Comparison Hurts

sparkley childrens skirt reflecting the light

I think we all get caught up in the comparison game from time to time, but comparison hurts and sometimes it hurts more than just us.

Some people shy away from social media because they think it’s like a big old comparison vacuum and they’ll get sucked in if they get too close, but it doesn’t need to be that way.

There’s a verse in the Bible that tells us to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.

Some of us do a lot of weeping, but when it comes to rejoicing, our good sense gets taken over by the green-eyed monster called jealousy.

valentine's day cupcakes

One of  our friends has a son who made the honor roll for the third quarter in a row and instead of being happy for that child and rejoicing with that mother, we get down on ourselves and feel like loser parents for having not-so-smart kids.

You know what?

Neither of my children made the honor roll this year, but that doesn’t make me a loser parent and it doesn’t make my children dumb.  It makes us pretty average people who can be happy for someone else when they succeed.

I desire to see my friends and family succeed.

I want them to do well in school and at work.  I want to be happy for them when they get that promotion or take that trip to Disney World for the fifth time.  Sure it’s the family vacation I haven’t been able to take my kids on, but so what.  Just because I don’t have something, it doesn’t mean I can’t be happy for another person who does.

Valentine cupcakes with a flag that says LOVE

When a friend posts a picture of a meal with meat, potatoes, and a vegetable and it looks like it was ripped from the pages of a food magazine, I don’t want to get huffy because I fed my kids hot dogs – the cheap kind that are made from pig lips, fish guts, and sodium by-death-icate.

It doesn’t make me a bad mom.  It makes me a lousy cook.  Someone’s gotta be.

(Yes, we take multivitamins.)

For every time one of us gets something right and we share our success with our friends, family, and the inter-webs, we have a long history of failures behind us.  That’s the truth.

I hope when I am down and discouraged that someone else will come alongside me and pat me on the back.  I pray they’ll remind me that things will get better and the sun will come out tomorrow, but I also hope that when I’m enjoying success, that same someone will be happy for me.  It will fill me with double joy to see them cheering me on and giving me a high-five.

Heck, we all need a thumbs up.  Let’s not be stingy with our praise.

Comparison hurts.

It will destroy your peace and it can make those around you sad.  It will cause your friends to second guess everything they say or do.  They will keep silent when they should be shouting their good news from the rooftops.

Comparison is a joy thief and a happiness killer.

Comparison is a joy thief and a happiness killer.

Let’s keep on weeping with those who weep, but let’s get ourselves whole inside, so we can rejoice with those who rejoice.

Lay aside the temptation to compare yourself to friends or family, and instead, simply enjoy them.

Comments

  1. says

    …made from pig lips, fish guts, and sodium by-death-icate
    This made me laugh out loud! But while I was laughing, I, too, was nodding like crazy. There’s so much media out there to make us feel bad, like we aren’t keeping up, or or or…
    That’s why I read your blog — you tell truth AND make us laugh!

  2. Natasha says

    Tricia this is one of the best posts on Domestic Fringe. I have been thinking about this a lot lately because my comparison issue was born out of following too many blogs. Many bloggers and women in general tend to put their best face forward which can be very discouraging to other women. I became ungrateful, always seeking how to improve something in the house, more demanding of my husband because somehow it seemed that everyone else out there had a better husband, a nicer decorated home, a better cook, a better mother than me. Than it hit me that I need to spend less time on the internet, stop reading some of the blogs, and spend more time socializing in person rather than on social media sites. We are a much much happier family now. Your blog is awesome, don’t know how you do it but you share the good, the bad, and the ugly without gossiping or badmouthing anyone.

  3. says

    Thanks for giving my neck a workout this morning as I was nodding furiously along! YES! So thankful I’m not the judge–HE is. So thankful i’m not the only one with issues–we all have them. So thankful He has gifted us to be relational people. So we can help each other along this journey. Because we’re all striving. stretching. sometimes struggling. why not encourage each other along the way? And rejoice with each other when the path is smooth…

    p.s. I grew up on those hotdogs and look at me now!;)
    Thrilled to meet you via Jennifer over at Studio JRU today!

  4. says

    Girl I read this from my phone today and have been itching to respond!

    You hit the nail on the head. I have a love/hate relationship with social media because it leaves me wanting more than I have.. which means I’m basically ungrateful. It is like a constant reminder of what I’m lacking. Even Pinterest has become evil in my eyes.. now I see what other people have or want and think “am I not normal because I don’t want a home like that? or for my children to dress like that?” It is crazy!

    I love your honest heart. You are such a beautiful woman and you possess an incredible heart. I needed this; we ALL needed this.. you’ve blessed us by putting this pot out there.

    oh, and we all had chicken nuggets for dinner and I loved it! lol

    xoxo Kristin

  5. says

    I. Love. This. And I heart you. I am honored to fit into the “lousy cook” category with you. A joy thief, indeed. And I rejoice in your honesty and willingness to remind so many of us what we need to remember. We’re all in this Humanity Thing, together. Fantastic post!

  6. says

    This is such an important message and a timely reminder. In the blog world, we tend to put our best face forward, and things often look deceptively good on the surface. It’s a slippery slope and it can be entirely too easy to be envious when all we see is the good stuff. But you always offer such great encouragement to other bloggers and are an amazing source of support. More than that, you offer a refreshing breath of honesty and aren’t afraid to talk about the less-than perfect bits of life. I admire your humor and bravery and am always inspired to push my own limits after reading one of your posts like this. Thank you!

  7. says

    I do try and be happy for those who achieve what they’re after in this life, but I’d be lying if I didn’t also add I turn just a wee bit Kermit Green at the same time. That’s a part of me that’s human and one I’d like to keep to myself. ‘Course God knows and only to Him will I be held accountable for those less than nice qualities I possess.
    I do believe social media can be a slippery slope. The important thing is to remember…anyone can share the good and omit the bad.
    I like how God sends out whispers. I’ve been thinking on this same subject for about 3 mos. and haven’t figured out how to address it without stepping on someone’s toes. Girl…you just did an excellent job.
    XO
    Deb

  8. says

    This is such a truth-filled post. Thanks for it!

    P.s…..From what I can see….you are an awesome mom! I pray my son will turn out as kind and awesome as your kids seem to be! <3

    P.s.s…..who cares if you can cook! You make amazing cupcakes and that is WAY more important!!!! :)

    Have a blessed Sunday and week ahead!

    Vicki

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