How I Stop Comparing On Social Media

I'm sitting down with a bowl of salad and scrolling through my Facebook feed.  I have carefully curated my feed to make sure that I will only see updates that I want to see - updates on what my good friends are doing, pictures of their cute kids, interesting articles.  I have blocked all complain-y posts and I'm not friends with anyone who annoys me, so it's about as harmless as a Facebook feed can get.

But as I scroll, there is a small knot in my stomach that twists a little.  

Oh, she got to go to Hawaii?  How fun is that?  Why can't we afford Hawaii?  

Oh my goodness, look at her adorable baby.  Perfectly styled, no less.  I need to buy new outfits and take new pictures of the kids.  

Oh, the newlyweds are on another date night.  I think they've had about five date nights since Derek and I went out last.  Was that three or four months ago?

Suddenly I am feeling a little jealous and much less content with my life.  

And you know what, I can't even blame my Facebook feed - it's carefully curated, remember?  I want to see this stuff.  No, the problem isn't with social media or anything else.  It's with me.

I have a comparison problem.

I know I am not the only one who struggles with comparison - this is a hot topic.  But no matter how many articles I read on the subject, no matter how much I am reminded that I have it pretty darn good too, it is still hard not to let that knot twist me into a discontented mess.

(Note: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for a review.)

I was excited when I saw a book available for review called "I'm Happy For You . . . Sort Of . . . Not Really" by Kay Willis Wyma.  Don't you love that title?  I'm not going to lie, I have secretly had those feelings in that exact order.  Many times.

This book was so helpful to me in this struggle with comparison.  As I was reading through it I was more aware of comparison than I normally am, and I realized just how much it affects my day-to-day happiness.  When I am so focused one what everyone else is doing, it's harder to be happy for the things I have, and this book brought sharply into focus for me.

The chapters addressed different areas of comparison and reasons why this is such a struggle in our modern culture.  One thing that stood out to me in this book is that comparing to others is the way we can be sucked into the sin of coveting.  Whenever we desire something that someone else has (often through comparing what we have to what they have and coming up wanting), we are coveting.  Comparison doesn't just "steal our joy", it is also a gateway into sin.

I love the solution this book offers to the comparison problem - to say "I'm happy for you" and mean it.  Without a hint of sarcasm.  It's not easy to do, but the book made me realize that being happy for someone isn't just something I feel, it is something I actively choose to do.  

It's hard to pick a favorite chapter because the whole book was so good, but I really appreciated the chapter on the need to belong.  This chapter was a good wake-up call to me that people want to feel known.  It should have been obvious to me, because I know that I want others to notice and encourage me - so of course other people want the same.  I felt challenged to look at those around me with fresh eyes, notice what makes them unique, and maybe even tell them.  I want to be the person who can make someone else feel noticed and special.

Since I started reading this book I have been trying to truly be happy for those around me.  So when I scroll through my Facebook feed, my goal is to turn off the train of thought that will lead me to be jealous of my friends, and instead smile to myself at their blessings. 

And the one thing that has helped me most in overcoming the comparison game? 

I like the status update and comment with something encouraging.  

It is really hard not to be happy for someone when you focus on crafting a non-sarcastic, truly happy comment.  It's the perfect solution because it encourages them, and I feel my own heart changing in the process.  It's a chance to slow down and remember that I do really care about this person, and I am really happy for them, regardless of my own situation.  It takes my eyes off me, and puts it onto others - and maybe even directs my mind to God as I shoot up a "thanks for blessing my friend" prayer.

So the next time you find yourself feeling a little jealous as you scroll through your social media feed?  Type out a nice comment and mean it.  I know it's made Facebook a lot more fun for me!

Do you struggle with comparison and jealousy on social media?  What do you do to overcome it?

Note:  I received a copy of "I'm Happy For You" for free in exchange for a review.  This is my honest opinion.

(Also, yes, I didn't paint my toes for this picture.  (1) It's the dead of winter, and (2) no time.)

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Vanessa Miller said...

I try really hard not to pay too much attention to these kinds of things but I cant' help it sometimes either. I see people who go on date nights every week, it seems, and we can barely get one in a month! I also try to remember that what we see on social media isn't always the total truth. Everyone has their vices, their bad days, something that makes them just as insane as I feel many times! Great book title. I'll have to look into it.

Gina Davis said...

I struggle with this a lot, especially in blog world where everyone's pictures, homes, and clothes are impeccable. I think this book will go on my wish list. Thank you for sharing.

Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

This was a really good read. Thanks for sharing your feedback and how the boo has helped you. I will have to check it out.

It is sometimes hard to be truly happy for others. Also, this past year we have done a lot of traveling because of ministry and free time and people often say "I'm so jealous" and I honestly have the hardest time knowing what to say. There are blessings in traveling and super hard things in traveling. So it has been eye opening for me and I hope that I can learn to rejoice with those who rejoice and thank God for blessing them.

Callie Nicole said...

This is very true! I know that even personally, sometimes I'll get positive feedback or comments on one area of my life, and I'm internally I'm thinking that if only they knew about the other parts of my life that are a mess! It makes me feel like they wouldn't have such good things to say if they knew how much I struggle in other areas, but I don't think that's true. Vulnerability is refreshing to most people. Everyone has those things that they don't like to display.

Katy Case said...

Love this So Much! I have really been struggling with comparison and this was just what the Lord knew I needed tonight :) I may have to get this book :)

allisonramsing said...

This looks like an excellent book. I struggle with this too. Thanks for sharing :)

Keri Snyder said...

This book looks really good. I will have to check it out!

Callie Nicole said...

It was so good!

Callie Nicole said...

Yes, definitely check it out! It helped me a lot with the comparison struggle.

Callie Nicole said...

Definitely check it out, it was so good!

Unknown said...

This book looks great. I will definitely check it out.

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