Sometimes I really want to slap my friends. Before you alert the cops, let me explain. I don’t want to induce pain. I don’t want to hurt them or inflict Annette Bening on Annette Bening levels of harm like in “American Beauty.” No, I’m thinking more Seth Rogen with the goatee slapping some masculinity back into Paul Rudd. Maybe a little Cameron on Ferris action: birthed from love and not hate. I just want to slap some damn sense into them. (Disclaimer: The Struggle in no way condones violence and/or slapping unless it’s discussed maturely among consenting adults in which case get on with your bad self.)
I love my friends like they are my family. At a moments notice I know that there are no less than 10 people I can reach out to help talk me off a proverbial ledge, or calm me down after a bad date, or listen to me complain about work for the millionth time. I feel like the luckiest person to have these people standing by even if they’re 3,000 miles away. And as I have chosen to surround myself with these wonderful humans, I feel pretty confident in saying that they are the smartest, funniest, kindest, and most loving people out there. Am I biased? Maybe. But don’t talk shit about my friends or I will cut you, esse.
So why do I want to slap them? I know they are the best people in the world but for some reason they don’t. Talking about women (and men) with insecurities is no new subject but I feel like I have the same conversation at least once a day. Whether it’s body issues, dating, work, or relationships there is so much self-induced negativity surrounding these amazing people. I’m guilty of it too. As a teenager I used to make lists of reasons I should be upset as a terrible practice of feeling sorry for myself. While I’ve grown out of that awful habit, I am no stranger to self pity or even worse, the Shame Spiral. Every embarrassing date mishap, period stain, blunder at work, or alcohol induced idiocy has been cycled around my brain no less than 9,452 times. The memory leads me on a downward spiral and can keep me awake for hours at night or completely ruin my day.
Just yesterday I was talking to one of my closest friends. She has been struggling a little in the dating game and as a result was feeling down. Did I mention she has a masters degree, just started a job at one of the most prestigious schools in the country, is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, and on top of all of that is a mega babe? Nothing I said could cheer her up and it made me wonder something: what if all the brain power and energy we waste on Shame Spirals and negativity could be channelled into something positive? Coming off my high from the Eff Jeff post a few weeks ago, I came up with a plan. In that post I talked about how I used a negative dating experience to positively influence and declutter my life. So how could I keep that momentum going with my day to day?
Well sweet friends, I have an idea. It’s called the “Put Yourself Down Flip It and Reverse It” Method. Obviously I’m pulling inspiration from Queen of all Queens, the one, the only, Missy Misdemeanor Elliott. Essentially, every time you find yourself doing something negative I want you to keep track of it. Make a note in your phone and put a little mark with each negative thought you have through the day. I’ve broken it into four categories:
Hottie with a body: 10 sit ups
Any negative thought about your body. You are trying to make a change and big results take time. Next time you call yourself fat, or grab your love handles, or wonder just how long those stretch marks have been there – drop and do 10 sit ups.
The Tinderizer: 5 push ups
Had a bad date 7 months ago and you’re still replaying it over and over again in your mind? Or maybe your ‘didn’t realize it was a one night stand you just thought you had an amazing connection until he ghosted’ pops into your head and you spend hours trying to figure out what went wrong? Drop and give me 5.
Whistle While You Werk: 3 x 30 second planks
Messed up a big project at work because you were moving too quick? Said something dumb in a meeting? Guess what – people make mistakes and no one’s ever listening in meetings anyways. Well, sometimes they are. But they probably don’t care that one time you said Evanescence instead of “effervescent” and also that’s hilarious (side note: I have a friend that did this and we still laugh about it 5 years later. I laugh with her though, not at her.)
The “Too Little Too Late” (aka best song by JoJo): 5 minutes controlled breathing
When I was a sophomore at Syracuse I had a traumatic experience. I woke up late for a lecture on the other side of campus, ran to the bathroom, found out I had just gotten my period, and something from the night before was messing with my stomach. I rushed to throw on my snow gear and booked it across campus. We had just been pounded by a huge storm so the only path was through a shoveled out maze that zig zagged through 6 foot snow drifts and was being used by basically every student on campus. As I was running I kept catching something out of the corner of my eye. I tried to ignore it and continued my 15 minute journey through the frozen tundra. Right before I stepped into the building I happened to look behind me. It turns out that a two foot long piece of toilet paper was stuck in the waistband of my (very chic) oversized sweatpants. A used piece of toilet paper (see above and use your imagination). Yep. Essentially I had waved a flag of bodily fluid covered tp past the entire Syracuse University student body. As you can probably imagine, this haunted me for years. When I got over the initial embarrassment (about 7 years later) I was finally able to share and laugh about it. I know I couldn’t change the past and dwelling on it was never going to help me get over it. The next time you find yourself stuck thinking about things you can’t change, practice some meditative breathing. I highly recommend reading this book and trying Dr. Belisa’s method. It’s gotten me through some crazy stressful times.
At the end of each day you’ll have some work to do. Think about the reason you’re doing 10 sit ups and remind yourself that you’re doing something incredibly positive for your body. Wipe the note clean when you’re done and feel fucking PROUD that you turned all those negative thoughts into something positive. Give yourself a cool nickname like Chelsea Misdemeanor Gold (still working on this), tie on your finest garbage bag jumpsuit, and dance your face off because YOU are killing it and now I don’t have to slap you. I’m going to try it too and will report back in a week.
Byeeee Missy ❤ CG