21. Men, well assclowns and Mr Unavailables certainly, have fairy tale ideas too. They build sandcastles in the sky and are seeking perfection and the moment that something pierces that ideal, they go off the boil and retreat to cold or lukewarm temperatures of behaviour. They believe that if you are special that things will be different and this is their yardstick for everything and their total avoidance of recognising their own contribution into relationships.
22. Part of the reason why Mr Unavailables, assclowns, and in essence ‘boundary pushers’ push for more from you, especially in the early stages of the relationship, is on the surface, they want you to prove your love for them. Unfortunately it’s a trap because in proving that you’re willing to go along with whatever they’re proposing, you inadvertently send some messages about yourself, and, their own issues means that if you go along with this, it sets of their panic buttons and they will blow cold or lukewarm to back away from any expectation created. And blame you.
23. If you imagine that emotionally unavailable people and assclowns have a ‘reset button’, you can start to get your head around why they blow hot, why you think things will be different each time, and why the dots in the pattern of behaviour don’t get connected. Many of us (and them) start over ‘afresh’ and this is why we (and they) don’t learn lessons and grow out of the experience. Starting afresh is another reason why expectations don’t get reassessed and illusions stay high.
24. Reassess what you think someone thinks of you or what you think of them, because if you are working off assumptions you will be very wide of the mark. More importantly, you need to ensure that your assumptions line up with reality. Case in point: when my mother and I had the big argument, she said that she had been saying and doing something to show me that she wasn’t someone who was untrustworthy. The problem though is that I hadn’t been thinking that she was untrustworthy so the assumption she made and her subsequent behaviour where she basically tried to show me how untrustworthy someone else was, were totally wasted.
25. The experiences that we have in life serve to teach us more about ourselves. If you keep repeating the pattern of behaviour, you’ll keep getting the lesson thrown at you, until eventually you get the message that putting your hand in the fire burns and change your behaviour.
26. Truth be told, Mr Unavailables, assclowns, and basically those who you are trying to extract empathy from, do not give a sh*t. Harsh, but very true. When you open up to get them to understand and ‘hear’ you, they just get confirmation that you have problems and they tend to give themselves license to continue their won bad behaviour.
27. But…stop telling people stuff to elicit empathy because they draw negative conclusions about you. There’s sharing and there is oversharing, and the wrong type of people deduce certain things about you and determine that they can cross lines and that you’ll be very accepting.
28. Be very careful of projecting your ideals about how you’d like someone to treat you onto someone else. The danger with this comes about when people speak negatively about themselves to you and you disregard it because when you speak negatively about you you want someone to challenge it and believe in you, so you assume that this is why the other person is saying it.
29. When people say negative things about themselves, warning you about getting involved with them, I suggest that you heed the warning. People don’t tell you they’re going to hurt you for a joke and this is your Get Out Opportunity because once they’ve hurt you, it’s a rather unfortunate case of I Told You So.
30. People lie and sometimes people say what they truly believe at that time. We’re all guilty of believing we can be and do more than we can be or do. The answer is not to get hung up trying to investigate why that person couldn’t be or do what they suggested; the answer is to reevaluate whether what they’ve actually been or done is what you want to stick around for.
31. We do like to believe that this time we’ll be different in a relationship and Mr Unavailable goes through the same thing. But unless he has dealt with his issues, the weight of expectations, both from himself, and from you, will become too much. He’ll be scared and because he’s been down this road many a time before, he’ll do what he always does and bail…or start edging himself out and managing down your expectations.
32. When Mr Unavailables and assclowns move onto someone else and do something with them that they didn’t do with you, always remember that the combination of two people creates a different relationship, and more importantly, you’re not there so you don’t actually know what’s going on.
33. When Mr Unavailables and assclowns significantly shift their behaviour with someone else after you, it’s also potentially because the power balance has tipped. This may be caused by the other person being the more ‘powerful’ one in the dynamic, or it may be that his own insecurity may have dampened his power and inadvertently passed it to her.
34. When people make a point of saying something about themselves a lot, I call it Those Who Doth Protest Too Much syndrome. When you really are something, you just are, and people that protest too much tend to be pretending to be something that they are not.
35. Your parents can’t replace your childhood but they can, if they want to, create a new relationship with you.
36. I have found that it is easier not to have any great expectations of my parents. There’s an Irish saying ‘Expect the worst, hope for the best’ and I’d rather be surprised than disappointed. It’s not about having no expectations but if we stop blowing smoke into things and acknowledge that it is what it is, it makes for an opportunity to get on with your own life.
37. I spent a huge chunk of my life wishing that my mother was different and my father was around – life is for living, not wishing and regretting. There comes a point when you have to accept that someone is how they is and learn to work with what you have, or walk away.
38. When you truly understand and accept that someone is different, you can adapt your expectations and behaviour around them, and they unwittingly have to adapt around yours. I’ve learned that I need to speak directly and firmly with certain people because if I am indirect or vague, they read between the lines and make up their own mind about what I mean.
39. If you consider how difficult it is for you to change, you can start to imagine how difficult it may be for a parent who may be set in their ways. At some point, you have to ask yourself how much you really need them to change in order for you to get on with your life.
40. When we pursue our agenda of seeking validation, retribution, an apology or whatever it is, there is a distinct possibility that you’ll either be in for a long wait, or what you thought you’d feel should the event occur is the anticlimax. If saying sorry or looking forlorn and apologetic was all it came down to, many Mr Unavailables and assclowns could win Oscars for their performances.