What’s happened to the right to say “No” and set your own personal boundaries in life? Lately there have been some articles in the media on the negative cognitive and emotional responses to being unfriended on Facebook. But sometimes being told “No” is exactly what you need to hear to snap out of an addictive trance, or those toxic relationships or obsessions that just aren’t good for you.
Okay, so people don’t like being unfriended on Facebook by people they know and like. It’s bound to bring up old hurts and wounds around being excluded from the cool group at school, or being dumped by your best friend growing up. It’s not a great feeling being cyber dumped by someone you thought was your ‘friend’. It can trigger all those negative self-defeating thoughts like “I’m not good enough, cool enough, interesting enough, beautiful enough”, you know the ones. Leaving you feeling rejected and snubbed.
It’s astounding the amount of toxic self talk and feelings of low self esteem that can get triggered when someone says “No” to you – when you’re basing your self worth on external sources of validation.
Which is what’s going on if you’re being negatively impacted by someone unfriending you on Facebook. For children and teenagers, being excluded from groups is a bigger deal. Particularly if they’re shy or more reserved in nature and don’t have loads of friends. For younger people being unfriended on Facebook and other social media can really hurt.
There’s a lot of financial gain tied up in Facebook. So we’re all being constantly told how important our Facebook ‘identity’ is, and how integral it is to our personal identity. Of course that’s what the people who are making vast amounts of money from Facebook want everyone to believe. And if you’ve grown up using an iPad since you were 6 years old then your experience of Facebook is clearly going to be different to people who didn’t grow up with social media.
But at the end of the day, switch off your laptop or mobile device and Facebook no longer exists.
If you’re being negatively impacted when someone you know unfriends you on Facebook, here’s what you can do to detox from social media overkill, see things from a different perspective and get on with your life:
Image by Tim Gouw
5 Ways To Get Over Being Unfriended On Facebook
- If you’re upset over being unfriended on Facebook the first thing you need to do is step away from all of your devices and give yourself a 24 hour social media cooling off period. Go and talk about it with a friend – in person – to get some empathy for the parts of you that are feeling rejected and hurt. If you have children or teenagers, you need to give them emotional and constructive support if they’re being cyber bullied or excluded from groups on social media, or unfriended by someone they felt close to.
- Give other people permission to say “No” to you. Giving other people permission to choose who they hang out with on Facebook and in real life gives you the same rights. It makes it an even playing field. You too have the right to unfriend or block anyone, for whatever reason. Unfriending on Facebook often comes down to someone posting content that’s repetitive, inappropriate, or because of something that’s happened outside of Facebook. These days lots of people annually cull the number of friends they have on Facebook to keep their connections personally relevant. Most adults are now over the whole ‘numbers to impress’ game when it comes to their personal Facebook account.
- Take a look at how much time you’re spending on Facebook each day. Are you being sucked down cyber rabbit holes for hours and days on end? If you are, then it’s time to take a break from virtual cyberspace and get back into the real physical world and spend quality face-to-face time with your other friends.
- If someone’s unfriended you because you’ve developed an unhealthy obsession with them, this is a red flag alert. You need to switch off your computer and mobile devices and let go of the fantasy and addictive patterns you’ve developed around this person and Facebook. It’s high time you put your energy and imagination into building healthier relationships that are real and mutual.
- Seek validation from more trustworthy, less fickle sources. Facebook and other forms of social media rely on the fact that most people adopt a herd mentality in groups and unconsciously follow the rest of the pack. There’s a lot of copycat, “me too” group dynamics going on. Yet Hollywood shows us again and again that relying heavily on external, fickle sources for validation to feel worthy as a person and good about yourself can be dangerous and fleeting. Go for substance and credible, trusted sources for validation and honest feedback.
Rejection or “No” gets your attention. It stops you in your tracks and forces you to re-evaluate a whole range of things. Your beliefs, behaviours and expectations around what you want out of life and your friendships. If being told “No” totally devastates you, then there are issues around self esteem that need to be healed. Disappointment and pain are valuable opportunities to learn about yourself and grow.
Don’t get me wrong, Facebook is a fantastic social networking and friendship building tool. But when you lose all perspective and see it as an extension of your self worth and likeability for who you really are, then you’re bound to get disappointed and tripped up by the aspects of Facebook that are just not that credible or real.
