What Your Friends’ Posts Say about You

‘Tis the season for goals and resolutions: A time when you may feel inspired and motivated, or overwhelmed and intimidated.

You’re likely seeing friends post their aspirations for the new year on various social media sites. Some may already be celebrating some wins.

People tend to have one of five reactions to friends’ positive posts:

  1. Happiness for their good fortune
  2. Envy of their joy
  3. Doubt that the post is true
  4. Frustration at their “bragging”
  5. Defeat or hopelessness with the status of your life

hands-woman-laptop-notebookSome studies show that Facebook use can be linked to depressive feelings due to comparing ourselves to others. That’s not to say Facebook causes depression. It’s the amount of time spent on the platform, and the amount of time within that window that you spend comparing yourself.

If you find these posts getting you down, be sure you’re not comparing your life to others’ highlight reels.

Think about the trailer for a new movie. It’s a compilation of some of the best bits, strung together in a compelling way. Same goes for most of the social media posts you see by friends and family.

Now let’s talk about what’s really going on. If you’re rolling your eyes and sighing at a friend’s post, dig in a bit. What bothers you about it? What buttons is it pushing?

Most of the time, the “misery loves company” sentiment is at play. When you’re in a good space in your life, it’s easier to share in the joy of your friends’ happy, uplifting, and even humblebrag posts. But if you’re struggling at all, these entries can shine a harsh light on your suffering.

So you have a few choices here:

  1. Quit all social media or change your settings to filter what you see
  2. Trash your friends’ lives anytime they post something positive
  3. Work on upping your happiness quotient

To temporarily avoid feelings of inadequacy, go with number one.

To get a moment of relief, go with number two.

To reap long-term benefits far beyond the scope of what you can imagine, go with number three.

As far as New Year’s resolutions go, just worry about making you a priority in your life, whatever that means to you.

And have lots and lots of adventures! If you haven’t grabbed my free anti-resolution New Year workbook yet, you’ll find it here. My gift to you.

Until next week, keep taking those steps to Live Out Loud.

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