It’s somewhat interesting how a single harmless sentence from a friend can throw you into a downward spiral. This happened to me this past weekend. My friend shared some news that just made me think. He meant nothing by it and didn’t even know the impact it would have on me. Furthermore, he wasn’t necessarily even talking to me. It was something said to the group that I took personally. I didn’t overreact, but it did make me think to myself and stayed with me for a couple of days. So, what did he say?
He basically told me that two separate friends were getting married. One that proposed that day and the other that has plans to propose in the coming week or so. This naturally made me look inwards. Again, there was no harm behind what he said. He was simply stating a fact about my friends who I care about and their future plans with their significant others. However, it rubbed me the wrong way because it made me feel insecure about being single. I was in a great, or what I thought was a great, relationship that went for 2 years and ending in the fall. I was all in. I was ready to take the next step. When we broke up, it shocked me and shook me up a bit. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I took some time to get over it which I can say now I am. I am enjoying being my own man again and having some fun being single. The insecurity that made me look inward is that it feels like all of my friends are getting hitched and there’s me still running around sleeping with women. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy who I am and where I’m at in life. But, there is something that happens when you compare yourself to others that can only be less than satisfying. Comparison is the thief of joy. This is why we should not do what I did and compare myself to all my friends. This is why social media is so harmful because we constantly see people that are more attractive or more successful or more free than us. This is why we must block all of that out and focus on ourselves. I love who I am. But when I heard about my friends who I care about and their plans for marriage, I started to compare my life with theirs. This robbed me of my happiness for the past couple days since it put me in a bit of a funk. I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did, but sometimes you can’t control how you react. The best we can do is realize when this happens and try not to let it spiral out of control.
I knew I made a mistake when I compared myself to my friends. I do have plans of marriage and thought I was close to that at one point. However, that doesn’t mean that I should compare myself to other people. When I evaluate myself, I should look at just myself alone and compare that to my goals I set out for myself. I should evaluate myself on the man I’ve become. I should evaluate myself on the struggles that I’ve overcome. This is how we can avoid that pesky thief of joy.