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    Chavy
    Participant

    I’m trying to understand (on a deeper level) why I feel very compelled to check my phone the second it rings or vibrates. I know i why i check it – for  the validation and approval seeking part. I do value myself to some extent. Yet, I still need the approval of others. I think i need others’ approval to solidify my own approval. Thank G-d, i can withstand checking it when I’m with others. But when I’m alone, I feel a great need to check it. I know checking it is fine, but I personally wish I could fully enjoy whatever I’m doing and not feel the great need to look at it that moment. Can anyone else relate to this?

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    Banana
    Participant

    Chavy,

    I can most definitely relate to this – and I think almost anyone in today’s day and age can as well.

    However, I probably don’t experience this to the same degree that you describe. Where I am now, I don’t feel that this disturbs my day to day life. I would recommend turning off as many of the notifications as possible. I have all email notifications off. I know to check for emails when I have time to deal with them. To be notified the second something comes in is just overwhelming, anxiety provoking, and causes me to be unproductive. I turn off all notifications for any group chats I am part of. I also spend a good part of my day in school where I cannot have my smartphone on me (I have a dumb phone for then for emergencies) so even when I do have it on me, I think my brain knows that it can wait just like it does when I’m in school. Perhaps you can tell yourself the same when you want to check your phone – “It waits while I am with my friends, it can wait now as well.”

    If you can manage to find a way to check your phone less often, I think you will find it infinitely better. Emails go so much faster when you deal with a bunch at a time (partially cuz you don’t even attempt to read unimportant emails). Somehow the person that needed your help that second managed without it and you’re left with what your expertise are truly needed for. Your friends learn that you don’t answer the second they text and they’ll start texting less superficial texts.

    Needless to say, it is important to be reachable for emergencies. But don’t let this get in the way. As I mentioned, you can leave notifications on for the people that need to reach you (parents, spouse, etc). Another option is to get a basic phone that only your parents/spouse have the number for in case of an emergency if you don’t answer your normal phone. Additionally, you can give them the phone numbers of your friends/coworkers that you might be near.

    Best of luck and I hope you discover the serenity that awaits on the other side.

     

    P. S. I think you might enjoy this great TED talk  – https://www.ted.com/talks/adam_alter_why_our_screens_make_us_less_happy

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Hi Banana,

    Thank you for your response. I should have mentioned that I don’t have a smartphone. (I got rid of it for that reason). I have a dumb phone – just call and text which is more than enough for me. I alternate between keeping my phone on ringer/vibrate. I feel that I’ll be more compelled to checking it (without it vibrating) if it’s not on ringer. I put it on vibrate if I’m not in the mood of dealing with my phone.

    I love this line that you said: “It waits while I am with my friends, it can wait now as well.” It’s a simple line, yet very true.

    And, I look forward to that peaceful time!

    Thank you for your input!!

    Hey chavy and banana

    I think @chavy  brings up a really important issue that many people don’t even bother dealing with. It’s great that you have awareness into the habit of checking your phone and how it’s connected to validation and approval seeking-which we all struggle to some degree as far as I know.  The question is now “how” to deal with this feeling of an urge to check a phone, as well as your desire for greater presence in your life.

    I think one way is develop a really strong “why”. Why is this behavior change important to you. Once you can identify it and strengthen it you’ll be able to tolerate any “how”, in this case it means being better able to tolerate the discomfort that comes along with resisting checking your phone. Like any compulsive behavior the less you engage in it the weaker it gets over time -although initially the urge may get stronger (it tries to fight back) eventually it will weaken.

    In addition to this, you can also identify that the real feelings may be a desire for connection, validation, a need to feel busy and numb out/avoid other feelings etc. (all normal feelings). Once identified and normalized, you can try engaging in  something that can help you be present while you ride out the uncomfortable feelings. Remember-these moments will get less uncomfortable over time and eventually you will experience the positive presence you desire.


    @banana
    I love the ideas you shared re phone hygiene.

    I personally turned off all phone notifications, aside from text and calls. Hence, i can identify with chavy on this feeling of urge and void when the people around me are constantly refreshing their feeds and I already reached my “checking limit”  for the day. I can assure you that it does get easier over time and it does create some space for more mindfulness – even if your being mindful about how awful it feels. Best of luck to all those who are also trying to stay sane in this era.

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Hi Fay,

    Thank you so much for your validation and helpful strategies! I love the points you mentioned – figuring out “why” this is so important to me and then figuring it “how” to do it.

    Thank you for making this clearer for me and for your insight!

    Banana,

    I checked out the link to the Ted show. I really enjoyed it! So, thank you for that:)

     

    My pleasure! Happy to be helpful! best of luck and feel free to keep me posted on how it goes 🙂

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    Banana
    Participant

    Sorry I’ve been MIA on here. @Chavy, I realized after posting my response that I didn’t actually address your concern accurately. I got carried away explaining how I deal with my own phone issues instead of addressing your need for approval which is quite different.

    I’m really happy that you enjoyed my line about how “it can wait” and the TED video. I’m also really happy @Fay jumped in to give some great and professional advice! I wanted to add that perhaps it would help you to remind yourself of those people in your life who “think the world of you” and/or have unconditional love for you when you feel the need for other people’s approval. Maybe then other people’s opinions will mean less as you have proof you are a valuable loved and unique individual.

    Best of luck!

    Gotta love this forum 🙂

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Thank you Fay!

    Banana, no problem. Again, I love your idea to think of people in my life who “think the world of me” and think highly of me! You’re quite creative Banana:) I guess it’s easier to think of ideas when you’re objective or not the person.

