Why Learning To Be Curious Is Paramount To Giving Grace To Jerkish Behavior

5 min readJul 18, 2022
Man sitting behind card table in a park with a sign on the table saying “You’re a Dumb Ass, Change My Mind.
Image credit: https://me.me

The other night my husband and I went to a charity event. I was helping to check people in, when one of the sponsors came in. They were friendly overall, but one of them seemed very standoffish. He didn’t smile and when introduced to us, he barely acknowledged us.

Near the end of the evening, I was talking to another person and the sponsors were brought up in discussion. I made the comment that one of them seemed not interested in engaging. In my head I was thinking he was a bit of an ass.

At least that was my perception.

The other person that was with me checking in attendees, through discussion with one of the co-sponsors, learned he had significant PTSD. She even went so far to say that she noticed he had to leave the room a couple times to get a bit of air.

With that one statement I immediately felt like the ass for my thoughts (just thankful they stayed internal), and his behavior now made complete sense.

It made me think, how many times have we struggled with a co-worker, team member, friend, or family member because of an unappetizing behavior. How many times has this struggle caused work stoppage, game loss, ruined friendships, or a strangulated relationship with a family member? Conversely, how many times have we experienced trauma that has caused us to respond to situations differently than we had previously?

Here’s the next questions. How often do we share our trauma experiences with other people? How many people do we share these stories with?

As a person that has experienced my share of trauma, I’ll say it is not often and it is only with my innermost circle of people…and even some of them do not know all my stories.

A few years back I was reading an article of an Air Force Master Sergeant (MSgt)with an absolutely impeccable military record.(For my civilian readers, you may have heard this rank called E7 or a more general term…a senior non-commissioned officer (SNCO).) She is what we call a “fast burner”; moving up the ranks quickly for her teamwork and leadership skills. A highly desired person to have on the team. She started to have behavior issues…late for work, asking for excessive amounts of time off…


Hi! I am a Veteran, Mom, nurse, writer, educator, blogger, and podcaster. Here to share issues impacting military transition. (Which impacts civilians too.)