Some of you know that I have been practicing holding onto my attention instead of giving it away to unnecessary distractions. In essence, I have been practicing mindfulness, but on a whole other level. My attention only goes to what I want, and I intentionally decide in advance to what kinds of people and situations I will give it to. For example, I don’t give attention to repeating news, opinions, and only selectively read what I need to know, which is just the facts. This allows me to stay emotionally stable during these tough times.
About 18 months ago, I realized that despite my best efforts, I am still drained by people. When I thought about how people clamor for my attention, and how I am wasting it, I realized that the vast majority of my attention is being asked for, even demanded by men who are of no personal interest to me. Yes, women do that too, but in my life, I get surrounded by men everywhere I go, and what is annoying they assume they are entitled to talking just because I am there.
Inappropriate men seek my attention for reasons that only make sense to them. My coworkers dial my phone number in off hours just to get to know me better. My male friends who I have been just friends with for years, pester me to give them a chance. Strangers follow me from the coffee shop to my home. Who gave you permission to follow a woman down the street to her home? Indian men follow me to public events then corner me and talk at me for forty minutes (unless I cut them off) to propose marriage without any signal from me that I am even interested. They don’t care if I am not.
Older men, the most starving of all, are “entitled” to my attention, and they start telling me that they are a real man and spell out what they can do for me in the first 30 seconds of meeting me. Usually they begin a conversation by mentioning how much money they have and what they are willing to pay for. Absolutely disgusting. I have a travel network. Men see my itineraries online, and purchase a trip traveling to an international destination assuming that I will be their girlfriend. They get there and are extremely disappointed when they find out they purchased a flight and a travel package, and they get none of my interest at all. Years later, some of them are still contacting me to find out if I am ready to get serious with them. Are you kidding me?
Yes, in my life, it is the men who are the biggest drain of my time and attention. People think that I should be enjoying it, but I absolutely recoil at being drained. People who do that are needy, hungry, lonely, entitled, toxic, and I had to figure out a way to cut my energy from them. Nothing worked. The more I tried to unfriend, block, not talk to them, the harder they tried to get my attention. It is as if “No” only incites them to persist harder.
So, I decided to stop fighting men, and learn to withdraw my energy instead. I tune them out, ignore them, pay no attention at all. About 18 months ago, I decided to pay attention selectively, and only to men who are of specific interest to me, to see if that helps. My strategy was to tune out everybody, avert eye contact, not answer messages, not initiate nor invite a conversation, not smile, not accept drinks from, not be present to males I have no personal interest in. Of course, I have to work with men, but I work with them in a detached manner, only conversing about work. In my private life, I have managed to be completely tuned out of males, unless I am dating one, or romantically interested in one. While I was doing this for 18 months, there were only two men in my private life who could get my attention, and only after I determined that the connection was healthy and satisfying to me. Otherwise, no attention to males who are not sleepable, datable, or of romantic or sexual interest at all.
When you think about it, this is the most practical thing to do. Why would anyone give away attention freely? Women are conditioned to do this for everyone, to smile warmly at any stranger who is entitled to her smile. I decided to do the opposite. I emitted no signal that I want attention for eighteen months. Here is what happened.
I carved out more time for myself. I gave myself permission to not answer messages or texts from men I have no personal interest in. No apologies were given.
At parties, I scanned the room and identified a few males I might be interested in talking to, while ignoring everyone else. If no interesting males were around, my attention was given to women. When men try to talk to me, I openly say I have no interest. I make no excuse like ‘sorry I have a boyfriend” because that is a lie, and why should I lie to protect a man’s feelings? “No thanks (to the drink) I am not interested”. It was uncomfortable to say this unapologetically, but why do I owe him an apology? Is saying No an insult? Only to insecure or egotistical men.
Being unapologetic was uncomfortable at first because I knew that men were waiting for a polite excuse “I would be interested if only it wasn’t for that pesky boyfriend”. But no apology and no explanation soon started to feel honest to me, it felt right, and the more comfortable I stared to feel, No, felt truthful, and powerful. Who could pester you for your time when you directly and clearly say no? The second thing I noticed is that I feel better about myself, and was slowly starting to feel more powerful, knowing that no one could drain me unless I allow them to pester me for attention.
