Don’t Envy the Lives of Others:
you don’t know the whole story
We rarely see the whole picture of someone else’s life. We see small parts that we envy, but if we knew the whole story we’d likely realize that there wasn’t really anything to envy.
Even before social media, we were comparing our lives. We’d see the neighbor with the new car or the seemingly perfect life. Social media has made it worse. Now it’s not just the neighbors or others that we actually see. It’s everyone. It’s that girl you went to high school with or that guy from college. We are now able to see the best version of everyone’s lives. We see what they choose to share, and don’t we all choose to share the best moments? But, we don’t know the whole story.
Chronic Rants shared a great post about how she found herself envying a fellow Spoonie friend for the things that she could do, while at the same time that friend was envying her for the things that she was able to do.
Don’t envy the lives of others, you don’t know the whole story.Don't envy the lives of others, you don't know the whole story. Click To Tweet
I’m often guilty of this. I look around and I see other bloggers doing really well and I think that I’d like to be like them, having the followers they have, make the money they make. I see others living with chronic illness that to me seem perfectly healthy, I’d like to live their lives – or so I think.
I know others look at me and think the same about aspects of my life. It’s easy to think that because I’m no longer stuck on the couch, and able to get out and live life a bit, that I’m totally healthy. I can do quite a bit and live a fairly normal life (within my limits), but it’s because I’ve learned how to make this life work for me. But, few (if any) see the whole story.
No one knows what another person gives to live the life they choose.No one knows what life another lives behind the scenes, what it takes for that person to live the life they've chosen. Click To Tweet
When I find myself comparing myself to another person I try to stop and ask myself “Why?”.
Why am I comparing myself to them? What is it that they have that I would really want if I could have it? Often, the answer is nothing. Why am I envious of something I don’t even really want? I see many of my local blogger friends very actively blogging about local events and I get envious that they get invited out to these events.
But, I don’t actually enjoy going out to public events. I don’t like crowds. I don’t blog about local stuff, and I’m not really terribly interested in doing so. I’ve tried it a few times. I enjoy doing a restaurant review occasionally, but that’s not really my thing. I follow some amazingly funny female bloggers and I wish I could be funny like them, but I’m not and it’s OK. I am who I am.
I see people who found their niche in life early. They knew what they wanted to be when they grew up and they went out and did it and they are (seemingly) living a happy life for it. I was never that person. I seemingly fell into every “career” I’ve had. I didn’t set out to do internet marketing in the late 90’s. It just kind of happened. I didn’t set out to be a writer, it just happened.
As much as part of me sees these people who have these amazing careers that they chose at a young age and stuck with, when I look at their career and what comes with it I don’t want that. I don’t want a desk job that I have to show up for 40 hours a week (or more). I don’t mind working hard, but I like to do it on my terms and being an entrepreneur has allowed me to do that.
So, what are you looking at? What do you see going on around you that you find yourself envying? Really stop and look at that person, that career, that whatever, and ask yourself if you really had to consider all that comes with that would you really want it?
OK, Yes. I’d still love to be funny. I can’t think of a negative about that – except maybe having to always be funny. That would be tough. I mean how does TheBloggess do it? How do they always manage to come up with something funny about their lives? To always see the funny? To create it when necessary? They obviously have a talent that I don’t have. But, does having that talent force you to hide the other side of yourself?
I know that The Bloggess suffers from some awful illnesses, and while they are open and honest about it, I’m sure there’s a side of things that they don’t show. So, yes I’d love to be funny, but I wouldn’t want to be a humor blogger and only show that side of myself.
There’s a side that everyone has that they don’t show, a side that we keep hidden from the world. No one sees the full life of another, even those who live with that person never really see it all.There's a side that everyone has that they don't show, a side that we keep hidden from the world. No one sees the full life of another, even those who live with that person never really see it all. Click To Tweet
Don’t envy the lives of others.
When you find that you are envious of someone else ask yourself what it is that you really want. What can you really change about yourself? If there’s something you can change then change it. If not, let it go.
- Who are we to judge another’s illness?
- Life is full of choices
- 10 Ways to keep Chronic Illness from stealing your life
- The importance of maintaining friendships in isolation