~Friday, June 10, 2011

Automatic Negative Thoughts

I've been fighting back sadness all week, telling myself it's hormones, or maybe it's sequela of my hypothyroidism. But I'm losing the battle against the funk and it's either write about it, or drown it in beer.

There are two incidences I can't stop thinking about. The sad thing is, they aren't even recent; neither of them occurred within the last month. They didn't bother me at the time, but now the words are running through my mind like an endless string of train cars: He isn't attracted to you. I don't like you. He isn't attracted to you. I don't like you.

Several months ago when Schmoozer and Katie had first started dating, he decided to bring along his best friend to one of our little meet ups to set us up. Only Schmoozer is a dude. A dude who chose to introduce us after my kickball game, so I was dressed in a unisex t-shirt, gym shorts, a ponytail, and a red, sweaty face. NOT THE TIME TO BE MEETING DUDES. And I didn't know he was bringing his friend, so I had no chance to prepare.

I had no chance at all. Schmoozer's best friend is gorgeous: tall, slender, chiseled face.

Schmoozer had been telling me about him over the months: he dates younger girls because he's so pretty, but Schmoozer thinks someone his own age would be good for him. Someone who is outgoing and would drag him out of his shell. Someone who wouldn't put up with his bullshit, because he tends to be cranky. At the time, Schmoozer thought of me and he introduced us.

His friend left the bar booth to use the restroom. I swatted Schmoozer's shoulder. "He's cute!"

"It wouldn't work out."

"Why?"

"Because he's angry all the time."

"Oh no, I wouldn't want that." I sat there in silence for a minute, thinking about Schmoozer telling me about the guy and his sudden appearance at our little outing. I remembered I had left the table earlier, leaving them alone together.

"He's not attracted to me, is he?" I asked suddenly.

"It just wouldn't work out," Schmoozer repeated.

"Because he's not attracted to me."

Schmoozer didn't respond. It was all the confirmation I needed.

At the time, I shrugged it off. I was still online dating. I had just joined a new kickball league. It was his loss and I truly believed it. At the time.

Only I've been spending a lot of time with Schmoozer and his bestie lately. Happy hours. Workday lunches. Parties. And I haven't been out on a date in months. And the kickball season ended after everything blew up in my face. And he's still gorgeous.

And every time I see him, I'm reminded that's he's not attracted to me. It's such a defeating sentiment. There's nothing I can do about that: I can't change the curve of my chin or the tilt of my nose.

We've been e-mailing the past two days. Yesterday it was entirely in French. Or rather, he was having a conversation with me in French and I was having a conversation with Google Translator and a Dollar-to-Euro converter, despite having hosted 2 French teenage boys for the summer during the 1996 Olympics.

Today he's e-mailing me with a plot to mess with Schmoozer. But every time his name appears in my inbox, I read I'm not attracted to you. It's wearing on me.

The other incident that occurred was with Hot Douchebag. And really, with a name like Hot Douchebag, I shouldn't be surprised with how things turned out. But after several conversations and games of flip cup at the weekly bar, I sent him a Facebook friend request after he popped up in my "People You May Know." Why, yes, Facebook, I do know him!

The request went unanswered. I saw him a week later and told him I friend-requested him.

"I know," he said. "But I don't know you."

"She's right here!" piped up my girlfriend, who used to sleep with him.

"And what I do know about you, I don't like," he finished.

Yeeeeeeeeeeesh. That was humiliating.

We have a ton of mutual friends and people ask why I visibly stiffen when his name is brought up. Because that dude hates me, that's why.

Last night I was at Screen on the Green and I see him approach with his girlfriend. We eye each other across the field and I quickly look away and smiled at the person next to me. Mutual friends get up from our blankets and invite him over and he's walking toward me and all I can think is I don't like you in beat of the step he's taking towards me. We eye each other again. I look away again. I don't like you. I don't like you. I don't like you...

