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Ask Polly: ‘I Am So Bad at Making New Friends!’
The way out of that trap is giving up. That’s something you don’t hear in America very often: Quit. Give up. Surrender. Be the desperate loser you don’t want to see in the world, and give her your love. Right now, you’re observing your desperate self and trying to love her, but you can’t. Instead, you’re blaming yourself for not loving her. Don’t do that! That’s just as bad as avoiding a REAL LIFE desperate, lonely person who might be your future BFF! It’s okay to be turned off by yourself and others. That’s just you struggling with real emotions. That’s just you digging for the truth, the whole truth.

Let the whole truth in. Ask yourself: Why is it gross to seem desperate and awkward? Why is loneliness pathetic to you? And what are your fears around being known, being seen, being heard? Why does it feel safer to stay hidden? What happens after you’re rejected? Are you supposed to take it seriously? Are you supposed to crawl back into a hole then? What if you chose not to? What if you kept trying to connect instead?
relationships  friendship 
4 days ago by hopeful_monster
Someone told my friend to ask for what she wants. How do I tell her it’s too much? |
So your friend is working through some old stuff from childhood, and in certain ways she is…kind of like a child. Not in a bad way, just in the way where a kid learns a new skill and at first it’s clumsy and awkward and sometimes they fall over. Your friend’s ability to ask for what she wants feels out-of-phase and difficult for you because she’s not operating that part of her brains with adult practice, she’s operating it with the practice of someone who has just learned. It’s great that she’s taken this step, because it is probably requiring a ton of bravery to do it, and also, yes: it’s probably pretty rudimentary right now.  abuse  relationships 
10 weeks ago by hopeful_monster
How to Make Friends, According to Science To begin, don’t dismiss the humble acquaintance.
To begin with, don’t dismiss the humble acquaintance. Even interacting with people with whom one has weak social ties has a meaningful influence on well-being. [7] Beyond that, building deeper friendships may be largely a matter of putting in time. A recent study out of the University of Kansas found that it takes about 50 hours of socializing to go from acquaintance to casual friend, an additional 40 hours to become a “real” friend, and a total of 200 hours to become a close friend. [8]

If that sounds like too much effort, reviving dormant social ties can be especially rewarding. Reconnected friends can quickly recapture much of the trust they previously built, while offering each other a dash of novelty drawn from whatever they’ve been up to in the meantime. [9] And if all else fails, you could start randomly confiding in people you don’t know that well in hopes of letting the tail wag the relational dog. Self-disclosure makes us more likable, and as a bonus, we are more inclined to like those to whom we have bared our soul. [10]
friendship  relationships 
11 weeks ago by hopeful_monster
How If-Then Plans Helps You Stick with a New Habit
You could do this in a few ways:

If I go to the mall, then I will avoid the shoe store.
If I end up in the shoe store, then I will not buy anything.
If I go to Amazon, then I will only buy things I need.
If I go out dancing, then I will avoid expensive drinks.
If I shopping for Christmas presents, then I will stick to a budget.

You get the point.

The point behind an if-then plan is to fully understand how you often fail and create a plan for what you’ll do when a specific scenario comes up.  productivity 
12 weeks ago by hopeful_monster
When Shoulds are no Good - anxiety depression resolved | Ask MetaFilter
MeFites who feel reasonably skillful at gentle/compassionate self-talk: What words do you use in your head when you want to evaluate hypothetical future actions that could be healthy/beneficial/morally favorable, but are counter to your existing habits and preferences? In other words, the stuff you feel like you "should" be doing, but for whatever reason, don't want to.
12 weeks ago by hopeful_monster
‘How Do I Start Over Now That I Know How Damaged I Am?’
hen consider what it means to be broken. What if you could proclaim yourself sick and hurt and sad and broken and malfunctioning, every single day, and still believe that you deserved love? What if you could sit in the rubble of your shattered castle, and still feel compassion for yourself? Because compassion for the self is the same thing as passion: That’s where inspiration and beauty are waiting for you. It’s also where your passion for your life begins, where a real, sustainable passion for other people can begin. It’s a leap of faith into a new world where you can look at reality with clear eyes and not feel afraid. The monster from the horror movie is wheeled out onto the set in the light of day, and it’s just a mess of blinking red eyes and shiny scales and rubber claws. There’s nothing to fear.

