The world will ask you who you are, and if you don’t know, the world will tell you.
There have been some thoughts percolating in my brain for some time now, but a few recent events have cause the percolation to – how shall I say it – spill over? Today’s post is written from an honest and vulnerable place, with the hopes that it will encourage all of us – myself included – to be a little smarter and stronger as we consume social media. Heck, this isn’t limited to social media. You could apply this to life in general. Let’s just say this is post about how we tend to measure ourselves against other people, regardless of what form that measuring rod might be (social media, jean size, income, etc), and how we will always fall short in that sort of comparison.
No one is perfect, so stop thinking that they are.
No matter what it is you are picking out about someone else’s life and using to deem them so “special” or “perfect,” I promise you, perfect is not real. Stop it. Stop it right now.
Sure, other people can be skinner than us. Have more money than us. And be really good at the things they are pursuing. But I promise you that no human on this earth is exempt from experiencing heartache, pain, or struggle. If you look at someone’s Instagram photos of their fun night out with friends and start to bemoan how perfect their life is and how much your’s sucks because you ate alone last night then all I can say is – honey, tighten up.
We have to smarten up. Toughen up. And stop being so self indulgent. And that truly is what it comes down to. We pick out everyone else’s highlights and compare them to our struggles and feel sorry for ourself. And guess what? Everybody loses when we do that.
We all get caught up in this. Call it FOMO – the fear of missing out. Call it comparison. (Didn’t someone say that is the thief of all joy?) Call it whatever you like. At the end of the day, it’s just plain stupid and it’s not taking responsibility for our own emotional intelligence.
We have a responsibility, as humans, for our own well being. I’m a little tired of people posting well intentioned but unnecessary apologies for sharing the things they love with others. And I’m not just talking about social media, although that is of course one source. This happens in ordinary conversation, too.
We feel like we have to give all these caveats about how our life isn’t perfect when in reality, shouldn’t we all just KNOW that? I mean seriously, as human beings, how can we all be so stupid to actually think that someone else is better than us just because they shared a good moment with us?
Their promotion, weight loss, fun vacation does not diminish the good things in our life…unless we let it!
I’m reading a book, The Happiness Dare, that talks about happiness shaming and it is so powerful. In the book, the author talks about how it can be scary to be happy because people instantly get so defensive and resentful. Um. Yes!
We’ve all been there, on both sides of the equation. We have been the one sharing our happiness and having someone else bring their rain clouds to the party, and we have all certainly been the rain clouds.
I’ve been thinking about two important truths that I think will help us all mature in our emotional intelligence, become smarter consumers of social media, and perhaps most importantly – learn how to share in other’s happiness instead of shame them. Continue reading