Why a simp is not a loving man

If you’re anything like me, the Internet slang will, every now and then, make you feel old. It happened recently, with the trending rise of the word simp. As the Urban Dictionary defines it, the simp is a guy that is overly desperate for women, especially if she is a bad person, or has expressed her disinterest in him. Basically a new cool term for an old reality. Not that long ago, these guys were known as “nice guys”, and no one wanted to have much to do with them, mainly because they were not that nice as they wanted to seem like.

But time went by, and the “nice guys” that no one wanted to deal with back in the days found a way to market themselves as desirable partners. I’ve seen these days a post saying Stop calling any decent man a simp! and, even if it was, indeed, real, it was mischievous at the same time. What separates a decent, loving man from a simp? The girl’s kind of interest in what’s the guy having to offer.

If you, as a guy, have fallen for a girl and show it, there are two big scenarios: it’s a mutual thing, so she will flirt with you and show interest as well, or she is not interested and she is just being polite. A man showing appreciation and support, complimenting a girl that is into him is a decent man, regardless of what his pals say. A man acting the same with a girl that has told him already that she’s not interested in him is a simp trying to make his way into her bedroom. Regardless of her telling you “no”. The easiest way to know if you deal with a simp is by paying attention to your emotions.

Guilt is a really important indicator when it comes to human relationships. A man that makes you feel guilty for not liking him back is not a good man for you. I know that clearly, as I have been there myself. Asking a good friend of mine if it’s okay to feel guilty for not liking back a guy that was madly over me, he said No, you’re not, as love is no duty. It is what it is, if it is, and if there is such thing as guilt or the feeling that you should, you definitely should not. I am still thinking about that moment of my life, about how blinded I was by my low self-esteem. About how bad that attempt of giving a dude a chance because he knew to make me feel guilty about rejecting him, I’ve seen things clearer.

A guy can be a decent man, but be a simp to you, as this is a matter of perspective on both sides. On his side, it’s about knowing how to take a clear No for an answer. On her side, it’s about being crystal-clear from the beginning. If you can’t picture yourself in a relationship with that man, tell him. If you see him as a good friend, tell him. He has to know exactly where he stands and make a decision. Might be a tempting thought to fuel his attitude, if you have self-esteem problems or you simply need male validation- a simp will constantly make you compliments, give you more attention than you’re used with and, generally, make things more about you than about him. Will make cute little gestures for you, trying to get under your skin. And that is flattering, not gonna say it isn’t. Feeling wanted, as a young woman, is and always will be a flattering thing, something we want more of, at times. But keep in mind that, when the attraction is not mutual if you fuel this kind of behavior from the dude, you expose yourself to a form of emotional blackmail.

Because any simp is a potentially toxic man, trying to make you feel good, but capable to make you feel bad about yourself as well, at the moment when his patience goes thin and he gets sick of waiting for you to tell him yes, eventually. This is, in fact, the simp issue that girls fail to see and men won’t address: the lack of boundaries and self-respect. It is a matter of self-respect to stop trying once the girl told you no, and it’s a matter of mental healthcare to be able, as a girl, to have strong and clear boundaries. Even when what you receive is all pretty and dipped in glitter, tempting you to give in. Love is not making you guilty and is not sneaky. Self-validation need, instead…

My favorite word

Life as an introvert has never been easy. And you learn this especially in your teenage years, when the pressure to conform is simply huge.

You notice quickly that your extroverted friends do better in society: they receive more attention, more compliments, they’re invited everywhere and everybody wants to be around them. That’s how everything starts, with thinking that if you’ll be more like them and less like you, you’ll be better.  So you begin to say yes  to everything you notice as being trendy, rushing to blend in.

And, even if it might look like an understandable choice, in the long run it will show you the contrary. It is an exhausting game, pretending to be somebody you’re not, just to fit in. And it is also visible, but I’ve noticed this way later.

Because I used to be one of those yes-teens too. To say yes when it was actually no just to avoid arguments, to do things I wasn’t really fond of and say things I was not believing, just to fit in, to be accepted. To be like the others, the cool kids. Because I’ve always wanted a bit of that attention they were receiving so effortlessly. And I wasn’t so different from them, after all, was I?

Well, truth be told, I was. I’ve always had a different view about life than the popular kids around me. I liked things they couldn’t care less about. I had my inner world, my passions, my beliefs. Somehow, I’ve always been skeptical about sharing them with other people around me.

Then, high school happened. And a lot started to change. I discovered people who were more like me, and the fact that I have options to choose from. I spent more time with them, debating things we cared about till we eventually got tired, and less with  old friends, which made me  feel like I wasn’t good enough to fit in. Eventually, I got to spend time with them only when it was really required, like family gatherings.

But it was only in my university years when I  discovered that I can say no. A small word with magical powers. A word I had always been afraid of.

I’ve been equally afraid of saying no, as I was of being told so. Of being rejected, dismissed as not good enough. Everything till one day, on my way back home, I had a revelation: I can either begin by being picky, or I will end up losing myself for good.

