Monday, May 28, 2012

Social Media Sucker

Who do you know that is a Negative Nancy on social media?  Their posts are 50+% negative or self loathing.  Or they are deep sea fishing for a compliment on the regular. 

I do love social media because of its innate ability to promote expression.  Unfortunately though, some have regressed into somewhat of a passive aggressive nature as it relates to communication.  We are all guilty of this I feel, including my self at least once a week.  But there is a difference between a rant and a funk.

People are beginning to do studies that relate to the increased occurrence of anxiety, depression, and the overall stress caused by the use of social media.  Not every friend or user is considered to be a valued relationship.  Consider this:

How important is this relationship in my life?
How much do I invest in this relationship?
How much does this person invest in me?
How do I feel in their presence?

Hopefully all positive thoughts come to mind as you answer those questions.  Our relationships should not leave us feeling obligated vs. willing, unhappy together vs. unfulfilled alone, passive vs. confident.  What does an energizing relationship look like to you?

Do your social media relationships energize or drain you? Some helpful tips to freshen up your feed:

  • Set your feed settings to avoid publishing updates from Nancy.  Keep her as a friend, but turn of the mobile update ok?  Her posts are downers and create stress and concern over situations that are insignificant to your relationship or well being.  If something major happens, you will know about it, or it should be time to assess the value of the relationship.
  • Try not to "like" or "retweet" every single rant, it only encourages negative behavior.  We post for attention and the need to feel acknowledged and important to someone.  Not a bad thing if you have self worth.  Totally a bad thing if a social media site is the thermometer for your self esteem.  If your friend Nancy is having a rough time, you are just the person to reach out if she is worth it to you.  Otherwise, see the above bullet point.
  • Clean up your lists.  We hold onto people on social media as if to prove that we are important to many more people that we really are.  Hold your close one close and let the others go if they are annoying you.  They will probably not notice that they were unfriended or unfollowed.  Seriously.  If you are not ready for this, see the first bullet.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Toxic Love

Ever had a friend cross that imaginary line?  Kind of like losing at tug-o-war and falling into the mud, only to be walked on so they don't get dirty? (good metaphor I thought).  This has happened to me a hand full of times.  I am the friend that is loyal to the bone, until you cross that line and then I am done.  And I do not mean I cute back to 20%, I mean I hit 0% hard.  If I could be in a negative relationship with you afterwards, that is my preference. 

The sheer feeling inside my body when I am involved in a toxic relationship is retching.  I am a firm believer in creating your own happiness.  I choose to eliminate toxic people from my life in order to do so.  Will I be at your bedside if you are dying?  Yes.  Will I help you with a flat tire?  Yes.  But you will not be involved in any aspect of my life after you drag me through the mud.

I believe that we should trim the fat off of our life so that we can enjoy the hearty inside.  We should free up some space in the hard drive so we can store more pleasurable and meaningful memories.  We need to save more room for dessert.  Is that enough analogies?

Why does our society find it appalling to eliminate relationships?  I would imagine because not everyone is willing to sever the tie and still remain a decent person enough to offer sympathy, compassion, and empathy during the hard times to follow.  I guess I just find it disturbing that people can harshly judge others for cutting ties, but yet it is acceptable to maintain a negative energy with another person creating more stress for everyone involved.

I try hard to not put toxins into my body.  I eat right, I do not abuse drugs or alcohol, and I exercise.  But we do not feel the need to eliminate toxins from our hearts and the core of our emotions.  Why?  Don't you think one is just as important as the other?


Monday, May 14, 2012

Non-traditional Tradition

It is quite obvious that I read blogs on the internet elated to psychology and other mental health happenings.  I recently read one about marriage making parents happier.  Since we are just coming off of one of the most celebrated holidays during the year, Mother's Day, a few things came to my mind as my parents are not married and I am estranged from my mother--nice combo.  I will sound quite cynical in this post, but I do believe that my points on this matter are worth some consideration. I am intending to invoke some compassion for the other point of view.

1.  What about the kids without a mother or maternal figure?  My mother is not dead, but we have not been in contact in 5 years.  We have both chosen not to contact one another for one reason or another.  Is that holiday a sore subject for me, you bet.  However, I rejoice in the women I do have in my life who have played a major role in who I am today because they deserve it.  But what about those people who do not have a support system?  The media cranks out millions of dollars in advertising to promote this day.  Restaurants offer special brunch, stores offer sales, and Hallmark sells a lot of cards.  I picture a small child who is neglected and consider if those things make me upset, how must they feel?  I assume kind of like me, much more alone.  Do I believe that Mothers in this world deserve that day, yes.  Do I think it is fair that society pressures me to acknowledge a very toxic aspect of my life?  Absolutely not.

2.  Is divorce a bad thing?  In my situation no.  I might be in the minority of children who were glad to see the end to a 20+ year marriage.  I mentioned before about a toxic relationship.  I understand the point of view that your spouse is your priority.  And though I do not wish to have children myself, I do realize the value they must hold for parents.  This love should come above all else, including that sacred bond.  Why should parents stay together when their relationship is poisoning the whole family?  Is it easier to divorce, I don' think so.  Is the best option, perhaps.  But what I do know is that in the long run, children benefit from positive environments with support and communication.  Worth some consideration.  A miserable parent is hard to hide from kids, trust me.  Point is, do not always feel sorry for kids of broken families, sometimes it really is for the best.

So what is the point of this cynical rant?  Be careful to pressure everyone into the idea that you must be married, have kids, and live happily ever after.  Some women are not meant to have children and rush into it to fulfill a societal expectation.  And then when they can not perform, we chastise them for failing at something they should have not done in the first place.  Some couples are good for as long as they can be.  Their growth together comes to a halt and their relationship and interactions with others become toxic, often at the expense of the children creating resentment and unattainable expectations of behavior and emotion.

Happy is not determined by the accomplishment of societal goals.  Happiness is a choice.  I choose to be happy in my life regardless of the perceived misfortunes I have experienced.  Just a thought.