10 Things Not to Do When I’m Being a Bitch.

Via on Aug 23, 2013

bitch

Women don’t come with a manual—if they did, men wouldn’t need man caves.

The truth is, part of what makes women appealing can also make them terrifying. Their emotional volatility is either fascinating or distressing, depending on both how it’s expressed, yes—but also how it’s taken.

Every woman’s got her moods. Most men are by turns charmed, bewildered and blindsided by them.

Here are some hints to help you keep your cool when I’m being a red hot bitch:

 

10. Don’t resist it.

I cannot overemphasize this one. Resistance is the most common reason me being a bitch gets us into all kinds of trouble (and not the fun kind instigated by tequila and a hot tub).

In case you’re wondering what this means, it includes saying things like, “Calm down,” “Would you just relax?” “What’s the big deal?” and, “You’re overreacting.”

This is much like pouring gas on a lit flame.

When I’m pissed, no matter how ridiculous it may seem, it’s happening. Wishing it wasn’t or telling me to stop isn’t going to work. It’s similar to attempting to stop a tsunami. Is you telling the big bitchy wave to stop being a big bitchy wave going to work?

Nope. But if you accept that the wave is happening and grab a surfboard, you’ll get farther and be in for a hell of a ride.

I know how complicated women are—trust me, I’m living proof of this. But if there’s anything I’ve learned about men, it’s that the more I’m accepted for exactly who I’m being in this moment, the more I change and morph and melt into something more accepting myself.

9. Know that it won’t last forever.

Have I ever been a bitch forever? Have I? Have you ever known any women who were? (Meryl Streep from Devil Wears Prada doesn’t count.)

No. Emotions don’t last forever, no matter what they are. That’s why they’re called e-motions—energy in motion. There is no permanent state, particularly when it comes to women. We can switch from ecstatic to melodramatic in an instant, and be ready for tiramisu right after.

By the way, do you think that’s easy? No. A lot of the time it’s exhausting. You should try being on this roller coaster of emotion, not just being around it.

8. Know that it’s not really about what it’s about.

When I’m being a bitch, we’re in Emotion Land. We left Logic Land long ago and as much as you may lament its absence, that ship has sailed (right on over the tsunami). I may be crying hysterically ‘because’ you forgot to call, or sniping at you ‘because’ you forgot to buy the right kind of milk. But it’s not really about that.

In other words, it’s not really about what it’s ‘about.’

It’s not that it has nothing to do with the milk; it’s just that it’s more about something else. In fact, I may not even know exactly what’s wrong myself.

The best way for you to deal with this is to stop playing the game of “fixing what this is ‘about,’” and start listening for what it’s really about. The more you can hold off on shaming me for being upset over something ‘illogical,’ the more we can work as a team to figure out what’s really going on.

7. Have fun with it.

Are you one of those people who loves watching sh*t go down when there’s something destructive happening? Are you like, daaamn, look at those waves flood over the boardwalk, or those cars floating down the street, or that (empty) house get torn up by that hurricane? Holy Sharknado, this is amazing!

Use that. Pretend my storm is an actual storm, and you get a front row seat (which incidentally some people would pay for). Witness it the same way you would a tempest—it swirls and rages, lessens and worsens, and eventually dissipates.

Because the things I’m saying and the way I’m acting isn’t ‘the truth.’ It’s just what’s true for me in that one particular moment. It will change in the next moment, just like the weather. And once you stop taking it to be something to be defended against or resentful of, it can actually be kind of entertaining.

I’m like your own personal hurricane. Besides—wouldn’t it be boring if it were sunny skies all the time?

6. When I act like a child, think of me like a child.

Half the time when I’m being a bitch, it is exactly the same as when a 3-year-old is wigging out because s/he’s sleep-deprived. There is no logical reason for the behavior—it’s a physiological reaction. As adults, we assume we’re all capable of being normal, rational beings all the time.

upside downWe’re not. Especially not those of us with riotously, spectacularly, outlandishly fluctuating hormones. Did you know that 70% of crimes committed by women are perpetrated within three days of their period? #truth.

