Negative thoughts should fall by the wayside

Last night I had a long conversation with a coworker from my last job. It was one of those conversations where you don't speak to that friend very often so you have to give highlights of everything that's happened since the last time you spoke to her. I kinda hate that, but it is what it is. My old theory of friendships was that I had a very small number of friends in my 'inner circle', and everyone else existed outside of that. So lately I've been adapting to the concept of varying degrees of friendship.

But I digress. Of course the conversation turned to relationships and my recent dating efforts. I told her about the last date I went on, and how it turned out. We both shared our theories as to why it didn't go anywhere. Then, my friend brought up "there is a shortage of good men" idea.

For the last year or so, I've been careful to censor the information that comes into my brain. I purposefully don't watch the news, read the paper, or listen to talk radio. I've found that my outlook on life is much more positive, I sleep better at night and I worry much less and carry around a lighter load of stress from this news-free diet. On the other hand, my mother has faithfully watched the news every day, and when speaking with her she is a fountain of knowledge on recent news developments. Bless her heart, but its kind of annoying; whenever the terrorist threat level rises, some wacko protests in DC or she hears about a threat to the President, the Pentagon, or any DC landmark, she calls me in a panic. In my opinion, the high amount of stress, negative expectations of life and general pessimistic outlook have resulted from this. You may think its silly, but think about it: what good is knowing all that gloom-and-doom? How does being up on 'current events' (i.e., what the media deems newsworthy) really improve your life? Anything that is critical for me to know is often shared with me during elevator rides anyway. I always know when its going to snow or other events that are important to my life. Anything else is just left by the wayside.

And my friends know this. After the first six months of people trying to have the "did you see on the news" conversation with me, people often approach me and say "I know you don't watch the news, but did you hear about...?" What's funny, is that the person will pause to find out if I want to know before sharing the story. Most of the time I say no, and if its very important to them, they'll go on with the story without the pause, but won't get offended if I say I don't want to hear it. Or, sometimes being polite, I'll hear a small part of it, smile and say "that's nice" and go about my business. That's how I found out about that recent plane crash that resulted in no fatalities. Again, it was a heartwarming story, but didn't add any valuable information to my life, so was therefore not important for me to know.

Even though I've gotten good with filtering out the news-talk in my life, I'm slowly learning how to censor conversations that are not about the news, but about commonly-held negative beliefs. My conversation last night was one such time to put my censorship muscles to use. So when my friend began with the "I was telling my boyfriend about the ratio of women to men," I literally tuned her out. I started checking my email, putting my clothes away, and anything I had in front of me so that I did not pay attention to what she was saying. At a certain point, I said, "Ok lets talk about something else. I don't want to hear about this." When she asked why, I told her that I didn't want to focus on any lack of men going forward into the dating scene. I explained to her that what we think about has a funny way of popping up into our lives, so I want no thoughts of men who won't commit or of women who share unavailable men. I could tell she wasn't expecting that, and it took her a while to jump back into the conversation. But we moved on.

I want to think about the wonderful men who think I'm wonderful too; about the men who, right now, are envisioning the life they'll have with their wives and children; and the 'good guys' (not the nice guys!) who are ready to settle down and treat the women in their lives with adoration, respect and love. After all, any other thoughts should just go by the wayside. Any man contrary to that don't belong in my life, let alone my thoughts. Don't you feel the same?


crush'ed said...

First off, I’m going to develop my skills of tuning out to your level! :)

Second, there are plenty of good men out there; it’s just that (like the news) only the bad ones make the headlines.

If topic surrounds all the low value men then it’s going to feel hopeless like that’s all there is.
Keep focusing on your goals, Hun, since they are attainable!(it feels so natural to say that there are men out there who are ready to settle down and have children and yet all the negative talk makes it seem alien). Keep tuning out the negativity and go for yours! :D

Prosechild said...

Thanks!! And that's exactly how I feel - focus on low value will only highlight low value; but focus on quality will highlight quality. It takes practice, but tuning out saves your sanity, energy and self-esteem.