The third effect of ignoring all men, is that I got ten times more unsolicited attention from men than ever. Unsolicited or unwanted attention is not pleasant. No one wants to be hounded by hungry attention seekers. At first, I was annoyed, but then I decided to examine who are these people who believe they are entitled to me?
Yes, most men who chase even more when they are being ignored are toxic. Think about it, would a healthy person pester, nag or hunt a person who clearly stated that she is not interested? No, a healthy man would have too much respect for himself. Unhealthy women do this too, they chase or nag even harder when their object of interest is not.
One day I read all my unread messages to find that the vast majority of these males are entitled, demand to talk to me, accuse me of being a you know what when I won’t reply, some even cursed me. My advice to you is to allow men to write, they will tell you exactly what you need to know about them. I would not have known how any of these males truly feel if I was politely allowing them to talk at me at an event. I would have been feeding them my energy and attention, and they would have been getting an ego stroke from me, even though I would never intend that. But, ignoring them allowed me to read and hear what these males really think.
Any male can be polite when he thinks he will get what he wants but pay close attention to who he becomes when he knows he cannot get anything at all. So far, I have seen rage, anger, insults, threats, stalking (yes two showed up on my lawn, and a few followed me to events in other cities). One even tried to discredit me in front of a dozen mutual friends as revenge for my rejection. Are these real men? What did I do to make them angry? This strategy of not engaging anyone in conversation at all, allowed me to filter unhealthy men. I never would have had the ability to see them as they truly are had I removed the filter and allowed everyone a bit of my time. I appreciate knowing.
However, withdrawing my attention also had a positive effect. It allowed me to identify quality men more effectively. Two guys noticed that my attention is not easily attainable. They both noticed that I don’t spread myself too thin with male attention, that I do not feed on it, that my ego doesn’t get boosted by male presence, in fact that I do not need it. I am still talking to both and am interested in them equally. My level of interaction with them is healthier than before, because I allowed them to show me who they are as people, their character, how they feel about women in general, what is their motive, and I got to see that upfront before getting invested at all.
In general, I think that withdrawing attention from all males I have no personal interest is working for me. I spend less time texting, answering messages, and even having drinks with males I do not intend to see again. Most of the time, I know I don’t want him in the first 30 seconds of the date, why waste an hour of my time with someone I know I don’t want?
I get more unwanted attention, but the wanted attention I get is of higher quality. I also realized that I have more time to pay attention to my own personal interest. Very few women date based on who they want to date, most accept offers from who is available. That is not much of a choice at all. In the last 18 months I have sharpened my senses, and I have a better idea of the kinds of characteristics I appreciate in men and the kinds that I now immediately avoid.
Knowing who I want is a huge advantage. I now don’t waste my time politely dividing my attention among people who are asking, instead I zero in on who I want. If that particular male is not interested in me, I am completely okay with it. I do not pursue nor wait for someone who is not interested. But, managing my attention, and allowing to only flow towards males I am interested in, helps me be more selective, and I get a higher quality of interaction from the males who matter to me.
This is a subject I feel very strongly about. I think that women are raised to be polite, flatter males on command, smile at everyone to make them feel good about themselves, make males feel brave about their manhood, and then they wonder how they unintentionally gave a male they don’t want romantically an indicator that he should pursue them. A lot of these same nice girls who support any male ego, wonder how they repeat painful cycles with toxic males who feed of their energy and attention but cannot contribute anything healthy to a relationship at all. They give attention on command. They smile automatically at anyone who is entitled to her validation. If you cater to people with your energy or your attention, don’t be surprised when they are just there to feed their egos.
My reverse strategy, to never give attention to anyone who is not of specific interest to me has worked in my favor. No, it wasn’t easy to get used to energetically blocking 99.9% of males. But, as Seinfeld said, 99.9% of the population is unsleepable. Women aren’t looking to hook up with 99.9% of males in this world, yet 99.9% of males firmly believe that’s she is interested in him. Why do they believe that? Because 99.9% of the women in this world are raised to be nice to everyone, to smile at everyone, to make everyone feel good and supported. That’s why.
If you are like me, and are wondering why unwanted males hound you, continue to pursue despite your resistance, and orbit you for years waiting for your attention, you might be unwittingly emitting a signal that shows them you could be supportive, giving, pleasing, stable, welcoming, enduring. Those are wonderful qualities, but you only want to give that to one man you have deemed worthy, not everyone who wants that. We all send that signal to everyone by being nice, caring, loving, positive, supportive. I am not instructing you to not be that, I am telling you to give all that to people who are worthy of you, not everyone.
