Steve 7745 Posted August 14, 2008 Share Posted August 14, 2008 It's hard for me to keep reading the book The Gift of Fear. I wake up in the mornings exhausted and work out. Then on the train, I try to read, get into it for a dozen pages before I fall asleep again. But just maybe in doing so, I find little rewarding bits of pieces from my pseudo-sleep thinking. In one section, the author described things like how take-charge anxiety and poor-me anxiety make us into chasers and pursuers. Some of us like to take charge and give unsolicited advice, command and berrate others and so on. Others fall off the horse and find themselves with low self esteem, too afraid to do anything to change their station in life even if they hate it. The idea felt very far fetched at the time. Then I fell asleep again. And while I was half awake, half asleep, I pondered the words. I thought about how often I've chased after a girl even after the two of us were already in a relationship. Some fear pushed me, telling me to be the right kind of boyfriend for her. I didn't want her to have any excuse to leave or walk away, and my anxiety led me to work hard at it. When you chase someone, their instinct is to run away. It's not just when you're dating someone, it's true even in a relationship. I began to think, was my anxiety stirring up anxiety of her own? I thought about it. How many times does an emergency situation stir up because one person's rantings scare someone else. One person comes in afraid about something and causes panic. Other people either react fearfully and just as poorly, or stand there, shocked, awed and rubber necking. But not doing anything to change the situation for the better. A previous experience comes to mind. During the last summer, I unexpectedly lost both my job and the girl I was seeing on the same day, within hours of one another. Things were even worse, because I was a poor handler of money back then and had no savings to fall on if things went to hell, and I had just moved to a more expensive place. Finally, my parents were in a tight spot financially too and couldn't bail me out. It took a couple of months to get back on my feet. But over time, I managed. I picked up a job as a waiter at a bar in the mean time and did fairly well for myself. Then I interviewed twice before landing a job as a contractor for Unisys for an impressive amount of money for my age. I learned from my previous mistakes and became a much better handler of money, putting some 40% of my earnings into savings. It was puzzling, but perhaps being pushed into a desperate situation, the whole situation with the girl leaving me just didn't phase me. Somehow, my fears were relaxed. I knew the job as a contractor could end anytime, and when I felt that anxiety tugging at my gut, I told myself, "Relax. This job wasn't permanent anyway." I remembered my savings, updated my resume and worked a little harder. It was during Halloween that year that I went to Georgetown with a friend and met a girl named M. I had dressed as a Spartan from the movie 300 and was walking in the cold half naked. Guys, remember. Sometimes to pick up a girl, the best way is just to show the goods. M and I hit it off well and continued to date each other. I didn't excessively chase her, nor was I overly elusive to her own pursuit of me. I just felt so cool about everything because of how well I had bounced back after being fired from that earlier job. The relationship lasted six months and ended only because of family issues neither of us had any control over. Since then, my most recent ex was one where I may have forgot this lesson and pursued her a little too much. It still lasted three months, far longer then any other "summer fling" I had ever had in my life. I felt anxious about it, particularly as we got closer to the end. But instead of doing the right thing and controlling my emotions and actions, I let them get the better of me. Perhaps controlling anxiety is the major issue we have when it comes to causing break ups. We don't mean to let our emotions run amok, but when the feelings of our victories wash away, we sometimes forget that we don't need anyone else in our lives to be happy and healthy. Hmmmm... coffee time. Link to comment
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