Seriously—when I’m whining or bitching or complaining seemingly just for the sake of it, picture me as a tiny little girl in a tiny little dress with a tiny little diaper and a tiny little face red from bawling, who is upset that you just gave her the wrong milk. How seriously do you take that toddler? How much compassion do you have for her?

You always knew I was secretly a three-year-old. Now make it work for you.

5. Call me out (gently).

For me personally, this works best when you give a nickname to my bitchy side.

My ex used to use “’tudy,” short for “attitude-y.” This was brilliant because it named what was happening without making me wrong for it. It also acknowledged that I’m not only that—there are many aspects and facets to me. This just happens to be the one that’s coming out right now.

It usually went a little something like:

Me: [Looking in fridge] “Really?? You forgot that I asked you specifically to get whole milk this week? You know I’m trying out that new Fat Is The New Skinny Diet—you just thought you’d ruin my chances, or what?”

Him: [glancing over at me; pausing for a moment] “Hey there, ‘tudy! I’ve missed you. What you been up to?”

I’d roll my eyes but no matter how much I wanted to, I couldn’t suppress a smile. He knew me – all of me – and he wasn’t scared of it. Instead of taking my comment as ‘a huge and monumental attack on my manhood that I must defend against,’ it was more like, ‘that bitchy thing Mel just said.’

It’s not that he wasn’t taking me seriously. It’s that he wasn’t taking me too seriously.

4. If you can’t handle it, leave.

It’s all well and good to talk about enjoying it, but sometimes that’s just not possible. In those moments, don’t tell me I shouldn’t be or feel a certain way.

If you can’t handle it, get out the way.

Look, I love my sister like, well, a sister. But she can be a real bitch sometimes. And I’ve learned that occasionally, it’s best to just leave the room. Sometimes I can read her moods and know that she’s ready to talk; other times I know it’s about her blood sugar being low; and sometimes it’s just a different type of mood—the untouchable one. It’s that one where no matter what I say or do, she’s just going to be a bitch.

For the most part, I know when to stick around and when to stay away. Then there are the times when I read it wrong and get scratched by her ‘tudy talons. At that point I retreat into the other room and lick my wounds.

Both are fine, but it’s a whole lot more pleasant when I read it right and beat a hasty retreat. You should feel free to do the same.

3. Take care of yourself.

You don’t always have to put up with my crap. Just because I’m in a bad mood doesn’t mean you’re responsible for it—or for fixing it. As my man, I expect you to give me attention and put energy into the relationship, but I don’t expect either 24/7.

You are, in fact, a whole separate being with your own experiences and needs and responsibilities. And your first responsibility is to yourself: if you can’t handle it or don’t have the energy or just don’t want to deal with me in a certain moment, don’t.

Do not sacrifice yourself or your truth just to make me ‘happy.’ It doesn’t work anyway—you usually get resentful that you tried to help and it didn’t work.

I’d much rather you take care of yourself in the moment and have space for me later, than overextend yourself now and blame me for it later.

Instead, try just letting me know: “Hey, I get you’re upset and I want you to know I care. At the same time, I need to take care of myself right now so I’m gonna go chill for a while. Cool?”

With this you’ve solved half of it anyway just by acknowledging that I’m not okay.

I at least feel seen and I’m also primed to get that it’s not all about me all the time.

Sometimes, it’s easy for me to forget that.

2. If you don’t know how to support me, ask.

You don’t have it all figured out. You don’t have to know exactly what to do or how to do it or what to say or how to say it beforehand. It’s far better to admit you don’t know than constantly attempt to figure out the enigma wrapped in a riddle served on a bed of unpredictable with a little dollop of wtf on top, that constitutes the psyche of a woman.

If you are really at your wit’s end but you do have the energy and you do want to know what’s going on or how to help – ask. For example: “I don’t know what to do or how to help right now, but I want to. How can I support you?”

sad greyThat will bring me up short.

And much of the time, I will tell you. This can flip me right out of my mood and put me into a different one. I might start to bawl; I might ask for chocolate; I might collapse into your arms and say, “I just—*sob*—want—*sob*—a footrub. Can you—*hiccup*—give me—*searching look*—a footrub?”