When one door closes, other doors open. That’s how life works. Nature abhors a vacuum. Rejection when taken on board with self-awareness is a powerful catalyst for personal growth and positive change.
Being unfriended on Facebook can be a good opportunity to declutter your friend space and create room for friendships of more substance to enter into your life. It can also get you to view Facebook from a more balanced and objective perspective and not let it dominate your life.
Title image by Luis Llerena
If you’re struggling with self-doubt and rejection anxieties that are keeping you stuck, unfulfilled, and frustrated, it’s time to start over with a fresh regime.
Knowing how to self actualize revamps your life and negative thinking scripts in amazing ways. It’s potent. Ultimately, it’s about choosing high self-worth over crappy self-esteem. It’s about releasing attitudes and hang-ups that no longer work. And when you stay in full focus mode and keep on the path, the rewards are liberating and brilliant.
3 Ways to Self Actualize So You Can Thrive
1. Set new standards
Get clear on your values, beliefs, and what you want out of life. It’s stunningly shocking how many people don’t take the time to get clear on this. Clarity around what you stand for and aspire to gives you an inner compass for how to do your life and relationships. When you have inner clarity and ground rules for how you do life, things are smoother and less complicated in your outer world. It’s also how you get your needs better met. Stop wishing for magical fixes. Own your power. Set your own course in life. Step outside your comfort zone to reach beyond your potential.
2. Love yourself unconditionally
Accept yourself just as you are right now, and allow others to be where they’re at, warts and all. Unconditional self love builds inner strength. Release your attachment to how you think you, someone else, or a situation should be. Hang-ups around rejection reflect low self-esteem. And, they’re highly addictive. Don’t buy in. Raise your standards. Love yourself first. Watch the rewards.
3. Meet new people
There’s a saying that you become like the 3-5 people that you spend the most time with. Your environment and relationships constantly shape who you become. Low self esteem gets cultivated through hanging out with people who don’t value or respect you. Do an environment and relationship audit. Remove yourself from toxic relationships or people who want you to stay at their level. Get out there and expand your interests, follow your passions and find like-minded kindred spirits.
Feeling anxious all the time often seems to come out of nowhere. When you’re feeling anxious all the time, it’s impossible to relax, think clearly and realistically about things and just be in the present moment.
If you can relate to this, then it’s time to sort through the muddle, stress and drama so you can reboot your mindset and steer your life back into powerful action.
To help, I’ve created a cheat sheet so you can get the insights and reality-checks you need to be anxiety-free once and for all:
Anxiety Cheat Sheet ©
1. Toxic relationship drama
One of the biggest culprits for anxiety are those toxic emotional-roller-coaster relationships that drain your energy and distort your take on reality. There’s one drama after another and it wears you down. Eventually you’re in such a muddle your common sense and self esteem have gone off on vacation and your self-confidence nose-dives. You lose YOU in the process. It’s no wonder you’re feeling anxious, you should be. If you can relate, then your daily mantra needs to be “I’m better off healthy and happy on my own, than being in a toxic relationship”. Your intuition and gut-feel always knows when you’re in a relationship or situation that’s just not good for you. The un-ease you’re feeling 24/7 is you trying to ignore the writing on the wall, pretending everything’s alright. When it’s not. It’s time to break the spell, rebuild your self esteem and attract better quality relationships.
2. Uber people pleasing
People pleasing never leads to win-win outcomes. It makes you come across as wishy washy. Difference and tension are essential alchemical ingredients for creativity and cultivating healthy interesting relationships that continually evolve. Every time you put someone else’s real or imagined needs before your own a part of you keeps tabs and gets resentful. This builds huge amounts of internal tension – at a cost. You’ll feel loads of anxiety most of the time because you’re constantly scanning other people and your environment for clues, instead of tuning into you. Get back on the self-actualizing-individuation path. Do authentic you from now on.
3. Ignoring your inner guidance
When the incessant noise of your mental chatter keeps drowning out what your heart and intuition are trying to tell you, you’re not going to be feeling too great. You need to turn down the noise and distractions. Tip: your heart holds a wealth of wisdom around what’s right for you. It’s part of your intuitive guidance system. This is where your real power and creative potential resides. Healthy constructive thinking needs to team-up and collaborate with your heart-based wisdom so you can do what’s best for you. You need quiet time alone and self-nourishing rituals to do this.
