Facebook helps us keep up with old friends, new friends, and mom friends. But as you scroll through those status updates about straight A’s, or yet another professional family photo where everyone looks magazine-perfect, don’t succumb to the temptation of having Facebook envy or feeling less-than.
You’ve probably talked to your children about jealousy, but if you’re honest, it’s something a lot of moms battle daily, too. Especially in the age of social media where we spend a great deal of time peering into the lives of others, it’s easy to get the idea that everyone else has it great, and you’d love to trade places. But not so fast. Here are 4 ways to deal with Facebook envy.
1. You can’t be envious and grateful at the same time.
If you spend a considerable amount of time being jealous or envious of others, what it really means is that you spend very little time being grateful for what you do have. Thankfulness is not just the opposite of envy—it’s the antidote. When you find yourself struggling with feelings of jealousy, make yourself sit down and list ten things you have to be grateful for, from the big to the small.
2. You don’t know the whole story.
Sure, you think the mom down the street has it all: you’ve seen the car she drives and her great wardrobe and her Garden of the Month sign in the yard. But what you can’t see is a marriage that may be suffering, a child who struggles with a learning disability, or the financial stress their picture-perfect surroundings may have brought on. Everyone has their struggles—Christ even told us that we would have trouble in this life. Your neighbor has them; you just don’t know what they are.
3. Comparison is the enemy of joy.
Repeat after me: life is not a competition. A constant compulsion to compare you and your family to others will keep you in a constant battle with envy. No matter how good you have it, you’ll always be able to find someone who appears to have it a little better, someone whose kid is even smarter or more talented. Do yourself a favor and spend more time focused on your own life and how you might want to improve it, and less time keeping score with the Joneses.
4. Insecure? Who, me?
The bottom line is that if you are secure about who you are and what you have to offer to the world, you’re able to observe others in their success and happiness and share their joy. If you can’t do that, it’s time to do some real soul-searching about who you are according to God, rather than who you are according to the world or your worst fears. The problem is not what people around you have or are doing. The problem is how you feel about you.
The problem is not what people around you have or are doing. The problem is how you feel about you.
Tell us! What types of things do you post on Facebook?