Photo Credit: Flickr user Garry Knight
How to clear out the content you download for a fresh start in 2015.
We have all had that “friend” that pops up out of nowhere on Facebook to offer their unsolicited advice, opinion or passive aggression as they make comments on your page to establish you have displeased them in some way. I’m on your radar? That’s funny because I never hear from you otherwise on, oh I don’t know, birthdays or huge accomplishments. When every interaction is negative and your “friend” seems to find the perfect moment to knock you down a few pegs, you must start asking yourself, “If you hate me, why are we friends?”
As a social media society, we have mastered the art of privacy settings, finding people, creating events, and connecting through others, yet we have not learned how to do one thing very well: “un-friend.” Think about this for a second, you may never even interact with these people in person, but they seem to think they know everything about you; I bet you they can’t guess your favorite color. They determine through your pictures and status updates whether they love you or hate you although they don’t delete you when they hate you…why? Also, why do you take their negative comments and keep them on your feed?
I find it very interesting how polite people try to be through social media when it comes to un-friending. We hate the hits we get, but we keep taking them so that person doesn’t have to feel bad after we walk away. Stop it! Bullies are bullies no matter what form they come in. How many hours can you look back on in your social media life and regret because they ruined your hour, day, or even your week? Are you expecting them to change? Maybe you hold onto hope that one day you will make some witty come back to put them in their place? Again I ask, how much time will you waste on your next comeback?
You are the content you download. If the majority of what you download is negative, you become negative and there is no way around it. The next human being you interact with will receive the thoughts you put into yourself. It’s time to put on your grown up pants and start sticking up for yourself AND your content. People ask me all the time, how in the heck are you so positive all of the time? It isn’t easy. I am not here to tell you it’s a sprint, it is very much so a marathon. You also have to consider who you have around you and that is the hardest part of all of this life change. Are they negative? You know, the people you ask how they are doing and their common response is, “same stuff, different day.” I make it a point to greet people with, “ I’m fabulous! How are ya?” Why? Because I AM fabulous. Life could be so much worse and I don’t take any of my blessings for granted. It is so hard to look past your obstacles to see what you are truly blessed to have, I know it is, but that’s why happiness is something you have to work toward and not wait for it to fall into your lap. The really awesome part about being happy is you can make a change in an instant, it only requires you and if you really stop and think about it, you have a lot to be happy about. I call issues “first world problems” to keep my potentially stressful situations in check as a reminder it could be worse. There is another promise I can make to you – you attract like-minded individuals. That type of responsibility and realization can be harsh, but it’s the first step in making your 2015 better than 2014.
As a military spouse that founded a non-profit to support military significant others around the country, I hear it all. I mean I hear it ALL. I listen to family struggles that vary from wounded warriors to divorce to deployment. Why do they call me? Because they trust me to bring them back into the light and pick them back up because they are surrounded with so much negative input from others. There is nothing special about me, I am just a normal girl, married to my best friend, trying to get through this military journey the best way I can. You only get one time around, don’t waste it on regrets and mean-spirited people. You can’t get yesterday back and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Just the other day my husband and I were sitting at a red light in a turn lane and two teenagers texting and driving slammed into my side of the truck and I luckily walked away with only whiplash after our truck was totaled. Just like that, that’s how fast everything could have changed.
I tell this story and use myself as an example to explain that I wasn’t always this way. One day I looked at my newsfeed and the company I kept. I started to listen to what they were saying and stopped justifying what they “really” meant. They were and are just mean to me and I realized I wasn’t imagining it or making it up. I finally took control of my content and stood up for my happiness. Guess what happened? They got mad and I mean really, really mad and they told me how they really felt. What is funny about that is that they always felt that way, but I never gave them a reason to unleash on me so they just stood by like a ticking time bomb. So once I set off all of the bombs it finally became blissfully quiet. You know what else? There were no more roadblocks to the awesome people trying to get to me that couldn’t. I also feel completely comfortable posting, sharing, and connecting with my current network. I started this process about a year ago and my life is night and day different. I am happy, I spread happy and when I am faced with negative I can stay positive.
There are also two sides to this process and I openly admit I was very guilty of this too, if you roll your eyes every time you see someone’s posts, un-friend yourself. I don’t care if they are an instrumental part of your network, if you can’t stand them they shouldn’t be used as a pawn for you to gain from, that’s just selfish and selfish attracts selfish. Also, if you hate that person, why do you hate them? God knows I have spent way too many hours of my life trying to figure out why people would ever hate me. I consider myself to be a down to earth, hardworking, kindhearted, give you the shirt off my back kind of girl and always have been; but by the way people would talk down to me you would think I had some sort of get-through-life-free card to get me where I am today. Just for the sake of this article to shed more light on why this is so important, in comparison, I haven’t met anyone that has been through what I have my entire life. I have every excuse imaginable to be a negative person; it was hard for me, as it will be for you, but I can tell you for a fact, this side is freedom. I have let go of many people on Facebook, including family. Wouldn’t ya know, me walking away physically didn’t hurt them as much as un-friending them from Facebook. Their voyeur eyes no longer had a window into my life for them to judge, hate, or negatively report on my life and I am better because of it. I am SO thankful for the people in my life today because they found me, they support me and they have my back no matter what, just like I have theirs. Life can throw anything it wants at me and I will now and always be good to go.
One of the millions of reasons I love my military spouse life: After the truck was totaled our next door neighbors/friends gave us their car to drive so we wouldn’t have to pay for a rental car and a ton of our Facebook friends offered to help us as soon as they heard. A year ago, I don’t think I would have received one comment of support because you are who you “hang out” with. Clear out your lists, you are the only thing in the way of being truly happy. Cheers to smiling all the way through 2015!
If you like this, check out 5 Toxic Friends Every Military Spouse Should Avoid