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06 Sep 2020 , by Caroline

You do you

“Do not compare yourself to anyone else” is, I think, one of the greatest bits of advice we need these days. But it is almost an impossible challenge not to.

In the old days before the Internet it was hard enough. Growing up wanting to have the latest trend in fashion, hair, makeup, music, etc etc the list went on and on. Now, with social media the temptation to compare is everywhere. Influencers, friends, colleagues, celebs. And why do we do it? Is it because we feel that if we have the latest whatever, or the same as everyone else we will be more accepted? Wrong.

I have learned that this is not the way to make ourselves happy.

Now this comparing thing, or I mean not comparing is tough to do for someone who is as ancient as me, but teaching my two teens is a job in itself. How do I teach them to not compare when I myself am guilty of doing it?

Learning how to help them is also helping me. I know now the worst thing you can do is to compare yourself to a snapshot you see of someones “perfect life” on social media. What we are seeing is just that – a snapshot. This is a moment that someone is choosing to show you. We are not seeing the bigger picture, the reality, the before and after shot, just that one moment. And just one moment’s are not real life.

I also find myself now reminding my teens that a “like” online is not real and should never be something to measure against your own value. Again, it is not real.

How we treat others in real life, and how we treat ourselves – they are the real and important things.

It doesn’t matter if we do not have the latest whatever. If we have something that we like and makes us happy that is all that matters. The only person to pass any judgement over what we like to have, do, wear etc should be ourselves. The important thing is we do what makes us happy, not how others judge things. And if others judge that is, I am afraid, their issue, their problem and their behaviour. It is never anything to do with you. Let them do them, and you do you.

I tell my teens, and ultimately myself too that if we are kind, considerate and respectful to ourselves and others that is the value that matters.

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