Men who experience SSA’s are switching off in their daily lives toward those who live around them. They feel that they are not connected to society, and are the odd man out. The way to get out of this predicament is quite simple: switch on again. Homosexuality is not just a question of gender low self-esteem, it is low self-esteem all around. Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. Here is how.
Heighten your self-esteem
With higher self-esteem, you won’t make mountains out of molehills nearly as often anymore. You won’t drag yourself down or beat yourself up. When your opinion of yourself goes up then you’ll stop trying so eagerly to get validation and attention from other people. And so you become less needy and your inner life becomes much less of an emotional roller-coaster based on what people may think or say about you today or this week.
Most people’s worst enemy are themselves. By raising and keeping your self-esteem up, you’ll feel more deserving of good things in life. And so you’ll go after them more often and with more motivation. And when you get them then you’ll be a lot less likely to self-sabotage in subtle or not so subtle ways.
You’ll be more stable and able to handle tough times better. You’ll be less needy and more of a natural giver. Being with you becomes simpler and a lighter experience with a lot less drama, arguments or fights based on little or nothing. And all of this is attractive in any relationship, not matter if it is with a friend, at work or with a partner.
SSA’s and self-esteem
When an infant does not manage to identify with the same-sex parent sufficiently but nevertheless secretly yearns for it obsessively (as we always see with men who develop SSA’s), then later on he is prone to develop a sense of low self-esteem.
“I am not good enough, not man enough, it is bad to be a man, and I am bad at being a man. It is bad to be me, others are much better than I am. It is obvious”.
People with low self-esteem tend to see the world as a hostile place and themselves as its victim. As a result, they are reluctant to express and assert themselves, miss out on experiences and opportunities, and feel powerless to change things. All this lowers their self-esteem still further, sucking them into a downward spiral.
To ward off these feelings, most people with SSA’s then blame the outer world, leading ultimately to a state of us-them thinking, a paranoid state of being the eternal victim.
This condition is much celebrated and intellectualized by radical gay-lib, ultimately leading to a sectarian tribal state of mind. You will receive the initiation rite of “coming out gay”, with your own tribal multi-colored flag. You are part of the gang, and have publicly proclaimed your denouncing any hint of heterosexual attachment or innate desire.
You will be invited, encouraged and socially pressured to wave that flag for ever more, even by straight people who have been led to think that this is the thing you deserve. Even they will pressure you to “accept who you are”. That is to say, they will throw you out of the heterosexual equation too, even against your will.
There are no more than two ways about it, so society is led to believe: you are either a homosexual or you are a heterosexual.
Since your will has now been labeled as a psychiatric pathology by gay-lib extremists, mainstream has it that you are suffering from a mysterious internalized “homophobia”. You have a mental disorder and you need to be “cured”.
If you comply, you will be setting yourself apart for all to see. Gay-lib will replace your supposed “homophobia” with heterophobia, and other gang members will proudly celebrate and reinforce that heterophobia with you, flag and all.
How tribal can you get? If these are not the social mechanisms of being dragged and sealed into a self-containing sect with no way out, what is?
Your fate will be a seething rage, but also a jealousy towards guys who have no problem in the world. This weird sentiment will haunt you till your dying day. You will sexualize them forever, but will never ever internalize that masculine feeling they magically and mysteriously seem to possess without a worry in the world.
A way out
To escape the pitfall of the “gay” label, all you need to do is get out of the tribal thinking pattern. How? Simple. Reconnect to the human race. That reconnecting is a skill, and we shall show you how to do it.
There are four steps to take into consideration. In order to learn how to connect,
(a) First, you need to see to what extent you have learned to reject other people. You are doing so by switching off, and that switching off is a tell-tale sign.
(b) Second, you need to learn to start taking the initiative under all circumstances and to stop waiting and hoping that you will be seen and acknowledged by the other person. You need to be the active participant now that you are an adult, not the passive one.
