Having a Facebook account should be fun. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be too easy to turn Facebook into a battle zone or a source of diminishing returns as slights are imagined and things get blown out of proportion. It doesn’t help when Facebook users slavishly stay on the site until they can’t think straight and then take out their frustrations and exhaustion on other people.
If you’re losing that loving feeling on Facebook, it’s not fun. But it is time to shake yourself up and stop dwelling on the petty - here’s how!
- Remember that Facebook is not an important part of who you are. This may come as a surprise to some avid users of Facebook but it’s a simple fact. Keep it absolutely clear in your mind that Facebook doesn’t define you. And what people with their online bravado and cyber-personas think of you or your Facebook page is not important.
- Understand what Facebook pettiness consists of. In the case of Facebook (or any online interactive forum), pettiness includes such acts as excessive sharing of opinions over something that should have been put to rest many posts ago, whine-trances that never end, griping about things that are tiresome and trivial, poking fun at people in mean-spirited ways, attacks on a person’s personality, beliefs, or abilities, and similar pointless, thoughtless, and meaning-deprived actions. In turn, treating any of these sorts of acts as worthy of dwelling upon is harmful to your mental health and overall well-being, and makes being on Facebook unpleasant rather than fun.
- Chill about friend rejects. Anyone who rejects your friend request is likely not a friend worth chasing so don’t sweat it. Perhaps you’ve simply asked someone who barely recognizes you, or perhaps some bad or inappropriate things you’ve done in the past that impacted this person has caused them to be twice as cautious about you than ever. Have you been squeaky clean on Facebook or have you done something that could make them not wish to be associated with you? ‘Fess up – perhaps you have annoyed or upset them somehow. Whatever the reason, don’t dwell on it but do concentrate on those people happy to be your Facebook friends; they deserve your attention.
- Sometimes the source is your own actions, most other times it’s for reasons over which you have absolutely no control. People reject friend requests for a huge range of reasons that simply are not personal. Things such as being busy, feeling they already have too many friends on Facebook, an unwillingness to increase their friendship circle, not even checking their Facebook account because of other life commitments, and so forth. To imagine that it is a personal rejection is to create something that isn’t there, so don’t do it; and even if it is, don’t give the other person the power over you by dwelling on it. Easy come, easy go.
- Cease fuming over Facebook comments. From time to time, accept that some people will leave undermining, picky, and downright provocative comments. Sometimes it’s because they’re in a bad mood and you just happen to be the Page they’re focused on; other times, they feel riled by something you’ve said or shared, whether or not they have any reason to feel aggrieved (and even when they do have reason, they should express themselves calmly). Accept that some people are not as good as others at restraining themselves from off-the-cuff commenting without sleeping on their words, or that some people think they’re being super smart by leaving cryptic but clearly attacking comments on your Page. The best thing you can do? Ignore the comments and let them speak for themselves when others read them. Water off a duck’s back.
- Keep your Facebook page relevant, considerate, and polite. People will be less inclined to leave snide, churlish or nitpicking comments if there is nothing inconsiderate or provocative worth commenting on negatively. However, if being thought-provoking is your preference, then be prepared for the feisty feedback!
- If your Facebook page is fairly benign, non-provocative, and general in nature, then perhaps it’s jealousy, boredom, or just sheer stupidity involved in any unpleasant comments being left. Realize it’s all about what’s missing inside the snarky commenter, and it’s not about you. Some people are, to all intents and purposes, just plain rude.
- Be firm with people who seek to push your buttons without worrying about their insistence that you’re being unreasonable or unfair. You know you’re not being unreasonable or unfair, and that you’re seeking a better form of interaction with those you perceive as friends on Facebook, so don’t let their irritation drive your own responses or feelings. The louder they squawk, the less likely they have a point.
- Laugh at your own trivial obsessions. All of us can fall prey at one time or another to believing that something really matters so much that we need to focus on it to the exclusion of all else. And in the realm of Facebook, this can turn into hammering home a point using updates and pictures over and again until our friends cry “enough, already!”. If someone notices you doing this and picks you up on it, instead of responding aggressively or defensively, try laughing at the trap you’ve fallen into. Realize that you have just turned something petty into something that you did nothing else but dwell upon. Make fun of your pettiness, obsessiveness, unappreciative attitude, or grandstanding. It won’t take long to bring you back to reality and to put a halt your trivial updates. A brief apology for your obsession detouring to your Facebook friends is adequate, then move on.
- Instead of responding in a knee-jerk, impatient reaction to people who leave inflammatory comments on your Facebook page, laugh it off and “release the pettiness”. You’ll be respected for coping and showing that you can rise above the dramas and trivialities. Avoid death by mouse-clicking at all costs.
- If you wouldn’t say something to a person’s face, do not say it to them on Facebook. Period.
