Stinking Thinking of The Gay Single And How To Overcome It

Stinking Thinking of The Gay Single (And How To Overcome It)
Introduction
“Guys suck! Im never going to find a decent one who wants more than a one-night stand!” “All the good ones are taken!” “Im not attractive enough to land myself a boyfriend” “Gay men and relationships just dont mix. Why even bother?!”
Do you ever think such thoughts? If youre single and on the market for a boyfriend it certainly can be easy to get jaded and develop these and many more pessimistic thoughts about the gay dating scene. Especially when it seems like youve done just about everything to promote your “dateability” and consider yourself a “good catch” yet still fall short of accomplishing your goal or vision negativity can seem to just flow out automatically as you vent out your frustrations and try to make sense of the injustice of it all. But while it may seem natural at times to move toward this way of thinking in your upset one must be very careful trudging in this territory because it can be detrimental to your well-being.
Negative thoughts or “stinking thinking” as Grandma used to call it are a leading culprit in such conditions as depression anxiety anger and low self-esteem. Cognitive-behavioral theory posits that what you think affects how you feel which affects how you act and then they all interrelate with each other creating vicious cycles that build upon the other. This article will help you identify your own negative thinking traps and teach you some strategies for combating them so you can construct a more optimistic positive mental landscape that can surely help boost your quality-of-life.
The Power of Self-Talk
So if what you think helps determine how you feel and act those pesky negative statements that opened this article will surely lead you down the path of the “blahs.” Self-talk is that little chatter we all have going on in our heads that comprise our thoughts (youre not crazy! We all have it!) Thoughts stem from our beliefs which are our deep-down in the gut views and values about ourselves and the world around us that we adopt from past experiences and socialization. One has to be careful with negative thinking because it can create self-fulfilling prophecies—that which you think causes it to come true. And dont forget about the Law of Attraction—you attract into your life what you put out there; you get what you think about. The more you hang onto negative thoughts and ideals the more likely that will be mirrored back to you and leads to more unhappiness hostility and pessimism. That equals decreased dating spirit!
Cognitive Distortions
Cognitive therapy names a variety of different cognitive distortions or thought traps that can maintain ones negative frame-of-mind and keep him stuck until he intervenes into his thought cycles. Listed below are a few of the more common distortions. See if you can identify yourself in any of these patterns. Half the battle is self-awareness.
· Black-and-White: the tendency to see things in an all-or-nothing fashion. “Im either a success or a failure.”
· Mindreading: making assumptions about what others are thinking without evidence to back it up. “Hes going to say no if I ask him out for a drink.”
· Minimizing: downplaying situations or achievements.” “He said he had a good time with me but he was just saying that.”
· Overgeneralizing: making sweeping judgments about something across the board; using words like “always” “never” “everybody.” “Im never going to find a guy who will want to settle down with me.”
· Errors In Blaming: unfairly blaming yourself or others when things dont go right. “I cant find anyone to date because all these guys are so messed up!”
· Emotional Reasoning: concluding that if you feel a certain way about yourself then its true. “I feel rejected so everybody must be rejecting me.”
· Downputting: cutting yourself down with disparaging comments. “He doesnt want to go out with me again. I must be ugly.”
· Catastrophizing: magnifying and blowing things out of proportion (the drama queen syndrome). “I just know Im going to make a complete fool of myself on this first date!”
· Shoulds: rigidly criticizing and judging yourself and others. “Guys should be more receptive to my advances.”
· Comparing: judging yourself to others according to set standards or assumptions. “Im not as good looking as most of these guys in this bar. I dont stand a chance of meeting anyone here.”
Yuck! Just saying those thoughts out loud gives a feeling of sinking defeat and they become more entrenched the more frequently theyre used. Your job is to identify your particular distortions and “catch them in the act” before they grab a hold of you. Anytime youre having a negative emotion of any kind at least one of these is at play. Knowledge of which thought trap is rearing its ugly head can better help you pick a strategy for defeating it.
Limiting Beliefs
In a teleclass given by Lynne Michelson Director of Singles for Relationship Coaching Insitute she stated “Beliefs are like the soil. If the soil isnt rich nothing will grow and it will be a struggle.” We have to be in charge of our own growth and its important not to succumb to the power of negative thinking. She identifies five types of limiting beliefs common to singles:
1. Self-responsibility: “Im a victim. I cant control what happens to me.”
2. Self-esteem: “I dont deserve love. Im unlovable.”
3. Trust in the universe: “Im alone because theres a benevolent force out there against me. Theres not enough decent men available in the dating pool.”