(c) Third, you need to stop kicking yourself up the ass in private, and first and foremost: in public.
(d) Fourth, you need to rephrase your sentences in such a way that you invite the other person to keep on engaging in a narrative with you. It is like an Internet connection where you keep the online communication alive by a positive response every now and then (it is called a ping). Make being with you fun. People like fun, people like stories, people like a laugh, people like to be liked. Bye bye loneliness, hello happiness. Here is how:
1. Stop rejecting
Ever since your early childhood, you felt rejected, neglected or deserted by your dad (or father figure) and in order to protect yourself from this negative and hopeless predicament, you have started rejecting back. You became a boy who silently turned away (“leave me alone, what do I care?”) and who has come to feel unwanted in a male heterosexual world, the world of Dad and of the warrior braves on their horses. You yearn for them, but in reality, small as you were, you also rejected them. It has become a habit.
You need to see this in order to gain more self-esteem. What can work pretty well is a mind game:
When you are out on the streets anywhere and you see other men causing you to feel small, insignificant, ugly, short, fat, whatever, then say to yourself: “They are not rejecting me. They are not rejecting me”.
Repeat this over and over as long as you have them in sight. Make this a new habit. It is the perfect short-cut to gaining self-esteem. Nice and cheap. In fact: it is for free.
Slowly but surely, you will learn to see for yourself how you have actually built a paranoid world of certainties. You may discover your own prejudices, and feel how they have become an automatic way of participating with other people. Repeat the phrase endlessly, and start making a journal of how it makes you feel. See if you can pin-point this self-defeating habit. You don’t need any external support to undertake this mind-game The goal to reach is a state of mind in which you genuinely feel: ”I am not being rejected, nope. Not by anyone.”
2. Take the initiative
When you are surrounded by men and women, especially those who make you feel less significant than they appear to be, then the solution is to take the initiative at all times. Say something, no matter what. Remember, people who experience OSA’s are not as picky as you are. They do not reject; rejecting is not their default mode of operation, it is yours. So, think of something, something small, something close by, something immediately present. It does not matter what it is. People will not judge you by this; that is only your fear.
Straight people are nice people, it is great to be straight. Men are great, WE men are great. But you must take the lead. By making the first move, you are actually affirming them, because they too have a need to be seen and spontaneously acknowledged. Satisfy their need. It is as big as your own. Many do not wear it on their sleeve like you possibly may be doing. Everyone likes to be liked. Try to see that.
And all of a sudden, those other people will come into perspective and will seem less big or threatening or stupid or negative as you thought. But do not wait. You are no longer a child waiting for a negligent, or distant, or unattainable Dad. You are a big boy now, a man. Speak up; you will see them shrinking in size while you grow at the same rate.
3. Do not degrade yourself
People with low self-esteem have a crazy way of trying to deal with their inner negative voice. They formulate a negative sentence or convey a negative image about themselves and then hope that the other person will contradict this. What if they don’t? What if you have given them an idea?
Here are examples. You say:
”Oh, clumsy me, that is SO me!”
And then you hope that the other person will say:
“Don’t worry about it. It can happen to anyone”.
Or, you say:
“I am such an ass-hole at doing this sort of things, I always goof up, ha-ha”.
You hope the other person will say:
“Why, no! I think you did incredibly well, especially trying to do this for the first time. You should have seen MY first attempt”.
But basically, you are manipulating the other person. You will never know if the response was genuine. It is not a spontaneous reaction to your doing.
You have lowered yourself below the level that you were on, and at most the other can lift you back up. But he/she will never under these circumstances lift you higher than you were to start off with. And where were you? Yeah, low self-esteem. Your destiny.
This sort of communication is sick. You are acting like a cowering wolf, a beta male. It is your doing.
4. Create a hook-up phrase
Other people are as shy as you are. However confident, muscular, or charismatic they may appear to be, they also have their hesitance and insecurities. They will likewise resort to switching off if they feel uncomfortable, vulnerable or exposed in their shyness.
