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.