I was told recently that people love, love, love lists.
Now, since i’m here trying to write about issues that will bring women together and since i’m trying to discuss topics that will hopefully allow all of us to have better relationships with one another I figure it’s a good time to personally address how to better the relationship we have with ourselves. And I will do so…with a list of my very own.
As a result, I sat down and thought of five everyday things I had to call myself on to really get to the core of any discontent I had in my life. And when I examined each of these things, I realized that I had a “me” problem…and those things needed to change.
Some of the phrasing in this list may sound harsh, and that’s okay…we have to be harsh in order to call ourselves out on our own bullshit. And all of the stuff Im saying in this list, is stuff I have actually said to myself…while staring into a mirror…shaking my head in disappointment. So…happy reading, ladies and gents.
FIVE SIGNS YOU NEED A “YOU” MAKEOVER:
1. You’ve un-subscribed or un-added someone on Facebook, yet still look up their profile about once a week to see what they’re doing.
Let me describe a situation for you: you’re on Facebook, or Instagram, sorting through cat memes, weekend photos, and your friends’ random musings about life. You’re scrolling through your feed, and then you stumble on it. “She” has posted something. It doesn’t matter Who “she” is or what she did or did not do to you. What matters is that whoever this person is…seeing her photos and posts, simply just irritates you. Or stirs up negative feelings deep in our lady brains.
Long story short, this person’s existence on your social media makes you feel badly about yourself (whether they deserve it or not). So, you do what any rational person our age does: to remove the negativity they bring into your life from your life (whether its her fault or not), you “unsubscribe” from them OR un-add them if you’re ready to start some real drama. (I personally go for the un-add, much to the horror of my friends…bye felicia).
This feels great for a while. For a few hours, days, or even weeks, we feel 20 pounds lighter. The clouds have parted, birds are singing, this person is for all intents and purposes…dead to you. Go…you.
Then it happens…the itch. You find yourself typing their name in your “search” bar, and looking at the preview of their profile that pops up below. You do this a few times, maybe hold out for a day, and then BOOM, before you know it, you’re all over their page scouring it with so much intensity and diligence that it would make any crime scene investigator proud.
Now…I know what you’re hoping to see. You’re hoping to type in their name and that you’re going to come upon something like this:
But what you really find is something along the lines of this:
So, there you go…you wanted to see if she had fallen into a social black hole, and was left feeling miserable and destitute ever since you shunned her from your Facebook world…instead you see that nothing’s really changed: she still has friends who love her, she still eats desserts, and life seems to be pretty good. But I get it, I get it…you wanted to see who she was with, how she was feeling, what she was eating. You just wanted to see what she was doing. Sure, I get it.. But…here’s a better question for you:
What are YOU doing.
I mean, really…You went to the trouble to cut this person out of your life because, for whatever reason, you’re not happy when you know what they’re up to. And then…you go out of your way to see what they’re up to… Why? Why do this to yourself? Here’s why you need to STOP doing this…
It’s emotional cutting. It’s going out of your way to find people who cause you to feel like shit. Going out of your way to find someone else who makes you feel inadequate. So why do we do this? Probably so that we don’t have to focus on what is actually making us feel inadequate…in most cases… it’s ourselves. We do this with ex-friends, ex-boyfriends, our ex-boyfriends new girlfriends (because that’s healthy) and the result is the same. You look them up. They’re doing just fine. You feel like shit. Cycle repeats.
2. You look around at all your friends and realize…you don’t even really like any of them anymore
People say you tend to “out grow” your friends. But that makes no sense…they’re not sweaters, they’re humans. You don’t out grow people. You “out grow” behaviors. And our habits and behaviors are, for better or worse, directly tied to our morals and values as people.
So when your behaviors change…you yourself change. You’re going to be making yourself either a better or worse version of yourself and if you concentrate on developing behaviors that allow you to develop deep meaningful relationships with others and with yourself…you’re most likely becoming a more awesome person. Yay.
Now here’s the thing, you are the average of the five people you hang out with the most. If you and all your friends are doing the same things when you meet, you guys maintain each other’s average. Now, let’s say you decide to quit boozing five days a week. As a result, you are able to focus more on work, make a few less mistakes in the evenings, and spend more time reflecting on becoming a “better” version of yourself than you once were.
