Monthly Archives: November 2012

Making Changes

Over the past year or two I’ve increasingly wanted to change some things about myself. To name a few, I’d like to be more forgiving of people who do wrong by me; more emotionally self-reliant (not needing other people to be happy and instead having my happiness come from myself); less prone to over-thinking and worrying (things I do a lot right now); and have lower expectations out of life and other people.

I feel like these things are all linked together, and all sort of come from a mindset of insecurity and such-like. I used to have anxiety attacks and I’m aware that many of the traits I’ve listed are negative thinking habits that contribute to anxiety issues

This isn’t the most coherent post ever from me.  My basic question is, how can one change such thought patterns? Especially when, as I feel, they’re rooted pretty deep in my personality? How can I go from being over-thinking and having overly high expectations to being more laid back? Sometimes I feel like I have a grasp on who I am now, and what I want to change to improve myself, but very little idea of how to go about doing that.

Anyways, I’d really appreciate any advice on this. Who knows?  Maybe I’ll get lucky and someone here can relate to this!

Perspective From a Guy

I don’t usually do this, but here is something one of my male friends wrote about going out alone as a guy.   I’ll post my response later, I just want to let this churn for a while right now.

Yeah, it’s hard to get past. I”m still pretty self-conscious about it if it’s a new place I haven’t been. I feel like the “creepy guy” and it messes with my head. But if I’m there with friends, it’s not like that at all.

Being with friends gives you a “home base” to return to when you need comfort. Go open a chick, she laughs at you and walks away, who cares, just go back to your friends and chill with them for a bit. No harm done, you’re still cool.

But if you’re alone and you open a chick and she laughs at you and walks away, lol, now everyone sees you get laughed at AND that you have no friends It’s like, reverse pre-selection. Anti-selection? It’s like, you can get hot chicks interested in you simply because they see you with other hot chicks. This is the opposite of that. When chicks see you alone and getting rejected by other chicks, they pre-reject you and you have even less of a chance

Sadly, that’s how it works a lot of the time. Not always, but a lot of the time. There are exceptions to everything, however. A lot of it is in your head, I think. If you go out alone and think you’re awesome, you’ll have better luck. But you have to actually think you’re awesome, not just pretend like it, because then that comes off as fake, and that can be worse than just being the quiet alone guy who sits in the corner with his beer and doesn’t say anything. But if you believe you’re awesome and you’re congruent with it, then you’ll have better success. In those rare situations when I’m confident, things tend to go well. When I’m faking it (deep down inside I know if it’s fake or not), they tend to not go as well. lol, I have had nights where I was such a nervous wreck and not having any fun because I was trying so hard to look like I was having fun Fake it til you make it Gotta sit a certain way, posture, body language, expression, do this, do that, slow movements, am I leaning back far enough? Am I drinking too fast? Gotta look like I’m a cool confident guy who’s having fun. But I wasn’t, my mind was going non stop But when you’re actually having fun, you usually do all that stuff subconsciously anyway so you don’t even have to worry about it. I hope that made sense. But again, that’s all better than sitting hunched up in the corner seat of the bar by yourself being afraid to talk to anyone. And even that is better than staying inside being afraid to go out.

So it’s like, going out alone can help your confidence, or it can further damage your confidence if you have a bad night and let it bother you and rationalize it as “well obviously I had a bad night, because I suck.” On those types of nights, I tried to look at it more as “well, ok it sucked, but I give myself props for going out alone and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.” So sometimes it’s just like little baby steps of progress like that. Even if you don’t talk to anyone (dudes or chicks), whether because you’re afraid to open anyone, or because no one wants to talk to you, at least you did it. Trying and failing is 10 times better than not trying and rationalizing. It leads to personal growth, I think. Seriously, some nights literally all I could do was just to cheers the dude next to me at the bar. I was nervous as heck to actually open anyone. I’d get there, excited, pumped up and ready to rock, and then it’s like BOOM lol i’m here by myself, everyone thinks I’m a loser, no one wants to talk to me, I’m just gonna go take my place at the bar and not bother anyone. So in that case, just cheersing someone was progress. Other nights, it’s like, I forget I’m by myself cuz I’m having such a good time. Progress doesn’t seem to be linear. Some of my best nights were followed by streaks of bad nights. You just gotta keep trying to make progress.

So it’s like… I’m way more conservative when I’m out alone. And I recognize that this is an ego defense mechanism.

And it’s all because I still care what other people think, although less than before. It’s hard to overcome.

Avoiding Negativity

Just to be clear, do not try to derive happiness and positive energy from your relationships (well, at least not romantic relationships). Doing that is a quick fix but will not work in the long run, and will make you dependent.

But you will find that relationships will be much better when you are a positive person.

It’s something I’ve been working on myself for the last few years.

As much as it makes me sound like a hippie, I’m kind of at a point now where negative people turn me off. Like I don’t even want to associate with them because they’re just bad energy. Even a super hot guy, if he’s just one of those negative people, it’s like… you’re bad vibes, get away.

And it’s not even a conscious choice, it’s like I actually don’t even want to be around those kinds of people.

Just to be clear, I’m a bit of a cynic. Cynicism isn’t the same as negativity. When I say negativity, I mean just like bad people, people who are in bad moods all the time and spread their bad moods to others.  People who after you interact with them, you’re in a worse mood than you were before. It’s just like ugh, I don’t even want to deal with that person right now.

It’s actually kind of hard to explain and I don’t think I’m doing a very good job. Hopefully you know what I mean.

Cynicism can actually bring good feelings if you frame it as a joke. That’s not what I mean.