Happy Free-Thinking Friday! Today’s post is very special for three reasons. The first is the fact that this is the very first Free-Thinking Friday of a new month! The second is the fact that I am nearing the end of the first week that I’ve felt so overwhelmed yet so incredibly full. This week was filled with stressful moments as the close of a school year draws near yet, standing on the other side, I’m grateful for it all. The third is probably THE most important reason…drumroll please…Today’s Free-Thinking Friday is co-written by a very special guest. I’ll let her introduce herself…
Heyy, My name is Gabrielle. I’m from Maryland originally born in Washington D.C. I grew up being the shyest girl of the group but I loved to be intuitive. At the age of five I moved to Costa Rica and became bilingual and ever since then my life has been a spiraling series of events filled with ups and downs all creating and shaping the young woman I am today.
Today’s post is inspired by the generic, one-size-fits-all relationship advice posts that often plague our timelines and more times than not leave us feeling somewhere between self-righteous and personally attacked. Social media is an extremely powerful medium where mental health experts, wellness specialists and many others with well meaning intentions share extremely helpful information, personal experiences and wellness tips. Personally, I love sharing my experience and habits/tips and tricks that have assisted me during my Self-Love Journey. This post isn’t to dismiss the validity of one’s experience or to ignore that there may be truth in some generic relationship advice posts however, I think it’s important to be aware of what one is taking in. Do you find yourself reposting posts about toxicity to shade the ex that still follows you? Blindly agreeing based on limited experience? Diagnosing yourself with mental health conditions that a certified account briefly described in a post?
Many of the posts that call out “toxic behaviors” and “relationships do and don’ts” are not always relevant to your personal experience. Generalization can be harmful because it ignores the fact that everyone is different. Everyone’s relationships are different, everyone’s needs are different and there is no way to safely and expertly diagnose and define specific behaviors without a thorough understanding of
- One’s experience
- One’s goals/needs
- One’s intentions
AND SO MUCH MORE
A buzz word I’ve been seeing recently is “toxic”. It seems that everyone in 2020 is using this word to describe people, experiences and relationships.
If Instagram determines the lens through which you view your relationships, then those closest to you will likely never live up to your unfair expectations.
Do you find yourself so caught up in enjoying the highlight reel of someone else’s experience that you forget to step back and define your own goals and desires?
A few days ago I was on Instagram and after reading 4 consecutive posts about “toxicity”, I had to share this short thought:
“I think it’s extremely harmful to allow social media to define toxicity for you. Many times, especially in the black man’s experience, unhealthy habits are birthed at a very young age and coping is all someone may know. Beautiful souls have “toxic traits”. Define who is worthy of your time and energy without basing your understanding of their behavior on quotes you found on Instagram”.
When we find ourselves allowing others to define what is and is not harmful, we can get into an unhealthy cycle of accepting the definitions of others and subsequently “allowing” them to shape our perspective.
Staring at the problem without ever making an effort to understand the source can cost you healthy relationships.
Your perception of someone’s behaviors is not the end all be all. In reality, you may not even have a thorough understanding of the entire situation.
I’ve found that social media has all these perceptions of what attributes a “healthy relationship” should and shouldn’t have and oftentimes people follow blindly not realizing that what makes every relationship so beautiful is it’s uniqueness.
Every individual has a unique story and path that has been cultivated through their personal experiences leading up to their relationships making their viewpoints and love languages very specific. This can be conflicting when we compare and look at many celebrities or social media relationships we may deem as “goals” based on their photos or aesthetically pleasing demeanors. However, what we fail to remember when scrolling through our timelines is that most people aren’t posting their failures, the hard work done behind the scenes or the possibility that things aren’t always as beautiful as they seem. Comparisons can be the thief of joy especially when we’re comparing our realistic lives to those of who we know nothing about.
I’ve seen a lot of posts on twitter where people were saying they loved the possessiveness in relationships because they felt it translated to their significant other caring. I can say that I also used to think possessiveness was sexy until I understood trust.
Happy Free-Thinking Friday everyone! I would like to offer a HUGE thank you to my special guest for assisting me in writing today’s post! If you want to interact with her, her blog and Instagram accounts are listed below. Have a great day, week, month, life; you deserve it.
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