I have recently found myself acting maybe a little jealous when I see or hear about friends, acquaintances or even strangers with a new purchase big or small, or going on a great trip or even achieving a goal. My forehead wrinkles and I say to myself “How can they afford that?!” or “How do they get all the time off work?!” or “Where do they find the time to do that?!” And in that moment I am judging. And I tell ya what – it does not feel good! Not too long after the brat in me subsides, I ask myself “Why do you care?” It’s not your bank account, you don’t know how many vacation days they get and you don’t know the sacrifices they might have made in order to buy that Ferrari/plan that exotic trip/achieve that goal.
This is something interesting I find about social media…obviously it is a sharing platform. And sometimes, an over-sharing platform. And it reflects somewhat of an instant gratification impression. We only see the peak moment of achievement or accomplishment. We don’t see all the days/weeks/years someone saved money in order to afford something the wanted. Or even if they didn’t and it just got added to their debt pile – not your problem. We don’t see the all the skipped social functions or sacrificed family time that person missed so they could study for that masters or prepare to become a yoga instructor.
When people publicize details about their life, it certainly opens them up to judgment. But it also opens them up to support and celebration. The latter sounds a lot nicer to me. And I admit, I usually only post something on FB if I’m proud of it, it made me or someone else happy and obviously I want people to know.
So if you’ve ever found yourself having the negative reactions I described earlier…try this: Be happy for someone. Without judgment or criticism. Think to yourself or out loud…”Good for them.” Or simply admit “I’d sure like to be on the beach in Cabo.” Instead of harboring the negative feelings. And if what triggered these feelings is something you really truly want for yourself…then make a plan and work towards it and earn it yourself. And then share your joy and hopefully you’ll find others who are happy for you and continue the cycle.
There will always be things that we want, but the truth is we probably already have most of the important things that we need. So let’s be happy with what we have and be happy for what others have too. Try it.