The Guide

Managing Douchebags, Recruiting Wingmen, and Attracting Who You Want


The Guide Managing Douchebags, Recruiting Wingmen, and Attracting Who You Want

Rosalind Wiseman Harmony, New York


Copyright © 2013 by Rosalind Wiseman All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Harmony Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. Harmony Books is a registered trademark and the Harmony Books colophon is a trademark of Random House, Inc. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data [CIP data] ISBN 9780307986702 Printed in the United States of America Book design by Illustrations by Jacket design by Jacket photography 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 First Edition


The Real Bro Code
Chapter One: Why This Book Is Not a Waste of Your Time Chapter Two: The Unwritten Rule Book Chapter Three: The Laws of Brotherhood Chapter Four: Douchebags 101 Chapter Five: Frontal Assault Chapter Six: No Man’s Land Chapter Seven: Making the Cut Chapter Eight: Leadership and Divided Loyalties Chapter Nine: Wasteland

Chapter Ten: What Are Girls Really Thinking? Chapter Eleven: When Girls Drive You Crazy Chapter Twelve: The Wingman’s Code Chapter Thirteen: Putting Yourself Out There Chapter Fourteen: Hooking Up and Sexpectations Chapter Fifteen: Outward Bound Chapter Sixteen: Princesses, Parents, and Other Relationship Pitfalls Chapter Seventeen: Betrayal, Breakups, and Revenge

Damage Control
Chapter Eighteen: Exile Chapter Nineteen: Problems with Authority


Chapter One Why This Book Is Not a Waste of Your Time

I have a friend who can’t lose at anything. The last time we were playing COD, he got so mad he stood up and yelled, “Fuck this!” knocked over a chair, and stomped out of the house. It’s ridiculous. The other guys in my group feel the same way, so we’re starting to do things without him. But it’s so stupid to drop a friendship over this. — Oliver, 17

I genuinely like playing hockey. It’s part of who I am. But in high school you can’t both be a jock and do anything else if you’re a guy. So if you liked two kinds of activities and one made you a victim and one made you cool, can you honestly say you wouldn’t pick the one that made you cool? —Jack, 16

My girlfriend just found out I cheated on her. She keeps asking me why I cheated, and I don’t really want to tell her the reason . . . that it had nothing to do with her and I just wanted to. I know that sounds bad, but it’s the truth. Now all of her friends hate me, and she broke up with me. Then she texts me. I’m so confused! —Kyle, 16

My friend’s parents just accused me of taking something from their house. My friend defended me, but how can I hang out there again if that’s what they’re thinking about me? —Victor, 17

How do I get out of the Friend Zone? —Every guy over the age of 12

I don’t know you. I don’t know if you can relate to any of these situations. I don’t know where you live. I have no idea if you like school or can’t wait to get out of there every day. If you have brothers or sisters, I don’t know if they’re incredibly irritating or you like hanging out with them. I have no idea if you like sports, or if you completely


hate them. I don’t know what kind of video games you play or what music you like. The list of things I don’t know is endless. But I do know this:

1. Guys are a lot smarter than most people realize. 2. Guys can have really complicated problems with their friends or families. 3. Guys sometimes say, “I’m fine, don’t worry about it,” when they’re really feeling the complete opposite. 4. Some guys love death and destruction. This doesn’t mean they’re crazy or mean. 5. Some guys don’t love death and destruction. This doesn’t mean they’re weak or weird.

Obviously, you have other people in your life. Hopefully, these people (parents, friends, family, friends’ parents, teachers, school administrators, coaches, girls, guys on your team, kids in your neighborhood, school bus drivers, random kids, etc.) are generally fine—meaning, they don’t go out of their way to annoy you or make your life miserable. But at some point you’ll probably experience a situation with one of these people that’s so irritating, unfair, frustrating, or stupid that you’re tempted to punch something. Except there’s a problem. However good it may feel in the moment (before your hand is throbbing in pain), three things are inevitable:

1. You’ll get in trouble. 2. At least one adult who has some power over you will be too mad at you to listen to your side of the story. 3. It won’t solve the problem that made you lash out in the first place.

