A few weeks ago, I had a blip. I’d looked at my phone and seen that once again, my Instagram following had taken a dip. It stirred something in me and suddenly, I was swearing at the dinner I was making and crying to my husband about how I’m not good enough. Comparisonitis reared its head, and boy was it ugly. It took me the better part of a half hour to calm down. Social media plays such a big part, but here we are comparing our lives to everyone else’s, and feeling like we’re just not enough.
I’m writing this not just as a blogger, but as a general human on the cusp of being a functioning adult. It’s so easy to look at other people’s lives and think they’re doing it better than we are.
Sometimes it creeps up on you.
You’re having a nice day, and suddenly you pass someone on the street and think, ‘God, I wish I had a body like that.’
Or someone posts a picture on Instagram with their swishy hair and their cute little barrette, and I think, ‘why can’t I just have hair like that?’
We’re all guilty of it, aren’t we?
We make ourselves feel small instead of valuing our successes.
Everyone’s situation in life is different and it’s really important to remember.
We all have insecurities, and we all compare ourselves to one another. I brought up the topic with my pal Nicole, and she mentioned that sometimes she compares herself to me as well.
These days, we share so much of ourselves online, and it can be very curated. So it’s difficult to remember that we’re only seeing the bits people actually want to show. Sure, I share photos of our flat, but you can’t see the pile of clothes I never manage to put away, because I’ve hidden them just out of frame.
There’s more there that meets the eye
Look, I’m big, black and beautiful, and I’ve definitely had some successes in my life. I mean, I moved to another country for crying out loud!
And those people we’re comparing ourselves to are probably having the same conversations with themselves.
Sure, I’d love to rock a cute barrette, but my hair is never going to do anything other than wild and curly. Instead of wishing for other hair, why don’t I just make it the best wild curly hair it can be? It’s such a defining aspect if who I am. I love my curls. So why am I sitting here wishing I had someone else’s life?
Still, I’m only human. And…
I know I’m not the only one
I think that’s the biggest lesson here. Any time I’ve ever said to a friend that I’m struggling with comparing myself too much, I often hear a resounding ‘me too.’
We usually end up having a good long chat about how seeing so much of people’s lives of social media sometimes leaves us feeling like we’re not good enough. It leaves us feeling lonely and inadequate, despite that not really being the truth.
I think it’s really important to acknowledge comparisonitis for that reason.
Maybe by talking about it, and sharing my own experience, I won’t feel the need to wish for something different.
Maybe it will help someone else learn to love their curly hair.
None of this is to say I’ll never have another bout of comparisonitis again, but hopefully, being upfront about it will help.
Do you ever have moments when you compare yourself to other people, and find it disheartening? How do you combat those feelings?
Photos by Jazmine