Because usually when I’m being a bitch, there’s some need that’s not being met. I don’t feel heard, or I’m craving connection, or I’m not feeling expressed, or I’m just generally feeling like I don’t matter. Here’s a truthful secret for you: sometimes I lash out just to make sure that I do matter—that I can at least affect someone.

The point is, usually all that frustrated and angry energy wants to be transmuted into something else, something softer and more accessible and more yielding. If I’m given the genuine space for it, it will.

You can create that space. Sometimes.

1. Love me anyway.

Please, God, let me find a man who is capable of this. Let me find someone who doesn’t take me too seriously, isn’t intimidated by mood swings, and embraces the fact that I’m pretty judgmental a lot of the time. Let me find someone who knows that while I’m totally imperfect and totally impatient, I’m also totally loyal, totally affectionate, and willing to go all out for my friends. Let me find someone who sees it all—not who shuts down when I’m not at my best.

And if it’s in the cards for me, let me find someone who doesn’t just tolerate me, but genuinely finds my quirks endearing. Let me be discovered by someone who doesn’t see me as a problem to be solved or a thing to be handled, but as a woman to be loved.

Even—or maybe even especially—when she’s being a bitch.

 

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Ed: Bryonie Wise

 

 

About Melanie Curtin

Melanie Curtin is the founder of Vixen on the Loose, the sassy brand seeking to redefine what it means to be a modern, empowered woman (and man, for that matter). She is convinced her generation can do the whole sex, dating, and relating thing better than those who came before, and her goal is to spark the conversations necessary for this to be the case. Both lightning rod and spitfire, she invites you unleash your inner vixen by unabashedly expressing her own. Tweet her at @VixenOTL, email her at vixenontheloose [at] gmail [dot] com, and subscribe to her YouTube channel for more sexy, spiritual smackdown!

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28 Responses to “10 Things Not to Do When I’m Being a Bitch.”

  1. Amber says:

    This should be given as a manual to all middle school boys, then again in High School. They should be given training rooms to deal with it. And girls should be given the opportunity to be allowed to be seen and heard without fear. Thank you for sharing what I passionately say to anyone who is struggling with how to deal with their woman. It helps us all!

  2. Dimity says:

    Hi Melanie thanks for your article it was a very interesting read. The thing I found most interesting is that the responses you are wanting from your man are the exact same responses I have learnt to give to myself when I am overwhelmed by emotion. All of them in fact were part of learning how to nurture myself. Not resisting it, having fun with it, riding the wave to even leaving, taking time out from myself and my mood :) it really helped me understand myself and let go of whatever I was holding onto. I’d never had much luck in getting others to understand where I was at and respond accordingly. Now I can definitely ask for that hug when I need it!

  3. Esteban says:

    This post is great! I try REALLY hard to do exactly this when my wife is melting down. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail. There is just one thing here that I disagree with:

    "Resistance is the most common reason me being a bitch gets us into all kinds of trouble…"

    While our resistance is a factor, it's not the most common reason. The most common reason is that you're being a bitch. Saying that our resistance is the reason for trouble is a way of shifting blame away from the fact that you're out of control. I fully understand the need to shift blame when you're in the middle of it, but this blog post was obviously written when you are calm and thoughtful. Don't place blame because someone reacts when they feel attacked.

    What if someone is calm and non-reactive to your meltdown 9 times, but on the 10th time they've had a hard day themselves and don't have the emotional reserves to feel attacked without reacting to it? Are they now the reason that you two are having trouble?

    Just something to think about.

