There they are. The perfect little family that seems to have it all together. They have the best pictures on Facebook. The perfect car. Their kid never cries. Their children sleep through the night. Their teenagers are never disrespectful. All their bills are paid. Did I see their house in Southern Living Magazine? They are so happy, and so it begins. What you might ask? The awful comparison trap.
You troll through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You look at all the nice pictures and begin making assumptions about a family. Instead of the pictures being biographical images of a point and time in the life of a family, you have the images become some fictitious story in your own land of make believe. Suddenly, you become jealous. Envy settles in your heart. You may even become a little depressed, and before you know it you find yourself in the ugly and dangerous comparison trap.
Let me let you in on a little secret. There are no perfect families. Every family has their own set of challenges and problems. The interesting thing about the comparison trap is this. No one creates the trap for you. It is one you set for yourself. So, what do you do if you find yourself in this trap?
Take A Break From Social Media
Take a social media fast. You may need to unplug from social media for a season and hit the reset button. Shift from looking at all the families on Facebook and instead give some extra attention to yours.
Have A Family Meeting
Stop trying to live up to the expectations of everyone else. Set your own expectations. Have a family meeting. Set some short term and long term goals for your family. If there is something you desire as a family, work toward it together. However, be your family. Don’t try to be the family you created in your mind based on a picture you saw or a television episode you recently viewed. You be you!
Write It Down
Take out a sheet of paper and begin writing down everything for which you have a reason to be thankful. Write down every blessing. Then frame this in your home to continue to provide perspective each day you see it. Thankfulness is the gateway to restoration in relationships.
These are just a few tricks to help you climb out of the dangerous comparison trap. It is no small feat. Comparison is not only exhausting for you, but it can also affect those around you. Leverage the energy you would spend comparing and instead write a love letter to your spouse or play a game with your children. Guard your heart and practice contentment.
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