By Javinne J. McCoy
Update: Although I don’t post as frequently as I would like to or as I use to, I am never short of day-to-day insights about emotionally unavailable folk that swirl around in my head. Sometimes there is just not enough time to get them all down (besides, it being tough to balance blogging and my career)-not easy.Nevertheless, until I find a consistent posting schedule that works for me, I will post sporadically and that is fine by me for now. So anyway, I woke up in bed one morning and it appeared ever so clear to me, like a big darn cartoon bubble, “Some Guys are Just Jerks!.” (Insert “Guys/Gals” whatever applies to you.) The very thought of this was so liberating. This is going to be a long post.
Okay, so let’s dive right into The Real-T!
I began thinking of my readers who in the past have emailed when in distress about the shady Love Antics™ that they experience with the men and woman they are involved with. As for my readers, they are always the ones over-accepting responsibility for another’s poor behavior and wondering what the hell is wrong with them that they attract emotionally unavailable partners. I know I often take the stance that you need to accept YOUR responsibility, change your behavior, become empowered, and make healthier, and different relationship choices, if you want to get out of the cycle of emotional unavailability. I STILL firmly believe this. Here is why-The very nature of an emotionally unavailable pairing is about a grave power imbalance (often YOU are the one that has given your power away so freely to another human being whom AIN’T even worth it. Not to mention, in healthy relationships you never have to give away your power to make it work.). That is why for the most part I believe in reclaiming your power base and dealing with your own head and ISH first before you can have a healthy relationship.
Dating can be harsh and is not for the faint of heart. When it doesn’t work, sometimes it is just NOT your damn fault. Sometimes people are people. Sometimes people are mean-spirited. Sometimes people like to play games. Sometimes people will get involved with you not even knowing what they want (but they figure they will try you on for size just to pass time). They may want to see if the relationship you are offering will fit like the slipper made for Cinderella. However, later you may discover that they are using you and projecting their relationship fantasies on to you. They know the proverbial “slipper” would never fit on you because to them you are one of the step-sisters in the Cinderella story instead of the actually DIME piece-Cinderella (In other words, in reality they just can’t and won’t value you. Instead they will lead you on and later devalue you and mess with your head). You have to understand something about people……
Sometimes people that are emotionally unavailable are simply just Jerks.
Yup I said it- Jerks. As a noun, a Jerk is a person who is either a) not well liked or b) who treats other people badly (check Ms. Merriam Webster dictionary). It is their Modus Operandi. It is what they know. Now I am not saying all EUPS (Emotionally Unavailable Partners) are Jerks.
BUT…………I am saying that……
ALL JERKS are EUPS (Let that marinate).
The Jerk or Jerkette is a pernicious subtype of the EUP.
This is not about you. It is totally about them. Take a sigh, exhale, and let this truth sink in and set you free. Let it release you of the tendency to accept responsibility for people’s poor behavior. Let is release you from your fear of being alone. Also, take listen to a song by an artist named Kim Stockwell called “You Jerk”-use this as your inspiration when your spirit has been crushed by the unkindness, unfairness, and antics of a Jerk or a Jerkette.
As I look back at all of my experiences with EUPs, I noticed an eerie pattern emerge- MOST if not all of them had this really effed up mean streak (Sadly for me, all but one of them was an EUP that was not a Jerk-he was just emotionally unavailable). Many of the EUPs I have dealt with were just so darn mean-spirited and enjoyed interactions that always gave them a “one-up” on me. I began to wonder and came up with the insight there are sub-types of EUPs. The Jerk or Jerkette is a sub-type of EUP. A special breed of EUP that will make your head spin and hair turn grey quickly.
Not every one of them was this “wounded soul who wanted healing or wanted a healthy relationship”. (Side note: If you are still stuck in your unhealthy dependency/co-dependency you will cringe at reading this because you still believe you can save the world and that everyone wants to be healed, wants a healthy relationship, and can change. That is a crock of poo to be honest! Straight up! No chaser!)
Most of them enjoyed the “push-me-pull-me” dynamic. Some of them were really titillated by the “back-n-forth” dynamic. Some of them enjoyed withholding love and fairness in the relationship because of their own insecurities. For some of them, having power over another human being was the way they learned to love. Some of them actually enjoyed the feeling of omnipotence that having control and power over another provides.
The healing from the pain of emotionally unavailable relationships begins by seeing things for what they are and NOT how you WISH and HOPE they are.
So next time you go on that date with him or her, and find yourself baffled at their consistently absurd behavior, take a step back, and consider this- maybe, just maybe, you are dealing with a Jerk or Jerkette – an EUP (Emotional Unavailable Partner) subtype.