- Extricate yourself from your friends’ Facebook update dramas. Some people love drama in their life and will do anything to both create and attract it, using wall posts and even pictures to create a scene and to turn tiny issues into “serious problem of the week” when in actual fact, as with all drama, it’s petty and it’s unnecessary. It also clogs up your time with inessential nonsense that won’t make one iota of difference to your career, your studies, your future aspirations but it could very well bog you down in reading stuff that will distract you from what you need to be concentrating on. Let the drama-llamas discover the psychologist they need by refusing to be the audience they seek.
- Don’t get involved in Facebook fights. Petty as, oh so stupid, and very easily mired in misunderstandings! At the end of the day, “who cares” should be your motto, and go find something more meaningful to spend you energies on.
- Following someone else’s personal problems in great detail via Facebook says something about you too – it suggests that you may well not have much of a life that you’re proud of and that you’re very vulnerable to getting a kick from nosing around other people’s adventures. Stop longing for something better and start creating your own adventurous life instead.
- If you change relationship status with someone in your life, be sure to update the change on Facebook too. It’s not fair to leave it there as a form of “hope”. To the other person, it serves as a burden to see you still pretending the two of you are together and it makes it seem as if they’ve somehow done the wrong thing by you, when in reality it takes two to end a relationship. Moreover, do not use Facebook to stalk your ex, to monitor their every movement, every update, every possible new love interest. Move on or you’re guilty of using Facebook to dwell on the past. In future, you may even decide not to make such open declarations of romantic attachments via Facebook anyway, to save trivializing such an important and yet very personal part of your life into a Facebook sideshow.
- Balance Facebook with the rest of your online time and life offline. The adage recommends moderation in everything, and Facebook and online life are certainly included. The ease with which people can respond negatively and with intimidation online is just too evident; lacking the facial and body language cues, lacking the usual restraints of face-to-face etiquette, the web mob or anonymous fruitcake mentality sometimes takes over. See it all for what it is, don’t take it personally and get off the site regularly to regain your sense of perspective.
- If you’re dwelling too much and running your life on things that happen on your Facebook, delete it! People survived long before Facebook and you’ll survive without it too. In fact, in a decade’s time, quite possibly Facebook will be old-fashioned and funny in hindsight; just don’t let that be a bittersweet funny for you!
- Get the context of Facebook. There is always a bigger picture than our own worries, failures, and relationship squabbles and if Facebook is making you feel like they’re insurmountable or gargantuan problems, then it’s probable you’ve turned them into something more than they really are.
- Even politics is petty in the online environment. Do you seriously think the big decisions and the ideas that count are going to come forth from nasty political spats on Facebook Pages? Absolutely not!
- Keep your Facebook involvement light, fun, and basic. The less said the better, the wittier and more interesting the things you do say, the better!
- If you’re in the grip of worrying how you appear to others, put a stop to it by not updating so continuously and refusing to fall into the trap of wondering whether or not your presence on Facebook is having an impact!
- A classy Facebook user is the one who knows the right amount of posts, the right amount of comments, and the right amount of time on the site. Aim for that.
- If people behave nastily on Facebook to you, you can be sure that you’re not their only target. Perhaps now you are hit number one but prior to you and after you, there are bound to be others. And the key here is to not let these people cross your boundaries; when they are truly bitter, nasty, and bullying, put a stop to it by letting them know clearly that you will not tolerate their pettiness and harassment and that you will report them, record everything they say for future reference, and speak to people who can make a difference about their behavior. Delete them from your Page and your friends list.
- Help friends to recognize Facebook pettiness too. If you see them getting all heated up over a news item, a story, an issue that you think is really trivial and wrongheaded, kindly point out to them what you’re seeing from your persepective and gently suggest that they let it go.
- Pettiness breeds more pettiness; beware of that when you’re deeply embedded on Facebook unable to see the forest for the trees.
- Pettiness can lead to cattiness and very silly retaliatory reaction that lives on far longer than your account. For example, colleges and employers do look at Facebook accounts these days. Make sure what they see reflects well on you.
- If you do feel in a place where spewing forth invective is all you have in you, shut the computer immediately and leave it well alone. Go for a run, talk to a family member or friend somewhere comfortable, pat your cat, walk your dog, or write in your journal. Vent outside of the online sphere and only go back when you’ve cooled down.
- Report any inappropriate or illegal pictures posted to your wall or that you’re tagged in.
- Avoid talking about topics that lead to trouble, like religion, politics, and sex. These are areas rife with opinionated ranting that can lead to petty and vindictive commenting.
- Whining is annoying, always, no matter why. Do something about it rather than whining! Find positive things to say, ways to work around something that bugs you, and suggest what could be improved rather than what is rotten.
Things You’ll Need
- Alternative things to spend your precious energies on
- A list of friends who matter - engage with them only
- How to Defeat a Facebook Addiction
- How to Quit Facebook
- How to Permanently Delete a Facebook Account
- How to Delete Friends on Facebook
- How to Stop a Facebook Friend Invite
- How to Track a Fake Facebook Account
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Not Dwell on Petty Facebook Issues. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.
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