    Like I said, overall this is a great post and solid advice! :)

  4. Steph says:

    Brilliant and oh so very true. I want to forward this to every man that I know… including an ex-boyfriend or two. May you, and may we all, find that person that can accept us at our worst as well as our best. May we also be the person we are looking for! Great article- thank you :)

  5. Marika says:

    Likening a female mood swing to acting like a 3 year-old and asking a man to embrace you for the 3 year-old you really are is a bit…well, a lot condescending to women. I get the sentiment that the bitchiness is transient like a toddler's tantrum, but do you really want to be treated like a toddler having a meltdown? I don't. Also, as much as I like your writing style – it's cute and entertaining, and you do make some great points – it's a little offensive to women. I think physiologically induced mood swings happen to both sexes, based on my experience, and that men can be bitchy, too. I definitely have to let my guy wallow in his little funks from time to time and try not to take it too personally or act defensively. I really think the key is taking complete ownership for your own bullshit and not putting it on a partner. Sure, it's nice to have that partner who has a great sense of humor and incredible compassion, but that shouldn't take the place of examining the source of your outbursts and figuring out how to love and accept yourself despite your imperfections.

    • travis says:

      EXACTLY. Go see you a therapist and hit the meds if you are 'bitchy', it's not the guy's role to care about your lack of EQ ….

  6. Mitch says:

    if a person takes responsibility for how their thoughts, words, and actions affect others, they don't need to waste energy telling other people how to deal with them. this is not empowering for me as a woman, and comes closer to "reifying" rather than "redefining" cultural oppressive gender stereotypes.

  7. Allyson says:

    It makes me very sad to think that any woman would think of herself in this way. This article is spreading so many demeaning stereotypes. It is entirely offensive to liken having emotions about something to a toddler's behavior. Also, if as woman, we do not want our emotions and behavior generalized and referred to as bitchy, we need to not write articles like this.

  8. Cait says:

    Why should we give men advice on how to deal with our bad behaviours ( hormone induced or not)? Yes, it is great to have a partner who has a sense of humour and can roll with our bad moods, just as we should roll with theirs. however, this article makes it sound like it if OK to be a bitch and if men learned to cope then we wouldn't have relationship problems….Women tend to give themselves permission to be all out bitchy with men as if men were made for us to use as an emotional punching bag….I doubt one would complain vehemently to a friend, mother, or child about buying the wrong milk. No, we would keep our disappointment in a controlled headspace. Why then, if our man makes a mistake do they get treated with less respect? Why do we feel the right to unleash our furies on men and that THEY are the ones that need to find a way to handle us correctly, or else? Seriously, this article makes women sound like out of control, emotional nitwits who are incapable of self-regulation. If I was a man, I would be very afraid of women like this.

  9. Erin says:

    Haha, this was so funny to read. I just may print this article and make my boyfriend read it ALL. Great advice for men. I do slightly agree with the comment above me in saying that guys should not accept a woman being a bitch all the time because she knows she can. Just because. Ya know? If she is on her period, then guys should ABSOLUTELY 100% roll with the punches and let the girl have her bitch fits. Do whatever she says (within reason). If she tells you to go away, for whatever ridiculous reason, then do it. Do NOT try to cuddle her or tell her “calm down, its not a big deal. Its not the end of the world. Chill. I said i was sorry. Etc etc.” My boyfriend has a tendency to do these things while I’m on my period. Like tonight. He was making wise ass remarks about periods and sex and i asked him to knock it off. He then told me to relax, it was a joke, and kept laughing. I said “its not funny! ! ! Just shut up and go away. You’re an Asshole.” He sat there for a bit longer and then got up and i thought he was going to leave me alone, but NOOOO, he just had to come up to me only to try to cuddle me and kiss me. I mean, if i wasn’t on my period, i wouldn’t think anything of his jokes and i would just laugh with him. He’s really cool and funny in general….just not while I’m on my period. Then of course i flipped out and started yelling at him telling him to go fuck himself. So i then storm off to the bathroom to take a shower. Ten minutes later he knocks on the door trying to do the same things. I get that he was only trying to be nice and apologize, but when i say get the hell away from me, i mean get the hell away from me. It doesn’t mean smother me until i slap the shit out of you and then get mad at me for being a bitch after i already told you to leave me alone. That’s what he did. He got mad and was like “whatever, I was just trying to tell you i love you and be nice. But whatever.” We go through this once a month lol. Can’t imagine why though haha. That time of the month is the only time i get like this and i act like a raving lunatic. I’m not a bitch just to be a bitch. I am P.M.S.ing okay! So again, I’m definitely showing him this article. Maybe then he will learn how to handle a woman. If not, well, then he’s just a dumbass.

