Comparison Envy

3 min. read

Picture of a lake

I’ve sometimes been riding what feels like an emotional roller-coaster this last year or so.  Super up one day and then plummeting the next, or sometimes even later that same day.

One thing that can bring me down is seeing happy, shiny social media posts of people doing fun and exciting things when the highlight of my week has been grocery shopping. I don’t want them to stop doing the cool stuff they’re doing; I just want to be doing something cool too. 

Comparing my grocery shopping day to someone’s fun, vacation day can be a ticket into a downward spiral of feeling sorry for myself and dissatisfaction with my boring life.  It can feel like everyone else is doing cool, fun stuff and I’m not doing anything.  I don’t like that feeling.  It sucks the joy out of life.  Comparison, as someone smart once said, is an instant recipe for unhappiness. Yup!

Sometimes I think that avoiding social media is the answer.  I wouldn’t be comparing myself to others if I wasn’t seeing what they’re doing.  But unfortunately, “Avoiding your triggers isn’t healing.  Healing happens when you’re triggered and you’re able to move through the pain, the pattern, and the story – and walk your way to a different ending.”1  

So how to change the pattern and get to a different ending?  I heard Caroline Myss2 say about a similar situation that “this moment is not about my life path, it’s about their life path.”  That really helped put things in perspective for me.  Often, I’ve been perfectly happy with my day until I saw what someone else was doing and, bam, instant recipe for unhappiness.

Caroline also said that we are “better served to bless what’s happening to them rather than resent it.”  So, I’ve been working on strengthening my empathic joy muscle, the ability to share “the thrill of another’s achievements and happiness.”3  

I recently heard news of someone starting out on an exciting adventure and even though I wasn’t doing anything remotely exciting at the time, I reminded myself that this was their life path and sent them love.  Just doing those two small things helped me create a different ending.  Instead of being brought down by resentment because their life looked better at that moment, I was able to feel joy for them and it actually lifted my happiness level.

Cool.  An instant recipe for happiness.  I like that ending much better.

1 Vienna Pharaon, www.newyorkcouplescounseling.com

2 Caroline Myss, www.myss.com

3 Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence by Daniel J. Siegel, MD

About Lisa Ivaldi

Lisa loves sharing information that will have a positive impact. InsightClarityGrowth.com is a personal growth blog that uses personal stories and expert theories to share ideas and perspectives. Sometimes looking at things slightly differently can make a huge difference.
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8 Responses to Comparison Envy

  1. Julie Hurren says:

    Such wise words Lisa. Thank you so much I have never thought about lifting my spirits through complimenting and sending love and joy to others. Although being grateful and sending out Good Vibrations to others has always been a practice that I’ve made, taking your reflections and meditating on them, has turned this simple act of kindness and joy into a very uplifting moment

  2. Victoria Coates says:

    Thank you Lisa for the succinct reminder. The grass is may be greener on the other side, and lucky me – I get to enjoy the view!

  3. Cheron Long-Landes says:

    Lisa!

    Have you been reading my Journal? Haha……I LOVE this Blog!

    I must say I’m learning to love Caroline Myss…..I haven’t been a fan but am changing that now. Have you read her book “Intimate Conversations with the Divine?” It’s really good, lots of good topics to choose from. I wrote a Blog based on one of her videos. https://cherondearle.com/blog/files/a8331bf345ec7511a6930d5314755d49-21.html

    From all the facts “out there” we still have a way to go with this pandemic……I wish you The Grace of Endurance, too!

    Warm wishes and hugs…. Cheron.

    >

    • Lisa Ivaldi says:

      Thank you Cheron. I haven’t read that book but I did recently read her “Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can” and really liked it. Thank you for the link to your blog. I wish you the Grace of Endurance too ❤

  4. Joan Goodman says:

    Hi Lisa, to envy what others are doing or have is such a negative emotion. We all lead different paths in life. Be glad for them and share their excitement. Take time to enjoy what you do and if it’s hard try something new.

    • Lisa Ivaldi says:

      Hi Joan, We all experience negative emotions from time to time and in my opinion that’s okay – it’s human. Getting stuck in those negative emotions however can be a problem. I hope this blog gave a viable option to getting stuck. And the upside of envy is that it gives you a real clue to what it is that you are drawn to in life 🙂

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