The guy texted a few hours before our fourth date. He asked if we could postpone by a half hour because he got stuck at work.
Of course! I responded. No problem, and added a relaxed-looking emoji. How normal folks do.
Then I grabbed my journal and wrote, verbatim, is he with someone else? does he want to break up with me and this is his gentle way of doing so? does he not like me?
Members of the Peanut Gallery Chorus of Crazy (PGCC) exist in our minds. They’re participants in a life long bullshit-artist-in-residence program. Some are overachievers. Others slack off.
Clearly, I’m saddled with an active contingent. If you are, too, understand it’s pointless to argue with them.
Instead, be dazzled. Be wowed. Be blown away by their grandiose undertakings. They need some attention. Otherwise they lose it.
Upholding peace with the PGCC is like handling conspiracy theorists (You’re right, the moon landing was a total hoax.)
drunks, (Well, you’ve got my vote, come November.)
or preschoolers, (Yes, sticky-fingered monster. You went down the slide. Amazing.)
Appease, appease, appease.
Then leave when they’re distracted.
In practical terms this means—carry a small notebook.
Write down all upsetting feelings. Straight up private scribbles. Not even full sentences. Simply: this is what I’m feeling. This is why it hurts.
Each fucked-up guess about peoples’ motivations. Every nut-so fear.
No matter how bat-shit crazy they sound. Particularly if they’re bat-shit crazy.
Regardless of the paranoia they imply. Especially if they’re paranoid.
Much like appeasing the real crazies in life, your goal here is validation. Address the PGCC’s feelings so they feel heard and you can go back to normal.
I got this idea from creative entrepreneur and writer, Jon Westenberg.
His method, which he credits with salvaging his business and relationship, is to “write down every worry, and every thought, and everything that’s making me feel as though my work sucks and my world is crumbling. I write with total abandon…it’s almost a complete rant.”
Westenberg’s done this exercise for years and now has a pile of notebooks. “They’re full of reminders, about who and what I used to be and could have been. They’re everything that I’ve slowly pruned, every poisonous weed that’s wrapped itself around my brain.”
If you’re in the mood, it’s amusing to reread your fears later and compare them to reality. Because you’ll never guess what happened when I met up with that guy
…hope you’re seated
we had a great date.
True, we’ve since parted ways, but one problem at a time, ok?
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