    • Frank N says:

      Using PMS as an excuse for shiity behavior… lame. Just an excuse by females to do whatever they want to say and do to men and have a convenient pre-text/scapegoat for doing so.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ummmm…no. Look up PMDD. PreMenstrual Dysphoric Disorder…it's life alteringly bad version of PMS, and medical professionals are very challenged on how to help the women who have it (e.g. no consensus on treatment, and treatment outcomes can intensify/complicate symptoms rather than cure them for those who take medications).

        If it helps, consider terms like "roid rage" … a familiar concept for men who take certain steriods that alter male "attitudes" towards the "angry/violent" side.

        Hormone imbalances are no joke, and attitude issues resulting from hormone imbalances affect people of both genders. If everyone was a bit more educated, it may help them distinguish the right course of action based on knowing the real source of the problem.

  10. Chris says:

    Since when are men not also sensitive, bitchy, illiogical, expressive (or wishing they could feel allowed to be) and wanting their partners (male or female) to help them out? Don’t see where the gender generalization/stereotyping is helpful in this article. It’s 2014..

  11. Catherine says:

    Sorry, not buying it. I am a "don't do drama" woman. I am not saying I never get grouchy or lose my temper but I do not "wig out." I do not "sob" or ask for chocolate (I can get my own damn chocolate) and if I want a foot rub I ask for that, too but without "wigging out."

    This article simply endorses the idea that women "wig out" and the term "emotional volatility" is offensive–as though women have a problem and are the only ones with the problem. The whole idea supports the concept that women need careful handling, are not level-headed or logical, etc., etc., etc. therefore we should not be taken seriously, do not deserve high-level important jobs and the same salaries of men.

    I have seen as much ridiculous drama and lack of logic and reason coming out of men as I have coming out of women. It is NOT a gender thing, it is a personality/character thing. MANY times I have had to just "deal" with a man's grumpiness or asshole behavior. Don't get me wrong; humans are not perfect and we ALL, male or female, have to deal with stuff from other humans, male or female.

    But thanks for perpetuating the idea that women have a problem being bitchy and men just have to put up with it.

  12. @ilfauno says:

    I expected this to be another Elephant-sponsored femino-centric diatribe, but it was actually helpful. Now we know that there's just a little hurricane passing through the house, and if you ignore it awhile, it will come to pass.

    • elephantjournal says:

      Hi there: would you care to expand on what you mean by "Elephant-sponsored femino-centric diatribe"? We do welcome many points of view and are always open to (mindfully expressed) feedback. ~ Ed.

  13. dchaley says:

    I think I see what this article is trying to say, but geez, I want nothing to do with a woman who says "I can be a bitch and you need to deal with it". If the point is "hey sometimes I'm hurting and act out because of that hurt, so please be understanding that sometimes the literal statements aren't what the issue is about" — then great! We can all work with that. As you say yourself, we can then work on it as a team. But here's the thing, I expect more from my partner (and indeed any adult) than I expect from a three-year-old. Sure, we might all act like three-year-olds sometimes. But as an adult I expect you (general you) to understand that toddler-like tantrums are in fact not ok. That doesn't mean I won't be compassionate, that doesn't mean I won't try to understand the underlying emotions, but it does mean that I do not expect it as the norm.

  14. SavvyAsh says:

    Good for all you 'perfect' women who never "wig out". If only the rest of us underlings could be as perfect as YOU! You have learned to govern your emotions and are clearly above the rest of us. Congratulations! God forbid we inconvenience men and society with our 'childish' emotions!

  15. Frank N says:

    F–k that noise… sorry how about "acting" like a decent human being instead of making a whine-fest sad excuse of an article henpecking men to put up with your epic level cuntishness. You have the emotional maturity of a damn 2 year old (and the reason why many men view women as merely infants in adult bodies…. if it walks like a, talks like a….. ^^). Act like a lady get treated like one. Act like a punk ass b—h get treated like one.

  16. Natalie says:

    This article makes it sound like being female is some kind of disease.