A few weeks ago when these thoughts first started, I removed myself even further from the dating game. Not only am I not dating, I'm no longer flirting. There's no point. I'm neither attractive nor likable. I'm just going to sit out like a fat girl in gym.

And to be fair, I'm not telling the story where the girlfriend of one of my kickball buddies approached me on her own with the idea to set me up with one of her guyfriends, who I'm told is cute and also a writer. Intellectually I know I'm not a social pariah. I know I have made other friends. There will be other guys.

I just can't stop these automatic negative thoughts from circling my mind. The damage I'm doing is to myself. They only said these things to me once. I'm saying them to myself on repeat.

25 comments:

anna said...

the best part about your post is that you are aware of your negative thoughts. that is step one.

so have the thought. look at it. ask yourself if that thought is really true. ask yourself if you would say what you are saying to yourself to someone you care about (the answer is no). then let the thought go. rinse, repeat as necessary.

it is difficult and it takes time, but you are on the right path.

keep your chin up.

freckledk said...

Ugh. I'm sorry. Do your mutual friends know what Hot Douchebag said to you? I know you don't want to make waves, but there really is no reason for him to have been so rude to you, and it kind of sucks that you had to share blankets with someone who made you feel so crappy.

Not everyone is going to think you're hot, but not everyone thinks JLo is hot -- and SOME people EVEN think Marc Anthony is hot, crazy as that may seem.

Don't let the haters get you down. Love thyself as we loveth you! xo

Denise said...

The whole time I was reading the part about the cute guy and Schmoozer, all I could think is that he was saying that because he didn't really want you to date him. Almost territorial seeming - does that make sense?

And maybe hot douchebag doesn't like you cause you kicked his ass in flip-cup. Maybe he's just insecure like that = douchebag.

Maura said...

We must be on the same train, headed into sadville. And for whatever it's worth, I like you.

Red Stethoscope said...

Eww! First of all, hot douchebag is exactly that...a DOUCHEBAG. Who cares if he doesn't like you, because we don't like him! NEXT! As for Schmoozer's best friend, remember that his first impression of you was all sweaty-faced. But, now he's emailing you in French? Even if he doesn't want to make out with you, he definitely likes you. And, sometimes it is better to be liked for who you really are than for your pretty made-up face!

... said...

It's so easy to spiral, I know that from my own hypothyroidism. It feels like you have no control, you are just spinning down the drain and it all feels real.

But it also passes. It's a moment...be in it, and move on from it. Having a blog to get it out helps too :-)

Vegas Argot said...

I have no idea why that comment above didn't have my name. It was me, sorry!

MissM said...

I know this feeling well. Sometimes we just have to let ourselves be sad for awhile. And then we have to make ourselves snap out of it.

Dellers said...

Self-awareness is SO exhausting! Not everyone is going to like you or be attracted to you and that's just life! You're fab and should be proud of who you are and all the friends you have! To hell with the rest of them!
Seriously!

TC said...

I'm with Denise: he didn't want his friend to have you.

And douchebag has the name he has for a reason.

Anonymous said...

Sarah,

The great thing about getting older, is one day you will realize, "I don't give a fuck". It will be the most liberating moment of your life. Once you don't give a fuck, some amazing things can happen. You will meet amazing men. Nothing is more attractive than a woman that is so confident she does not give a shit about whatever anyone thinks of them. Sorry for the filthy language. Hugs.

Breeza said...

I'm with Denise and Anonymous. Who gives a crap about Hot Douchebag. He's a waste of space.
And self-awareness is good, but try to stop the negative thoughts from even forming. I have a positive thought I try to interrupt my negative thought with and it helps. xox

J said...

Holy shit. I wish I could punch hot douchebag in the face for you. What a fucking asshole. The fact that he said he doesn't like you only confirms the fact that you're awesome. Lame, horrible douchebags always dislike the awesome people.

As for Schmoozer's friend: been there. It sucks. Sometimes I remind myself of the inconsequential reasons why I'm not attracted to some guys (they remind me of someone, or I don't like the way they smile, or something else equally lame), and I remember that the feelings may be reversed. That it could very likely have nothing to do with my basic appearance.