So, get in there first, and give them a hook-up line they cannot resist: one which is safe, one which is fun, one which may even be stupid. Real men are themselves, be it stupid or otherwise. They have no problem with it. It is you who is so judgmental. Or perhaps it was good old Mom, and you are parroting her like a good little boy in Squaw Camp. The more judgmental you have become, the more afraid you have made yourself to be in social interaction. You have created your own fears. You have made new norms, applying them to all others, and ultimately to yourself. And so, fear of failure sets in.
You need to dive into interaction, and stop worrying or fretting about yourself. You need to become less self-conscious. But how? Quite simple: interact and take it from there. Create a hook-up phrase and let the magic happen. It takes two to tango.
4.1 Is it about ME, or about US?
There are two kinds of people. There are those who say: “Hi folks, here I am”. And those who say: “Oh, so great to see you!” What is the difference?
The first folks place themselves center stage, and force the other person to be the spectator, and ultimately the judge of the performance you give. Remember your fear of others being judgmental toward you? Then don’t put them in the judge’s seat, but put them center stage and have them expressing themselves actively, instead of passively listening, watching and judging you. People need recognition, as do you. Assure them that with you, recognition will be the way to go. So recognize them, affirm them, and give them space. People like to be liked, as do you.
Imagine you are at a party or an event, and with a glass of wine in your hand, need to engage with others. What to say? Quite simple. Smile and ask a question or two, proving that you can listen as well as doing the talking. You could ask:
“Hi, glad to meet you. How do you know the host?”
“Tell me about yourself. Let me guess, you are into working with children”.
“I went to da-da High School. So glad I left. Same for you?”
“I drove here by car. Gotta watch the alcohol. I bet you are more sensible than to take such a risk”.
Each phrase is casual and gives the other person the opportunity to engage to the extent they feel comfortable with. The questions are not too direct, they definitely are leading, but at the same time are not coercive. You are into listening mode, and are treating the other person more sincerely than if they were merely wall paper. That will be appreciated. Everyone hates being wall paper.
4.2 Give and take
In each of the above phrases, there is a certain give-and-take quality. It is not all about ME, but one needs to take care that it does not amount to being all about the other person either. People will resent that at the end of the day. They will say:
“I talked and talked, but who is this guy?”
“I almost felt like I was seeing a shrink”.
So if the other man/woman gets really carried away with the subject, remember to insert (once every three minutes) a remark which puts attention on you. They can of course proceed on, but make sure you are not becoming a good little boy at Squaw Camp once again, as you may always have done, listening to the thrills and woes of the squaws. You are a man, and let that be known. Not all of the time, but once every three minutes. A small beep from a big man, a modest man, but one who deserves attention too. And one who also has a story to tell. Beep, beep.
4.3 Add a mini-story.
People love stories. More than anything else, they crave for a good piece of imagination. Even political opinions, religious values and moral stances lose attention in the debate when someone presents a good yarn. There is nothing like a big projection screen coming from you, onto which one can project the feelings, fears and longings of the moment. Make up a story, a little one which craves for an ending. And present it for all to hear:
For example, you say:
“I am an accounting executive. It is pretty cool”.
The other person says:
Let us add a mini-story. You say:
“I am an accounting executive. I deal mostly with clients … just last week, we had a crazy client who threatened to send his bodyguards to our office! I would much rather deal with the more peaceful firms who seek our help”.
The other person says:
“Oh my god! Did he actually send them?”
After which, you are engaging in an exciting conversation.
A mini-story is not difficult. It is no longer than three sentences. You can make up mini-stories about your past week, your upcoming weekend, home-town, hobbies, favourite music, passions, education, apartment, house, landlord, mutual friends, dating history, your deceased pet and that look on his face.
