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Are We Spending Too Little Time on Too Many People?

Are We Spending Too Little Time on Too Many People?

Who have you interacted with in the last 24 hours? Coworkers, best friends, family, or facebook friends? Chances are, the people you have spent the majority of your time with are not highly important to you, but rather general acquaintances. Meanwhile, those who matter most to you didn’t have much quality time with you.

Technology is amazing because it allows us to keep up with people we would have otherwise lost track of. However, for the same reason, we interact with people very differently than we used to.

In the past, we wouldn’t connect to so many people

In the past, we interacted with people we could see all the time – our real friends, our family members, and certainly our coworkers. If we wanted to see someone outside of those groups, we had to call them to hear their voice, or physically meet up with them somewhere. And when we did choose to meet up with someone, we were very present during our encounter.

When you were making time for other people, you valued the time with them more and could spend quality time with them.

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If there were people who, as time went by, didn’t really make time for real connections, they would naturally work their way out of your life. It’s natural for relationships to appear and disappear throughout time. If we were to carry people as we moved on our lives, we would naturally let go some of them along the way. It’d look like this:

    Today, connecting with people is almost too easy

    Facebook, emails and text messages allow us to connect with others instantly, even if they are in different countries. And not just one person – group texts allow us to touch base with numerous friends, simultaneously. If you don’t reach out to people via text, all it takes is a quick look at their Facebook status to know what they are doing.

    Yet quick connections tend to be shallow. Think about this, how many of your facebook “friends” have you met in person more than one time? Even though you have no true connection with that person, you know everything about them! That knowledge is meaningless because you aren’t truly connected.

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    As you walk forward in your life, you’ll have more of these shallow connections. While at the time it can feel good, like you’re popular and wanted, they will only hold you back from truly connecting with those in your life who matter. Instead of naturally letting go of some people along your way, you’re carrying way too many of them which becomes a burden to you.

      Connect deeper, not more

      Quality is definitely more important than quantity when it comes to relationships. More connections can really mean more meaningless people taking away valuable time. The key is to make each connection count.

      In the past, 80% of time was spent on people who matter to us. Now we spend that percentage on social media “friends” and text messages.

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        Filter out who is important to you and who is a hindrance

        It may seem cruel to have to categorize and filter your friends, but it’s harsher for you to spend time on people who aren’t that important to you. I talked about the concept of friendship decluttering in my other article: The Harsh but Honest Truth About Friendship Decluttering. Here’s how it works:

        Go through your virtual friends and make a color-coded list. Red should label those people who are bad connections, and even selfish people in real life. Assign this label to the ones who guilt you into time with them. Sort the rest of your “friends” into blue labels (semi-shallow but with potential) and green (the real friends you care about). Get rid of all the red relationships and focus on developing more green.

        Go back to this list again in a few weeks and see if any relationships are still distracting or should be in the red category. If so, delete those people. While it may seem harsh and you may fear they will notice and be upset, the truth is that you have to do what’s best for you and those connections you truly care to cultivate.

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        If someone were to reach out to you, asking why they no longer see your post, be honest: tell them you needed to focus more on your immediate family and friends in order to be the best you possible. Check out this article about how this can make you connect with your true friends: I Deleted 564 Friends On Facebook But I Have Saved 100 Real Life Friendships

        The right people deserve your time

        If you related to what was mentioned in this article, click off and start sorting through your relationships right now. Get rid of relationships you are spending a ton of time of simply because it’s easy. Choose to make more time, and put more effort into, the important connections. You owe it to them and to yourself.

        Featured photo credit: Erik Lucatero via unsplash.com

        More by this author

        Anna Chui

        Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the Content Strategist of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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        Last Updated on October 13, 2020

        12 Things High Self-Esteem People Don’t Do

        12 Things High Self-Esteem People Don’t Do

        Having high self-esteem is important if you are aiming for personal or professional success. Interestingly, most people will high levels of self-esteem act in similar ways. That’s why it’s often easy to pick them out in a crowd. There’s something about the way they hold themselves and speak, isn’t there?

        We all have different hopes, dreams, experiences, and paths, but confidence has its own universal language. This list will present some of the things you won’t find yourself doing if you have high self-esteem.

        1. Compare Yourself to Others

        People with low self-esteem are constantly comparing their situation to others. On the other hand, people with higher self-esteem show empathy and compassion while also protecting their own sanity. They know how much they can handle and when they can offer a helping hand.

        In the age of social media, however, social comparisons are nearly ubiquitous. One study found that “participants who used Facebook most often had poorer trait self-esteem, and this was mediated by greater exposure to upward social comparisons on social media”[1]. Basically, you will feel worse about yourself if you are constantly getting glimpses into lives that you consider to be better than yours.

        Try to limit your time on social media. Also, when you do start scrolling, keep in mind that each profile is carefully crafted to create the appearance of a perfect life. Check yourself when you find yourself wishing for greener grass.