What you have in your hands right now is an operations manual to tell you what to do when you run into one of these intense situations. Of course, you can have other types of problems. Like the kind you ignore, even though down deep you know you’re going to have to deal. This manual will show you what to do if another guy relentlessly


annoys you or you’re dealing with an adult who’s freaking out on you. It’ll give you a way to feel better when you’ve made a mistake and people won’t let you forget it. It’ll give you secrets to dealing with girl problems, like when they get mad at you and won’t tell you why. It’ll show you how to get someone to fall in love with you or how to break up with someone with minimum drama. Why should you listen to me? Here’s what you need to know so you can decide. I spend most of my time working in schools with people your age. My knowledge comes from hearing stories from all different kinds of kids. I believe that teens should get realistic advice that accurately reflects what’s going on in their lives. I don’t have all the answers, but I think what teens are going through is important and deserves respect. A few years ago, I wrote a similar book about girls called Queen Bees and Wannabes. You may have heard of it, or of the movie based on it, called Mean Girls. I still work with teachers and parents, and for years I’ve thought about writing a book for guys like Queen Bees. But for some reason (like I was intimidated, didn’t think I could do a good job, and didn’t really want to expose myself to a potential huge failure), I kept putting it off. I knew I couldn’t write this book by myself. If it was going to have any chance of being good, guys were going to have to help. As soon as I started asking guys if they were interested in a project like this, I was amazed by the response. Over hundreds of guys from different backgrounds and schools said yes. Athletes, theater kids, loners, anarchists, they’re all here. They answered my endless questions, read the chapters, and told me when I was wrong or what I needed to add. Why were they doing this? It wasn’t like they were getting school credit for it. Here’s what some of my guy editors said:

I feel that helping people in bad situations I’ve already been in is a duty. — Mathias, 16

I want to be part of something bigger than myself that will make a difference for our gender and my "peers." But also because I feel like our "Guy World" is something that's been kept in the dark for too long. —Victor, 17


I wrote this book so guys like you could be better prepared. So you could see problems on the horizon instead of when they come up from behind you and knock you on your ass. Since you can’t be prepared for everything, the book will also help you even if you get knocked down and it feels like someone wants to keep you there. Here’s how the book works. First, we’re breaking down the basics of what the “Bro Code” actually is. Second, we move to friendships and conflicts among guys. Then we talk about girls, and finally we go into dealing with adults. In every chapter, the editors chose tough scenarios to highlight for you, and then we (the editors and I) came up with the best strategies to handle them. One thing to note: a lot of guys care about attracting girls, so part of this book is about helping with that. But gay guys need and deserve the same level of advice and support, so I wrote this book with that in mind as well. Chapter X is specifically written to address some of the issues gay guys deal with—especially with their straight friends, but the relationship advice in the other chapters applies to any guy regardless of who they’re attracted to. To avoid confusion I sometimes use the pronouns “she” and “her” based on the specific problem—but this isn’t meant to imply that those sections are only intended to address straight guys. The reality is, no matter what, two things are true: 1) No matter who you’re attracted to, things can get weird, and 2) Gay or straight, you’re dealing with girls in some capacity, and that has its own set of particular complications. Throughout this book, when I touch on topics that are closely related to other sections of the book, I’ll point it out so if you have a pressing issue, then you’ll know exactly where to go and you won’t waste time. If and when there’s something going on in your life that’s bothering you and you aren’t sure what to do, this book may help you. Read it when you need it. Last thing, does your mom or dad or any other adult relentlessly ask you questions and you’d like them to stop? How about your parent refusing to believe you when you’re telling the truth and then believing your brother or sister who lies to their face? Would it make your life better if someone told them what being a guy today is like without you having to tell them the private details of your life? Well, in addition to writing this book for guys, I also wrote a book for parents (and any adult who works with guys) called Masterminds and Wingmen that explains all of this to them. Those guy


editors I described above also helped me with that book, so they told me exactly what parents needed to know. It tells parents when to back off and when and how to talk to their sons. So if you read any part of this book and think it’s worthwhile, please tell your parents to read Masterminds and Wingmen. I’m trying to change the conversation about how adults talk about guys, and I need your help to do it.


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