And it also helps to keep a mental catalog of all the men that clearly DO think you're hot. Try not to focus on what this one pretty boy may or may not think. You're awesome!

V said...

Negative thoughts are not easy to control. I'm trying to do so right now and failing.

:(

MissLizSaraB said...

Good on you for understanding that those instances do get to you and do make you unhappy.

Hot Douchebag is definitely just that; he doesn't have to like you but there is no need to be rude about it.

As for SCF (schmoozers cute friend) he clearly likes you and maybe he's only attracted to younger girls or girls who don't play sport - doesn't make it your fault and a new guy friend is sometimes better because at least you know he won't fuck you over!

x

however happy said...

My heart goes out to you. I can say from experience that you probably won't forget those comments, but you will stop playing them in your head every day. I had a friend set me up with this cute guy, we chatted on FB then when we met in person, he just plain said I was "too big" for him (size 8/10?!?) and left. That was over a year ago, but I still think about it sometimes.

Try not to forget all the people who ARE attracted to your personality and your looks. Two people's comments don't determine who you are.

Oh, and if you figure out how to get out of the funk, let us know! I've been in one for months and have also given up flirting/dating. You can do it!

Lipstick and Playdates said...

I so identified with this post, being I am experiencing the same feelings. I made a total ass out of myself on a date with a guy I really liked. After a cordial e-mail (nice meeting you), he has yet to follow-up or respond to my e-mail. It's sad, but there is nothing I can do. As hard as it is, I I need to let go and move on.

Aritza, Goddess .. said...

Man, they suck. The non attraction thing can happen.. Although it's never fun to hear it especially from someone you're attracted to. But really the douchebag thing is incredibly rude and hurtful. I hate him for saying that to you, you're a very likable person and he's an ass. If you're really not feeling it, it's quite alright to take a break from dating.. Only do it when you feel like it, otherwise it just won't work. Smile :) you're beautiful inside and out!

jo said...

ouch this sucks. first of all, bout hot douchebag. well you said it yourself, he's a douchebag. he probably doesn't like you 'coz you wouldn't let him get away with being such a douchebag.
as for schmoozer's bestie, maybe only goes for those sweet young things. there are guys who always go for that. maybe he can't handle a woman of his own ages.
but yes, i totally understand that sometimes you just go through these funks and can't seem to get the negative outta your system. but i'm sure you'll get there. just take it easy and at your own pace.

Kate said...

You sound like a great person who's fun to be around!

I totally agree with J's comment. What Hot Douchebag said was inexcusable, and I wish it were easier to disregard the opinion of someone who obviously has no social graces whatsoever.

I also agree with J about Schmoozer's friend. Rejection got a lot easier for me to take once I started thinking about honestly great guys who just weren't quite right for me.

I hope you feel better soon!

Erin said...

I'm sorry that the Douchebag guy lived up to his name. There are always people who don't like other people for no reason at all. It says more about his maturity level, or lack of it, that he would judge someone before really knowing them. You don't need it.

Simmarah said...

I agree with a lot of the comments. Firstly, I think you shouldn't beat yourself up over these dumb dumb men. I understand it's easy to get caught up in the negative whirlwind, heck, I get in a funk sometimes too.

The best way to get over the craziness is to find what you are truly passionate about and find re connection in your daily life with a hobby or a goal.

Amazing things can transpire!

Bathwater said...

I can not imagine someone saying something so rude. Usually something like that comes back on a person. Ignore it. You can't change when a person doesn't like you.

Charlotte said...

It's normal to have these sad thoughts every now and then--but do not let them defeat you. Boys. These won't be the last and when you meet someone special who loves you for everything you are, these guys will only be a fading memory.

Isn't THAT reassuring??

You can do so much better :)

Anonymous said...

:( Sorry babe. It'll probably stop popping in your brain after you've had some more positive experiences. These two guys do not define you, or any other man that does dig you.

-dont

 

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