10 Ways to Handle Douchebags who Ruin your Life because they Want to be Happy at the Expense of Others.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Oct 10, 2013
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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.

A bad swamp: like the one in Princess Bride, you know?

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.

Move on.


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?


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


25 Responses to “10 Ways to Handle Douchebags who Ruin your Life because they Want to be Happy at the Expense of Others.”

  1. Erika says:

    Living well is the best revenge. Cliche, but sometimes cliches are cliches because they are TRUTH.

  2. yoga freedom says:

    Hilarious. Good advice and witty, too. Thank you.

  3. elephantjournal says:

    Amen! Great one.

  4. Rachel says:


    Its taken me awhile to learn that disengaging can be the most compassionate response…
    And in our world, some times we have no choice but to interact with those that do not respect us as human beings.

    Thanks so much for this today! I needed it

  5. Kayla says:

    I will be reading this a few times…

  6. Bonanza says:

    Ditto Kayla. Perfect timing. Going on the fridge. And on the bathroom mirror. And above my desk at work. Might just get it tattooed on my forearms.

  7. Amy says:

    Waylon, you're just awesome. Thanks for all that you share.

  8. shawna says:

    Retreat and never surrender!

  9. Charles says:

    Thanks this great and needed!

  10. Jypsi says:

    Yes indeed, 1-4 ppl in every 100 is a sociopath, and there’s also all the narcissists. These people cannot change, they have no empathy. No point trying to fight them, they’ll always win. Because they’re evil. They have no empathy. Vote with your feet. Just walk away.

  11. Lucy says:

    I would love to hear any insights on how to do this when it can’t actually be over because the toxic people are your co-parent and his new partner, and they are toxic to your young kids and you can’t get away. No, court won’t help, it’s all nasty emotional manipulation shit that’s impossible to prove, and courts don’t want to care if nobody’s physically injured.

  12. Jennifer says:

    This is the best article I've read in a looooong time. Going through a divorce from an abusive narcissist and love the advice about smoking a pipe, sitting outside a coffeeshop and telling anyone who will listen about his douchbaggery. Inspired to write a novel with his name on it, even moreso than usual. Thank you, Waylon!

  13. Betty says:

    Vote with your feet. I've never heard that before and it is fantastic!

  14. inga says:

    Thank you Mr. Lewis. well done,,,,,,just the perfect measure of sweet and sour,,,,,,

  15. karen says:

    i hear ya, lucy. i always come across tips that SOUND great but won't work in my ex-husband's case. so i try to live by what maya angelou said: "if you don't like something, change it. if you can't change it, change your attitude about it."

  16. Amr says:

    I love it. I found some words hard to understand unless using old dictionary.
    Finally, I found the clue. It doesn't really matter to find the answer as much as you find the clue. thnx

  17. buckeyebabe says:

    I loved this article…I was victimized by a sexual addict who is now an online pervert and he used me and my house to watch tv when he was in my state and made me believe we were in love for over 5 years, he proposed to me when he was married to someone else while playing a victim and telling me he was a victim of hers and his first wife, all the while I ate it all up thinking he was so into me…in hindsight I realize what a FOOL I WAS, however I was so BLINDSIDED by my FIRST diamond ring and his realistic mannerism I was seriously believing ALL HIS LIES and he was also thrilled I happened to be bisexual so I blame ALL THIS ON MYSELF cuz he thought he was going to get some serious action…when he didn't he bailed on me and said I didn't appreciate him and stopped paying my rent and went off on a sex site to try to find men and women to screw en route of his trucking deliveries…I got arrested in some false charges and lost my kids and have had so many probs since I have met him I am now on MENTAL DISABILITY…he has wished my parents dead, made my kids go away, and I am now so mental imbalanced I have nightmares every single night and I cry almost all day every day due to feeling like a piece of shit cuz I feel unloved and unworthy OF LOVE because of him. My son has become a heroin addict and I am practically begging GOD to take me so I don't feel this pain anymore. NOBODY should feel this type of mental abuse or suffer from this type of sickness and all I did was BELIEVE IN HIS LIES, MAYBE I AM JUST A STUPID STUPID PERSON but he should be ashamed and he isn't….I will go to jail if I mention his name because he actually called the cops on ME for harassment cuz I am trying to WARN ALL THE MEN AND WOMEN ON THE SEX and DATING SITES about him…his OWN CHILDREN HAVE HATED HIS GUTS EVER SINCE THEIR CHILDHOOD and what he did to their mother and she KNOWS he need mental health and meds but YOU BE THE JUDGE…im SICK NOW and waiting for GOD to take me into his loving arms cuz I need someone to love me…I wish like crazy I could tell you all this asshole's name but seems like the cops are protecting this guy who is a truck driver…so please ….beware of men with that job…is all I can say without being in trouble myself…sorry AMERICA..i thought freedom of speech would allow me to warn you..but he's got a cell phone and is on a sex site a maybe a dating site and is from MICHIGAN OK…..don't get with him…he is good lookin too…and can play the victim role really well…do NOT BELIEVE ANYTHING HE SAYS

  18. Guest says:

    This isn't sex therapy.

  19. K.K. says:

    Love, love, love this. I came upon it yesterday, exactly when I needed something like this. Thank you, Waylon. Namaste.

  20. isabelle says:

    I'm in the middle of this now. No close friends to share with. Yesterday, I told him I needed time and space. I can't deal with his anger and rage. Those are creations of his, not mine. But under that anger and rage is a person I love but know I need to let go of. I hurt right now and could use whatever support this community has to offer.

  21. D Clare says:

    LOL this is so darn true! thanks for saying it so well! I'm still laughing……

  22. Lisa says:

    I love this. Sheer adoration. Forgiving works wonders…forgetting is impossible lol.xo

  23. susan says:

    Oh man do I need to follow your advice , sooner than later.

  24. Gretchen says:

    Wow. This was great – just the right mix of empathy/validation and tough love to stop feeling sorry for yourself. It can be hard to feel empowered when others work to make you feel powerless. I often just crumble when faced with that adversity. This is great advice on how to give yourself a healthy dose of crumbling followed by the grace to not let someone crush you. Thank you. I needed this today.

  25. Bl br says:

    Well done. Empathy, comedy, & common sense for a world missing so much of it.