Compare and Despair

Last updated: Jun 25, 2019

“The Reason We Struggle with Insecurity is because We Compare Our behind the Scenes with Everyone Else’s Highlight Reel.”  Steven Furtick


We live in an interesting time of sharing snippets of happiness on social media while assuming we’re seeing everyone else’s whole picture.

We live in a time where we shout from the rooftops all that is good in our lives and hide the rest in the shadows.

We don’t talk openly about the challenges and we end up feeling like we’re all alone, the only one feeling this way. That’s a slippery slope to thinking we’re somehow broken (while everyone else is whole and happy); that there’s something wrong with us and our lives (that no one else contends with).

And so we make assumptions about other people’s lives, compare those assumptions to our own lives, and then feel like we’re somehow not measuring up.

My client Theresa would compare her life to those of her Facebook friends’ and was convinced that their lives were clearly better than hers.

She didn’t take exotic vacations; she was lucky to even have a day off.

Her kids didn’t look like they just came out of a magazine photo shoot; most of the time they were running and yelling and had spilled something on their shirts… again.

She also didn’t have an obviously loving relationship like the couple celebrating their eighteenth wedding anniversary clearly had; she felt like she and her husband had become, on good days, decent co-parents, and on the bad days, quarreling roommates.

When we compare the totality of our lives and marriages to the small and carefully selected morsels of others’ lives and marriages that we see on social media, it can lead us down a path of despair. What you’re seeing, much like what you’re personally sharing, is not the whole story.

I could argue that on most days, it’s difficult enough to know what’s real and true in our own lives, much less anyone else’s.  And if I spoke to you and your husband – the only two people actually involved in your marriage – even the two of you would likely have very different stories.

Our peace exists when we stay in our own business…

Our peace resides when we can celebrate the goodness in the lives of others without making it mean anything about us…

And our peace resides when we simply stop engaging in the delusional game of compare and despair with other souls on this planet that, just like you, are doing the best they can.

Peace –


P.S. My latest article, My Marriage, My Affair and My Hard Lessons Learned was published on today. Check it out here.





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