Avoiding Social Comparison
...is the only noise I can here at about two in the morning in my spacious and dark house. "Its normal for someone to be Facebook stalking at this time anyway right....?" I ask myself. It is two in the morning; no one is here to entertain, nothing else to do, too tired to do homework but not tired enough to sleep. I surprisingly don't feel creepy or weird at all as I find myself on the 300 picture of some random girl I have only met once as I envy her for her freaking cute clothes and find myself pissed at her for posting pics of herself eating fast food but still seeming to have a perfect body..... "NOT FAIR!" I think and ask myself does she even work out or try to look this good....why do I have to try so hard...? Or ho did she get that guy...what did she do to go to all those cool places and get that BA professional yet fun job...? Everyone and their mom judges as we stalk Facebook so why should I feel bad?
And why don't I find myself stalking hot muscular men and browsing their profiles to see if they are employed or studying something like law or business at BYU....? You would think that would be more entertaining and possibly productive than searching every single girl on my friends list to check out their new hair styles, see if they are married yet and if not, why...? admiring their "indie" bridals and wedding pics, also see what clothes they wear, what kind of hot bikini pics they are posting to show off their bods, and how I compare to all of this and where I fit in.....Why do I and a million other girls not only here in Utah but all over the world do....Why???!!!
Social comparison is like a disease.... we despise it and try to avoid it but it keeps coming back. Its like a hard addition to drugs where we just cannot get enough and get so caught up in it and fall so hard, we feel like we cannot escape. Do we really all "love each other" and "want to be FB friends" and follow each other on "INSTA", or twitter, or do we really do all this to just stalk, judge, envy, love but hate, compete, and compare....? What is the true purpose to it all....When we meet new people do we actually want to get to know them and become their loyal friends or do we secretly hook ourselves to these "frenemies"so we can swoop in and get a certain guy or join some new group...?
I guess I am still trying to figure that out because I myself will admit that I was the one Facebook stalking some chick last night and not being happy for her when she changed her status to in a relationship or felt bad for her when something went wrong in life but I became jealous or secretly happy when she failed. We are all such animals! We need to CHILL and stop hating each other but wanting to be each other all at the same time. Why can't we go to a party and actually get someones number and hang out with them rather than "follow" them on instagram and just casually say "hi you look cute!" when we run into them at parties.... this is just not healthy!!! we are losing the vision and true meaning to friends and groups and just healthy happy people.
So what do we do....??
1) Break free: cut loose from those place, things, websites, people, groups that will encourage or push us to be envious, judgmental, fake, competitive. You are the one choosing to be a part of all of it and if you feel like it is not right or fake, get out of it and just become REAL! Be honest, show your true colors, show actual interest in the people you love, relate to, understand, care about, and find time to appreciate and hang out with them.
2) Act to solve problems: gain a new perspective of yourself and your life and do everything in your power to act and adjust to making sure you are fulfilling those qualities and being happy and confident about it.
3) Dodge overthinking triggers: take a minute and just stop when you feel like you are getting into those unhealthy social comparison patterns. Get help and ask people to give you feedback and call you out. If you need to, vent about something to someone you trust but then MOVE ON and let it go. Write it all down in a journal or something and burn it, if you have to just get it all out so you can feel better.
4) Take in the big picture: ask yourself; "will this matter in a few months or a year?", "is this really a big deal?", "how am I benefiting myself or others by talking like this or doing this?"... step back and just be present for a second so that you can realize what is really happening.
I feel like with all the media, movies, internet, magazines, social groups, etc that surround us and make up our society, it is easy for our minds to begin to believe in this fantasy that is not even real life or even practical. Most of the things we see out there are not even real and we have no idea what people are actually like, what they are going through, and who they truly are. I really do wish that people could just be more honest, real, vulnerable, and wear their emotions and issues on their sleeves (like me..embarrassing) but I know that is unrealistic as well and we all want to have a hope that even if we are struggling or not perfect that we are also okay and great. I guess there is just a balance and I feel like we have just gone to extremes, and we need to remember that what our eyes see is not always the truth, and we can stop thinking that everyone is happy, perfect, pretty, secure, and confident. We ALL struggle and we all want to be accepted and loved so I invite all to just be real and be honest and step outside of your head for a while, step away from that fantasy, and consider getting off the internet, and go interact and enjoy real people and real life situations. We can have real relationships with real people, or we can sit around and mope with our computer, feeling like we will never be good enough, and that everyone else out there is happy and pretty.....or we can take matters into our own hands and make things happen! Go open up to people and talk and communicate, and you will be surprised to find out that not everything and everyone is what it seems.....Life is amazing, but it is also hard, and we all are struggling at times, but we can accept life together, and help each other out and support each other rather than compare one another, compete, hate, envy, or fear the people and the situations around us.