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The Difference Between Blessed and #blessed

One of the key topics in my 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 the book, I touch on this subject and the phenomenon of #blessed.

There is a fascinating phenomenon repeating itself on 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, you know what’s coming. 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. Amazing sunsets. Feet in the sand. Six-pack abs. Rooftop pools. First-class airline seats. #blessed #ilovehimsomuch #treatingmyself #YOLO

I’ll be the first one to admit that 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 hashtag. 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.

In Love Your Life, Not Theirs, Rachel Cruze shines a spotlight on the most damaging money habit we have: comparing ourselves to others. She then unpacks six other healthy money habits for living the life we really want without being buried under debt, stress, and worry. If you are tired of trying to keep up with the Joneses and are ready to put that time and energy into living the life you want, Love Your Life, Not Theirs will show you how. Quit Comparing. Start Living. Order your copy today!

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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 !

    • DISQUS

      That’s true, except… it’s not. Every single person I know who has ever posted “I’m so blessed”or “#blessed” on their social media posts has NEVER, not once ever, said those words to me in person. And I’m talking about some people I am very close with and talk to multiple times a day. Think about it. How many people have you talked to who outwardly and verbally tell you to your face how blessed they are? That number is ZERO for me. In a real-life conversation, most people don’t talk about how blessed they are because it can quickly start to sound bragadocious instead of a humble praise to the Lord. So on social media, when someone exclaims, “I’m so blessed!” and you realize you’ve never heard them speak that way before, it’s easy to believe it’s all for show. And sadly, it oftentimes is.

      I agree with Rachel that this type of behavior is a common contributor to our “keeping up with the Jones'” issue in society. There is something to be said for humility, and social media does NOT offer a path to being humble. People who want to be visible to everyone all the time are NOT truly humble.. no matter how many “blessed” hashtags they put at the end of their posts.

  • 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.

    • H. Swansin

      You really missed the point of the article here.

  • 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.”’