“Think like a guy, Jen,” my husband tells me.
He says it when I’m overthinking something. When I’m assigning too much value to a comment made to me, or when I’m regretting something I should have said, didn’t say, should have done, didn’t do, or any other number of things that have the ability to make me anxious.
“Guys just assess the situation, evaluate how much it affects them, and move on,” he shrugs. “You’ve gotta learn to think more like us.”
I like the simplicity of this perspective, even from a man who doesn’t necessarily follow his own advice all the time. In spite of his flippant dismissal of certain things, my husband is a very intelligent and thought-filled man and there are times he, too, overthinks situations. But mostly he handles things in a simple, matter-of-fact manner: where I would worry or fret, he just moves on.
Arianna Huffington, author and founder/Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post, talks about how she used to replay things in her mind over and over again, but has found it helpful to remember her mother’s words: “Change the channel, darling. You’re in control of the clicker.”
Maybe that’s another way to phrase my husband’s advice to “think like a guy.” If the show stinks, change it. If the game’s over, find a new one. If the channel isn’t interesting or doesn’t need your attention, move on.
In the past few years, I’ve been experimenting with this approach, with varying levels of success. When it works, I find it wildly liberating. Turns out I like being in charge of my own clicker. When I find myself obsessing or over-analyzing something, I literally imagine a little remote control in my head, and I decide if the show is one I need to keep watching, or whether it’s time to change the channel. It really works. There’s intense relief in evaluating my role in a situation, deciding I really don’t have one, and letting go.