Ten Things NOT to Do When I’m Being a 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).

That is correct. I will never not be a bitch.

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 rollercoaster 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.

We’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 3 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 3-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.’  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 OK. 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?”

That 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.

 

 

6 Thing Men Should Get About Women.

Newsflash, men: It isn’t all (always) your fault.

I recently received an amazing email (names and other identifying information have been changed), and it had me realize just how much confusion there is when dealing with the fairer sex:

“Hi there. I stumbled upon your blog and thought you might be a good person to turn to for advice, so here goes. I met a very intelligent and attractive woman at a lecture a few weeks ago. We had been talking for about a half hour and really developed a great rapport. We had even made tentative plans to meet for coffee sometime.

Then things suddenly went downhill. There was a pause in the conversation and since she had classic curves (large bust, narrow waist, etc.), I commented that she had a “really nice hourglass figure.” My intent was to be complimentary and a little flirtatious but instead she became deeply offended. I went into damage control mode and tried to clarify my comments but the more I talked, the more I exacerbated things as she rolled her eyes and shook her head. She told me I was being “inappropriate” and that she was “very disappointed” and then whap, she slapped my face and departed.

My reply:

“She slapped you!? No, I don’t think you should email her an apology note. I think she should email you one!”

read more

Grounds

I want a divorce.


Why? Cause I put a camera


in our damn bedroom!


 


Dreadful

Things every man dreads:


crying, meetings, in-laws, and


“Can we just cuddle?”


 

Belonging

Just because a place

 

or person is familiar

 

doesn’t make it home

 

 

Q&A

Questions one never


wants to ask one’s friends or fam:


Where’s my car? … and ex?

 

 

There Is Nothing Wrong Here

[Note: This is a guest entry by my good friend and powerful woman, Sandy Rosenblatt.]

I’m just going to come right out and say it: I am 38 years old and I am single. I have never been married and I do not have any children.

If someone had asked me two years ago, two months ago, or even two weeks ago, I would have said that something was very wrong here. I would have laid out my entire last relationship and breakup, sobbing and asking, “Where did I go wrong? How did this happen yet again?” And, “Why can’t I let go of this relationship??”

I was hanging onto it like my favorite comfy sweater. Except the sweater was now so stretched out, it looked like I was wearing a sack with a bunch of holes in it. I was frustrated with myself: Why couldn’t I just let go of that damn sweater – throw it away for good so I could wear a new one that actually flattered my figure?

If you’d asked how life was going to look while I was growing up, I would have given answers full of hope and aspiration. At 4 years old, I was going to be Wonder Woman; at 10, an Olympic swimmer and the first female pro baseball player; at 16, a professional photographer living in a loft in New York City; and at 17, I was going to be on Saturday Night Live. My answers would also invariably have been this: I will be married to the man of my dreams and have a family.

So when did all the dreaming stop? When did I give up on myself?

My father left my mother when I was 7 years old. Afterwards, my mother told me that not only did he leave her, he left both me and my sister. At the age of 7, I created a huge fear for myself about people leaving me. Then my mother became sick and angry, and I became her outlet: she took her rage out on me both physically and verbally. Since that time, she has apologized numerous times and I have forgiven her. My father has also apologized. Yet here I am, 38 years old and still afraid of someone I love walking out the door.

I’ve been told that we don’t choose our jobs or careers – they choose us. I have both a career and a job. My career: I’m upper management in an assisted living facility for people who have Alzheimer’s and Dementia. My job: I’m a dating coach, and a damn good one at that. The irony is unmistakable: I’m in a career in which I take care of people and help family members let go of their loved ones on a daily basis. Yet here I am, unable to even let go of my last relationship. When I was a child I decided I wasn’t being taken care of; to make up for that, I now take care of others.

Not only that, I also coach people on how to find the loves of their lives, partly by becoming aware of where they are getting in their own way in the area of dating. And I’m passionate about the area of dating, an area in which finding the love of my life is my only dream. Yet here I am, 38 and single.

