You are scrolling through Facebook. You stop mid scroll to look closer and see that girl who graduated with you on a wonderful Parisian vacation with a handsome man. As you click on picture after picture of them laughing, eating and having a good time, you feel worse about your life. Then you click on Instagram and see that friendly lady you chat with each morning at the coffee shop about work, dating and life etc., just posted fabulous photos of her tropical honeymoon.The last time you spoke, she had not been on a date in months and she’s married!
We’ve all done it. We compare ourselves to others and it makes us feel inadequate about our life. Social Media, television, magazines and the movies all have images of those we are told we should be ‘keeping up with…’
While we’re saying to ourselves, it’s not fair, let’s look at the reality of the situation.
Television, movies and magazines have editors! You are not truly not seeing what you are seeing! The same rings true for social media. While the folks may photograph themselves having a great time, you’re only seeing the ‘high points’ of their lives. You rarely see a candid shot of your friend having a big argument with her handsome new husband or your neighbor who is a terrific cook burning the Hawaiian Chicken on the grill or your perfect co-worker’s child having a full-blown melt down at the grocery store. You get the picture (no pun intended).
But don’t feel bad, for feeling bad. It’s natural that we want to see where we fit in the scheme of things. Our mind needs to rank or successes or failures in comparison to others. But here are a few ways to refocus on a more healthy way to process thoughts of comparison.
- Compare your current SELF against the past SELF: look at how far you have come in your own life. Have you released a significant amount of weight to become healthier? Have you completed a degree? Have you become a better spouse over the years? There are MANY ways to compare YOURSELF now and in the past and feel good about what you’ve accomplished.
- Realize How IMPOSSIBLE it is to truly compare: there is only one you so how can you compare? We all have our own unique experiences and journeys through life so there really is not way to measure that with someone else’s life experiences.
- Pursue greater and higher things in life: some of the most awesome things in life are love, compassion, humility, generosity etc. things that are often ‘hidden’ from the visual…you can’t take a selfie with wisdom, but you sure can gain more of it and benefit from it more than posting a picture of your vegan burger at a new cafe.
Sure, there is nothing wrong with browsing social media to keep up on events in the lives of your friends and family, but remind yourself that nobody is perfect!
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