Dealing with Negative Emotions

by Matt Savage

Do you ever feel like this?

As I eject the DVD, I can’t help but feel relieved that this was the last in the series. I was determined to finish all five seasons and I did. While watching the last episode as Claire drives off into the sunset, I can feel the tension of the show lifting from my shoulders.

“It’s finally over,” I say to myself, “the rollercoaster of emotion, the grief, the sadness; I no longer have to deal with the depression that comes with a television drama based on death.” This is Six Feet Under.

After running out of quality cable TV shows, I had finally decided to put the entire five seasons of Six Feet Under in my NetFlix queue. However, despite being a good show, it made me feel incredibly depressed and over the course of several weeks found my mind filled with negative emotions. Could watching a simple television show really have this much impact on one’s emotional state?

When I had started researching seduction, one of the first recommendations for new guys was to rid your life of anything that would be detrimental to your mindset. This included songs, movies, books, etc., that were either negative or somehow related to supplicating beta male behavior. At the time, I pretty much disregarded this advice since I felt generally positive already, but now it makes much more sense to pay attention to this stuff.

When I think back to all the times that I have done well with women, I have always been in a very positive and motivated state of mind. Conversely, during those three weeks of watching Six Feet Under, I was a complete mess around women. One girl even called me a “Debbie Downer” while I was rambling on about terminal illnesses. Talk about a seductive conversation, this was just shooting myself in the foot.

It’s funny how watching a simple television show could have such an effect on our mental and emotional state, but there does seem to be truth in the notion that the things we surround ourselves with will effect our moods.

For those that don’t believe this, just think about how you feel after watching a really funny comedy act or funny movie. If it makes you laugh, then more often than not, your mood is elevated to a more positive state afterwards.

So, I’ve been thinking about other things that I’ve been reading lately that may cause me to have more negative emotions:

  • Reading & Watching the News: I read the paper every morning and sometimes watch the evening news on TV and I must say it really sucks. There’s so much negative shit going on in the news that it’s a total downer and really there isn’t much reason to keep reading or watching it.
  • Mens Rights Issues: though I do think the MRAs raise some important issues in gender equality and men’s rights in general, a lot of the blogs and message boards link to articles which infuriate me and causes me to feel some resentment towards women, when really it’s only a small portion of women that are screwing men over. Here’s the thing, I love women, so even if a small portion of my mind is feeling resentment, then that’s probably going to come across during my interactions with them. It’s not good and it’s not attractive.

I think that sometimes when we are in a bad mood or feeling like we have a lot of negative emotions, it’s good to stop for a moment and recount what we’ve been feeding to our brains.

What are some things that have made you a Debbie Downer? What do you do to get into a more positive state of mind?

{ 9 comments }

Kyle October 15, 2010 at 8:58 pm

6 months ago I TOTALLY got rid of television, cable, satellite in my home. Primarily because I didn’t ever watch it, but the added side affect has been that my attitude has improved 10 fold. I am less stressed, more positive and, guess what, because I am not “plugged in” to what is going on in the world around me I haven’t been taken advantage of or have had my head explode.

The best quote I have ever heard regarding television in general was posted by one of the kings of TV. In an interview Bill Cosby was asked what TV shows he likes the most. His response, “I don’t watch TV, why do I want to watch someone else living their dream?” — wiser words have never been spoken.

Poetry of Flesh October 17, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Most of the PUA blogs, combined with the MRA blogs, just really got me down. I love seduction, I love sex, I love sociology. I enjoy sitting around and getting into deep conversations on those topics, whether in life or online. But so many of the PUAs (and all of the MRAs) are such a buzzkill. Objectification, rationalization, and such anger at the women around them. Didn’t want to deal with it anymore, so I stopped reading most of them.

For a positive state of mind, I’ll take an afternoon to go into a bookstore, get a hot chocolate, and curl up in an armchair (legs have to be hanging over one of the arms, this is crucial) and read whatever catches my eye. After that, I’m pretty golden.

Jennifer October 17, 2010 at 9:13 pm

I know the feeling. I got all wrapped up in Nip/Tuck. The first and second seasons dealt with a lot of deep issues that hit me hard. After watching one woman have one of the doctors help her commit suicide, I really was a mess. I can’t tell you the number of times I sobbed over that damn show. Now, it’s Sons of Anarchy… I know… hard to imagine but true.

Like Kyle, I disconnected my cable in May. I got sick of paying for it when I found myself flipping channels more than watching anything. I watch Sons of Anarchy online but that’s the only show I watch aside from football or baseball. I haven’t a clue what’s going on in the news and I hear enough of it at work from the clucking hens. I have to say, I don’t miss having cable at all… I really thought it would be terrible. I feel much more relaxed without it, not to mention I get a lot more done when I’m not sitting in front of it.