Whether you like it or not, you’re now bringing your friends’s average up, and they are bringing yours down. They will either see this as a call to action, and start finding ways to step up to the challenge of bettering themselves, or they will more likely make a few comments along the lines of “you’ve changed” or the wonderfully passive aggressive “so you think you’re better than me?”
And no…you are not “better” than any of your friends, that’s a silly way to think. You have however moved on to a different “emotional planet.” Some planets are closer to the sun light, some are steeped in darkness. Some are built around a solid foundation while others have seemingly no grounding force to be found. We are all on planets that allow us to play out our behaviors. So the thing is… once you find yourself on a different emotional planet than your friends, the air and environment surrounding them will be toxic for you…and you need to move on. Some may follow you, most won’t…that’s not your issue.
Keep your average high.
3. When someone tells you about something great they did, you feel and stay jealous
It’s natural to feel jealous when someone you know does something that gets them a lot of attention. I’d say most people’s reactions run along those lines. It’s when you get stuck in that “jelly” that it then becomes a problem.
When you feel the initial rush of envy: Own it. Recognize it… Question yourself. Then better yourself.
And while you’re figuring out the “bettering yourself” part… post a congratulatory Facebook status and tag them in it. And use the emoticon that looks like the clapping hands. That’s what it’s there for.
Also…don’t insert yourself into people’s achievements. If someone is telling you about how they finally got a promotion at work, don’t bring up the time that you got a promotion. Let them have their moment.
4. You expect others to be better people than you are
Do you ever lie? Ever cheat? Ever not tell people how you really feel? Odds are you do.
Well…Do you get mad when people lie to you? Feel indignant when someone you love starts finding love somewhere else? Do you hate trying to decipher the morse code of other people’s emotions? Odds are, you do.
Well. That’s a big ol’ Southern helping of hipocrasy, and I’m pretty sure you know it.
Here’s the thing:
You DESERVE to be treated how you treat others, simple as that. If you lie and cheat, you deserve to be lied to and cheated on. Does that mean other people SHOULD hurt you, if you do “bad” things? No. But people will always hurt other people. But if you are the one hurting people, and someone else hurts or lies to you, at the end of the day, you know you can’t look yourself in the mirror and say: I really didn’t deserve that. Because you did. You so did.
Does that mean other people will always treat you well if you’re a “good” person? Fuck no. But you’re the one who gets to sleep at night.
If you want the best out of others, you need to be the best version of yourself, simple as that. If you lie and cheat and hurt people, no amount of enabling friends and coping mechanisms can really hide you from the fact that karma came around, and turns out she’s as big of a bitch as you were.
5. You’re holding onto an apology that someone out there in the world, really deserves
And I know why you’re doing it too. If you apologize to someone, it forces you to own up to the fact that you messed up, that you hurt someone, that you did something wrong. And if there’s one lie we like to tell ourselves, it’s this: other people do the hurting.
We tell ourselves that WE are the ones who get hurt. We’re the good guys, the resilient ones who overcome hurt that other people do to us. Not the other way around. It’s a cute story to tell ourselves so we can sleep at night, but it’s not reality.
Has anyone ever apologized to you about the part they played in hurting you? How’d it make you feel… Pretty damn good? A little bit more human? A little less likely to be crying yourself to sleep that night? Yeah, I bet. It’s nothing short of a miracle when someone swallows their pride and says to you: hey…I fucked up…you didn’t deserve that.
Think too much time has gone by and they’ve probably moved on? No. No, no. There’s not enough time in the world that can erase the bad things people do to one another, even if they have moved on…they deserve that little boost of humanity that every apology gives us.
So what’s stopping you? Don’t know what to say to them? Cut, copy and paste what I just wrote two paragraphs ago into a text message and click “send.” Use that line as many times as you want…I know I sure have.
I mean, if Taylor Swift can write out “Back to December” for Tyler Lautner and perform it at the Grammy’s, you can write out that one sentence and send it to the one person who deserves to hear it.
And yes…I saved the Taylor Swift reference til the very end because I knew many of you would stop reading at that. I’m smart like that. And I love that girl.