It’s easy to glance at your social media channels and assume that everyone else is living a better life than you are. The filters can be deceiving though and it’s important to remind yourself that most of the time, you’re not seeing the full picture; it’s just a carefully curated feed that’s intended to create exactly that illusion.
Or maybe it is a genuine reflection of their reality but choosing to spend your own precious time picking other people apart won’t help your grass grow any better, so to speak.
That insatiable curiosity that draws you to trawl through a particular person’s social media account and the painful pang of jealousy that follows every time you see an update usually means that there is something lacking in your own life.
This isn’t intended to be a preachy post by the way – I’ll openly admit that I’ve been there too and I still occasionally find myself creeping back into the same old mentality when I’m feeling a bit shit.
Last year, I deactivated my personal Facebook account after realising that it didn’t make me feel good anymore. I’d mindlessly scroll through my news feed and internally seethe about an influencer enjoying yet another press trip abroad as the travel bug bit me firmly in the arse. I would see pictures of people laughing with their friends and suddenly feel very lonely.
Eventually, I gave myself a bit of a talking to and looked closer to home. I realised that I was actually feeling a bit trapped in my own routine. It was causing my emotions and perspective to take a negative turn so I made the effort to change things in my own little world instead of dissecting other people’s lives.
Saving up for short UK breaks gives me the fix I need to stop feeling envious about other people’s adventures that are beyond my own financial means right now. Holding myself accountable when I’ve let friendships slide and arranging an afternoon coffee helps to eradicate that sting of loneliness.
Now, I see those types of updates via social media and feel inspired to be proactive about reaching my own goals. I also think that the company you keep – both on and offline – can be heavily influential. If wallowing in self-pity and criticising others is encouraged, it can be hard to shift your mindset from that victim-mentality into a less bitter and toxic way of thinking.
If seeing snapshots of someone else’s success immediately makes you eyeroll or instinctively make a cruel and unjust remark (in your head or out loud), it’s probably time to look in the mirror and be brutally honest with yourself about why.
Use that negative energy productively and water your metaphorical grass instead. Take small steps to improve your own wellbeing and circumstances (the ones that are within your control of course), instead of peeking over the fence and grumbling about your neighbours garden as your own grass wilts away.