Matt Savage October 20, 2010 at 9:55 am

I’ve been considering just cancelling my cable outright as well, though I only have the absolute basic line-up as it is, but still it seems a waste of money considering that when I do want to watch a particular show, it’s usually on Hulu or Netflix.

As far as the MRA blogs, they’ve been getting a little out of control lately and just can’t agree with some of the extremist views out there. What ever happened to gender equality, does anyone even care about that?

Jennifer October 20, 2010 at 10:03 am

“What ever happened to gender equality, does anyone even care about that?”

It appears that doesn’t apply when it comes to game and that’s unfortunate. Sometimes, when I read how the women are treated by the men in these blogs I really have to laugh. They must be targeting those with low self esteem and no self worth. I can’t imagine why else anyone would put up with being spoken to like they’re no more than a piece of gum on a shoe.

I’m not going to be spoken to like I’m beneath anyone. I’m a submissive female in the bedroom, that doesn’t mean I’m subservient or a slave to anyone. When I watched that show with Mystery, I never saw him belittling anyone. He was way more smooth than that. I thought his outfits were ridiculous and he was ugly, but damn he could charm the pants right off me because he knew what to say and how to present it.

Brad K. October 24, 2010 at 10:14 am

Jennifer,

They must be targeting those with low self esteem and no self worth.

Actually, many do. It is a matter of low self esteem, and finding the natural prey. This is what NML, at Baggage Reclaim, calls “emotionally unavailable”, and most often both are somewhat unavailable, have esteem issues, and any relationship is rife with risks of abuse. A healthy person wouldn’t have considered, or stayed with, either one.

As for gender equality, that means different things to different people. And for the most part, the fact that most of us have an idea of “father” as one role, and “mother” as another – what gender equality means has to be invented by each individual for themselves.

If you know what you need in a mate, and select appropriately, that is one thing. But the TV and fashion inspired approach seems to be “find someone interesting, attractive, or fun; have fun/whatever; attempt to be a couple, and discover what kind of relationship the two of you might develop – it could be healthy and enduring”. Historically, the choices were made the other way around. You mingled with people of similar backgrounds and cultures, your family made arrangements, and you discovered yourself bound to someone that at least had the same understanding of what was expected, what was socially right and wrong, and what the role limitations and obligations were.

Instead of living your life in a community of families, most singles consider themselves in a community apart; they select partners for pleasure or temporary recreation – with no concept of what it means to live a shared life with a partner. They leave that to invent when they sleep together, cohabit, or even marry.

I was told that the single greatest correlation of divorces to circumstances, was living next door to a single person.

If you want to live a mated, partnered, shared life, then leaving all the “perpetual daters” in the singles scene in your dust might be the wisest course, and learn to live and interact- solely – in the community of families.

Scott November 27, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Matt, I’m with you on the MRA stuff. There are some legit issues but the whole “oppressed” narrative is overstated –specifically designed to evoke emotion -not reason- out of you. I avoid it entirely.

I’ve seen some categorical anger towards women in the seduction community as well. While there are a couple gurus that fall into this category, they are easily avoided. Most of it appears to come from afcs flailing away behind a shield of anonymity. I don’t engage them -for my own sanity- but at the same time it bothers me that the community seems to have a high threshold of tolerance for it. (and here I must mention that most of my experience with seduction theory has helped me greatly to dissolve pockets of anger. Once I understand the reason behind a behavior, it no longer gets to me the way it used to.)

I regard the negative stuff as a communicable disease that I take care to avoid. My best prevention measure is to restrict my diet of information. I admit I still give in to junk food now and then. (maybe “contaminated” is a better metaphor)

The problem with negative input is that oftentimes, by the time you detect it, you’ve already read/seen it. Its already in your head. It presses your buttons. You empathize. Your inner monologue processes it. You are infected with it.

Once it is in my head, the only way I know to fight it is to somehow short-circuit my cerebrum. I must stop thinking for a while. Exercise helps me. I focus all my energy on [goal xyz] and not the virus. It doesn’t always work though. So I have to keep fighting it; no other choice.

Frame control might be a better tool here (if only I knew more about it).

Player87 August 20, 2011 at 6:00 am

Great Article, and I liked the above post from Scott.

I think the general consensus is right, eliminating negativity including TV etc is a good thing.

However, just like in seduction although everyone wants to go into in a positive mindset. Rejections from girls naturally occur. One of our goals in seduction should be is to overcome rejection when it happens and it will, rather then avoiding rejection.

In the same way, we deal with bad news when watching the news. We should deal with it, and accept that there bad things going on instead of avoiding this all together. By avoiding you become detached from the real world, and this is not going to benefit you in the long term.

Mike Russel March 24, 2013 at 7:49 pm

You have to work on yourself, it’s just that. Keep training like you would for work. Self-esteem is a product of personal feedback and your internal self-image. I know chicks can be rough on guys but we have get past that.

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