As humans, we are prone to feeling all kinds of sentiments, with bliss, misery, jealousy and exhaustion being among the most common. Usually, we react accordingly to social situations that we find ourselves in; for example, responding with mirth at something nice that someone has said to you or being vexed at the actions of someone else. But what we often don’t talk about are the negative emotions prompted as a result of our own actions and thoughts. There are days off that we take away from society and yet still these sentiments pervade us.
Have you ever just had a nice, lazy day in, catching up on your favourite TV shows and eating a whole convenience store’s worth of happy food, when suddenly you remember something awkward you did from seven years ago and it’s all you can think about? Yeah, us too. Here are five more self-destructive things we all do:
- Scrolling through bloggers’ feeds and thinking they represent everyday life
One of the greatest banes of social media existence that keyboard warriors are most vocal about combating is comparing ourselves to others. In an era where Instagram is ruled by filters, flatlays and professionally shot #OOTDs , it’s no wonder we mere mortals feel lacking when scrolling through our own feeble feeds. It’s like, “Hey, why am I not standing in front of the Eiffel tower in a Dior dress while a handsome European gazes into my eyes with a single red rose in his mouth?”
Reminder to self: Successful full-time bloggers do not represent the average person’s life. In fact, a lot of bloggers and vloggers have recently embarked on a trend called “What you don’t see on social media” where they show how they, too, struggle to keep up with the facade of living a beautiful life everyday.
- Stalking our exes and coming out as the loser
So a few years have passed and you feel pretty stable in life. You’ve got a good job, you’ve got a nice car and congratulations, you’ve even got a handsome boyfriend! He’s someone who’s successful enough that you can finally blast TLC’s “No Scrubs” and sing along to it without even a hint of irony. Speaking of which, it’s been a long time since you last saw your ex-boyfriend and you suddenly wonder how he’s doing.
A quick online search reveals that he finally gave up on his pipe dream of being a successful Swedish DJ despite not being Swedish nor a DJ and finally got rid of his matted dreadlocks. He’s currently a hot shot at an international investment agency, with a sharp suit to match that sharp new haircut. His new girlfriend is pretty and tall and looks like she eats carrot sticks for dessert. You now feel inadequate and irked. Why do you do this to yourself?
- Editing our selfies… and clicking on the preview button, over and over again.
We edit everything to subtle perfection with a quick tweak here and there. Finally, as a precautionary measure, just to double check that everything is kept discreet, we click on the “preview” button and do a double take at the “before” picture. WOAH. You thought you’d only applied a light hand with the slimming tool and that you were pretty restrained with the blemish wand but apparently not. You obsess over every single detail from the new curve of your chin to the freshly carved cheekbones on your face and wonder why they seem like such a stretch from the “real” you.
- Refusing to get rid of annoying “friends”
There’s always that one annoying friend on Facebook whose poorly-worded statuses and lame choice in tacky videos frequently get to you. Their selfies are too frequent and zoomed in, their filters too harsh and their spelling atrocious. Yet, despite the fact that you haven’t seen each other in years and would probably not even say hi in real life, you refuse to unfriend them.
You tell yourself and the others who have to listen to you rant that you just don’t want to hurt their feelings or create any tension, but in reality, you just don’t want to. In a bad way they keep us comforted in knowing that we’re better than them in some imaginary way and it’s a soothing reminder that we haven’t sunk that low yet. But then, every single time you see a post of theirs, a part of you feels guilt and shame at keeping that bridge intact. We’ve never needed a magnet for negative thoughts less in our lives.
- Avoiding looking at our bank accounts
While overthinking is a surefire way to get you from hundred to zero real quick, the same can be said of the exact opposite. If you’re someone like me who enjoys running away with the fairies while avoiding the humdrum of real life, then you should be familiar with this situation. It’s the later half of the month and funds are running dry. You’ve recently gone shoe shopping and then there was that dilemma over those gorgeous summer totes and not to forget the spontaneous Instagram shopping sprees you went on.
You go to the cash machine to withdraw some money from your card and to be honest, you’re really not sure how much you can withdraw. Instead of checking your balance like a sensible person, you take a deep breath and quickly withdraw $30. When the machine starts its melodic whirr, you let out a sigh of relief and wipe your brow. Repeat this step a few times throughout the month until no longer possible, i.e. when the ATM finally refuses your request and you’re really forced to face the fact that you’re broke with no back-up plan.
What mildly self-destructive actions do you secretly carry out that you know will come back to bite you in the bottom but still do anyway?