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When You Stop Posting Selfies, These 10 Things Will Happen

When You Stop Posting Selfies, These 10 Things Will Happen

Like many millennials, I spend more time on social media than anywhere else. As a serial selfie offender, my only excuse is overcoming a particularly awkward ten year puberty phase. However, it can be a fine line between celebrating your self confidence and becoming obsessed with how others see you. There’s nothing wrong documenting your life today, but when you stop depending on others validation of your selfies, the following incredible things will happen.

Your Self Image Will Be Healthier

Sure, seeing a great picture of yourself is a short-term boost for your self image, but ultimately this boost is temporary. No matter what body type you have, a truly positive self image comes from valuing yourself for more than your looks – something that photographs rarely capture.

You Will Listen Better

Too much social media is linked to a desire to dominate others, since one sees themselves above others. One way this inconsideration for others shows itself is through unilateral listening. This means someone only listens to others in order to negate or criticize what they’re saying. Obviously, such a practice is an unhealthy way to relate to others.

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Your Mental State Will Improve

Since excessive social media use has also recently been linked as a factor in some mental conditions, it’s important to balance our interest in online media with reality in the offline world. Some studies suggest an obsession with selfies on social media could potentially be a factor in developing problems with depression, narcissistic personality disorder, and body dysmorphia, among others.

You Will Be More Selfless In Relationships

Similarly, an obsession with posting selfies can eventually be damaging to some relationships. Excessive social media use is linked to an increase in narcissism, which can make you selfish in your relationships. Remember that our appearances are only skin deep. Good looks are definitely temporary, and a good friend or significant other needs to have the personality to back it up. No relationship can be a healthy one if one person is too self obsessed to care about the other.

You Will Have Better Self Worth

Similarly, depending on others positive reactions to your looks in order to feel worthy is a slippery slope. Since your self-worth should be independent of other people’s opinions of you, it really doesn’t matter if others find your pictures attractive or not. To be a complete and happy person, the only person who needs to find you valuable as you. By overly valuing others’ opinions of your selfies, you run the risk of redefining your self worth by how other see you.

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You Will Be More Secure

Self confidence is another area that should not be affected by how others see you. If your confidence is dependent on positive comments and likes on your selfies, it will only take one negative or snarky remark to make you completely crumble. Each of us is truly unique with plenty to bring to the table, and no one should let others’ sarcasm or negativity affect how you see your personality and potential.

You Will Have A Better Attitude

Freeing yourself from worrying about how others see you can be an excellent thing for your attitude. Again, by being too concerned with how others comment or react to our selfies, we give other people the power to control our mood and perceptions. Being more balanced about what we post, or taking a short break from posting selfies, can do wonders for putting you back in control of your attitude, confidence, and mood.

You Will Have A Real Definition Of Beauty

Not only does posting too many selfies overly emphasize others opinions of us, but caring only about your appearance can negatively skew your definition of beauty. It is fantastic to feel confident in photos, but if you start emphasizing your appearance over other qualities, you risk becoming overly superficial. Selfies are a fine addition to your social media presence, so long as you clearly value other things about yourself as well. Try to balance valuing looking good online with involvement in intelligent content, world events, science and technology developments, and concern for others in your social circles.

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You Will Be Less Offended By Negativity

Additionally, growing more narcissistic can make you more prone to anger. Where negative comments used to have little impact on you, relying on others attention to define ourselves means that criticism hits much harder. Avoiding this tendency to over react to negativity is crucial in maintaining a healthy view of yourself.

You Will Be More In The Moment

The American Psychiatric Association cites taking more than three selfies a day as actual disorder. Whether or not you agree with this classification, one thing is for sure: taking pictures of yourself upwards of three times a day will undoubtedly interfere with your ability to live life in the moment. Remember that putting down your phone and experiencing a moment for what it is can be a freeing and powerful experience.

All in all, there is nothing wrong with sharing your confidence and body positivity with the world, but remember that who you are is much more than what is on the surface. Others opinions of your selfies should not have a significant impact on how you live your life, despite how engaging social media is. Everyone can appreciate someone who is selfless and caring, and these qualities are usually most apparent in people with a solid sense of self-confidence and self worth. Growing as a person and cultivating a healthy self-image is separate from the attention we get from others. Seeking a balance in your social media presence may seem challenging at first, but is a rewarding approach to these new and exciting ways to communicate.

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Featured photo credit: Susanne Nilsson via flickr.com

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Alicia Prince

A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

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Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

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