Dear E. Jean: I'm 25, tall, curvy, not ugly, and a painter. I have good friends and a wonderful boyfriend, but for three years now I have stalked the beautiful girl my ex-boyfriend dumped me for. I have long, long let go of any feelings for my ex-boyfriend. She's the one I can't shake.
I'm embarrassed by it. I don't want to be this kind of woman! I check her Instagram and Facebook multiple times throughout the day. Although I have never met her, I feel my insecurities mount with each glimpse into her life. It doesn't help that she's one of those superskinny types with perfect bone structure and a busy social life. So every time I see a new photo she posts of herself, I fall a little inside. This whole cycle of checking on her makes me feel small, mentally weak, and incompetent. How do I break it? -Seeking Your Spiritual Guidance
Seeking, My Scallion: To break a stalking habit, the first three rules everybody else (on the Internet!!) will tell you to try are:
1. Stay off social media.
2. Unfollow her on Facebook and Instagram.
3. Delete all apps like Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, Pinterest, etc.
Pretty good rules, right? But I don't think any human who has not had his or her phone taken away has ever followed them. Particularly a tall, curvy, ultraclever, fantastic young painter who's so frightened of being a miserable failure that she makes herself feel like a miserable failure. So Auntie Eeee is giving you four more rules:
HOW TO REALISTICALLY WEAN
YOURSELF FROM THE STALKING HABIT
Let's not kid ourselves here. If you try No. 1, 2, or 3 in the first set of rules, which sound excellent and rather impossible for anyone with a career or a brain (but give them a whirl), you will notice they don't forbid Googling. And the temptation to Google Miss Bone Structure will be intense. Therefore….
4. You must write down (repeat: write down) three things you love about yourself before you're permitted to Google her. That means three new things every time you so much as glance at that "I'm Feeling Lucky" box.
5. Prior to creeping on her friends (the better to see what she's up to in their photos), you must walk one mile. (That's one mile, per stalk, per friend. One reason you even have feet is to change the direction of your thoughts.)
6. Volunteer to help young persons who are being bullied online. Sign up at cybersmile .org. A defenseless young woman who feels she has nowhere to turn would be touched and deeply grateful to hear from you.
7. Remember, remember always, that you and your art can make people feel like miserable failures, and forever posting your good fortune on Facebook and Instagram creates envy, not enthusiasm. Keep it cool. And good luck!
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