Saturday, July 20, 2024

Doctor Love: Anonymous

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Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length.

Doctor Love,
I have a problem that I have tried to control, but it gets the best of me so many times. I take random comments too personally. If someone posts on their social media page I automatically think it is for me and that people are discussing me behind my back. Like, if someone says something about getting a friend too drunk and I got drunk last weekend, I think it is about me. Deep down I know it is not, but it makes me miserable. How can I let things go and not worry about what other people think?
/s/ Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,
The first thing to remember is that public airing of grievances feed a persons need for attention and gives them the feeling of superiority. When someone makes a negative comment on social media, it is about stroking their own ego. They make mean, ambiguous comments to see who will agree with them, thus they are assured that their “friends” are still on their side. Ignore it unless it is directed at you personally, because while you may be able to recall an incident that parallels the comment, rest assured that unless it happened five minutes ago, it is not about you.
The second thing is that ambiguous comments are vague for a reason and designed to make those who have the information nod in agreement while leaving the poor unfortunates in the dark. So if a comment is made that you cannot just let go of, wait for more information before jumping to conclusions. Someone else is just dying for details, and they will come out and ask. Then, if you firmly believe it has something to do with you, approach your friend in a private message. But ask yourself, would a true friend publicly humiliate you or talk to you face to face? If you have any doubts, disengage from this person, they are toxic and you don’t need them in your life.
This last one may seem harsh but if someone makes an observation about a friend who got too drunk, maybe there is something to be learned from the responses. Maybe you should take the time to assess your own habit of drinking. Despite the fact that it was not about you, you may gain an insight into how society perceives excessive drinking.
Most importantly, realize that while the written word is powerful, when it is unaccompanied by eye contact and facial expressions, an innocent comment can be made to seem sinister and cruel.

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