In truth, the douchebag is more a persona than a person—it’s an attribute that we all possess to some degree. Here are some mindful ways to walk softly and carry a conscious heart.
The douchebag: that arrogant, inconsiderate guy who always comes up short on class, courtesy and follow through.
He’s consistently inconsistent, disappointing in just about every area—and he has an unsettling talent for saying the wrong thing. He’s hardly a keeper, and in the long run, his company’s not that much better than being alone.
Yet, we can’t seem to cut him off entirely. Because even when we break up with the douchebag, he resurfaces in the next relationship—albeit in a different wrapper—and he’s still up to no good.
If every guy you’ve dated lately has been a d-bag—give or take a few traits—and it just doesn’t add up why the odds seem to be against you in the dating game, then it’s time to solve for ‘ex’ and factor him out of the picture for good. And the best way to do that is to look at the common denominator in all of those go-nowhere relationships: you.
But before we go there, let’s look at the douchebag itself. Because, man, it’s loaded. Do we even know how or why the name of a feminine product (created by men) by the way, devolved into a slur against them?
And do we know why it’s become accepted behavior among adults to insult each other by throwing the names of genitalia around?
It bears a much deeper discussion, but it’s important to look at the labels we use—especially when it comes to relationships gone bad.
Let’s say I call my girlfriend, Tanya, crying at the bust-up of my latest relationship—Johnny’s a dick, an a-hole and a douchebag! In that moment, I’m hurt and too charged up to take a serious look at what went wrong. So I get a pass for not being rational. And because Tanya understands my pain—because we know who to reach for in those moments—she knows I’m distraught and only wants me to feel better.
So, naturally, she’ll be like, Yeah, he’s a douchebag!
Breakup fallout scenarios go like this often enough, but it’s what happens in the aftermath that lingers—in the words of Red, that Shawshank jailbird sage, it’s up to us to either ‘get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’.’
The best way to ensure that we choose differently the next time is by doing just that—consciously.
In truth, the douchebag is more a persona than a person—it’s an attribute that we all possess to some degree.
Put another way, both parties are as capable of hurting their partners with douche-baggy behavior as they are of being hurt by them. It’s too easy to lay blame for our broken hearts at the feet of a few badly behaved partners.
So, it’s our responsibility to check ourselves (before we wreck ourselves!) by honoring the parts we played in our own dating demise; therein lies one of the keys to changing your relationship landscape.
Here are a few more:
Conscious relating requires us to be accountable for the choices we make at every stage of the dating game. When you find yourself feeling insecure or doubtful with your partner, what response do you reach for?
Collapse? Denial? Confrontation?
Acknowledging how you handle dating discomfort will help you understand how to better navigate this emotional territory in the future.
A big question we must ask ourselves, especially when we want to point fingers, particularly the middle one, at our partners is, “What’s mine?”
Being responsible for our own messes, as well as our happiness and clear communication goes a long way in helping us stay present in our relationships, rather than leaving it to the other person to guess at what’s in our mind and heart.
Control is a biggie for some of us, and it’s a behemoth to people who think they’re easygoing and low-maintenance. These are the people who pride themselves on going with the flow and letting it all just sort of, like, you know, happen.
Here’s where I call bullshit.
Being unattached to a relationship doubles as a device to swim out of reach just enough to avoid accountability while still being ‘around’ for the relationship. It’s the dark side of detachment. Real detachment means we show up to it all, making our sincere needs and desires known and inquiring about our partner’s.
We open ourselves emotionally; we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. And we let go of trying to manipulate the outcome. Even if your authentic expression means the end of the relationship, detachment still calls us to let go of any attempt to spin the breakup story in our favor, ie: genitalia name-calling.
Sometimes, expressing compassion for our former relationship selves is the hardest.
Casting ourselves as victims, on the other hand, gets us sympathy, places blame on our partners and keeps us locked in judgment of our exes. The inability to give ourselves a break for not knowing how to show up differently in the past also does little for our growth and understanding of the parts we play in our present relationships.
Forgiveness for choices we made that brought the d-bags in—and that brought out our own bad behavior—helps us move forward with a greater ability to make more loving relationship choices in the future.
I recently came across some wise words spoken by hip hop’s tog dog, Jay Z.
They speak directly to the point of our relationships being a reflection of what we deeply believe. He said, “I’m a mirror. If you’re cool with me, I’m cool with you, and the exchange starts. What you see is what you reflect. If you don’t like what you see, then you’ve done something. If I’m standoffish, that’s because you are.”
Being able to bear witness to some aspect of ourselves in the eyes of a douchebag?
[image: via Pixabay]