One night I was chatting with a group of girls. One of the girls said, “I end up having an imaginary argument with myself for three hours. By the time I’m finished, I feel like crap. I feel completely disconnected from my truth. Overall, I just feel super negative.”
I can’t believe it. Other people do that too?
I cannot possibly begin to tell you the amount of imaginary conversations and arguments that have played out in my head. I will say my carefully planned response to whomever and completely work out whatever defensive remark I feel the need to tell the world. The likelihood of me ever, and I mean ever, having this conversation with the person I have in mind, is pretty close to nil. Typically, imaginary arguments take place in my head when I feel that I was misunderstood. Usually, I am misunderstood by people I barely know and rarely see. All the more reason to never play out the stupid situation in my head.
One thing this friend really nailed on the head was the way it made her feel. It made her feel disconnected from her purpose and her truth. I completely identified with that. I would have the imaginary conversation and my mood would change. That’s when I knew these imaginary arguments were an actual problem and I needed to clean up the inner negative chatter. They actually made me angry in my every day, real life. I hate to admit that but it is very true. I started to notice I was less tolerant, and more agitated. I was actually getting heated because of these fantasy arguments.
Not long after I started catching myself, I discovered the real problem- I liked being angry. I felt justified in my anger. I felt that I was right. It was a sick way of holding on to something that I needed to desperately let go of. My ego was being inflated because of my “correctness” but I was truly suffering in every other way.
I started stopping myself and purposefully changing the subject when this topic came up in my head again. I let go of the need for someone else to understand me. I didn’t have to justify why I felt a certain way to someone and that was typically why I was having this argument with myself. I felt the need to justify my feelings. As I have worked on self-esteem, self-image, and self-love, the need for another individuals approval has become less important.
A driving force for me to change was the fact that I was doing all of this work to bring beautiful, good things in to my life and would soon after, stomp on all my good work by having an imaginary argument. I’ve lead enough life to know that speaking something out of your body and into existence makes it that much more likely to happen. Saying those words out loud can change your mood, your chemistry, serotonin levels, probably raises blood pressure, and increases cortisol. This thing that I was doing without even batting an eye, was drastically impacting my attitude and my body.
Things had to change
I started stopping myself immediately. I would put a podcast on, listen to an audiobook, or put a positive YouTube video on. Whatever was distracting me from this imaginary event needed to be something stimulating enough to inspire silence. This wasn’t always easy but just being aware of it happening was enough to reduce how often it happened. I also began writing them down. A quick paragraph about the situation usually identified why I felt the need to play out the situation.
If it was a recurring event and I felt especially sensitive about the topic, I would write it down. When my day was over, and I was going to bed, I would visualize myself being kind to the person and gracefully navigating the situation. This usually aided in me receiving closure in the matter. I saw the event played out in a positive way and I now had something to reference if ever I was to be in the situation. Being a positive force in the world is important to me. If it meant that I needed to be kind to someone I didn’t want to be kind to, so be it. If it meant that I had peace in my every day life, I could visualize having closure in the matter.
None of this was easy and none of it was perfect. I strive for imperfect progress. Not that I try to be imperfect (I try to make things as quality as possible, actually.) It’s more of an acknowledgement that it will not be perfect and that might annoy me but it is done, consistent, and I am moving forward. This is the only way I get around putting something I make out into the world.
The Curvy Broke Girl