Regulars and Shorts

Coach Jeannette: Transforming the jerks in your life

By Jeannette Maw

People are capable of more than we credit them for.
by Jeannette Maw
maw_douchebagPerhaps as an ironic precursor to Valentine’s Day, the second week of February is National Dump Your Significant Jerk Week.

No, I am not making this up.

Dump Your Significant Jerk week has been “celebrated” since 2004. Here’s your chance to unload with national support.

And there is something to be said for spotlighting an opportunity to resolve unhealthy and unsatisfying relationships. However, to imply the proper approach to improve things is to “dump the jerk” may be remiss.

How many times have you witnessed (or been party to) a situation where the names and faces change but the same relationship story plays over and over again? Just rotating out the players is not the answer. It’s more effective to arrive at the true source of where jerks originate.

And that’s within. (Does that thought make anyone else cringe?) To get to the bottom of what matters in experiencing healthy relationships, we start with ourselves.

Let’s get it straight: If we’ve got a jerk in our life, the best answer isn’t necessarily to erase him/her from our calendar, lease agreements or cell phone plans. (Although that may be called for as well.)

The best solution is to change what it was within ourselves that allowed the jerk in in the first place.

Like attracts like. Recognizing that we are the source of these traits and behaviors—either because we have them as well, or we have a deep resistance to them—is a powerful first step to releasing jerks from our lives.

So before you dump your jerk or encourage anyone else to do the same, let’s realize a couple of important truths when it comes to relationships.

The most important relationship we’ll ever have is the one with ourselves. All other relationships are based on this one . How you think of and treat yourself is a cue to everyone else—they will follow your example. You set the tone for how the rest of the world treats you.

In other words, you may be eliciting jerk-like traits from your significant other. If you anticipate it, expect it or even just notice it, you’re party to creating it.

Even the nicest person can’t be nice to you if you’re not in alignment with nice. If you’re used to jerks, you’ll find you have a talent for eliciting this quality from the sweetest of folks. (If you’ve ever found yourself acting strongly out of character, you may have been on the receiving end of someone else’s habit of expectation.)

When you master being good to yourself (in thought and action) and treating yourself with love, acceptance and appreciation, the rest of your relationships will reflect this tone you set through your primary relationship with Self.

If there is a True Jerk in your life who does not have it in him/her to be good to you, the laws of the Universe will require that they make their exit from your life as you drench yourself in loving vibes.

My experience, though, whether with boyfriend, boss or neighbor, is that it’s much more likely this previous jerk will transform to become a fan, supporter and lover of all things You. People are capable of much more than we tend to give them credit for! All we have to do is shift our vibe first. As author Louise Hay says, “If we really love ourselves, everything in our life works.”

So here’s the alternate (and much more effective) method for dumping the jerks in your life:

Treat yourself well. Like you would anyone else that you love unconditionally.

Stop seeing your jerk as such. Find a better-feeling perspective on that behavior.

Give the Universe room to rearrange. That means no clinging (to how things have been as well as to old perceptions and beliefs); we must be open to change. Give yourself and Universe a clean slate to work with. Magic will unfold!

Having said this, I am not opposed to exiling someone from your life who has earned it. This can be a powerful act of self-love.

Trust yourself to know.

No one should be expected to maintain relations with an abusive partner in hopes that if they just love themselves enough and change their perception, he/she will transform into Prince Charming or Mrs. Right. Someone who has crossed my personal line is shown the exit first and then I can do my Self love work in peace.

That may not be the approach another person chooses, which is why there are no hard and fast rules that apply to all. Part of loving your Self is to honor your truth, and no one can tell you what that is besides you.

What I propose this month is that we straighten out any significant jerks we may have in our lives by treating ourselves better than we ever have (in thought and action), and to cut our jerks some slack by practicing seeing them in a more positive light. (Unless your guidance is telling you that it’s time to part ways.)

When we treat ourselves well and imagine the best of others we may very well find the jerks in our lives becoming our favorite people. And I’m not making that up, either.

Jeannette Maw is a Law of Attraction coach and founder of Good Vibe Coaching in Salt Lake City.

This article was originally published on January 28, 2010.