It was a tough thought to handle, especially thinking about the fact that I always hated to hurt people, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Took everything easy: spending more time with myself, making up excuses to avoid going somewhere where I already knew that I  was going to feel uncomfortable, cutting off some long time friendships, as I noticed them becoming meaningless interactions.

The worst part of learning to say no was, though, the guilt. I was feeling guilty for rejecting people or invites almost all the time, and in the beginning the guilt trips were awful, but  there  came a day when I  understood that, as long as I have the resources, I also have the power to choose where I will invest them.

It was, perhaps, the most liberating thing I’ve ever done. Learning to say no when it was no, instead of saying yes. This happened when I got to understand that saying no is not about rejection, it is about boundaries.

About knowing your needs, your passions, and your worth. About giving up on settling with whatever comes in your direction, and start choosing only what brings you joy. That saying no is not about being mean, as it is about self-respect. And the same thing goes for being told no, as well. Not being good enough for someone will not make you a failure. It only means that there are different needs to be met.

Of course, there are still moments when I say yes, but I mean no, but they are not that frequent anymore. Maybe this is the sign that I’ve grown up, but today I’m not afraid of saying or being told no anymore. Today I can easily say that it has become my favorite word, the one  that makes life easier, as I can speak my truths without fears.

Because knowing where to draw the line requires to have spent enough time with yourself, so you know for sure what is and what isn’t meaningful to you. A good exercise for knowing when to say no to something is to ask yourself these three questions before: Is it true? Is it good? Is it useful? If the answer is mostly no, then no is what you should say to those things, too. It is the easiest way of finding out what is and is not for you, to see if it speaks true to you, if it’s something that is useful or brings you joy. If you have more than  one negative answer to these questions, you can refuse without regrets.

I admit, learning never stops, especially when it comes to setting boundaries to others or, even better, to yourself. But learning is part of life, and we should not treat any of them like something limited or a chore.

At the end of the day, somehow, the only talk you need to have is the one about how much of who you are will you sacrifice for the sake of others. And if you feel like you’ve had enough of that already, then learn to unfit.

To unlearn all the toxic patterns which you’ve picked up along your way and which have taught you that the only way to be appreciated is to never say no. Actually, it seems like it’s the opposite: you’ll be really appreciated if you dare to stand up for yourself, knowing who you are. And that usually begins with declining everything you don’t feel it serves you in any way.

Saying no more often will only help your growth, your mental wellbeing, and will better  filter the people around you, so, in the end, why wouldn’t you give it a try? Because, if you will keep saying yes to everyone and everything, you might, one day, discover that you were only saying no to yourself all this time.

”Ai grija de tine!”

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E o formulare pe care o auzim pe toate drumurile, marcand, de obicei, un final al discutiei cu o persoana de care ne pasa. La cat de intens e folosita, ai putea chiar crede ca, in societatea noastra contemporana, grija e o valoare fundamentala. Ceea ce este si nu este real.

Este o afirmatie reala, si grija chiar este o valoare fundamentala, atunci cand vorbim despre grija fata de exteriorul imediat apropiat, de oamenii dragi. Este o afirmatie falsa, atunci cand raportarea se face la grija fata de propria persoana, acolo unde exista in mod evident lacune serioase. Asta se poate intampla si pentru ca nimeni, sau aproape nimeni, nu pare sa stie cum anume se traduce, in comportamente si actiuni concrete, a avea grija de tine. E ca si cum asteptam, cuminti, sa vina cineva si sa ne arate: ”Uite, ba, neispravitilor, asa se face!”. Sa ne dea reteta magica si noi sa trecem la treaba. Adaug aici si vechea, foarte vechea prejudecata ce facea din grija fata de propria persoana o forma indezirabila de egoism, si iata-ne ajunsi…unde-am ajuns.

Adica in pragul colapsului mental, in diferite grade si forme de manifestare, cei mai multi dintre noi, dar…suntem acolo. Si asta e, sau ar trebui sa fie, alarmant. Mai ales cand grija asta de sine, sau mai bine spus, reteta ei e, de fapt, ataaat de simpla. Si incepe, ca orice reteta buna, cu intelegerea.

Avem de inteles, inainte de orice, cateva treburi elementare. Si prin intelegere, ma refer si la acceptarea lor ca fapte, nu doar la aprobarea pasiva a existentei lor. Primul ar fi ca viata nu-i neaparat roz. Sau doar roz. Ca nu suntem toooot timpul bine dispusi, energici, productivi, cu chef de viata. Avem si zile cand nu vrem nimic de la nimeni, decat sa fim lasati in pace, sa nu facem nimic, sa ne izolam. Si e in regula ca ele exista, fiindca aduc un strop de echilibru. Unde s-ar ajunge daca am fi niste oameni pusi pe treaba tot timpul?

