How can I stop being a jerk?

I’m very judgemental and a little self-centered it has really impeded my interpersonal relationships.

I hope my methods will help you. I was less judgmental and more self-centered. I preferred to avoid people altogether.

But the end results was the same, I was a jerk who didn’t know how to interact with people.

Below exercises happen mostly in your own mind, which is an additional advantage. You can do them anywhere and anywhen.

So, a few simple steps practiced regularly and consistently will help you to relate to people with more compassion:

1. Notice other people

Start recognizing the people around you. Look at them and think about them with positive attitude. 
What things do you have in common? What things in them spark your interest?

2. Observe other people

Stop digging lonely in your own mind. Look at the people around and think about them. Again, with positive attitude. 
How do they behave? How they are behaving toward you? If you had to praise a specific man or woman, what would you say?

Try to force on yourself one praise for every person you focus on.

3. Make eye contact

The first step of the conversation is to make eye contact. Stop avoiding other person’s eyesight. If you don’t notice them you won’t talk to them. After breaking eye contact give this person a minute of reflection.

What things do you have in common? What things in them spark your interest? If you had to praise him/her, what would you say?

4. Mental exercises

Look at the people around and think about them. Pick one person. Imagine yourself approaching him or her and starting the conversation with some witty remark. Imagine that you are engaging in a nice chat with him or her.

Finally, imagine that you are finishing your conversation and both of you feel enriched by the experience and at ease.

5. Smile

Often we are so locked in our fears and insecurities regarding other people that we don’t notice they have their own difficulties. We all are so isolated in our fast paced society and the simple act of smiling can knock down the barriers between us.

So, make eye contact and smile.