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Archive for the tag “social media”

Fainting Couch STAT

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I haven’t written lately because I have just been SO busy.

I work Full Time. Tend to two children. One husband. Two Dogs.  Hundreds of models. 5 States worth of event staff. Girlfriends.  Family. Charitable causes. Attempted work out regime.

My kids have been sick so I haven’t slept much.  My dog gashed open his head.  Traveling for family obligations has been stressful.  My friends are pregnant/engaged/divorcing/partying/depressed. I am exhausted and stressed and being pulled in every direction.

Do you feel sorry for me yet?

If you do. Don’t.

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I decided to write on an area of abuse I see running rampant in many places of my life (sometimes mine).  It is one of the few common personality traits that knows no ethnicity, religion or gender.  It does not exclude any age, occupation or socioeconomic class.  In fact this affliction may be the most contagious disease I have seen of late (Except for diseases once abolished. Thanks anti-vaxxers).

The “disease” goes by a few terms:

Victimhood.  Playing the Victim.  Self Victimization. Victim  Playing.  (Cousins with Martyrdom)

Definition: fabrication of victimhood for a variety of reasons such as to justify abuse of others, to manipulateothers, a coping strategy or attention seeking.

Playing the Victim is useful.  It works in most situations.  You can use it to win a fight.  Elicit sympathy.  Gain praise.

I would be lying if I said I haven’t played the victim before.  It is usually to throw someone off in a fight (I have married an attorney but my dad always assumed I would be one) or to get out of something I don’t want to do.  I think everyone should get a few free victim cards per year.

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I am not speaking of the occasional overwhelmed feeling of a person needing a moment of praise.  Heck we all need some snaps every once in a while!

IMAG4976_3(My snaps cup of praise given to me by my fabulous friends)

 This blog is geared to the perpetual victim.

The card toting year around victim who literally feeds off the attention and praise devoted to their plight.  You can find the greatest offenders of victimhood in various arenas.  These are just a few I have seen this week:

1. The Social Media Abuser – Facebook, Twitter, Victims.com (OK I made that up).  Good Lord the victims use social media as a personal soap box for their need for affirmation.  These offenders post weekly but most often daily.  They share inspirational quotes about how they are wonderful in a passive aggressive way.

They write about being stressed. Over worked. Over tired. Can’t sleep. Trying the best they can as a (insert lifestyle). The posts literally BEG you to say, “You are AMAZING”, “Keep your head up!”, “You deserve the best!”, “It will get better”, “We are in AWE of how awesome you are!”… you get the picture….

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I should preface.. the Social Media Abuser probably falls into the following categories as well….

2. The Over Achiever- We all know this person.  This victim is cloaked in a shiny coat and often not categorized as a couch fainter.  This person pushes to be the lead in everything.  The class President. Head of the Pismo Beach Disaster Fundraiser. Cheer President.  The Soccer Mom, Carpool director, Team Captain- All in one week.  The over achiever is the individual others are immediately drawn to because they appear to “have it together”.  Months or perhaps years pass before one realizes the praise of being an “overachiever” is the Heroin of choice for this person. Keep praising or this hidden victim will crumble.  This person does not take on one or two areas.  They demand to be in charge of everything.  They headbutt their way to the top then wait for the praise to flow.

3. The Public figure- UGH probably the most offensive to me.  If I read another celebrity complaining about their public comments being taken wrong…. Some celebrities love to talk about how hard it is to be rich and famous.  The horrible problems they deal with and how we should pity and celebrate them.

4. The Plight I Overcamer- “Overcamer” is not actually a word but you know who I am talking about.  The person who overcame the horrible (insert situation) and is reformed… but not really.  They remind us of their past plights constantly, passively begging for us to praise them over and over and over and… well you get the picture.  They want applause for becoming better. Unfortunately they haven’t actually overcame anything because they compulsively seek adoration. Daily.

