How much time do you spend every day doing these things?
- Wondering whether someone likes you (or doesn’t).
- Anticipating negative reactions from others.
- Worrying about an email or text you sent (or haven’t sent).
- Thinking about what you “should” be doing.
- Scolding yourself for not doing enough.
- Imagining worst case scenarios.
Thank God I don’t get a report on this, like my daily screen time usage. It would be pretty embarrassing.
The more you require positive reactions to regulate yourself, the more time you will spend focusing on others’ reactions.
I think pandemic life has increased this anxious focus on others. It’s easier to assume that people don’t like you over a Zoom call, or that a friend resents you for not keeping in touch. The less you connect with your partner, the more you will personalize their bad moods.(more…)