Jerks are always emotionally unavailable and have a behavioral pattern that is outright inappropriate and dysfunctional. The way they act, speak to you, and will treat you, often leaves you scratching your head going “What the EFF is wrong with this guy/girl?” You are baffled that a human being can relate to others so poorly (If you are co-dependent/dependent this is the hook that will keep you engaging with them and trying to change them for you-DON’T DO IT!).
Here are some tips on spotting a Jerk or Jerkette. Remember to stop thinking something is wrong with you. Maybe it’s them. Don’t try to fix them. Just spot the signs, BIZZOUNCE the hell out of there and make it your mission to only associate with kind and decent human beings who are making due diligence to have their ISH together.
5 Signs of a Jerk/Jerkette
- They are a jokester, comic, like to joke around, keep things “light”, and just say plain stupid ISH.
In fact, they should have their own feature on Comedy Central-the Corny Edition- because more likely than not most of the crap they say is not funny at all. Sadly, the “playfulness” of it all and the constant “joking” around is always at the expense of another- you or some innocent bystander. Humor is essential in life. However, If you are dealing with someone who makes “Jokes”, “plays around”, or makes inappropriate comments at every 10 minute interval, they are giving you a glimpse of how they deal with life and relationships- as a joke, and one big ole’ stand-up routine. If you don’t consent to their joking ways, they may call you “oversensitive” “too serious” “too uptight”. This is a huge crimson red flag. They are trying to break you down and get you to accept what any healthy person would not accept-their mess. Constant joking and “playing around” is a behavioral pattern that some people adhere to because it helps them NOT DEAL with reality and uncomfortable things. Hence, the emotionally unavailable component-NOT DEALING. If you are out there in dating land and he/she can’t come up for air from all of the “jokes”, you should let the joke be on them and leave the show.
- They directly or indirectly imply that you are “too sensitive”, “too needy”, “too uptight” “too serious” etc.
Jerks have a way of what I like to call Priming You for Their B.S.™ They will make comments about you directly or indirectly, that subtly chip away at your self-esteem, make you feel less than, and set the stage for you to begin to think something is wrong with you, or that you have a problem. The best way I can illustrate this is by sharing the phone conversation I had with a Jerk EUP that I briefly entertained in the past. He was always implying I was “too sensitive”. These accusations always occurred after making inappropriate comments that where so out of pocket because we did not know each other well enough from him to go there. You will see what I am getting at. Below is a transcribed phone conversation we had in the past that I remember verbatim:
Him (The Jerk): “So do you have any siblings?”
*This question was innocent enough. No worries here. So far, so good. Right?
Me: “Nah, actually I don’t I am the only child”
Him (The Jerk): “See, I knew it!”
*All of sudden, this is where a simple conversation takes a left turn with a Jerk or Jerkette. At this point I am thinking “Know what? What could you know? This our second phone conversation. What the eff?” Notice how this statement from the Jerk immediately sets the stage for the other party (Me) to be in defensive mode.
Me: “Um, what do you mean?”
Him (The Jerk): “I can just tell you are the only child-selfish, want things your way, all about you. I can see it (he snidely chuckles)”
*This is where your head starts to really spin with a Jerk. At this point I am thinking “Wow this guy is really a piece of work. He is really Mr. Percepto. After two phone conversations, he learned I am the only child, and somehow starts to tell me all about myself without having the facts to back up his assumptions because HE DIDN”T KNOW ME. )
Me: “Um, you don’t really know me to go there”
*The Jerks behavior is always absurd and at the expense of another. First off, if you are trying to get to know someone, the idea is to build a good rapport by highlighting their strengths, being kind, and not making assumptions-this is just basic human decency. However, it is not so basic for The Jerk. Jerks know they are Jerks and are really not that nice of a person. Chances are they have burned many of people with their verbal swords and poor manners. However, from their perspective they are really a nice person who has simply come across a lot of “over sensitive” people who need to “relax” (In other words accept their ISH). They always oversell themselves and their capacity for “good”.
Him (The Jerk): “Yo, chill out and relax. You are really uptight and too sensitive. You need to lighten up and have fun.”
*Here is where the Jerk’s Priming You for Their B.S.™ begins. If I had shaky self-esteem, I would have begun to doubt my initial gut feeling that his comment was inappropriate and unkind. This then would lead me to reconsider my stance on what I know to be good relationship building skills, versus crappy ass people skills. If I doubted myself at all during this Jerk’s rant, I may have back-tracked and agreed with him and apologized for being “too sensitive” and “too uptight”. Ironically, he then would get the message that his behavior is acceptable. I would have essentially reinforced his Bull*&%.
Me: “I am 30 years old; I don’t have time for this. Have a good night.”
