Should someone else’s happiness should affect your happiness? The obvious answer is no. Someone else’s successes or failures has nothing to do with you or your life.
I whole heartedly agree with this idea yet….sometimes I struggle.
I find myself scrolling Facebook and when someone I don’t particularly care for or feel inferior to has a positive thing happen it feels like a personal dig at me. Like, who does this person think they are that they can have great things happen and I’m over here watching my third hour of Dance Moms eating non organic peanut butter because I’m too lazy to make a proper sandwich. Assholes, that’s who.
So for me the first step is admitting there is a problem. Admitting that you can’t be happy for someone else’s success is hard because it means that you feel like your in competition with them and you’re losing. That something is going on in your own life making you feel less than or vulnerable and here’s the god’s honest truth: that’s ok. Life is filled with ups and downs, they just aren’t usually shared on social media. Ups only on the ole social media.
Feeling a bit lost or sad or ‘not where you should be’ is a hard place to admit to being. It’s easier to attack the other person: their bragging or being “fake” or inauthentic. That way one don’t have to examine what’s at the core of a reaction.
So the only thing that I have found to be helpful when I’m feeling this way is to talk about it/write about it/examine it. Get to the core. As my dead boyfriend/hero Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers to those who weren’t pretend dating him) said, “If it is mentionable, it is manageable.” If you can talk about it you can get through it.
I also know that this feeling is a kick in the butt to get working on myself. Focus on the only thing I actually have control over: myself and my happiness. So when I’m feeling a pang of jealousy, it’s a cue to get moving. Not because you are actually in competition with some Facebook bragger (that Facebook bragger is probably not as happy as they want everyone to believe) but because it triggered something in me that’s saying I’m not feeling right about my life. When I’m happy and things are going great, someone else’s happiness or successes is a blip on my radar but when I’m not; an Instagram post will make me rage eat a peanut butter sandwich.
So a gentle reminder:
MIL: “You have a coffee stain on your curtain.”
Me: “Yeah, that’s why the pillows there.”
MIL: “I can show you how to spot it. Just put a little dishwater soap on it and let it soak for 10 minutes.”
Me: “Oh ok.” *slowly puts pillow over stain*
I just want to live in a world where you can yell “Girls what my weakness?” & every child will yell “MEN!”
Woman are constantly complaining about their husbands having a “man cold” and I have a confession: I’m a man colder….In fact when I get sick my husband nicknamed me “Baby-Infant” because baby wasn’t specific enough. I was more like a infant: useless, unable to articulate why I’m crying and could barely hold my head up.
In fact, I currently have a cold and honestly: it sucks. I’m won’t suffer in silence either. I don’t actually see the point in it. If I’m sick I want everyone to know I’m sick. I want your sympathy and I want to moan and eat toast and not do a damn thing.
Does this make me a hero. No. I doubt it makes me super fun to be around either. That’s ok: I’m sick. I’m not currently enjoying myself, so why should anyone else get the pleasure? I just don’t understand this culture that likes to cultivate the idea that if your sick you have to soldier on and not talk about it. If you feel bad, feel bad. You have one life and it’s okay to take care of yourself and treat yourself to some well deserved napping, chicken soup and tv.
Also, if you get a boner because you are able to get through life not talking about how your feeling when you are sick that’s fine to. Just keep your boner away from me. Ain’t nobody got time for boners when they have the man-cold.
In fact the only things I DO have time for are: doughnuts, sympathy, bad TV, and ignoring my children.
Last year I wanted a stroller: a specific, expensive double stroller. My in-laws had generously offered to buy me one as a new baby gift but I felt like a brat asking for a $500 dollar (plus) stroller. I also would buy the stroller used but knew they wouldn’t be comfortable gifting us something used, so I ended up getting a more reasonably priced one.
Which would have been fine if this wasn’t a ridiculously heavy & annoying stroller that barely fit in my car (I’m looking at you Graco Sit & Stand) I wanted my dream stroller: a red City Mini double. I became like the Ralphie from a A Christmas Story constantly dreaming about this his Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle.
I also had a desire to buy it with my “own” money. So this is when shit (literally) gets weird. Someone had told me about a diaper study. They said it was easy and pays $200. Much like I do with anything, I did no research and just showed up for the study. I was given a bag, free diapers, and told to bag the first 4 diapers of the day and document how they “did” for three weeks. Then return the used diapers (weekly).
I had not told my husband about this & decided it would be more fun to “surprise” him. Some women buy lingerie as surprise, I come home with a large tan bag that I will fill with my daughter ‘s poopy diapers. For weekssss.
So that’s what I did. And you know what: I regret NOTHING. I got my dream stroller & I enjoyed buying something with my own money.
That said, my days of bagging diapers and dropping them off to some random women at a research lab are done.