The only way you will figure out who is worthy of your time is by carefully considering who specifically you want as a partner, and second, withholding that attention until that person has demonstrated interest, an ability to have a healthy relationship, that he is emotionally mature and healthy, that what he wants out of a relationship meets your needs, and that his commitment is unshakable. You cannot possibly know if he is the one you want if you are feeding him energy and attention upfront. And you can’t possibly identify him if you are emitting your signal to every male to pick up. I guarantee that the wrong males will come to feed on your signal, and you will be wasting time coddling the unwanted ones.
Spend an extended period of time making a list of characteristics and qualities that you want in a male. By now you have years of experience and material to be able to identify the inner qualities that work for you. The more time you spend homing in on what you want, the more it will become evident that you wasted your time giving attention to males who don’t come even close. The longer you stay focused on those wanted characteristics, the more dismissive you will be to males who are there to waste your time. Do not feel guilty, everybody is wasting your time and attention unless they are who you want. You are looking for one, not a hundred, so only focus on what or who you want.
When you shut off your signal, be prepared to feel uncomfortable. Males will feel entitled to your energy and your attention, and some of them will be absolutely belligerent when your presence no longer feeds their ego, nor validates them. Be okay with that. They are demonstrating that they were feeding off your energy from the start. You are not looking for an energy vampire, you are looking for a healthy man.
How many times have you left a relationship feeling drained, spent, only to realized you were in a connection with an unhealthy male? Don’t you wish you knew up front who he was? Isn’t a man’s emotional health one of the most important attributes women should look for? Then don’t feel bad that you have to screen for it. When I started blocking my signal and started directing it only to the males I want, I saw the side of maleness I never wanted to see. I saw that a lot of these males who were pursuing me were after energy, validation, an ego boost. Some looked absolutely desperate, hungry, starving for their manhood and were after me to fill their vacant insides. Yes, you will see this side of males too, but you must see it in order to understand that these are not healthy people, and that they cannot offer you a loving relationship. You have to be steadfast in this approach, because it will allow you to see the truth, you will see the inside of a male long before your become involved with him, and this is a must if you want to eliminate unhealthy candidates.
This will be unpleasant at first, but it will serve you once you become comfortable. Understand this is a display of their nature and has nothing to do with you. Don’t allow them to judge you, do not engage in exchanges of words, simply tune out once you see who this truly is. He is not for you, keep walking. Non-engagement is key. Engagement will only drain you further, so you must always remain detached from males acting inappropriately or with lack of respect. Do not compromise on this.
The world is full of healthy men. They are handsome, educated, strong, healthy, loving, caring, worldly, evolved, conscious, capable of having relationships on a higher level. How would you identify them? You can’t if you are giving time and attention to every male who asks for it. You cannot identify the healthy ones, while you are apologizing to the unhealthy ones. Practice only giving attention to what is wanted, and don’t waste your time and energy engaging nor justifying yourself to people you don’t want.
Do what you must do that is in your best interest. I had to block over 150 males who displayed lack of respect toward women in general, lack of respect toward me, psychological imbalance like anger, rage, shame, mind games. Yes, mind games are a red flag, not an opportunity to become engaged in conversation. I silenced males like coworkers, elderly, anonymous males who were contacting via any social media channel they could. No consideration at all. I silenced orbiters, those males who have been circling me for years, dropping in occasionally to check in to see if I am interested now. I silenced them by directly stating: “I noticed you have been asking me the same question for years, and I want to clarify that when I said no four years ago, I did not give any indication that you should wait”. Why did I say that? To cut off the energy. Those of you who are sensitive to energy can feel the presence of people in your energy field. I won’t go into details, but that too is a drain. If you feel it and if it doesn’t feel good, cut it off. You don’t need that attention, not even from a respectful distance.
I can honestly say that I feel healthier now. I have tuned out toxic news channels, energy vampires, and males who I was wasting time with. I have more time to focus on what I do want in my life. Sometimes I want to focus on a man, and sometimes not. The ability to shift focus has given me more power to pursue those wanted things. We simply do not have enough time to give our attention to everyone who demands it.