10 Reasons Why It's Better to Be a Jerk
Nice people finish first—or is it last? Though you may have been told throughout your life that being kind pays off, there are some obvious advantages to getting mean. So whether you're driving towards a goal at work, or need to attack a task in your personal life, acting like a jerk just might help you get what you want.
You just have to know when it's smart to be mean.
You might avoid seriously obnoxious people at work, but not everyone does. According to The Atlantic, those that are the biggest jerks are the ones with the most power to do as they please. Those who behave and act with overconfidence are the ones who are rated best by their peers.
In a study at the University of Amsterdam, researchers found that those who behaved as though they were the brightest and most intelligent secured the greatest leadership opportunities. So even if you don't think you have what it takes to run a project—or even company—all you need to do is find confidence greater than everyone else, and you'll succeed—and with a higher salary, too.
Narcissism is typically a frowned upon behavior in society; we don't like those who are only concerned about themselves and how they appear before others. Yet being a narcissist in the workplace offers benefits the rest of the world might not.
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Though we all wish this personality type wouldn't be rewarded, evidence instead showed that they are more likely to gamble on their future, according to management professor Donald Hambrick of Penn State. Narcissists are willing to take bigger risks and, in turn, tend to be more successful. Those individuals who are willing to tackle or take from others are the same who will take credit for others' work; we revere them for this, but allow them to achieve positions of power.
If you want to get ahead, consider becoming more rude. Once again, being polite won't win you any workplace awards, but it will help others to view you as more powerful than them, according to Forbes. Even though we tend to stay away from, and even abhor, those who are rude to us, we can't help but find jerks powerful.
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Those who violate traditional norms and rules are seen as empowered, according to the same University of Amsterdam study mentioned above. As much as we can't stand rude behavior, we tend to acquiesce to others who are willing to both break rules and step on toes. We view jerks as people who are better able to get away with bad behavior, even if there is no logic behind this.
Tempted to apologize when you're in the wrong? Men's Health recommends doing the opposite. When you don't apologize, you'll feel better.
In fact, ignoring others' feelings and worrying only about your own will makes you feel a greater sense of power. If you don't have to give in and acquiesce to another, you'll behave as though you've gotten away with something, and you'll find a greater sense of self-confidence.
Are you something of a pushover? Stop—or you'll begin to see repercussions in your work life. Those who have a strong will, or strong backbone, and frequently stand up to others are viewed as more confident, independent, and more dignified.
According to best-selling author Sherry Argov, writer of Why Men Love Bitches and Why Men Marry Bitches, this is most often seen in relationships between men and women. When the woman backs down and is more willing to give in to the man's desires and interest in power, the man grows less interested. Yet the stronger the woman seems, and the greater her pride, the more she will be prized for her strong attitude.
The key to getting ahead in life is gossip. Forget being nice to others and keeping quiet about their secrets—the more you gossip, the better off you'll be.
In a study from the University of Michigan, there's evidence that prove women who gossip benefit health wise. When encouraged to talk about others, the participants in the study felt better about themselves and life in general, with a reduction in stress as well.
Gossip may be a mean move on our part, but, as science shows, the human interaction it provides helps us to connect with our social groups, calms stress, and guides us as we attempt to fit in and feel important.
You've most certainly heard of oxytocin—it's the happiness chemical, released by our bodies to calm stress and anxiety when we need it most. Although avoiding conflict may seem like the best strategy to keep your oxytocin in check, you may want to get into more arguments.
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According to research at the University of Zurich, those who encounter conflict most often see higher levels of both cortisone and oxytocin in their bloodstream. This is because the presence of cortisone, a stress hormone, rises when we argue with others. Yet along with the increased stress comes oxytocin, strengthening our positive behavior and working to relax all that worries us.
Think it's bad for the company if you're competing against your coworkers? Think again. In fact, competition makes employees work harder and faster.
A competitive nature in the workplace increases our reaction time. We respond faster, and are more reactive in nature when the pressure is on. Once our adrenaline is running high, our mental processes also increase in speed as we react faster. The pushier and more "me versus them" your attitude becomes, the more you'll get accomplished.
Though apologizing may seem like the polite thing to do at work, it's a habit that does nothing for you. In fact, when you eliminate apologetic words from your workplace vocabulary, you'll accomplish more, according to research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
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The study discovered that, when we are at work, rude behavior is prized above politeness. Those whom others hate are rewarded better, in terms of salary, when compared to those who are nice. When words like "sorry" and "thank you" disappear from your work emails, your coworkers are more likely to perceive you as a source of power, and are less likely to trample all over you.
Self-esteem can make you appear confident in any circle, yet your confidence level can also win you greater power in the workplace.
In a recent study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, scientists discovered that self-esteem is particularly beneficial to those who are highly stressed. Being a jerk in the workplace can alleviate both psychological distress and the negative effects of stress on those who are burdened with more responsibility.
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