My friends are amazing, truly breathtaking through and through. They range from working impressive jobs, to (multiple) Ivy League graduate schools, and being all around stunningly smart and beautiful people. So it felt pretty rough to invite one to meet me for dinner, realize it was cash only, force him to watch me dig between my car seat cushions for any money and then make him buy me dinner since I didn’t have any. Sometimes I feel like an actual shit show playing out in front of their perfectly choreographed lives.
Comparison is a little devil on my shoulder telling me how amazing everyone around me is doing while I trip trying to get through my day. At my worst point of depression I spent an exorbitant amount of time stalking my ex’s new girlfriend, old classmates having fun, people being in love etc. Even looking around my day to day life I could see so many other people that seemed to be doing everything better than me. Even if we had the same circumstances, somehow they were beating me at it. And it SUCKED. Every second I was beating myself up and comparing to who I thought I should be and what I thought I should be accomplishing. The truth was even in my most superficially accomplished moments, I still felt terrible.
As part of my healing I have to force myself not to compare myself to others. I am where I am, I am who I am and that is enough. But that is hard to believe 100% of the time. I often slip up and get caught up in what everyone else is doing around me, so here’s what I try to help take that weight off my shoulders.
Talk It Out
When I sit down and have genuine, distraction free, conversations with my friends I remember why I love them, and why that love is mutually exclusive to comparison. Every single one of my friends has garbage floating around in their life, because being a young twenty something trying to figure life out is as difficult as it is fun. None of them are perfect but I love them so deeply that is how they will always look to me.
That brings me to my second point, I love my friends so much they will always look perfect. So I make sure to turn that love to me. What if I loved myself so much that I saw myself through those same rose colored glasses? So when I think about how I treat myself, make decisions, or talk to myself, I try to pause and say, “Is this how I would want xyz to treat themselves?” If I knew my little sister was doing this how would I feel? Would I be pouring my love and reassuring hugs and words onto her? Absolutely! So I try to do that for myself, even if it feels weird or awkward first.
Take a Break from Social Media
I honestly hate/love this advice. Social media allows me to connect to people I love and I don’t want to hinder those connections. However when my social media use becomes scrolling through people that inspire jealousy, instagram models, and generally being used to make myself feel like shit I try to turn it off. Even if it is just for an hour so I can go outside, exercise, or generally get my head on straight.
Hope this helps you remember that you probably already have your shit together as much as anyone else. Stop comparing yourself to others, even though that behavior is ingrained into our current social media culture. Reach out, love yourself, and love others.