Al doilea, ar fi ca grija de sine e semn al respectului de sine, nu al egoismului. E in regula sa vrei sa ajuti, sa aduci ceva bun comunitatii, dar pentru asta trebuie sa fii in stare buna tu intai. Si asta inseamna ca nu exista nimeni care sa te invete cum sa ai grija de tine, e ceva ce descoperi personal, prin incercari multiple. Aparent, bunicii nostri stiau asta mai bine decat noi. O parte din segmentul asta al igienei mentale denumit grija de sine e constituit, zic eu, din mici placeri. Din tabieturi formate si respectate. Aici pot spune cu sinceritate ca imi respect bunica- are 84 de ani, o poveste de viata impresionanta, ca mai toti bunicii nostri, si, cu toate astea, are inca tabieturile sale de care nu se lipseste. Fie ca vorbim despre somn dupa-amiaza, citit, sau plimbari pe jos, inca le mai respecta, in masura in care fizicul o ajuta. Cred ca e cazul ca si noi sa adoptam genul asta de atitudine atunci cand vine vorba despre relatia cu noi insine.

Pentru ca grija de sine nu inseamna neaparat ca te duci la spa, la salon si la shopping. Evident, poate insemna si asta, si nu-i rau deloc, dar grija de sine, in esenta ei, se ocupa cu tot ce poate sa aduca o stare de bine si de liniste. Poate fi ziua in care te-ai uitat pentru a zecea oara la un film (si, evident, ai plans iar), sau o seara in care te pui sa dormi devreme, la fel cum poate fi ceaiul preferat baut din cea mai frumoasa cana, cu albumul tau de suflet ca fundal sonor, cartea aia pe care tot ziceai c-o citesti si fotoliul comod sau patul. Poate fi ziua din saptamana pe care ai desemnat-o ca fiind ziua ta, si-n care te ocupi linistit de toate chestiile pe care in mod normal esti prea aglomerat sa le faci- poate desenezi, poate iesi in parc sa te plimbi, poate gatesti cu prietenii sau, pur si simplu, dormi si nu faci nimic. Sau poate iti iei rucsacul si pleci o zi, doua, pe undeva. La fel de bine cum poate sa fie momentul tau cu tine de fiecare zi, si ziua aia pe care iti place sa ti-o aloci in intregime.

Toate astea sunt forme de grija fata de propria persoana, si, poate, cele mai eficiente moduri de a te dezvolta in mod real ca om. O sa sune nelalocul lui, dar pana si plansul poate fi o forma de grija fata de propria persoana, in conditiile in care ramane, din experientele mele, cea mai eficienta metoda de eliminare a surplusului emotional existenta pana in prezent. Deci e in regula, si chiar indicat, sa plangi atunci cand simti nevoia, cat timp o simti.

Grija fata de propria persoana mai implica, insa, si oameni. Si renuntare. Renuntare la acei oameni a caror prezenta in preajma noastra aduce ingrijorari, tristete, devalorizare in proprii ochi. Sau, pur si simplu, la acei oameni cu care pastram o relatie buna doar din inertie, fiindca “nu se face” sa nu mai vorbim cu ei. Cu care nu mai simtim ca am avea ceva comun. A caror prezenta in vietile noastre nu mai e aducatoare de bucurie, de calm, de bine. Sau, in cazurile extreme, dar tot mai dese, care s-au dovedit a fi toxici. Fiindca oricat de cinic suna, si legaturile umane au date de expirare. Nescrise, e adevarat, dar ele exista, si atunci cand sunt atinse, cea mai mare dovada de intelepciune, dar si de grija si respect fata de cine suntem, este sa renuntam la ele.

Iar al treilea lucru ce trebuie amintit acum si inteles, e ca exista atatea retete ale grijii fata de propria persoana, cati oameni pe lume. Ca nu exista forme superioare si inferioare ale grijii de sine. Exista, in schimb, forme reale, autentice, si surogate. Ca, uneori, diferenta intre autentic si surogat e facuta de cantitate, de grad, nu de comportament in sine. Iar atunci trebuie cautata, ca intotdeauna, cauza generatoare de dezechilibru. Pentru ca sigur exista si la fel de sigur e bine pitita pe undeva.

Singurul lucru ce ramane de spus e ca primul pas spre o lume, o societate mai buna, e un numar mai mare de oameni ce se ingrijesc sa le fie bine- fizic si psihic. O societate in care indivizii inteleg ca timpul in care nu fac nimic productiv, sau in care nu dau la fel de mult randament, e la fel de important in echilibrul macro al propriilor sisteme existentiale ca cel in care functioneaza la capacitate maxima. Ca diferenta intre un om cu tabieturi si unul care alearga de zor sa ii ajute pe toti poate ca nu se vede acum, dar se va vedea, cu siguranta, peste zece ani. Si ca trebuie sa ne preocupe binele nostru de azi in egala masura in care ne preocupa contributia la binele celor ce vor veni dupa noi. Altfel e doar o minciuna, una in spatele careia vom sti mereu ca se ascunde adevarul unei propozitii scurte: nu e, de fapt, bine pentru nimeni. Asa ca hai sa avem, fiecare, grija de noi insine, o grija reala de noi insine si, poate, atunci vom fi indreptatiti sa speram ca o sa fie bine pentru toti.