Now I am the first to put my hand up and agree to what a funky awesome writer Greg Behrendt is. He has gotten me through many a tough time in my life and as a woman gives me the kick up the backside that I occasionally need. In saying that, I am going to spend this blog post adding my own touch to Greg's ‘He’s Just Not That Into’ philosophy.
I love this book and philosophy because it reminds me of my worth. It reminds me that I am worthy of a great relationship. It reminds that I have a life of my own, and regardless of the situation I should not spend my time trying to figure out whether a guy likes me or not. And on top of that, that I shouldn’t judge my worth depending on what his feelings are about me.
That’s all simple enough stuff for me, I get all that. What doesn’t feel right for me is when the philosophy starts to go into saying that a guy is an “arsehole” if he doesn’t call the woman, doesn’t want to be dating them, or be in a relationship with them. I can’t stand the whole ‘bitter woman’ mentality of “fuck him for not calling me”, or “he must be a loser if he doesn’t want to be with me”. I cannot and will not buy into that defensive, insecure, revengeful and bitter mentality. (Let me just state that the book doesn’t go into too much of that anger stuff but moreso uses it occasionally to motivate.)
The fact that a guy does not call does not make him an arsehole. It simply makes him a guy who chose not to call. Purely his prerogative. I think the issue is more with the woman if she gets defensive and angry about the fact that a guy doesn’t call. To react in such a negative way proves lack of self-esteem, and why on earth would a guy WANT to be with a woman who has the ability to be such a harsh bitch?
I’m probably going to cop it from women out there, but hear me out, I’m not done…
If I go out to dinner with a guy that I think I might like and I choose to kiss him etc, the fact that he doesn’t call doesn’t change the fact that he was a nice enough guy for me to want to go out with and kiss in the first place. He is still that same guy. He is still just as funny, just as attractive, just as personable, just as kissable. I would only debate that he maybe isn’t as smart as what I first thought because if he was then he’d be banging my door down right about now, ha ha. I’M KIDDING. He is still just as intelligent as he was before, and him not calling doesn’t change the fact that I still like who he is as a person and that I want to kiss him again given the chance.
What annoys me is those women who think that because they went to dinner, or because they kissed the guy, that they are now somehow owed something. He owes you nothing sweetheart! Man up!!
Therefore whilst I love the kick-arse parts of the book that motivate me to have self-respect and not settle for anything less than what I want in my life and relationships, I do not agree with the women who use it an excuse to become man-haters. Yes of course some men are going to be arseholes, just as much as some women are going to be bitches, all I’m saying is don’t buy into labelling people and getting angry just because the outcome wasn’t what you might have hoped for. Use every experience to help you clarify in your own mind what you do and do not want, and take responsibility for your own actions.
I love balancing Greg Behrendt’s philosophies with those from Susan Jeffers. Susan’s lessons, like Greg’s, are about self-responsibility and self-worth, but she comes from such a place of love and gentleness. A few of her books go into the idea of giving without expecting anything in return. She talks about doing things that you want to do, but doing it purely for the want of the giving, not for any receiving. The idea of controlling your own words and actions but not needing/wanting to control the words and actions of others. And if you feel disappointment if you don’t get the response you want, then not blaming the other, but taking responsibility and realising that it’s something YOU have to work on yourself. I LOVE that idea. Total self-responsibility, total self-control. It’s only ever about me! (Geez, I’m so self-involved, thinking it’s all about me, hee hee).
Susan also talks in her writings of a lesson she was taught by Ken Keyes. The lesson is to upgrade your ‘addictions’ to ‘preferences’. This is something that can be used by everyone in all relationships. Whenever we get frustrated by someone’s behaviour, whether it be a partner, a co-worker, a friend, or a family member, we have the opportunity to upgrade our addictions to preferences. In the example of the guy who doesn’t call, I might have a preference for him to call, but I do not need to be addicted to it, I do not depend on it.
So next time you get annoyed at your partner for not putting the toilet seat down, rather than going all psycho on him, change your addiction to a preference, i.e. you would prefer him to put the seat down, but your happiness doesn’t depend on it. Let go of control and learn to be more flexible. And if it bothers you THAT much, then you need to deal with your OWN issues about it.
(Also use this information to empower yourself. For example, if you decide that one of your requirements of a partner is that he MUST put the toilet seat down then take responsibility for your own happiness and find a man who DOES put the toilet seat down, rather than demanding it from someone who can’t give it to you for whatever reason.)
Anyway, back on track… I think it’s ridiculous that women (or men) get defensive and angry at the opposite sex and yet they claim they want a relationship. Let me tell you, if I ever dated a man who hated women and was bitter towards women I wouldn’t want to be with him. So why should any woman be able to claim that she deserves a man/relationship if she’s going to go around calling them arseholes just because they may not have lived up to her preferences.
My personal opinion, and that’s all this is, MY opinion only, is that it comes down to insecurity. In life and in relationships when we’re insecure we look for guarantees. I’m sorry to say it, but there aren’t any. As Susan Jeffers puts it perfectly “The only thing we can safely trust is our ability to handle what anyone ever does to us”. So rather than being addicted to another person’s behaviour and reaction, instead focus on trusting in your own ability so that no matter what happens YOU’LL HANDLE IT.
By all means I am not saying that I have mastered this yet, I am a constant work in progress. This blog isn’t about me preaching to everyone, it’s about my own personal growth and the lessons that I am learning and practicing along the way. And to finish my post tonight I will share with you one of my fave quotes from one of Susan’s books:
“We need to become adults in love. An adult feels secure, doesn’t blame, takes responsibility for his/her experience in life, isn’t rigid, goes with the flow, expects to contribute his/her fair share, keeps his/her word, appreciates and doesn’t take things for granted. An adult truly is an amazing picture of power and love”.
Or as Greg Behrendt puts it “The only thing less sexy than overwhelming need is shitting your pants”.