Shitloops ruin your life. Your relationships. Your job. Your free time when you think you are getting away from everything. The shitloop is still there, making you anxious, resentful, angry, hopeless, sad.

The only way out of a shitloop is to break the shitloop.

Shitloops are negative feedback loops. Here are some shitloops:

  • You think you are terrible at everything, so you don’t try anything new or practice. You get worse.
  • You think your relationship will end so you pull away, increasing the chance that it’ll end.
  • You don’t say what you think about a situation or person. The situation persists. You feel bad about not saying anything before, so you don’t saying anything now.
  • You know you weren’t there for a friend when they needed you or when you should have said something, so you avoid them to avoid the shame. You grow more distant from your friend.
  • You don’t reply to an email punctually and feel guilty about it. You don’t respond to the email.
  • Something is late anyway, so more time passing doesn’t matter, right? More time passes, more late.
  • Somebody criticizes you. You get defensive. They drive the point home. You double down and get more defensive. You start to believe your own rationalizations.
  • Your relationships are bad, so any attempts to fix them end badly. You think there’s no hope.
  • Anything goes badly, attempts to fix them go badly. You think there’s no hope.
  • Any situation where you convince yourself of anything that is untrue.

How do you get out of a shitloop? You don’t – unless something happens that snaps you out of it or unless you are courageous enough to be brutally honest with yourself about the existence of the shitloop. Being brutally honest with yourself is SUPPOSED TO BE PAINFUL. No defense mechanisms. No rationalizations allowed. Suspend what you think is your own rationality – if you’re in a shitloop, a lot of your thinking will be wrong. You’ll have to acknowledge that a lot of your beliefs about yourself, other people, and the situation are wrong. Your own logic is flawed. The more you are convinced that you are right, the more wrong you are. The more right you think you are, the tighter the shitloop is and the more work you have to do to get out of it.

But you can do it. Be brave and be honest. Write it out. There is hope, there is always hope. Not much but enough, and that’s all we can ask for.
xx

Written by Natalia Dashan

I studied psychology and computer science at Yale. Graduated in 2016 B.S. Psychology. Wingwoman by assertion.

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