5. The Never Follow Througher- Again… I might be making a new word but this person tells everyone constantly how they are starting (insert plan).  It never actually happens but we are supposed to praise them for their thoughts toward awesome.  The “never follow througher” is the quintessential beacon of hope wrapped in a soft victim blanket.  They are letting us know they have been through EVERYTHING but are still willing to (insert-go to school, run a marathon, build a boat, become vegan, get a medal, host a speech, break up with bad person, start a freaking revolution). Obviously they never actually complete their goal(or come close) but as a victim encourage others to say YAY!! Way to go!! We never see any results because the ego is fed until the next proclamation.

It is fine to play the victim every once in a while.  We all need a dose of confidence to remind us we are amazing. Capable. Phenomenal. Awe worthy.  However, is this your crutch? Is being a victim your go to? Do you beg for affirmation regularly?

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Maybe I am crazy but why not ask for praise when you need it? Or better yet why not count one’s own blessings?

This past weekend I was in my home town and blessed to see my oldest and most dear friend Rachel.  She is the same age as I am. She has 4 children and is divorced.  As soon as she arrived to meet me her first question was, “How are you?? You have so much going on I need to hear everything”.  I rambled for an hour.  When I inquired about her and her family she shrugged it off.  She mentioned she had been a bit frustrated getting the kids out in the morning but otherwise life was great.  She doesn’t have time for Facebook or social media.  She doesn’t complain or bitch.  She is AMAZING.  If she had a fainting couch I would buy her pillows.  But she never will.  She’s not a victim.

Yet another of my best friend’s volunteers with children.  She devotes her time (quietly) to provide positive opportunities for those in need.  The stories she has told me of visiting orphanages in Mexico and being a “big sister” to two special kids…. hopefully she will guest blog- Unicorn you know who you are…

Remember when this video went viral?

The people who have the most tend to need more.  Those who could actually BE A VICTIM choose different.  Some of the most confident individuals I have met are those with little to nothing.  More important people who actually need our support don’t publicize it.  At what point does the need for praise and affirmation become an actual addiction?

 

 

 

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I Know Too Much

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I know your wedding anniversary was last week and the lasagna you ordered was phenomenal.  Your child has pink eye, a stutter and likes purple.  Your husband has horrific gas in the middle of the night and often it keeps you up at night.  The neighbors on your left are loud and annoying and the smoke from their partying comes into your window. You have lost 6 pounds on your new weight loss program and typically work out at 6:30am before work.  Your youngest child has the flu and the vomit is horrible.  You and your best friend are fighting over the girl’s night out last Tuesday.  Your job sucks and you were late last week because of traffic.

You are my Facebook friend and I don’t have your phone number.  We don’t hang out; in fact, we met in passing.  When you are down the street from my house and check in at a local bar you don’t realize how close you are.  Even if you did I wouldn’t be invited.  After all, we don’t know one another and I don’t want to be real friends with you.

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I have almost 500 “friends” on Facebook and have relationships with possibly 75.  I check Facebook throughout the day and peek into people’s lives knowing details about their family, their day-to-day activities and their life.  I know their religion, their political affiliation and their music tastes.  Many of these people I haven’t spoken to for more than 5 minutes in my entire life.

For the few real friends I have my feelings get hurt when I see a post and realize I wasn’t invited.  I can tell when someone is annoyed with me because they don’t like my picture or comment on a post they would normally comment on. I worry I might make someone feel excluded when I update a picture or event and may have forgotten to invite a friend.    Before Facebook I wouldn’t know when a few friends had an impromptu get together or quick coffee date.  I would be oblivious to a friend’s mild annoyance with me.

I have been thinking a lot about Facebook and the impact it has on my days.  More important, I worry about the time I set aside to read update after update from people I barely know.

Having aged from a young single girl to a mother the updates are equally annoying.  The constant competition of other parent’s boasting their child’s advanced skills or perfect post baby body will leave any person insecure.  On the flip side I receive notes from people commenting on the person without the perfect body or phenomenal child.

