Once upon a time, a doorbell would ring and whoever was home was excited. “We have company! I’ll go see who it is, can you get a pot of coffee going?” Now? Well, I can assume I’m not alone in this reaction - the doorbell rings - everything stops, you freeze, you dog looks at you in utter shock with those ‘What do we do’ eyes. Why is someone at my door, should I hide? Maybe just pretend I’m not home, quick someone call 911.
This change has interested me for a long time. Why in an age of social superiority, where every human on the planet can talk to one another, are we so anti-actual interaction that doesn’t involve a screen and carpal tunnel in our thumbs? Many are quick to blame social media, those damn millennials and their phones, but is it really that simple?
Here are 5 things everyone should focus on and how you could actually be driving people away, whether it’s your husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, parents, friends, or that one person you think is cute but they haven’t picked up the hint of you liking their last 5 profile pictures.
Stop Talking Like Your On Facebook
I know, crazy right? Not really, when you’re sitting at Starbucks - how annoying is it to hear someone actually “brb” or hear “awww bae” from the next table. We’ve all rolled our eyes, yet at some time or another have indulged in this insane laziness. All jokes aside, the truth is it is much deeper than that. Do me a favor, stop reading, find a post and read the comments - maybe even some of your own. There is no talking or discussions anymore - just arguing. Someone is either right or wrong. If someone feels differently then its F*** them and name calling. Somewhere along the way as a society we realized we could get away with talking to people online like 2nd graders on the playground and get away with it. What's worse? We started doing it out in the real world.
Listen When Others Speak
Now this is some real Ghandi stuff, but seriously LISTEN. So many times in the last year have I seen two friends fighting and I realized they were literally screaming at each other when they were actually saying the same thing in different ways. Neither letting the other one finish before they were already opening their mouth to respond, even if they let the other finish talking, once they had a comeback - nothing being said was heard. Refer to number 1, stop trying to argue, stop not caring what is said as long as your voice is heard right or wrong. If the person is wrong, still listen, show respect, and think about your answer - I promise they will still be wrong 5 seconds from now, just wait. Realize the only way an ignorant person can win is if they bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.
Don’t Be Afraid to Have Your Beliefs Challenged
This may be the most important tip I can ever provide. We were all taught to never be afraid to stand up for what you believe, but I think most of us missed the part where we should never stop questioning them. Everyone has their own views, molded and shaped by our own experiences. I’ll give credit to my mother for this one “Never get angry when someone challenges your beliefs, invite it. Because if you are right, nothing they say or do can change them, or make you feel ashamed for having them. If they do, then you should probably question why you believe it in the first place.” Let’s all take a second to think about that….Now let’s add in number one and number 2. Don’t be so quick to tell someone they're wrong, stop trying to argue every time someone says something you don’t agree with. If your loved one thinks that your friend is a bad influence and wants you to stop hanging out with them, don’t start screaming how wrong they are before they even finish their sentence. Ask them why, LISTEN to what they have to say, instead of getting angry - tell them why you feel differently. One of 3 things will happen. Your beliefs will be challenged and nothing said was powerful enough to change it, you’ll feel hurt and defensive - maybe even angry and you’ll need to ask yourself if what they’re saying is true. OR through LISTENING and DISCUSSING rather than arguing you’ll be able to explain why they act that way and your loved one will realize what I thought or believed was wrong/not the whole picture.
OR you can tell them they’re wrong, call them names, storm out and post online about how horrible of a person they are for trying to control your life, so others can comment on how crappy they are and people can DM you about how they’d treat you better...you know, because that always helps.
Cut Out Toxic People
If you have been reading this and thinking ‘wow, I should send this to (insert mean person here),’ first I will say absolutely you should, and while you’re at it, you should like this article, my page, and share it for all you friends and family ;D. Secondly, you should also question why that person is apart of your life. I know this sucks, it may be your significant other, your mom or dad, maybe your best friend but what positivity are they bringing to your life? It sounds selfish I know, but not only are you a product of your environment - your environment is a product of you. If you’re someone who comments on other people's post, or have unfriended people because you can’t stand their opinion anymore, yet their posts have never really been disrespectful just something you didn’t agree with, ask yourself how open minded are you? If you’ve sat around with your friends and bad mouthed others, sat around talking about your psycho ex’s, how weird people are for not going out every weekend, and how you can’t figure out why you’re single or can’t have a lasting relationship….I can tell you why, because you’ve surrounded yourself with people who will sit around and do that with you.
Lastly…..PUT. THE. PHONE. DOWN.
That’s right, you - yea you. Put...put it down. Stop playing Jelly or looking through photos liking what other people are doing. Put it down, go get lunch, do it by yourself and strike up a conversation with your waitress, ask them how their day is. Yes you may get weird looks, but I promise there are positive people out there. Grab your bae and watch a movie and put your phones in the other room. Go see your parents, surprise them - just knock on their door - I bet they’ll even put some coffee on when you walk in. The first step towards improving your relationships and life - stop looking for ways and just go live it.
You can’t do that behind a screen.