I don’t know how many of you struggle with negative self-talk from time to time. I’m sure we all do at some point. Even the most positive and happy people sometimes have to battle their minds. The human mind is a brilliant but sometimes difficult thing. This was especially true for me Tuesday night. After coming back to my apartment from spending a weekend with my parents, I decided to mill around on Tinder. I initially swore off using any dating apps since I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about online dating. But last month, on the advice of a friend encouraging me to do so, I signed up for it. I was just looking to chat with women and make new friends. And if I happened to hit it off with one of them, I’d cross that bridge when I got there. So far, I haven’t had much luck. I’ve chatted with a few women on there, and they all seem nice. But nothing has really gone anywhere. I haven’t heard back from any of them since when I first interacted with them.
This got to me big time on Tuesday night. I just remember getting no likes back and thinking, “Why would any of these girls like you? You’re unattractive. Ugly. And you don’t have a job yet. Why would they give you the time of day, you bum?”
Unless someone knows how to get to me, I think I have a pretty thick skin with strangers for the most part. But I just remember getting emotional, and seeing the reason I wasn’t getting any interest from anyone, as something wrong with me as a person. Not my current situation, but me as a person. Like I wasn’t cool, or I was unworthy of anyone’s company or love. I felt small. God that hurt. Sometimes my mind isn’t always the happiest place. Sometimes it holds me hostage…
But after calming down, and stepping back from the situation for a few minutes, I asked myself a few questions and answered them honestly. “What are you feeling?” I’m feeling angry at myself for not being good enough, and sad because no one will talk to me. “Why are you feeling that?” I’m feeling this way because no one wants to talk to me on Tinder when I’m being my usual, friendly self. And the last and most important one: “Is there any truth to what you are telling yourself?” And that’s where my mind shut the hell up with the negativity. The truth is, there wasn’t any legitimate reason I was feeling this way. I just wasn’t examining things closely or being kind to myself.
After I realized I couldn’t answer the last question with a “yes.” I started boosting myself up with what I knew to be the truth: I am not a bum. And I am certainly not a loser. And anyone who doesn’t want to hang out with me or be my friend (or girlfriend) is missing out. Not me. I’m doing just fine without them. I recognized my positive qualities too. I am a decent man who loves people. I love helping people have good days or feel better. I have a sense of humor that could put most people in stitches when I get rolling. And I have a genuinely caring personality, and am naturally suited to looking after my friends, family, or that special someone if she is there. That’s who I am. Not who my mind sometimes tells me that I am.
I also began to truly see how a lot of women are on Tinder: A good chunk of them are so vain. They’re not looking for anyone as a friend or boyfriend. And they certainly aren’t looking to talk to or interact with anyone. That would require effort. They merely want an ego boost from all the right swipes they get. And why in the world would I want to be friends with, or date a woman like that? I wouldn’t. And chances are, if I did talk to someone like that, she’d probably be dumber than a bag of hammers and not very nice, no matter how physically gorgeous she is!
It felt freeing to break out of the negative mindset, realize my positive qualities, and see the truth. My self-worth is not tied to whether or not women talk to me, or get to know me. On Tinder or anywhere else. Who cares what they or other people think? Why would I give their negative opinion of me (if they have one) a second thought? They don’t know me, and so their opinion of me is probably way off anyhow.
I leave you with two pieces of advice. Not just for finding and making friends, or finding that special someone, but for life and self-esteem in general. One: In a situation where you find yourself plagued by negative self-talk like I did, ask yourself the three questions: What am I feeling? Why am I feeling it? Is there any truth to it? If you find yourself answering yes to question #3, ask and answer a fourth question: How can I change my situation to be more positive since I don’t like it? Then act.
My second piece of advice is this, and I am going to put this in bold letters so it’s easy to find and remember: Your self-worth is not tied to anyone’s opinion of you. Let me repeat that a bit more forcefully. Your self-worth is not tied to anyone’s opinion of you. EVER! Your self-worth is tied to your positive qualities, and the good things you can bring to the lives of others. And if other people cannot see those positive qualities, they’re not meant to be in your life, and you wouldn’t want them anyway.
We all bring positive qualities to the lives of those who know us. God made us this way. And it is awful that more people don’t realize this, or that they beat themselves up like I did Tuesday night. Remember YOUR own positive qualities, and be happy with the life you’ve been given. Man is God’s greatest creation. And you are no exception. Chances are, the right people will see that you know what you bring to the table, and gravitate toward you once they get to know you. For anyone struggling out there: Chin up, be yourself and move forward. You’re pretty damn cool! 🙂