*The best way to deal with a Jerk/Jerkette is to DISENGAGE. Notice how I did not spend a lot of time explaining to him why his comments were inappropriate. Jerks DON’T CARE. They like to have a battle. They like combat. They like a fight. They like to have a “one-up”. They like you to get worked up because this means they mattered enough to have an impact on you. They are thinking-“Mission accomplished”. The only way to treat a Jerk is to DISENGAGE with them because to continue to engage their Bull*&^%. is a complete waste of time. You just need to remind yourself there are people out there who are effed up and when you come across them don’t psychoanalyze them. Know what you know. See what you see about them and DISENGAGE. Your blood pressure will thank you.
- They have very tight boundaries, but trample on yours, and they hate boundaries. Jerks are masters at what I like to call creating The One-Up dynamic™. They will be very clear about their own rules of engagement and their boundaries are always tight as heck. Jerks won’t tell you this but they like to be in control. So they will slowly chip away at your boundaries while keeping their own tightly intact-giving them the power-base and a “one-up” on you. For example, you may notice that they are consistently late when you make plans-and if you say ANYTHING about it you are being a nag. They will insist that you need to “lighten up” and tolerate that behavior. If you are a person who respects people’s time and your own, you will do your best to show up MOST of the time and on time. It should never be okay for people to continuously let you down by being late. This is a boundary. Point. Blank. Period. However, a Jerk will continue to do the same thing and expect you to accept this. When you allow the same crappy behavior to continue, you will eventually reinforce poor behavior and lower your standards and boundaries. You never want to do this with a Jerk. Jerks hate boundaries because they set limits on their effed up behavior. Set a boundary and watch how they act. If they get miffed right away and keep dishonoring your boundary they are sending you a clear message (Make sure the boundary is reasonable though. I am not talking about Cray Cray boundaries rooted in your insecurities).
- They have a mean streak.
As mentioned before, all of the Emotionally Unavailable Jerks™ I have dealt with had a terrible mean streak. If they felt under pressure in the relationship or I was getting too close, they would hurl subtle, and sometimes direct insults, and criticisms that were aimed at slowly chipping away at the integrity of the relationship and/or my self-esteem. Here are some of the comments that have been hurled my way from former Jerks I have dealt with:
- a) “You will be single for the rest of your life. No one will want you”
- b) “You are crazy.”
- c) “You are physically unattractive”
- d) “You are a nag”
- e) “Are you deaf? Do I have to text what I said to you for you to understand?”
- f) “ I wasted 1 year with you. What a waste you are”
The list goes on………
If you have ever been caught in the cross-fire of the verbal daggers that a Jerk or Jerkette throws, your initial thought might be ‘How could someone be so cruel?’ You may also get really angry if you liked them, or felt strongly for them, and then want to lash out and retaliate. DON’T DO IT! If you retaliate with the same energy when you are dealing with a Jerk who verbally assaults you, you simply justify how right they are in their mind. They already have a deluded sense of their contribution and responsibility to any dysfunction and WILL NOT ACCEPT any responsibility for their poor behavior. However, if you lash out they will be sure to highlight how mean YOU are being to them and give you a nice mind *#% (insert the F word here)-they will flip it on you so that they are the victim.
- They only want things on their terms and will criticize you if you don’t comply with their terms of engagement.
Now, this is something that an EUP will do too. However, the Jerk or Jerkette takes it a step further and they will treat you badly without the bat of an eye-no remorse. A straight-forward EUP will also want things on their terms, in an attempt to control the relationship and situation, but the may feel bad about their behavior on some level. The Jerk or Jerkette has no such remorse and will label you “difficult”, “selfish”, and “high maintenance” if you object to their absurd, rude, and downright inappropriate behavior. When you come face to face with a Jerk your self-esteem is the greatest factor that will determine how you handle them. You have to know that it is okay to have your boundaries and not accept the inappropriate comments and/or inappropriate behavior from a Jerk- DISENGAGE and silence their mess.
Next time you are dating and you come across someone who likes to play games, enjoys jocking you around, and mistreats you, consider that you may be dealing with a Jerk or a Jerkette. Please stop accepting responsibility for the poor behavior of others. Step into reality and see THE REAL for THE REAL. Some folk are just plain inappropriate, play too much, don’t take anything seriously, like to have control over others, enjoy playing games and the list goes on…
Give yourself peace of mind and release yourself from toxic people and relationships. Beware of the subtype Jerk/Jerkette EUP. Some folk are just not nice. Make it a priority to connect and vibe with people whom are kind and respectful of you. Save you the pain and drama. Let the Jerk or Jerkette face themselves without you in the picture-Disengage from their crap.
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