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When Good Dates Go Bad: 6 Interventions To Rescue Your Relationship

When Good Dates Go Bad: 6 Interventions To Rescue Your Relationship
    From Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/papazimouris/

    Relationship Hell. We’ve all been there; you’re doing the same things with the same person that once made you so happy but now cloud 9 has inexplicably morphed into planet misery. Why does it happen? How can you avoid it and how the heck do you get out of it once you’re in it?

    The number one cause of a good date gone bad, is our dangerous tendency to become focused or even obsessed with the imaginary ideal of a relationship that we create in our minds. We can devote so much energy towards this fantasy that it takes on a life of its own.

    If we get really carried away, longing for the relationship we would like to be having mutates into resentment about the one we are actually in. We start to project blame on the other person, righteously indignant that they are somehow depriving us of the relationship we “ought” to be having. We fall into the trap of constantly measuring our experience against the standards of this imaginary relationship and making ourselves miserable when it falls short.

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    We start noticing how much (fill in the blank) we are getting, weighing it up against how things are in the imaginary relationship. Then we start to question whether the person deserves what we’ve been giving- and begin to hold back. The other person reacts to the withdrawal and so the vicious cycle begins- “you’re not meeting my needs, so I’m not going to meet yours”.

    Dead-lock. So what can you do?

    First of all, when you’re in the thick of things, try to resist the urge to react impulsively, no matter how many buttons are being pushed. Start agreeing to use time outs with each other or at a minimum, slow things down with a couple of deep breaths. Acknowledging – even to yourself- the deeper feelings below the anger – which is usually some kind of fear, can really help to de-escalate.

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    Next, here is a list of 6 interventions to try in the case of a relationship emergency.

    #1 Let go of your expectations

    That relationship you think you ought to be having isn’t real. Resist the urge to compare and despair. Ask yourself if you didn’t have an idea that things should be different, how would it change how you feel right now?

    #2 Be present

    How much of the “problem” is to do with either things that happened in the past or your fears about what might happen in the future? See that living, breathing person in front of you? The one that is actually here, right now? Give them some attention. Not just some in fact, give them one hundred percent of your undivided attention. Really look at them – with eye contact!

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    #3 Be honest

    With yourself and with your beloved. Radical Honesty is the key. Give up the denial and stop trying to manipulate the situation. The truth will set you free – but please remember to tell it kindly.

    #4 Listen

    Tell them that you want to really listen and then shut up and do it. Bite your tongue if necessary. No interrupting. Give them the gift of being willing to hear whatever they want to say without repercussions. No responding, defending or justifying allowed.

    #5 Give what you’d like to receive

    All the time. Especially when you are mad. That’s the time to make the extra effort. It’s easy to be loving when it’s easy. The tough get loving when the loving gets tough. Buy flowers when you are furious. Get out the lingerie when you least feel like wearing it. Offer a foot rub when you want to run away. You’ll be amazed at the results.

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    #6 Be vulnerable

    Instead trying desperately to avoid the pain you think is coming, decide to face it and stay open in spite of it. Stop defending yourself, stop trying to get your point across and most importantly, stop trying to be right.

    Each of these interventions can be very powerful by themself. Start to combine them and you have quite an impressive tool-kit to bring to the table. Maybe even more importantly, is that regardless of the outcome, practicing these techniques will help you feel better and feel better about yourself during the process.

    Share this list with your beloved. Since what you are doing isn’t working anyway, why not suggest something different? Above all, always remember that the only person actually under your control is you.

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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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