4. Being out of integrity with yourself
Going against your core values and what you know deep down to be true, is a sure-fire trigger for anxiety that can lead to depression and poor choices. Get clear on your values and internal code of ethics. Live by them. Having a clear take on how you do life gives you a powerful inner-guidance system for navigating the world and your relationships in a grounded and self-confident way. Correct self-alignment leads to wise decision-making and better quality outcomes.
5. Boundaries missing in action
If you don’t have clear personal boundaries you’re on a mission impossible to be treated with respect and get what you want and need in your relationships. You’re going to hit trouble. Everywhere you go. Because it’s a relational-jungle out there. Many people love to test boundaries, either openly or in a sneaky passive-aggressive-kind-of-way. Yet it’s boundaries that make us feel safe and secure. So if you’re not clear on your boundaries and how to put them into action with other people, you’re going to feel anxious. Your unconscious mind will be on red alert or overdrive. Because you don’t have safety strategies in place that come from having clear personal boundaries. So self-centred people on the take see you coming. The sooner you get clear on your personal boundaries and act on them, the sooner you’ll be treated with the respect you deserve and feel far less anxious.
Sorting through the muddle that’s making you feel anxious all of the time is what transmutes anxiety into self-awareness and clarity. That’s when you’re best equipped to make better choices and take more decisive action.
© 2014 | Janelle Legge
Do your personal boundaries need some love and attention? Clear boundaries are essential to getting your needs met and being able to create a life that you love.
When you’re not clear on your boundaries then you don’t draw a line in the sand that lets other people know what’s ok and what’s not ok for you. Instead, you’re too focused on pleasing everyone else.
Unclear boundaries leave you feeling frustrated and disappointed with your relationships and life, and vulnerable to other people’s power plays.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
3 Most Common Causes Of Weak Boundaries
1. You have a deep need to be loved and liked
This is one of the most common wounds for women. If you have this core need then you were taught from an early age that the easiest way to get love and approval was to be a good girl and put other’s needs before your own.
These experiences shape your subconscious beliefs around how to get love and approval. When this is one of your primary subconscious default programs, you find yourself automatically putting other people’s wants and needs above your own.
2. You’re fearful of conflict
Our ability and comfort levels for dealing, or not dealing with, conflict are shaped during childhood. If you’re afraid of conflict you may have grown up around reactive hot-heads, or passive-aggressive-avoidant communication styles. You made a decision to avoid conflict at all costs because you experienced first-hand the pain and negative outcomes that come with these styles of relating.
But there’s a cost to this. You don’t have a voice and you don’t put your own ideas forward because you’re afraid to rock the boat, or set limits with others, in case they disagree or get angry with you.
3. Your Self-esteem and Self-worth are based on other people’s opinions
This is one of the most debilitating and damaging subconscious beliefs women can struggle with. It leads to the ‘false self’ syndrome and keeps your authentic Self undeveloped and fragile. If you’re constantly scanning your external environment for feedback and validation so you can feel ok about yourself and of value, then it’s difficult to create the boundaries that come with a strong core self.
This leaves you vulnerable because the minute you encounter rejection, criticism or a lack of validation, your self-esteem falls in a heap.
If you don’t know who you are, what you want, and what you stand for – the essential building blocks of boundary setting – you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to other people’s agendas.
If you’re wanting stronger boundaries and can relate to 1 or maybe all 3 of these areas, then that’s good news. Because now you can make new choices. Pick one thing that you can start focusing on from today to strengthen your boundaries. If this feels too hard to do on your own, find a professional who can help you identify your boundary blind spots and change them so you can have the life and relationships you deserve.
Janelle Legge is a Psychotherapist, Leadership, Mindfulness and Wellbeing Consultant and Coach who specialises in Relationships, Career Success, Work-Life Integration and Wellbeing. Janelle has a limited number of spaces available each month for in person consults in Sydney. For enquiries including fees and scheduling, click here and Janelle will be happy to answer all your questions. You do not need a referral from your Doctor to book an appointment with Janelle.
Janelle also works with clients around the world via Skype. To book a skype session with Janelle click here.