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The Difference Between Blessed and #blessed

One of the key topics in my upcoming book Love Your Life, Not Theirs is the danger in playing the comparison game. We’ve all done it and, with social media, it’s now easier than ever. So how do you stop worrying about comparison and start living your own life?

In this excerpt from Love Your Life, Not Theirs, I touch on this subject and the phenomenon of #blessed.

There is a fascinating phenomenon racing through social media these days, and we’ve all seen it. It’s there, lurking at the end of half the posts you see online. It’s the smiley, happy exclamation point at the end of a friend’s latest post about her fantastic vacation. Most of the time, you can see it coming before you get to the end of the photo caption. It’s the latest weapon in the comparison-driven war of one-upmanship currently being waged on your favorite social networks. Yes, it’s true: I’m talking about #blessed.

“Look at what my amazing husband gave me for our anniversary! #blessed”

“Honored to accept my new position as Executive Vice President of Sales for a Fortune 500 company. #blessed”

“I can’t believe this view out my new bedroom window! #blessed”

“Jetting off to Hawaii for a long weekend! #blessed”

“I’ve always wanted a Lexus! #blessed”

“Oh, he shouldn’t have! #blessed”

And the pictures—oh, the pictures. New cars. Amazing sunsets. Six-pack abs. Rooftop pools. First-class airline seats. #blessed #ilovehimsomuch #treatingmyself #YOLO

And I’m the first one to admit I’ve been guilty of using #blessed in the past, but once I became more aware of this habit of comparison living, I started paying more attention to when, where, and why people throw in that little hash tag. And, almost every time I see it now, I translate it as a humble brag.

Am I saying that everyone who uses #blessed means to imply that? No way. I know some of the sweetest, most caring and generous people in the world. There’s no way that’s what they mean to say. There are others, though, who know exactly what they’re implying with it. We can’t control that. All we can control is what our response is when we see it. If we seriously want to develop a habit of quitting the comparisons, we’ve got to take control of our thoughts and reactions to other people’s stuff and success. We need to choose real blessings and let go of someone else’s #blessed.

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  • Junior Verdun

    Are you looking at the same thread that we are? #Blessed seems like folks talking positively about event and goings on in their lives that they feel rewarded by their God, or their constructive and productive actions. Rather then think of it as comparison or who’s better than who, how about “you’re blessed? Awesome !! Me/Us/You/Them TOO !

  • RobS

    “It’s the latest weapon in the comparison-driven war of one-upmanship currently being waged on your favorite social networks.” <– Agree. Society is prone to one-upmanship (even if it means a disability or something that no one would really want).

    Perhaps learning the art of empathy and applying it in the pain is one lesson, but hiding posts from some people might just be what the doctor ordered. If that helps our response, then maybe it's a good way.

    Thanks for the blog post, RC.

  • Heather Jerome-cornish

    What happened to congratulations! Good for you! Why must society, myself at times included, be jealous? A friend moved to a new home good for you! A friend and spouse goes on vacation, I’m happy for you that you were able to get away! New job, congratulations you earned it! But not just say it, mean it.

    • Junior Verdun

      Congratulations to you Heather. Your honest appreciation for others’ successes indicates to all that you too must be of the #blessed.

  • JC Walker

    When I growing up it was called “keeping up with the Jones” now it seems more let’s stab the Jones in the back and rub their noses in it. Oh, and don’t forget to say ” I am so blessed” because we all know that make it all right. Luke 12:18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’