    I could almost start another thread on the idea of unconditional love based on my questions about it. Based on my environment (family and etc.), I think displaying unconditional love is very hard. I know it’s possible, but how can (by means of examples) you show someone that love? Especially if they’re not measuring up to you standards.

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    Hello1
    Participant

    hi all, I’m enjoying this thread. I too work really hard not to let number of calls, texts, likes, and followers get to me but it’s difficult in the world we live in. I like the idea of managing and limiting time with phones and notifications. Also, to work on the why and then the how to manage my personal impulses to check my phone. Sometimes i only catch myself after the fact, oops!


    @chavy
    you bring up an interesting point about unconditional love and it spurred me to look into it and what I found was this:

    unconditional love is a decision and therefore its not based on the person measuring up to standards or not. Its different than a relationship which insinuates 2 individuals/partnership working to meet each others needs/standards on some level. To help differentiate, a relationship can end while unconditional love remains, and sometimes ending a relationship is necessary so that unconditional love remains. I’m no genius and didn’t make this up. i found it here

    https://www.wikihow.com/Love-Unconditionally

     

    For these purposes though, it might be helpful for me to remind myself of the people who love me unconditionally even though I err when I find myself seeking other approval. I will try that- thanks @banana

     

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    Banana
    Participant

    Thank you Fay! Banana, no problem. Again, I love your idea to think of people in my life who “think the world of me” and think highly of me! You’re quite creative Banana:) I guess it’s easier to think of ideas when you’re objective or not the person. I could almost start another thread on the idea of unconditional love based on my questions about it. Based on my environment (family and etc.), I think displaying unconditional love is very hard. I know it’s possible, but how can (by means of examples) you show someone that love? Especially if they’re not measuring up to you standards.

    Happy you liked my idea, @Chavy. Like @Hello1 said, you bring up an interesting point about unconditional love. It’s a whole conversation for itself and it’s a bit complicated. I would love to see it discussed  though (maybe in a new thread?). For example, what should one do if they don’t have someone that loves them unconditionally? It’s so important for everyone to have one such person in their life, what can one do if they didn’t find that person yet?

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Yes, Banana,  it is a whole conversation on its own and a very interesting one. In the meantime, (while someone hasn’t found such a person who shows unconditional love), I would say to focus on the people (or  person) that shows their love even if it’s conditional in some ways. I feel that if the love is overarching and the individual feels more or less safe and secure with them, it may be worth “containing” those feelings. I don’t even know if I have such as person who displays unconditional love. I need to further explore it.

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    Banana
    Participant

    Yes, Banana, it is a whole conversation on its own and a very interesting one. In the meantime, (while someone hasn’t found such a person who shows unconditional love), I would say to focus on the people (or person) that shows their love even if it’s conditional in some ways. I feel that if the love is overarching and the individual feels more or less safe and secure with them, it may be worth “containing” those feelings. I don’t even know if I have such as person who displays unconditional love. I need to further explore it.

    Agreed! Thank you!

    Yes, Banana, it is a whole conversation on its own and a very interesting one. In the meantime, (while someone hasn’t found such a person who shows unconditional love), I would say to focus on the people (or person) that shows their love even if it’s conditional in some ways. I feel that if the love is overarching and the individual feels more or less safe and secure with them, it may be worth “containing” those feelings. I don’t even know if I have such as person who displays unconditional love. I need to further explore it.

    Agreed. Nice thoughts. And definitely an interesting and important topic. Feel free to recreate it or continue it anytime 🙂

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    OnAndonAnon
    Participant

    Chavy, great question and topic. You’ve got some great feedback here!

    Banana, great comment – no need to second guess yourself :). I’ve found much relief from those very points you make and I would’ve shared the same. Fay, you make great points re the ‘Why’.

    Chavy, I was curious as to whether you find yourself obsessing only when you’re bored? Because if you’re truly obsessed, it would be hard to stop even when you’re with friends. Which is a testament to how much those interactions and connections mean to you.

    If I were you I’d remain curious about that to see if I was obsessively checking my phone because I so desired connection with others – and if so create more opportunities for connections.

    Something I’ve done in addition to Banana’s suggestions, is to turn of the ‘Blue Checks’ on WhatsApp (those with WhatsApp likely know what I mean 🙂 ). I did that after realizing that I was constantly wondering why others didn’t yet reply as well as wondering if others are thinking about why I didn’t yet reply.

    Clearly, that’s not coming from a healthy place. And while I continue to work on my ‘Why’ (codependency etc), I can at least take measures to increase my peace. Like you did with getting a flip phone.

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    Chavy
    Participant
    Topic Author

    OnAndonan,

    Thank you for your comments. I found them  to be wise and insightful.

    Thank God I’m able to keep my phone aside more or less (I’ll check it if the person or people I’m with get busy with something else…). I find it to be rude and annoying when the person I’m conversing with checks their phone or sounds distracted and therefore try to keep my phone away. As it is, I’m on my phone plenty, so it’s a good “vacation.”

    Yes, you hit in on the nail! I resort to my phone when I’m bored and alone. I do enjoy having meaningful interactions and try to use my phone as the substitute which doesn’t really work. I find it very hard to interact with my friends. Hard because we all have different schedules.

    I can very much relate to what you’ve described with Whatsapp. I used to have it whatsapp. It made my life very hard. So, good for you for turning off the blue check marks! I wish you and others struggling with this much hatzlacha in tackling this! It’s not easy to say the least. I’m sorry my post is so long.

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