Douchebags are everywhere. Even inside of us.
When someone you’ve cared for and loved effs you over, betrays you, treats you like
you can do what I do.
You know, take yourself and your problem too seriously, and make a mess of things, horrifying even those who love you and have your back.
Or, you can do these 10 things.
1) Hold that grudge. Everyone’s always saying “let go,” “don’t hold your grudge.” “Forgive.” Tell them to shut up and go back to reading their Tony Robbins. ‘Cause fuck that. Holding a grudge feels sooo good. It’ll keep you warm in the wintertime.
But hold that grudge loosely, lest it burn you.
I never let go of a grudge ever. I’ll forget what I had for lunch before I forget what Michelle did to me in first grade recess.
Talk about it to anyone who will or won’t listen! Bring it out like an old baseball bat or sword you’ve got to polish from time to time.
Never forget: but! And here’s the clincher which will make all of you hippies happy:
Easily forgive. Good advice re: ex-boyfriends, ladies! Good advice re: ex-girlfriends, gents!
So: don’t forget. Don’t ignore. Don’t forget. But do forgive. Do move on.
Editor’s note: this might be really bad advice. Want to jump ship? Check this out, instead.
2) Do you fantasize about being a Gaiam-ish Yoga Journal-ish Whole Foodsy airy-fairy spiritual type? Have you lost hours to Pinterest that you don’t even want back? Go ahead: you can pretend to “let go” of what he or she did to you. But you won’t. You’ll spend 1000s of daddy and mommy’s dollars on therapy, and yet your old patterns and grudges will still reassert themselves in new relationships and situations. So: end that bad karma. Here. Now. Stop trying to force yourself to let go. See #1. Never forget: but easily forgive.
So: don’t let go, but move forward. Don’t let the past slow you down. Don’t hold that hot stone. Anger harms only he or she who holds onto it.
But, as in yoga, contradictions are healthy. So, even as you forgive, don’t forget. Don’t let said crazy person or selfish person or aggressive jerk get away with stuff. Talk about what they did to whomever will listen: if they actually did it and you’re not the crazy one. Sit out front the general store, chew your pipe, and sing Scottish ballads about how bad they are for all to hear.
3) Get all Godfather One about it. Treat your enemies with respect. Real respect. I mean, dress up for them. Precisely pin that lapel pin. Precisely tie your tie. Hitch your hosery up extra high. Sit up straight and smile at them, and mean it. Offer them tea. Your best tea.
In. Other. Words: keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. Your enemies can be your greatest teacher—or they can ruin your day. Day after day. Your choice.
You know, this is about you. This is about you and your heart and your equanimity. Your enemies can give you indigestion, and make you shiver and shake with fear (they’ve done so to me), or they can make you smile, sadly, because you know there’s nothing more they can do to you, and they are in actuality just ruining their own potentially-wonderful life.
Hey! Pay attention. Never forget: you may not like being around your enemy, but your enemy has to be around themselves allll day long. Even if they think they’re getting away with their predatory douchery, or their crazy stalking, they know, deep down where their soul used to be, that they’re covering up their basic goodness out of insecurity and fear, day in and day out.
4) Tired of reading?! Sit up straight, buddy. This is about wrangling that monkey off your back. This is about maitri. This is about caring enough to end their influence on your life that you’re willing to read the words of one’s who’s been trained by the best, is even more stupid than you, and has nevertheless learned his way out of the Swamp.
So: wish Mr. or Miss Hater the best, and mean it. Hope that they meditate, and practice tonglen, and sort themselves out (and leave you alone). But don’t let them off the hook. It is your duty to let others know what they do and not let them get away with it: whether they’re Madoff or a predator or just plain crazy or malevolent. And if it sounds like I already said this it’s true: I’m just saying it in a different way so you’ll listen, this time. I care too much about you to see Mr. or Ms. Who May Not Be Named continue to have any power over your mind.
5) Protect yourself. No, you didn’t just click a safe sex ad.
Retreat. You’re the Russians, and they are Hitler. Burn the livestock. Burn your home. Retreat. Retreat until Winter comes. Leave them nothing to react to. Don’t be nice to them. Don’t be mean to them. Retreat. Visualize yourself as Captain America’s fucking shield.
Don’t give them new fodder for bullying, jerking, douchering. Mean people suck. Don’t descend to their level. Mud gets everyone dirty, you know. Don’t get back at them.
7) Have confidence in your own glow. Not in the New Agey sense. Love yourself. Okay, get New Agey about it, just for a second. Hug yourself. Let yourself feel your own raw, tender, genuine heart of sadness.
Okay, enough. Sit up straight, but relax. Don’t let them get in your head. Do your thing. Bang on your drum. Keep being your fabulous self.
Next time you see her, don’t look her in the eye. Don’t make any expression, except perhaps the kind of expression you get when you go to drink some nice scotch or sake and a fly kamikazes in it and you decide to drink it anyway.
Next time you see him, don’t look him in the eye. Don’t give him anything. But you know. You’re awesome, and the awesome in you can’t be touched by him. Forget him.
Yes, I skipped #6. But I gave you a #2a, and besides, who’s counting. If you are counting, we’d like to hire you to join our editorial team.
8) Etc. I ran out of ideas after #1. Which is good. ‘Cause that means you don’t have to remember anything. All you have to remember is: breathe deep. Sit up. You’re awesome. Move on. Feel the anger. But don’t let it burn you. Surround yourself with good friends you can talk to. If you don’t have good friends, go to a cafe. Make new friends. Talk it out. Meditate, twice a day. Go for a run, or any kind of exercise you actually enjoy. Don’t listen to anybody, especially people who write top 10 lists and can’t even think of 10 fucking things.
Also, if you see me, hug me, and I’ll hug it out with you. I love you. Unless you’re a douchebag, or a crazy mean person. Then: leave us alone.
*with thanks to Emma for the brainstorming help.
Anything else I should add in terms of your experience fending off evil people?
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July’s Full Moon in Capricorn: The Heart wants what it Wants. The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. How to Love a Woman who Scares You. Our Soulmates are Rarely Who We Expect. I Still Think of You. Men, Let’s Stop Fooling Ourselves: Size Matters. To the One Who Tried to Break Me. An Open Letter to the Fixers. How your Stored Memories in the Amygdala can lead to PTSD. How My Sister’s Death Transformed my Self-Perception.