Once you ground yourself in reality, and dare to give some love to your true, broken self (that part is very difficult at first!), then you can finally approach the world as you are. You don’t need to be entertaining or sexy or clever or useful to be lovable. You don’t have to prove your value in order to be valuable. You can simply be what you are.

...In contrast, it is exceptionally difficult to feel connected or close to other people when you’re sure that your value is conditional. You can spend decades in this state, and the more energy you put into keeping other people happy, the more convinced you become that no one is dependable and no one loves you for you. That doesn’t mean that you haven’t withstood abuse or tolerated selfish friends. But refusing to give yourself the right to simply exist is a way of preventing other people from simply existing. Everything is bartered or traded. No relationship is what it is: lopsided and weird and flawed and sweet. Every effort must be reciprocated with equal and opposite force (even if your emotional accounting is never shared with anyone) or you’re being ripped off or taken for granted. No one is allowed to be broken. You have to be better than you really are, and so does everyone else.

Once you develop an independent faith in your own value (this takes constant, repeated reminders to be compassionate and patient with yourself for the first time ever), then you can start to treat other people as valuable even when their value isn’t immediately apparent. You can enter the room as a broken person, sit with your brokenness without hiding it, and let it exist out in the open. You don’t have to share your own secrets straight out of the gate. You can ask people about the things that broke them, because you understand that being broken is interesting and includes a good story, or maybe 100 good stories. You listen to their stories not because you expect that then they’ll listen to yours, but because you’re making it your goal to take in reality, to connect, to get closer to the real world and the real people who live in it.

...You invite in the things that make you hate yourself, and you let them exist without judgment: This was how I learned to run very fast. This was how I learned to dance and sing. This was how I built a castle all by myself. This was the warped view from my castle. Everyone looked so small from my castle tower. The days flew by, and even when I wasn’t alone, I felt so alone. I thought I would die if I ever came down from my tower, but once I did, everyone looked big and scared and sad, just like me. And time stood still.

This world has been waiting for you to catch up. This world has been waiting to show you its treasures. Your monster finally gets to stand in one place, feeling the sunshine, knowing that it’s okay to be broken. This divine moment is yours. 
august 2018 by hopeful_monster
Poor sleep triggers viral loneliness and social rejection
UC Berkeley researchers have found that sleep-deprived people feel lonelier and less inclined to engage with others, avoiding close contact in much the same way as people with social anxiety.

Worse still, that alienating vibe makes sleep-deprived individuals more socially unattractive to others. Moreover, even well-rested people feel lonely after just a brief encounter with a sleep-deprived person, triggering a viral contagion of social isolation.

...Notably, researchers found that the amount of sleep a person got from one night to the next accurately predicted how lonely and unsociable they would feel from one day to the next.

“This all bodes well if you sleep the necessary seven to nine hours a night, but not so well if you continue to short-change your sleep,” Walker said.

“On a positive note, just one night of good sleep makes you feel more outgoing and socially confident, and furthermore, will attract others to you.” Walker said.
august 2018 by hopeful_monster
Sleeplessness Is Ruining Your Social Life, Warn Scientists
What the second half of the experiment ultimately revealed is that sleeplessness spurs a vicious, self-sustaining cycle of loneliness. Sleep deprivation makes people withdraw from others because their brains tell them that others can’t be trusted. Meanwhile, other people mistrust lonely individuals for withdrawing in the first place. The study authors call this a “behavioral profile of social withdrawal and loneliness.”

“Instead I think it goes back to what Dr. Walker always says: We’re the only species that intentionally sleep-deprive ourselves, so there’s no evolutionary safety net,” she explains. “Society and our brains are not equipped to see it as a weakness.”

In short, when we should be embracing others who are withdrawing, humans naturally tend to isolate them more. The study’s findings function as a much-needed reminder: Perhaps what we see as a dangerous threat should really be seen as a cry for help.  sleep 
august 2018 by hopeful_monster
The Key to Good Luck Is an Open Mind
“If you’re anxious that you won’t find a parking place, then literally your vision narrows,” says Carter. “You lose your peripheral vision the more anxious you are because your flight-or-fight mechanism creates binocular vision.” Anxious people bias their attention to potential threats 
april 2018 by hopeful_monster
This Is How To Find Joy: 4 Simple Secrets To The Good Life
esp wrt 'happy in spite of' not looking always for 'happy if only' 
march 2018 by hopeful_monster

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