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6 Struggles Only People With A Natural Poker Face Understand

6 Struggles Only People With A Natural Poker Face Understand

Anybody watching this summer’s season of Big Brother? If you are, then you’d know that the person currently running the house (at least at the time of this article) is professional poker player, Vanessa. And if you looked up “natural poker face” in the dictionary, you’d probably see her mug staring back at you.

But seriously, what’s a “natural poker face,” you ask? Well, it’s basically the gender neutral version of “resting bitch face.” So if you’re somebody who tends to have a blank, emotionless, slightly annoyed-looking expression on your face at all times, you too are likely afflicted by this condition. But don’t worry – you definitely aren’t the only one!

What kinds of struggles do people like this suffer through on a daily basis? Read on to find out!

1. You are constantly asked if you’re unhappy.

This is probably the most common thing you’ll be asked. And the answer is almost always, despite what your expression might suggest, a resounding NO

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The ironic thing is that the more you’re asked this question, the more unhappy you actually become!

2. People think you are mocking them.

Let’s say someone tells you a joke. You think it’s super funny, but because of how your face works, they can’t tell. Usually you’ll have to actually say something like, “wow that was hilarious,” in order to reassure them that you do truly enjoy their sense of humor.

3. You rarely have people approach you.

You could be the most good looking person in the world, and it wouldn’t matter. With your natural poker face, few will find the courage to approach you unless you make the first move.

This can of course have its pros and cons. If you are more introverted, you might enjoy the peace and quiet. But if you are a bubbly, extroverted type, you’ll have to work extra hard to ensure that your face doesn’t revert to its natural expression.

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4. People will think you’re demanding.

Most folks with a natural poker face look pretty intense, even when they’re saying the most mundane things. For example, let’s say you’re doing a group project and you’re ordered to lead it. When you give out instructions, you’ll look almost dictatorial when you’re doling out orders, despite the fact that that’s not what you intended at all.

This means you’ll have to be super careful if you’re ever in a position of power, as folks might get the wrong idea. And for most, it helps to act super cheerful in those situations.

This is because your version of the “super cheerful” expression will look like a standard “happy expression” to most normal folks.

5. You will be judged (unfairly) a lot of the time.

Despite the fact that people with this permanently bored or annoyed expression are usually too busy mulling over their own thoughts to notice those around them, they’ll still be accused of looking like they’re “judging” other people.

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Which is kind of ironic, because by accusing you of being judgmental (due to your expression), others are being judgmental themselves.

6. You have to load up on caffeine whenever you want to be social.

Sometimes, in order to give yourself a boost and dispel some of that permanent poker face, indulging in a few cups of coffee do the trick. This will deter your co-workers or classmates from asking if you’re alright or if you’re having a bad day.

The moral of the story is that sometimes you’ll need a little help when navigating the social playing field. For some, that help comes in the form of caffeine, but you might have another trick up your sleeve.

Because sometimes caffeine can result in that fun little setback of a caffeine crash, save that trick for important situations, like when you’re with good friends or out on a date. At all other times, folks will just have to learn to love the expression you were born with.

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Have a funny story that involves your naturally smoldering expression? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured photo credit: Annoyed/Cristiano Betta via flic.kr

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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