5 Ways to Deal With Insufferable Facebook Behavior
Do you have a personal Facebook account or know someone who does? The writer of a recent article, “7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook” divides Facebook statuses into two categories: annoying and unannoying. According to the writer, an annoying Facebook status “primarily serves the author and does nothing positive for anyone reading it.” The writer then lists seven offenses that stem from these statuses. These offenses result in what the writer terms “insufferable Facebook behavior.”
Even if some Facebook users post things you may view as offensive, it’s not the content of the posts that lead you to feel upset, envious, or depressed – it’s whatever you’re telling yourself while you’re reading these posts. This is the basic premise of several forms of cognitive therapy – emotional and behavioral disturbances are caused by people’s beliefs about a specific situation and not by the situation itself.
Facebook can be a great way to keep in touch with friends and family across the world. Why let your thoughts about what someone else posts upset you to the point where you may even consider deactivating or deleting your account? Rather than getting upset and avoiding Facebook, a better option might be to practice self-acceptance and other-acceptance. The writer of “7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook” alludes to this point:
The bigger point here is that the qualities of annoying statuses are normal human qualities -- everyone needs to brag to someone here and there, everyone has moments of weakness when they need attention or feel lonely, and everyone has some downright ugly qualities that are gonna come out at one time or another.
In Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), self-acceptance refers to the ability to enjoy life while choosing not to rate yourself. Other-acceptance refers to the ability to acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of other people without labeling them or believing they are better or worse than anyone else. Here are five ways you can practice self-acceptance and other-acceptance the next time you log in to your personal Facebook account:
Determine how you’ll use Facebook. People on your list may be categorized by default as “Friends.” Consider your definition of friendship and how that might influence your decision to connect with someone. Also think about how your perception of friendship may influence how you maintain connections with people on your Friends list.
Be aware of your feelings and beliefs. If you start to feel a negative emotion such as envy, consider what you could be telling yourself that is leading you to feel that way. Identify any irrational beliefs about yourself, others, or the world. Irrational beliefs are extreme, inflexible, and unhealthy. (E.g., Everyone else is in a relationship. I’ll never find anyone. How did she manage to find someone? Life is always unfair.)
Dispute irrational beliefs. How is holding on to your irrational beliefs helping you? Do your irrational beliefs make you feel better or worse? Where is the evidence that your beliefs are true? What evidence refutes your beliefs?
Develop more effective beliefs. Consider the possibility that your experiences and the way you express them may be different from others. However, that doesn’t mean you are better or worse than anyone on your Friends list. Perhaps it means that each of you is a complex human being.
Develop more effective functioning. Instead of avoiding Facebook, develop mutually beneficial on and offline relationships with those on your Friends list.
So, the next time you update your status, you might want to focus on the prompt that asks what’s on your mind. Because despite any posts you come across in your Newsfeed, it’s your beliefs that ultimately determine how you feel about yourself while you’re using Facebook.
This post is based on a blog post that was originally published on albertellis.org.
(obnoxious Facebook users / shutterstock)
I am a clinical psychologist and writer in New York City. My areas of clinical interest include career and relationship issues. For inspirational insights on careers, relationships, and more, please follow me on Twitter @ArtofIntrospect and visit my website.
Other Posts by Dr. Shonda Lackey
Social Media Today