        2. Be Mean-Spirited

        People with low self-esteem bully others. They take pleasure in putting other people down. People with positive self-esteem see no need to down other people, choosing instead to encourage and celebrate successes.

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        If you find that you feel the need to put others down, analyze where that’s coming from. If they’ve had success in life, help them feel good about that achievement. They may do the same for you one day.

        3. Let Imperfection Ruin Your Day

        Perfectionism isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but obsessing over making everything perfect is a sign that you have low self-esteem and can lead to never-ending negative thoughts. This can turn into an inability to solve problems creatively, which will only make self-esteem issues worse. 

        Those with high self-esteem disconnect from the results and do their best without expecting perfection.

        People with that kind of confidence understand that messing up is a part of life and that each time they aim and miss success, they’ll at least learn something along the way.

        If you miss the mark, or if your plan doesn’t work out exactly as you would have liked, take a deep breath and see if you can pivot in order to do better next time.

        4. Dwell on Failure

        It’s common to hear people dwelling on all the ways things will go wrong. They are positive that their every failure signals an impossible task or an innate inability to do something. People with healthy self-esteem discover why they failed and try again.

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        People with higher levels of confidence also tend to adopt a growth mindset[2]. This type of thinking supports the idea that most of your abilities can be improved and altered, as opposed to being fixed.

        For example, instead of saying, “I’m just not good at math; that’s why I did bad on the test,” someone with a growth mindset would say, “Math is difficult for me, so I’ll have to put in some more practice to improve next time.”

        Next time you experience a failure, check out this video to help you believe in yourself again:

        5. Devalue Your Self-Esteem

        People with high self-esteem value their own perception of themselves – they understand that they come first and don’t feel guilty about taking care of themselves. They believe charity starts within, and if they don’t believe that, they’ll never have a healthy self-image.

        Self-care is often top of the priority list for people with self-esteem. For some ways to practice self-care, check out this article.

        6. Try to Please Others

        They can’t please all the people all the time, so confident people first focus on doing what will make them feel fulfilled and happy. While they will politely listen to others’ thoughts and advice, they know that their goals and dreams have to be completed on their own terms.

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        7. Close Yourself off

        Confident people have the ability to be vulnerable. It’s those with poor self-esteem that hide all the best parts of themselves behind an emotional wall. Instead of keeping the real you a secret, be open and honest in all your dealings.

        As Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly, points out, “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen”[3]. When you embrace each facet of who you are and allow others to see them as well, it will create deeper, more meaningful connections in your life. When that happens, you’ll realize that perfection doesn’t lead to people liking you more.

        You can learn more about the power of vulnerability in this TED talk with Brené Brown:

        8. Follow and Avoiding Leading

        People with low self-esteem don’t believe they can lead, so they end up following others, sometimes into unhealthy situations. Rather than seeking a sense of belonging, people with high self-esteem walk their own paths and create social circles that build them up.

        9. Fish for Compliments

        If you’re constantly seeking compliments, you’re not confident. People with high self-esteem always do their best (and go out of their way to do good deeds) because it’s what they want to do, not because they’re seeking recognition. If you need to hear compliments, say them to yourself in the mirror.

        You can even try some positive affirmations if you need a confidence boost. Check out these affirmations to get started.

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        10. Be Lazy

        People work harder when they have high self-esteem because they’re not bogged down by doubts and complaints. Those with low self-esteem end up procrastinating and wasting their energy thinking about all the work they have to do rather than rolling up their sleeves and just getting it done.

        This may also bounce off perfectionism. Perfectionists often feel intimidated by certain projects if they fear that they won’t be able to complete them perfectly. Tap into your confidence and simply do your best without worrying about a perfect outcome.

        11. Shy Away from Risks

        When you trust yourself, you’ll be willing to participate more in life. People with low self-esteem are always on the sidelines, waiting for the perfect moment to jump in. Instead of letting life pass you by, have confidence in your success and take the risks necessary to succeed.

        12. Gossip

        People with low self-esteem are always in other peoples’ business – they’re more interested in what everyone else is doing than themselves. People with high self-esteem are more interested in their own life and stay out of others’ affairs.

        Instead of participating in idle gossip, talk about some positive news you heard recently, or that fascinating book you just finished. There’s plenty to talk about beyond what this or that person did wrong in their life.

        The Bottom Line

        Self-esteem is to success in life. People who maintain a healthy level of self-esteem believe in themselves and push themselves to succeed, while those with low confidence feel a sense of entitlement.

        If you need a boost in your self-image and mental health, avoid negative self-talk and the other mistakes of people with low self-esteem. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes.

        More Tips on Building Confidence

        Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem
        [2] Brain Pickings: Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives
        [3] Forbes: Brene Brown: How Vulnerability Can Make Our Lives Better

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