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How to Love the Unlovable

How to Love the Unlovable


    If you are annoyed and distracted by the people around you, chances are you are missing out. Communication and connection are just a few of the things that you miss when you are deep in disapproval. There are serious issues that can get in the way, but let’s explore some of the common annoyances on the lighter side.

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    The Unloveables

    Cell Yell Man
    Just because he can’t hear his call clearly (usually in a busy, public place), he responds by yelling into his cell phone as if he’s announcing a fire. You get to hear every detail of his sometimes very personal conversation, and completely forget what you were doing.

    Mrs. Broken Blinker
    Using the directional signal when turning seems simple enough, but this Mrs. can’t find the time, energy or courtesy to use it. Even better, when she occasionally does decide to let you know she is turning, she forgets to turn it off.

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    The Guru Guy
    He knows everything and is determined to let you know about how much he knows. He won’t teach you anything, but is happy to remind you about his vast wealth of knowledge.

    Last Word Lady
    You know her. She is always right and always has to wrap up every conversation.

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    iMan
    Oh man, iMan is either checking email on his iPhone, Skyping on his iPad or trying to hold a conversation while blogging on his iMac. Otherwise he is hanging at the Genius Bar, or talking about the new IOS whatever.

    Fast Forward Girl
    If you have to cull the following messages from your email, then this girl is in your life. “It’s national best friends day” “Forward this to 10 people for good luck” “Don’t delete if you love me”.

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    While these references are in good fun, the point is that we can be more loving to the unlovables in our life with a few simple shifts in attitude and approach.

    • Humanize. Remember that everyone has similar struggles. Your unloveable probably has a family, a job, self-esteem issues, an illness or something else that makes them who they are. They are dealing with all that life has to offer just like you. Ask them about their life instead of focusing on their bad habit.
    • Pity Story. Make up a sad story to make the situation less stressful. For instance, if you feel road rage building up when the person in front of you forgets to use their signal, make up a story about how he just lost his job and can’t afford to replace his tail light. Slow down and let empathy replace anger.
    • Stop trying to fix everything. We are all different and while it would be great if everyone were as wonderful as you, that’s not going to happen. Lighten up and let it be.
    • Celebrate imperfection. We aren’t perfect. None of us. Not even you. It is your imperfections that make you unique. Your flaws are a part of who you are. Celebrate that in yourself and others.
    • Laugh. Sometimes all you can do is smile, nod and laugh inside.
    • Be Kind. You don’t have to agree to be kind.

    There may be people in your life like the unloveables, or maybe other things get in the way of love. Remember that everyone has something to offer. If you can find a way to step around the one thing that is getting in the way of a closer relationship, there might be something wonderful on the other side.

    (Photo credit: Heart of Grass via Shutterstock)

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    Courtney Carver

    Courtney Carver is a speaker, author, productivity expert and founder of Be More with Less.

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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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