As promised when I originally announced this year’s Black Perspectives series that’s been going the last few days — when I’m not writing about that, I’ll be talking about matters of the heart in February. This brings up my titular theory (I figured we could all have a little “fun” with this one). Let me break it down a bit for you all.
[Going to stamp a big ‘ole “TRIGGER WARNING” at the start of this one just to be safe.]
What the Title IS and IS NOT Saying
There’s some nuance in the title of this post that I’m guessing some people caught immediately, but others may have been hijacked about – so I want to spell it out to make sure we’re all speaking the same language.
This title isn’t saying that, “No man is crazy,” nor that, “No woman has bullsh*t.” Believe me – some men are, and some women do.
This title also is talking about default settings that I’ve observed.
All the while, thie title is NOT saying that these settings last forever or are irreversible.
Oh, and one more thing…
A Note to Those on the Receiving End
In the event that you find yourself as a recipient of some crazy or bullsh*t behavior in a current relationship, I want to tell you a few things…
You don’t HAVE to put up with it. You aren’t a saint if you put yourself through the crucible of a person who is selfishly displaying any of the behaviors I’m going to discuss below – and you aren’t a bad person if you end that relationship. Sometimes separation is what’s best for you both.
If you are choosing to stick it out — here’s the unheard “thank you” that you may never get from the other person (at least right now). You are taking a chance and allowing someone else a chance to grow because you trust something there. That investment takes caring. So, kudos.
But… Don’t forget about YOU in all of this. There’s selfishness, self-love, and self-preservation. All of them exist for a reason, and sometimes you have to choose one.
Now… let’s get into the rest of the post as it relates to the title.
What’s up with THESE Defaults?
I was about 6 or 7 years old the first time I saw a woman throw multiple bricks through a man’s car window. The block was very entertained that afternoon. At the age of 8, TLF rapper Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes (RIP) unintentionally burned down the home of then-boyfriend Andre Rison. Since then I have been privy to arguments where women throw things; heard about a lot of property being destroyed (I’m talking fully bleaching someone’s clothes and shoe collection); glass and doors seem to be a favorite thing to break; Britney Spears cut her hair off; Taylor Swift writes her songs; Solange beat up Jay Z in an elevator; yadda-yadda… You get the point. Sounds a little crazy.
I have definitely known a few men who seemingly cheat on their significant others with pride; I have known possessive men; I have known men who are verbally abusive; I have seen and intervened in one man beating on his woman publicly; I know men who deny they’ve fathered certain children; I know men who refuse to get a job; I have friends who have had male stalkers (but, and I stress this, I don’t personally know anyone who openly admits to stalking); I know dudes who feel like they need to fight everyone and everything; I know male alcoholics; etc., etc. — you get the point. Some bullsh*t.
I also know people of each gender who have done something that falls into the other’s camp (hey, I’ve seen “jealousy” make the best of us turn into very bad versions of ourselves), just not to as high a degree as I see these “default” settings run or be admitted to. Does that make sense?
While I definitely don’t think every woman out there is some insane ticking time bomb walking around just waiting to explode (some of them NEVER do), I know that they can get pushed there. And while I definitely know that every man isn’t on some bullsh*t and refusing to get his sh*t together — I know a lot of us are- and do refuse to do so.
You can’t 100% say that one is leading the other down this path either because women date women, and men date men, and trans dates trans, and gender-fluid dates gender-fluid — you get what I’m saying? You can’t just outright say that men cause women’s problems and you can’t say that women cause men’s problems. Things aren’t that black and white. As I stated earlier, there’s nuance.
BUT — these emotions are definitely triggered by SOMEONE (is the point), and we all have a tendency to lean into our “natural” (in quotes for sure) instincts.
Nothing Lasts Forever (Most Times)
Have no fear, though! There are definitely ways around all of these little traits I’ve talked about, otherwise, we wouldn’t function so well as a society.
Either they meet somone who takes the time to learn and understand them well enough to figure out their crazy points and not push them there…
Or they deal with no one and never have those crazy points triggered in the first place…
Or they get balanced out by someone who is equally crazy — essentially cancelling each other’s spirits away and forming some semblance of harmony.
What some people would call growing or maturity, I call coping. Some of us just learn how to cope with the baggage of bullsh*t we carry…
Or we get with someone who is willing to deal with our bullsh*t (for some reason) and we care enough about them that we try to keep our bullsh*t in check…
Or we stay single, so no one has to deal with out bullsh*t except for us.
Or – and this is for both – you never grow out of this natural phase and you terrorize everyone else around you 😅 I only say it because it’s true.
We have terrible blinders on when it comes to our own behaviors and just may not see when we exemplify either trait of this combo (craziness or bullsh*t) or both!
Theory: The Key to All of This
The key to resolving, or at least navigating-, everything I’ve listed above is self-awareness.
No one can just point these traits out to you. They are faults in all of us, and – chances are – won’t come up in a complimentary way. Most people (stressing the word “most” here) are TERRIBLE at taking criticism of any kind and will become defensive.
So… What options do you have?
Well, Self-Reflection is always an option. This skill would require you to face up to the fact that many of us don’t like to be left alone with our thoughts, let alone judging our own actions — but you’d need to be objective. Look at past events and examine what you DID, not how you felt. Just review your actions, don’t justify them. And once that’s all said and done, truly meditate on questions like: Am I the problem? Could I have responded to that better? Did I really have to do [insert thing], or was there another way?
And then be honest with what you find from this exercise. Picking on myself, I know that I can be overbearing and that I offer too many of my honest (NOTE: “honest” – not “correct”) thoughts in an unsolicited fashion (like this post – haha). I KNOW these things about myself, so when I interact with people in general – not even just in romantic pairings – I ask myself whether or not I get the vibe that this person can even deal with my base-level bullsh*t. If I don’t think they can, I don’t even take it there. Our relationship will remain surface-level.
You can also interview an Ex or your friends. While I’ve been brave enough to ask my friends about my worst qualities before, even I’ve never been bold enough to hit up an Ex and ask her what I did wrong. Ugh. But — I know of people who have. I have seen some influencers online kind of famously do it. Is it awkward? Hell yeah. But it’s also very instructive.
If you can’t honestly face and deal with whatever you pull out of the two options above… Don’t bother. Trial and error and grow as a person until you find a compatible soul who is properly calibrated to your default, or leave the rest of the peaceful folk alone until you sort out your craziness or deal with your bullsh*t.
Those are my random thoughts, but they’ll definitely influence your relationships and complicate or simplify matters of the heart. Is this just February venting? Probably. Haha – yeah, very likely. But I think this one holds true. So, keep your crazy down (unless the person you’re with is into that kind of thing) and handle your bullsh*t, because it just makes life easier for everyone.
I approach these topics somewhat lightly in this post, but I also included the trigger warning because some of this stuff isn’t “just annoying”. Some people take their traits too far (and I’ll leave it at that), so – yeah – figure that part of your life out, peeps. We are all flawed.