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Banking on Your Being Different: 7 Tips to Stay Away from Isolation

Banking on Your Being Different: 7 Tips to Stay Away from Isolation

Sometimes being too different may lead to sacrificing your social life. You might think that nobody understands you, and because of this, you might become isolated or feel like an outcast. But it doesn’t have to be this way!

There might be several reasons why you are different or considered unique. Maybe you have a different sense of fashion, you are a vegan, you have no family or you have a big family, you are a yogi, you don’t eat pizza, you had cosmetic surgery back when you were young, or you are debt free. Some people won’t understand until you reach out to them, but how do you start the process?

Some Tips on How to Reach Out

One has to deal with other people, maybe not now or tomorrow, but eventually, it will happen. There are lots of ways to do it and the first tip is to stay positive.

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1. Embrace your differences.

Your eyes may have a different lilt, your nose a different size or your voice a different tone, but you should be the one who should embrace your uniqueness. Never mind that you are being teased for those youthful mistakes you made. Never mind that you look red in a sea of blue people. It means you are unique and interesting.

2. See being different as a learning and teaching opportunity.

There are no little lessons that can’t be learned or can’t be taught. See it as an opportunity to help people. When they ask about your being vegan, explain, but don’t impose. If they ask you why you got a cosmetic procedure, outline your positive reasons.

3. Be your own company.

Never feel isolated–that’s the first thing that will lead to your isolation. If you feel lonely among the crowd, try to entertain yourself. Never retreat right away to any place alone.

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4. Be curious.

So if you feel alone, why not be the one to reach out? Try to meet or know other people. You aren’t the only one who is different; try to discover the differences in other people. Listen to them and see their beauty from within.

5. Find friends who will understand you.

There are just people in the world that will be able to tolerate your eccentricities and your differences, even though you yourself are not quite the same. They are for keeps.

6. Let people make choices.

When they want to drift away from you, try to reach out first. If it fails, don’t keep a heavy heart. They probably aren’t worth the effort.

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7. Make being different an advantage.

See famous people today? They are different. They think differently. They stood out, so you should too. You are unique, and that counts more than blending in.

Banking on these Advantages

People who are intrapersonal, strong and intelligent can really evolve into somebody who is interpersonally intelligent. An understanding of yourself can be the key to understanding people better. See these things as a jump-start to you growing and reaching out.

Many of your peers are there, waiting to be reached out to. Sometimes all it takes for you to emancipate yourself from total isolation from the world is a single step. A simple conversation, a useful tip or even a little compliment can never go wrong, as long as the other person is willing to open up too.

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It may be harder at first but then you will start to realize that who you are can contribute greatly to the world. Anything you do or have–tattoos, lifestyle, beliefs–they are all you. Many may not accept you, but at least give them a try. Reach out.

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Banking on Your Being Different: 7 Tips to Stay Away from Isolation

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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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