Don't Buy Into It
Over the last few weeks, I am seeing more and more clients who are truly stressed and tired. For many, it has been a big year of changes and challenges. Relationships breaking down, health challenges, uncertainty in the workforce. Tough times for sure!
One area that is coming up more and more is the perception of perfection that exists on social media. The happiness and skinniness (seem to be the themes) is out there and in abundance. But less so the tears, the anger, the fears, the fat that won't shift.
A few of my clients have talked to me about the anxiety as a result of the pressure to be perfect like all that they find on social media. That somehow they are inadequate or even failing because they know they are not perfect. They don't feel perfect yet acutely feel the pressure to be perfect.
They are not simply flawed (ie human) but in some cases, seriously struggling. Some are feeling quite dark and depressed because they feel isolated and unsupported. They ask themselves, "Am I the only the one?" The only one that is scared, tired, feels inadequate or even unloved.
They feel they can't share these authentic and justifiable feelings and insecurities because all they see on social media is perfection. Happy families, smiling children, loving partners, etc.
What do I tell them? Don't buy into it!!
Like looking through an old school picture album (remember those?), social media is just a snapshot in time. Much like these pictures in an album, they are staged. Some even photo-shopped. Even if these are real moments, they are not balanced, not complete. They don't show the fight the kids got into before the picture nor the mess that had to be cleaned up after the great party shot.
So instead of viewing your friend's world through these staged snapshots in time, invite someone to coffee. Go out to dinner, go for a walk. Actually find out how they actually are, not just relying on a staged snapshot in time.
I think social media has its place. With my family overseas, it has been such a great way to keep in touch. But it is not reality, it lacks the rawness, the emotions, the completeness that is life. Everyone's life.
So make the effort to talk to a friend, to listen to their good, their bad, their ugly. Don't buy into the perfection that is posted to social media -there is so much more to learn and to give to our friends who need our help and support.
Reconnect on a real and authentic level with your friends - some may be suffering and you can help them share the load.
Because that real and complete connection is perfection: honest, loved perfection.