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Then there is my favorite area.  Friends I might not be real friends with any longer but don’t want to unfriend on Facebook.  After all it would be childish, right?   I read posts of them boasting their best night ever with their newest friends or vacationing down the street.  According to Facebook their lives (or ours) is much better now and the passive aggressive dance ensues.

What is happening? Why has social media become the dominant presence in our lives? I have always defended my Facebook membership as a tool to keep in touch with family and friends who live far away.  However, I spend much more time reading updates about people I don’t interact with!  Why do we care so much about reading what people are doing? I find myself delighting in the mortifying admissions and the horrific posts people write.  I hear my disappointment because a friend forgot to invite me or another friend is annoyed because I missed an outing. This is not who I am and I am quickly realizing I have no interest in knowing so much.  Facebook creates insecurity in my friendships and encourages me to post nothing but what I want people to perceive is my life.

I am not done with Facebook. Yet.  However downsizing is part of my phase out program.  I don’t want to lose the years of previous posts because I think it will be fun to include in my kiddos scrapbooks.  Also our blog reaches all of my contacts.  But I am tired of too much information.  I am bored of worrying how I look in each picture to prove I am still a hot mom (thanks Photoshop).

For my real friends please just let me know when you are upset with me or just love me.  Please begin sending photos to my email address because I cherish them.  Remember I might not be available but invite me! Mostly, think about what you post on Facebook.  Know people are reading and might be hurt, offended or excluded.

What do you think? What is your social media pet peeve? I would love to hear your comments while I check Facebook 😉

Xo Mari

 

I would win the argument if you knew I was fighting

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Eavesdropping on people arguing is a fun way to think about what I would say.  I am SO much smarter when I can stand back and watch other people duke it out.  I like to refer to it as my “Jeopardy theory”. At home I pay attention to the areas of my expertise and busy myself with anything else when they move to the subjects in which I am not proficient. According to this Jeopardy graph (I found on slate.com), I have Literature, Before and After, potpourri (WEIRD that this is a category-update:OMG, I was just telling Mike how awesome it is that potpourri is a category and he just explained the meaning, and that it isn’t the fabulous scents I keep in a sachet in my underwear drawer. OOPS), animals, stupid answers and most definitely Islands in my wheelhouse.

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What are your areas?

The reason I bring this up is because I have noticed a great deal of people trying to argue about areas they know nothing about.  Social media tends to make an ass out of our best intentions.  Trust me, I would love to tout opera, politics, and business as my areas of expertise but they just aren’t.  When people discuss them I eavesdrop and try to learn as much as I can by both sides of the conversation.  This is one of the few times I think snooping is a great idea and could be beneficial!  Actually, can I just be so blunt as to encourage it?

My blog idea comes from the non-eavesdropping, I know everything, internet banterers.  I can’t figure out if these gem-people are just trolling or if they actually think their uneducated opinion will be well received.

When I was younger I planned to be an attorney.  I loved to debate and have always been strong-willed. After working at a law firm I realized I couldn’t Elle Woods it and decided my talents lied elsewhere.  During my time as a student pursuing the law I picked up a few tools but being a friend and decent person has equipped me with the most useful tools.

The most important tool I have learned is common sense.  If it is impossible for you to walk in someone’s shoes, you should never tell them how to feel. Unless your advice is positive and, well, awesome. If you are a man do not tell a woman how she should think.  If you are not disabled, do not give advice on how to live as a disabled person.  Do not tell a person of another race your enlightened opinion on their race.  If you are not homosexual your thoughts on gay marriage is irrelevant.

The only acceptable opinion to give to an individual whose identity you are unable to replicate is praise or empathy.  That’s it.

The next time you feel compelled to jump in and tell everyone your opinion on areas you don’t have experience, try eavesdropping.  See if you learn anything.  More important, see if your thought process changes by listening to others rather than telling everyone else yours.

Just my thought 🙂

xo Mari

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