Rachel, one of my characters, is a major jerk. She didn’t start out that way. At first, she was a relatively sweet, innocent girl, but events of the story got to her and fastened themselves deep to the inner workings of her subconscious mind, turning her into a kind of human demon.
Because jerks are so much fun to write about, Rachel keeps showing up in other stories, acting in odd ways to make people think she’s changed from being a jerk. Some people can see through her, but most can’t. Rachel can be quite charming when she wants to be.
Of course, in reality, jerks aren’t half as much fun to deal with. I sometimes find myself wondering exactly how people can be so mean all the time. I know that everyone has their moments when they act rude, but some people seem to get intense pleasure out of making others’ lives miserable. It could be some kind of bizarre self-esteem problem. After all, misery loves company. There might be the rare, very socially awkward person who doesn’t realize that they’re acting like a jerk to others.
In the end, it’s important to remember that jerks aren’t 100% jerk all the time. Everyone has their good and their bad sides. It helps to try and see things from another person’s perspective. After all… you might be the one being a jerk… and you just don’t realize it.