4. Positive attitude: how you position your thoughts; pessimism vs. optimism.
5. Flowing with change: wanting to stay fixed and safe with the familiar due to a fear of stretching out of your comfort zone.
Which areas do you tend to struggle with if any? If you see yourself in any of these categorizes then this is where you will want to focus your efforts on challenging those thoughts feelings and behaviors you associate with those themes. Remember that you are not your beliefs—you set yourself up for certain feelings and behaviors and you have the power to be able to change them towards the positive as well.
Strategies For Defeating Negative Thinking
Its not always easy to challenge “stinking thinking” and its definitely not a quick-fix. You may have been thinking this way for so long that its an engrained part of your response system to situations. It will take time and diligent effort to practice challenging these thoughts but in time it will get easier as you replace them with healthier cognitions that support your self-esteem and growth. Here are some suggestions to get you started on combating the negative inner-critic:
* In a journal ask yourself the following questions: Are my current thoughts about myself dating men etc. helping or hurting me? When did you begin to think this way? Is it reality or a distortion? Where did the beliefs come from? Are they yours or someone elses that youve adopted? Whats getting in your way? Are your current beliefs aligned with what you want out of life? What new beliefs will contribute to your growth?
* Take out a notebook and start keeping a thought log. Write columns at the top of the paper with such headings as situation thoughts about the situation feelings behaviors (what you did). Look for patterns and write down the cognitive distortions that you find in your thoughts. Then start a new column called counter-statements and practice challenging your self-talk with more enhancing affirming cognitions. The more times you do this the more quickly you begin to internalize this new reframed thinking.
* Try thought stoppage techniques. Put a rubber band around your wrist and give yourself a good old-fashioned snap every time you find yourself engaged in negative thinking. The sensation of pain will snap you out of your trance-state that happens with negative thinking and you can then redirect yourself into more productive internal dialogue. Sounds weird but it works!
* Create affirmation cards in which you write down motivational/inspirational statements or coaching thoughts on index cards or post-it notes and practice reciting them daily. Keep them handy like in your wallet for those unforeseen moments of negativity and refer to them as needed; they can be very helpful in keeping you centered and giving you a boost of positivity when you need an uplifting during trying times.
* Challenge your beliefs by taking stock of times in your life where you can prove your current thoughts wrong. Or be a risk-taker and take the initiative by creating situations that will disprove your negative thoughts. Prove them wrong! Thinking “happy thoughts” does help but its a long rewiring process. We tend to believe things more rapidly when we see it with our own eyes through our own volition. Refuse to be held victim and seek out solutions to act upon.
Conclusion
These are just a handful of potential strategies for defeating negative thinking. Seek out additional assistance with a therapist or a coach who can help you with your specific cognitive schemas. Arming yourself with a positive attitude is essential in navigating through the dating world and will help keep you centered on living in accordance with your vision and not allowing disappointments to contaminate your spirit and well-being using them instead as valuable lessons to further refine your dating plan and motivate you further toward realizing and accomplishing your dreams. As Michelson says “Whether you believe you can or cant—youre right!”
References: Lynne Michelson & Relationship Coaching Institute http://www.relationshipcoachinginstitute.com/faculty/lynnemichelson.htm
For more information on Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy visit http://www.nacbt.org/whatiscbt.htm
© 2007 Brian L. Rzepczynski
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? This article can be reprinted freely online as long as the entire article and this resource box are included:
Brian Rzepczynski Certified Personal Life Coach is The Gay Love Coach: “I work with gay men who are ready to create a road map that will lead them to find and build a lasting partnership with Mr. Right.” To sign up for the FREE Gay Love Coach Newsletter filled with dating and relationship tips and skills for gay singles and couples as well as to check out current coaching groups programs and teleclasses please visit http://www.TheGayLoveCoach.com
Please also include with the article the words © Copyright and prominently display a link to our main page at the end of the article. Any feedback would be appreciated and can be sent to brian@thegaylovecoach.com. Thank you!

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