It’s human nature to compare oneself to others. No matter how hard we may try to avoid it, there is a reason that celebrity magazines do so well. We live to replicate the success of others, or in some cases, to feel better about when other people cock up (see Diane Abbott). I tar myself with this brush because I constantly compare my successes, and how ‘well’ I am doing, to everyone I know. I need to stop this but it’s really not that easy.
Success does not necessarily mean that you are wealthy, this is a common misconception as there are many types of wealth. Knowledge, family, friendships, including possessions, all of these things are perceived as wealth to some people. The only difference is to as who is judging what you have at what time. For some people, getting up in the morning is a success. My idea of success is finishing a 10 hour shift, or learning something new on ukulele. Other people only feel successful when they have broken a world record for making balloon animals while blindfolded. It’s all relative.
In fact, the point I want to make today is about relativity.
Everything in everyone’s life is relative to them (obviously). Problems, achievements, sadness and happiness, each has a different meaning to the person whom is experiencing it. I find it hard to be bitter towards people when the hardest thing they have to deal with is the hangover from a wild Friday night, even when I need to have a Total Hip Replacement. This is because that their throbbing brain is the worst thing that they may have experienced, either that day, week, month or even in their entire life. The thing is, they are entitled to complain about it, just as much as I am entitled to complain about my drinking repercussions too! Because hey, guess what, I also like to get spangled, who knew?!
My biggest pet hate, is when I am talking to someone, and they use the phrase “I can’t complain to you. Your problems are far worse than mine!” How fucking stupid is that? Think about how dumb it is to compare anyone else’s problems to my problems, because 9 times out of 10 you won’t come close, and in some cases, I won’t come close to their issues, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to listen.
For anyone that has ever said this, let me be clear on how totally frustrating and almost insulting it is. People care about you, not about their problems at the time, if I want to hear about how bad your headache is, then please, tell me, I don’t care about my crumbling hips right now, I care about your alcohol fuelled brain wobbles. It helps me take my mind OFF my issues, because I get to focus on you.
The point where this level of complaining becomes relative, is that you can judge the person you are talking to, and what mood they are in. I can’t complain about PTSD to all but a few people, yet, I can tell anyone that I was tired as shit after working an 11 hour shift. That’s not because you don’t care, it’s because you won’t understand. If you ask me about something, I will talk to you about it, but just because you know what I’m suffering with, don’t compare it with your own problems, because that’s like trying to compare a hedgehog to a dinosaur, totally dumb comparison right?
The thing is, if I know someone is having a rough time, I won’t then talk about my problems, because I know that consoling them is the right thing to do, not to make light of their issues with my own. I just wanted to put that out there too.
What I’m trying to say is, I’m human too, and you can talk to me about anything, just please, if I want you to, then complain to me, because that’s what normal people do.
I’ve had cancer, I haven’t become it.