There’s No Such Thing as a Perfect Life
Ah. Social Media. Like most things, there are positives and negatives associated with this 21st-century reality of daily life. One of the things I often hear from people is how they sometimes feel uneasy about themselves and their lives as they observe what appears to be the “perfect life” portrayed by so many people on social media sites.
Do any of these sound familiar?
- I feel inadequate when I see how wonderful other people’s lives are.
- Sometimes I end up feeling bad about myself and compare my life to what my friends post. They always seem so happy.
- I wish my life was as perfect as so many others’ seem to be.
There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Perfect Life!
Reality check: There ain’t no such thing as a perfect life! On OR off social media! And yet, seeing so many blissfully happy pictures all over the internet can influence us to think that maybe we are the only one with a not-so-perfect-life.
If, as a person who has struggled with weight, you have tried for years to “fit in,” to “be accepted,” and to feel “a part of,” it may feel especially daunting to log on to social media and see smiles, watch videos filled with giggles, observe groups of friends having fun together, and notice that almost everyone seems to be happy … all the time. And you don’t feel that way. Sure, you have moments of happiness, and you may be content much of the time. But, geez, your life isn’t filled with continual bliss like those people’s lives appear.
And THERE, my friends, is the word that makes all of this real. APPEAR. It appears on social media that other people are joyful “all the time,” have “everything” go right for them, and have “perfect” lives. Which, of course, can be interpreted as one of the negatives of social media.
We Interpret Perfect Lives
The truth, however, is that it isn't an issue with social media. It’s an issue within us. Social media just is. WE are the ones who make interpretations about what we see there.
Hopefully, the logical part of you knows and understands that no one on this planet has a perfect anything! ‘Cuz perfection does not exist on this earth. Our emotional selves can get fooled into thinking that, in comparison to what we see on social media, our lives, with the real ups and downs that occur every single day, well… our lives may seem like they kinda suck at times.
Trust me when I tell you that each and every person, regardless of what they post on social media, has happy moments, sad thoughts, angry feelings, scary situations, loving times, lonely times, insecurities, proud moments, worries, generous behaviors, selfish behaviors, and all of the rest of the human condition experiences. Just. Like. You. And me.
Here are some tips if social media has you feeling insecure, frustrated, lonely, or negatively comparing yourself to others:
- Remember that most people like to share the good parts of life on social media… not to impress anyone, but because we like to include others in the good parts of our lives.
- Remind yourself that you, too, have good moments that you like to share with others on social media and that your life, like theirs, does have those good moments.
- Be your GENUINE self on social media. Share your joy, and also acknowledge any other parts of your life that you wish to share. (And please, share only what you feel comfortable sharing on social media sites.)
- Allow the joy that others share be a source of hope, encouragement, and inspiration for you. If someone shows an aspect of their lives and it’s something you want in your life (companionship, activities, volunteering), then go make it happen!
- Be grateful that so many happy moments are taking place in our world and choose to believe that these small moments far outnumber the awful things we hear about.
- Most importantly, know in your heart of hearts that all of our lives have all of the realities of life in them. Let social media be a place to look for, find, and share happiness!
All of our lives are perfectly imperfect, as are each and every one of us. You were created to be you because you have a wonderful, unique set of qualities that go together in a way that no one else is. We all have value, we all fit in somewhere, none of us fits in everywhere, we all want acceptance and love and community.
Take your awesome self and make the most of your life, regardless of your circumstances. Throw any thoughts of perfection in the trash as those thoughts are a waste of time. Spend your time acknowledging your best self and the good in others. You’ll find yourself posting your resulting happy moments on your favorite social media sites for others to enjoy!
July 1, 2018 www.obesityhelp.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Connie Stapleton, PhD is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and owner of Mind Body Health Services. She is the author of Eat It Up - The Complete Mind/Body/Spirit Guide to a Full Life After Weight Loss Surgery.