When I was 35, I began to take a hard look at my relationship life. What I saw was this: I was 35, single, and I was the only common thread in every relationship I’d ever had. I also saw that I’d consistently chosen men who verbally abused me. In other words, in my relationships with men I was always recreating my entire childhood with my mother. When I discovered this, I made a decision: I was going to choose differently the next time.

Choose differently I did. I chose a man who was loving and kind. I chose a man who was funny and friendly and whom everyone liked. I chose a man who could give. The only problem was, almost three years later I discovered he could only give so much. As the relationship progressed, he admitted to me many times that deep down, he was all about himself. While he treated me well and loved me, it became apparent that he would always choose what he wanted first, and do what he wanted to do, when he wanted. (And I’m not saying anything he didn’t say to me himself).

We had a good run. We went on great vacations. We learned how to compromise. We learned how to forgive. We created amazing dates and adventures for both of us as a couple. We had amazing sex and most of all, we created love. We discussed being together forever and I really believed I could finally have it all: marriage with my best friend.

Then, two weeks after Valentine’s Day of this year, we broke up. I had to move out of the home he owned that we called “ours.” I had to say goodbye.

This wasn’t easy. In fact, it was close to impossible. I could not and would not let go. For over two months I lived in complete misery. I kept thinking, “There is something wrong here,” and, “What is wrong with me?” Not the most empowering way to live.

However, it was the misery that led me back to looking at myself. Not from the perspective of, “There is something wrong here,” but with a new pair of eyes. I started to look at my life with a pair of eyes I hadn’t used in a long time: eyes that told me I could be Wonder Woman, an Olympic swimmer, the first female baseball player, a photographer and on Saturday Night Live – maybe even all at once.

This is what I saw: I saw a woman who actually stood up for herself, three relationships ago. When I finally got that I didn’t want to be with a man who constantly yelled or punched holes in the wall, it was me who decided to leave. I let go of that old sweater.

I saw a woman who chose to let go, two relationships ago. When I was with a man who was mean and manipulative, it was me who decided to get out. I let go of another ratty old sweater.

And when my last ex – yeah, that “nice” one – finally got that he didn’t want to marry me and began to mistreat me, kicking me out of the house while drunk in the middle of the night because he was mad at me, saying he was saving for an engagement ring but also that two dates a month with me was too many, tweeting and changing his Facebook status while out but not calling or texting to say he wasn’t coming home – I stood up for myself again. I told him that if he couldn’t treat me the way I deserved to be treated, he should let me go. He apologized, and then he did let me go.

What I failed to see these past few months was that I, Sandy, consistently stood up for myself, and that that was an indication of something bigger. I wasn’t just a victim – I was an active participant. When I didn’t get the treatment and respect I wanted and deserved, I let go of the old sweaters. In a way, I had been choosing to forget or ignore that I was strong, that when it wasn’t right, I had stood up for myself and left. I was, in fact, not abandoned, like I’d felt when I was a little girl.

I write this now with my new set of eyes. Here is what I see: there is nothing wrong here. I am strong, I am enough and most importantly, I am choosing my freedom. I’m free to choose to tell someone to let me go. I’m free to love another man who both wants and deserves my love. I’m free to let another man love me. I don’t know and in some ways don’t even want to speculate about what’s next for me. I’m choosing the unknown, letting go of how it will go, and electing to be OK with that – no, not just being OK with it, but embracing it. I am choosing my own freedom. And within the choosing of my freedom, I’m confident I will have everything I ever wanted for my life.

I’m just going to come out and say it: I’m 38 years old and I am single. I have never been married and I do not have any children. I am choosing my freedom and there is nothing wrong here. In fact, everything is exactly how it is supposed to be. And that makes me happy – and free.

 

Remembrance

Girls want to know you


think of them more than just when


they’re in front of you