These topics are familiar to everyone. They work each and every time. It is not about the content, it is about engaging in contact. A mini-story feeds the imagination, stimulates the creativity, and affirms the novelty of the encounter.
Take out a notebook, and write a mini-story on each of the above named thirteen subjects. It is hard at first, but once you have gotten to see the results and appreciate the interactions that come of it, it becomes easier to make them up when you are nervous. Do it as an exercise and become a master of small and enticing interaction. Practice at home first, and later you will feel less uncomfortable in the crowd. Always have a mini-story at hand. Basically, we are all still kids. People love stories more than anything else in the world.
4.4 Add a personal detail
A question or reply devoid of any personal detail usually castrates the conversation. Once you add a specific detail that begs to be asked about, the conversation immediately takes a life of its own. Make the details personal. If possible make them funny and make them exciting. You say:
“We went camping with a few guys in the woods. That was nice”.
The other person says:
“Yeah, camping is great”.
But you can also add personal details:
“We went camping with a few guys in the woods. There was this deer with big horns. I can’t remember how big, but he appeared to be in a bad mood. Not my lucky day, I can assure you. Usually I am not scared.”
The other person says:
“No way. Are you serious?”
As you can see, a simple detail can have a big impact on how well the interaction goes. You dared to show your fears, and that makes it easier for the other person to indulge into their fears too. You have become a safe person to interact with.
4.5 Choose easy topics
Men feel very comfortable with other men when talking about things that average guys talk about. They do not indulge quickly into more personal affairs. The subliminal contract between men is: keep it safe, simple, no brains. Please! We’re guys!
When indulging with men, start off with the easy topics. Do not frown on these subjects, as feminists always do. Respect them, and see them as a common ground to build up trust and mutual appreciation. They are a sort of arena, which is based on mutual interests, trivial usually, but very safe and affirming. The deeper contact only comes after that. Pass the test of safety first. So, go with the flow and show your willingness to do superficial man-talk about interesting crap. Here is my favorite list:
“Sports, work, business, night shifts and weekend shifts, when to work out, food and dieting, women, vehicles. Especially vehicles, the cars you dumped and why you dumped them and the cars that are still on your list and why.”
Safe and simple. It is like a mother cat, purring to her litter or a hen gabbling to her chicks, just making reassuring sounds. It is not about the actual content, it is about the easiness of the sound, it is about the safety of the conversation. “I am not hostile, I do not perceive you as hostile.” A very important subliminal exchange.
When with women, make reassuring sounds too:
“Recent events she has attended (that always works), new food she has tried out and was astounded by, trying to avoid the overweight problem (a problem for all mankind), deciding about a new gym, new women in politics, mutual friends.”
Very safe subjects, and you can keep them as superficial as you please. This makes you a person to feel comfortable with.
4.6 Put a good subject to good use
When you are onto a good subject, you may get distracted into talking about a sideline. This can be very tempting. However, it is useful to remember the original line of the narrative, and go back to that thread when the narrative runs dry. You can say:
“You mentioned your old high school. I bet it influenced your further career”.
“You said you dropped out on the sports team before. Ever thought of going back?”
“So, you were redundant before moving out here. Wise choice, but no regrets?”
At the beginning of a conversation, you may have struck a gold mine of topics to talk about. But before you know it, sidelines let the conversation run dry. So retrace your steps, ask probing questions, reveal personal experiences based on what has been said, and emphasize obscure yet important commonalities.
The essence of switching on and connecting is daring to move out of a passive state of expecting the worst, and going into a state of interaction, knowing that other people like and appreciate being acknowledged as much as you do. It is give and take. The more you focus on the feelings of the other person, the less you will be preoccupied with self-doubt and self-consciousness.
Choosing easy and comfortable mutual topics is hard at first, but becomes a habit with sufficient practice. It is all about the reassurance and trust you convey, not the content. They will remember your gaze, not the car that you mentioned.
To be continued.
Job Berendsen, MD.