    I'm a woman and I have no problem controlling my emotions, I would certainly never compare myself to a 3 year old or encourage people to accept that I'm just going to be an irrational bitch all the time. If you feel your hormones are making you that out of control it might be time to find a good doctor or a therapist rather than blaming it on your gender as if we all behave that way.

  17. D31 says:

    Sounds like a combination of narcissistic and borderline personality disorders combined. Learn about your mental health issues and fix them yourself instead of depending on others to cater to your whims. That is the only way you will be truly happy with yourself and others.

  18. Frank N says:

    Hamsters gonna Hamst.

  19. Frank N says:

    Unintended consequence of millions of women being on "The Pill"… only conjecture. But fundamentally messing with your hormones probably isn't the smartest idea…..

  20. Rawdog says:

    You're simply not worth it. I will either find another woman who is less trouble or be content without one.

  21. avery says:

    It sounds like you have borderline personality disorder. Or maybe bipolar disorder. You really should look into it. No man would stay with a woman who behaves like that. If you believe otherwise then you're kidding yourself.

  22. Sharkey says:

    Most of the traits you described in your article would be a perfect case study for Bi-Polar patients.
    It more or less describes women as childish brats who,if they dont get their own way all hell breaks out.
    Spoilt is the word that comes to mind.
    If this was allowed to run freely in a family home in front of my children I dont think this would be a very healthy or learning atmosphere.
    If any women really think this is ok then picture this,
    The man comes home from work after a bad day,the kids are screaming the house down,the wife is running around like a blue ass fly checking the kids and preparing the dinner.
    The man cant take it any more and shouts his head off and starts to put holes in the wall with frustration,picks up furniture and throws it around the house.
    Would any person accept this in their house from a child even,I think not.
    The point im getting at is this,women are emotional and men are physical.
    Men have to repress a lot of anger and frustration through their lives but most control it,can you imagine if his wife accepted his anger to be a quiet normal everyday reaction.
    If I had a partner who expected me to put up with your ten points and yet would not put up with my frustrations mainly because all of my partners 10 bad points would take up so much time,I would find this a bit unrealistic and highly unfair.
    So what your saying is that its ok for a woman to allow her emotions to run riot and for everybody around her to accept these tantrums as the norm,these are the very traits that female murders use to express their need to kill.
    Dont be an idiot and paint women with this kind of brush.
    Women are beautiful,loving,soft,intelligent and our best friends,not bi-polar adolesents that can do as they wish and men have to put up,play the game or move on or worse.
    Your article would in fact turn most males away from ever getting close to any woman.

  23. D.K.Schmidt says:

    This article and attitude "I am a bitch deal with it." is a copout, an excuse. If you have an issue talk about it. Communication is what it should be about for both sides. My wife and I trust one another. We know that we would never hurt each other purposely. If one of us is hurt that means we need to talk. We are both in our second marriage and we both learned what not to do from our "training" first marriages. We also learned what we needed from a partner. The next time you are a "bitch" stop and communicate it might just save your relationship.

  24. Theresa says:

    This is one of the most UN-insightful and backwards posts i've read on elephant journal and am surprised it was published here. We all suffer from stormy moods, but to say that one which is as characteristically aggressive and rude as being "bitchy" is, is okay somehow, and something that deserves empathy, and then to even go farther and liken it to a normal part of being a woman is very un-evolved. None of us are perfect and we all deserve compassion and empathy, but anyone in a healthy state of mind would also know the difference between compassion and idiot compassion. To let oneself be routinely on the receiving end of "bitchiness" would be a masochistic act. There is no way to be on the other side and not take it in in some form. An occasional rant which you apologize for, and take responsibility for, and try to learn from is one thing. That is human and deserves compassion. But to try to normalize it, and make it out to be some normal part of being a woman, is not only wrong and unhealthy, but perpetuates really unhealthy gender stereotypes. I really hope for your own happiness's sake (b/c you never will know a truly healthy relationship unless YOU own your emotions and dont expect others to)…and there is great joy to be had in equal and balanced relationships where you learn to express yourself fully and with respect…i hope you will let some of these comments really sink in to that place that hears truth.

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