Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Ep. 4 Crucial Conversations

What is a crucial conversation? A discussion with someone you don't agree with when the stakes are high, especially when emotions are involved... something we could all be better at and start practicing immediately. 

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Check out this episode!

Friday, October 16, 2020

How Can We Have a Better Social Media Experience?

We all know social media has drastically changed each and every one of our lives. If you look back even as recent as 10 years ago, the way we interacted socially was way different. Can I say better? It's not a secret. Most of us curse social media, but we still use it. Many of us have to take breaks from it because it can have such an affect on our emotional health. 

Why are we at such a conflict? Why do we hate it but still use it? In order to better understand this complicated mess, let's look at a few of the things social media has changed - and how we can create a better experience for ourselves going forward.

We don't see normal, natural bodies. We don't see mess ups, progress, or rough drafts.

    With more of us moving online for everyday interaction, coupled with our inability to share things that don't make us look really, really good, an entire part of real life is in danger of being forgotten. What normal looks like. Perfection is unattainable; when you don't allow yourself to be seen in your natural state, you are telling yourself and others that it's not okay to not be perfect. Share the blurry pictures! Let's see the first take. Let's see more of you enjoying yourself and feeling natural and fully expressed! Post it, even if it doesn't match your color theme, if it shows your lumpy stomach or if you have a pimple. This is life, baby. And when others post an unflattering pic, try not to pass judgement. This will help you allow yourself more freedom. Remember my last post about seeing yourself in others? Let's embrace ordinary.

We miss having the approval or validation of others.

    It's natural to need attention from others - self esteem comes from being needed and valued. If someone is lacking that, reaching out to others is a natural reaction. Often we are embarrassed at ourselves for looking for approval - and embarrassed for others. Don't be hard on yourself for needing love and affection. Give yourself more grace. And try not to judge others when they're looking for attention. Post more encouraging comments, cheer each other on, celebrate your friends' successes and don't be afraid to reach out when you crave the same.


We carefully craft our message, caption, photo or video, all with the likeability factor in mind.

    Although its tempting to tweak our posts to be a little more "likeable", especially when you're in need of approval or validation, give yourself a little more credit. Just how you show up is fine! Just how you look is perfect! Your sense of humor is on point! If you be your natural self more often, you'll attract people similar to you and you'll start to see more of yourself in the world, maybe you'll notice that you start to feel like you belong, like there's room for you. And by being your natural self, you might be that feeling of belonging for others.

Thinking before you speak.

We miss when words had consequences.

    A lot of people say things online that they'd never have the courage to say in real life. Shit, probably all of us do. Good or bad, there's a lot more social status risk when saying things to someone's face. What if they break up with you? What if you confess your love and they don't feel the same? What if you get hit? Fired? What if they don't agree? What if you cause a scene? There are so many unknowns in real life, but almost no consequences to typing a quick reply. After a while, we can get kind of used to that and we don't really think twice about it anymore. 

What does this mean for you? Well, for one thing, try not to take it personally. Another thing you can do is be very honest in your reply. Type what you feel. I don't mean in a way that attacks them, shames them or insults their character. Maybe something as simple as "That comment really hurt my feelings. Do you really think _____ about me?" Don't be afraid to post it publicly if they did, it might be the first time someone else sees that type of honest, authentic interaction online.

   *Story time* Yesterday, in my DMs, a close friend and I got into a heated conversation about politics. I felt like she was accusatory and aggressive, and she was hurting my feelings. So that's what I told her. After that, we went back and forth for a little while about the content of the post in a way that was much more manageable for me. Eventually it ended with "I can respect your opinion even though I hold a different one." I felt like that was much more productive than some of the other interactions I've had in the past, and I believe it's because I was honest and admitted that her words affected me.

We miss being heard.

Our voices can get lost in the crowd.

    Sadly, because there is so much information to sort through, it is easy to feel like your post, your photo, your opinion doesn't matter and isn't heard. It goes way down on the bottom of the timeline and you get no interaction. To battle this, it helps to find a smaller group where you can contribute to conversation that everyone is interested in. Social media apps themselves can't replace the feeling of community, but there are ways to find strong communities inside of these apps. You might have to do some digging to find the right group, you might have to make your own, you might have to clean up the list of who you're following and try to seek out new people with similar interests, but working to find a group that you can add something to can be really helpful in feeling like your presence online is valuable and in creating an enjoyable atmosphere for yourself.

So overall, what can we do?? We can be more ourselves. We can try to have more fun online, be silly! We can be more honest, whether that's lovely honesty or the harder to swallow kind. We can be more respectful. We can take less to heart. We can trust ourselves, share our story, encourage others, discover small businesses, support artists, stand up for what's right and gracefully and joyfully navigate these social waters that are today's world. 

Take heart! There's lots we can do to spread love. I'm looking forward to seeing more of you.

Xx, Alison

Monday, October 12, 2020

Accept Yourself and Your Human Nature, Seeing Yourself in Others

The graphics for this article all come from WAM's Share Your Story Collection. Each one is a declaration of one possible way to see the world. We all decide what our narrative will be. What's your story? Copy the picture at the very end of the article to make your own declaration or find a blank one on @wampod 's Instagram page. Share with us how you are interacting with the World Around You.