"Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something." - Plato
With the daily routine that is e-mail, e-communications and social media, there has been a glorious feature added: unsubscribe. It comes in various forms: unfollow, mute, block or the basic model, unsubscribe me.
As a career marketer, it’s something we have to implement to avoid any potential problems when communicating with customers and prospects. As an avid user of social media, it helps to drown out sponsored ads and obnoxious figures (don’t even get me started on that topic).
It got me thinking the other day: what if you applied "Unsubscribe Me" to your personal and professional life?
One of the most valuable things you can do is protect your time and your emotions in communication. Either determining what takes up your time or teaching people how to best communicate with you, both thought processes increase your daily satisfaction.
But what if you’re not at that point yet? Let’s get you there quickly. Think about the last time you unsubscribed/unfollowed something, you probably had some follow up questions that will also help you bucket the people in your life that are energy, time and emotion suckers.
I no longer want to receive this communication
This response has an abundance of applicability in both sides of your life. We must always set boundaries for how people talk to us. This is something that impacts us all whether we are aware of it or not. Friends, family, co-workers and even total strangers, talk how they feel they should talk. It is your right and your duty to yourself to cut off damaging conversations that may impact you.
I was in a very verbally abusive relationship at one point. I basically bought everything that she said about me and 99% of it wasn’t really all that nice. There was always a list of things that needed to change or were aspects about me that she didn’t care for. It wasn’t until I had an awakening one day that I had allowed her to treat me that way, that I had empowered her by allowing it to happen.
Once I learned that lesson, it applied across my life. I’ve never encountered anyone like her since then, but I now understand that I can dictate how people talk with me and it’s ok for me to ask for respectful, positive communication.
I never signed up for this mailing list/I receive too much communication
I used to be the person that would let anyone engage me and I’d listen. I would have a hard time breaking away from the conversation because I didn’t want to be rude. What I didn’t realize is that I was only really being rude to myself, my day and my goals. I’m not encouraging rudeness or severe introversion, but just be mindful of those who tend to take up a lot of your time with gossip, idle talk and negative dumping (I call it the “Eeyore Effect”; those who are never happy about anything).
The communication is inappropriate
Again, similar to point 1, there are too many toxic people with too many platforms nowadays. Especially when you look at social media, there is a horrible phenomenon of what I call “digital bravery.” Those who feel they can say hurtful, disrespectful things because they can type it vs. saying it to the person’s face. We saw an abundance of this during our election season where people would go on vicious attacks of one another over race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. It makes me sick honestly. Tune that stuff out. If there’s a certain channel of communication that routinely brings you down because of the content, avoid it.
I will also apply this to sexist/misogynistic people, sadly men as a vast majority. I have absolutely had it with this type of behavior. I apologize that these people obviously weren’t raised to be gentlemen or taught respect. Just know that you are strong, beautiful women who deserve to be talked to with respect and that you are equal, if not superior, in many ways.
If you’re reading this and you have a fiber of sexism or misogyny in your body, shut up and grow up. No one has time for your immaturity.
The content is not relevant
Last, but definitely not least, this one is HUGE!
Think about where you want to be. What are your goals and aspirations, what do you want your life to look like 2, 5, 10 years from now? Everything you do between now and then determines if you’re going to get there.
Think about mapping a road trip and you want to get from A to B as soon as you can. Now, if you need to head straight east to do that, but you started off wandering south, then back west a little and then stopped somewhere and then went north, it wouldn’t help you get where you need to be.
Your activities, your daily goals and even the people you surround yourself with and the content you educate yourself with all contribute to that direct path. Take an audit of your life right now and I’ll bet you can identify people and/or habits that are preventing you from getting to where you want to go.
It’s time to take control of your “Inbox of Life.” Unsubscribe yourself from that which does not improve or progress you to where you want to be in your life, career or happiness.