Breathe In: Toxicity Control and Social Media
I saw a picture a few days ago, and it's bothered me ever since I saw it. There was nothing disturbing about it, but it sat on my brain because of the people in the photograph itself. I won't show it here; it isn't mine to show. But I was upset by the fact that two people who I think of as toxic to my state of being appeared to be having fun together, and it felt like a challenge to my very soul and my very well-being, like just by existing in the same social sphere they were obviously ganging up on me.
Now as natural as this reaction might be, it's imperative to the healthy person (I believe) that it be worked through and set aside. It is perfectly okay to check in on and acknowledge hurt feelings, but you can really ruin your life by choosing to live there and spending your time reacting to an imaginary wound instead of moving forward for your benefit.
I am still learning some basic rules when it comes to social media and the narratives it creates within others. I'll list a few of my very low-level necessary thought processes here:
1. No one on social media cares about you.
2. No one on social media is out to get you.
3. No one on social media is better than you.
4. You're doing this to yourself.
Let me be clear: when I say that no one on social media cares about you, I do not mean that they are not your friends or wouldn't stop by for a cup of coffee; of course they would! I mean that, when they made that post that you managed to let your twisted brain turn into a knife fit perfectly for between your own ribs, they were not intending you to do that. You did that to yourself, by yourself, and of your own accord.
Some people might say those rules for interaction are harsh, but this is survival mode. You can spend whole days curled up in self-pity because an image made your act like a jerk to yourself; we are busy people, reader. We cannot allow that to happen. Especially because it isn't necessary. We aren't talking about self-care or chemical depression; we're talking about you hurting your own feelings over something that someone else did while they weren't even thinking about you. That isn't healthy, or right; whatever we have to do to avoid that sort of negativity must be done.
If you have to hide a post or unfollow a friend, do it. If you have to call a friend and get the image off your chest, do it. Or, if you're me and you have to build a mantra word by word and brick by brick and then write a blog about it, hey, do that too. No one is stopping you. In fact, I encourage it.
I'll leave you with the words below, and remind you: breathe in, breathe out.