4. You feel angry all the time
What your inner jerk does sometimes is embody all your misfortunes in the people and things you have in your life. You may be angry for no reason, or angry at things in the past that you are deeply attached to on a subconscious level. The inner jerk makes you angry at yourself, the people you love and mostly, at the things you can’t control. It turns you into the bitter person you once sworn to never become, because it clogs your perspective and shuts down the parts of your brain that are responsible with gratitude and pleasure.
5. You never feel good enough or content about your achievements
In this particular case, the inner jerk can be the solemn voice of a parent who’s been dictating over your life choices ever since you were a child, or the nagging discontent you feel towards other people’s success. It can materialize into obsessions with body image, weight loss or work, or, on the other side, it can be the root of toxic behaviours that make you feel like running in circles – such as a drinking habit that’s gone way over board, drug abuse, gambling or careless, unprotected sex with strangers. With time, the inner jerk becomes the most ferocious critic. It tells you you can’t wear this, do this, be like this, act like this. It tells you nothing you ever accomplished is relevant or important. It sinks in the thought that you should feel ashamed of what you are, and that you need to be fixed in order to deserve love, attention, gratitude or help.
6. You live in the past – or the future – never in the present
You may have recurring dreams about past events or become overly attached to a projected world you’d like to live in sometime in this life. The danger with always living in a different time than the present is missing out on the opportunities and small things that make life worth living today. Usually, our dreamscapes to a long gone time or place are directly linked to who we were back then.
Your inner jerk may come with a double message in this particular case: you may either have to understand and accept what you had back then that is now missing from your life (and how you can take it back), or to simply let go of the baggage and live your life as it comes, with the bad and the good.
7. You become severely depressed
The inner jerk thrives on depression. Had you already suffered from it, the inner jerk sets in more comfortably and simply shovels dark thoughts to your mind whenever they please. The inner jerk is responsible for the hatred and guilt you project onto others and onto yourself, it’s the one element that makes the battle even more shady and gruesome than it already is.
8. You always feel alone and misunderstood
No matter how many people show you love and support, the inner jerk is a skillful perpetrator that won’t allow you to receive that comfort. You grow into a tense, burned out and depleted of life organism that only finds solace hiding under the covers or sinking slowly into alcohol in the prison of their own mind.
9. You strongly believe people who hurt you must be punished
The inner jerk eats away at your capacity to stay compassionate. It makes you unforgiving, harsh and judgemental, telling you that those who have done you wrong should be terminated from your life.
10. You feel stuck in a neverending rut.
And that’s probably the worst part. Once you live, breathe, sleep and eat in the company of your inner jerk, life feels like a long, maddening and cruel distance you have to walk alone ’till you get rescued. But the thing is, nothing will rescue you. Waiting for a miracle is good, as long as you regain the confidence and believe that the miracle could lay inside you.