I am going to make a bold statement and estimate that approximately 70% of American parents suffer from OCD.
You may be thinking that’s crazy, but I am not talking about the medically diagnosed version of OCD. I am referring to what Paul Agone (from www.allgroanup.com), calls Obsessive Comparison Disorder.
Our culture has created this new epidemic. We used to only be able to compare ourselves to our friends, enemies, and old classmates at reunions or through rumors on the rotary phones (remember those?) Now we are blessed to see every single success in their life! Every BMW purchased, every private island getaway taken, and every new house built is posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Youtube. (and yes I am definitely guilty of posting some of my highlights too)
These new tools give us the opportunity to digest this information and figure out why our spouse didn’t surprise us with a Lexus or why we don’t have a corner office or why our children aren’t bi-lingual at two. Then we have a legitimate excuse to drown our sorrows in a six pack and feel sorry for ourselves.
I have fallen into this OCD trap before. I know what you’re thinking…”Travis, you are sooo perfect. You really fell into this trap?” (enter sarcasm there). It’s easy to get jealous because we don’t see what is actually happening.
The greater problem with OCD is many times we are comparing our lives to others and we ask ourselves why our lives aren’t more like our “friends” or “followers”. The next time you start trolling social media remember that their life isn’t yours…we don’t need more of the same people!
Almost 99.9% of the time you are looking at highlight reels and comparing your behind the scenes. You don’t know the breaks others have gotten, what is happening offline, or whether or not they are truly happy. Give yourself a break…life is difficult enough and you don’t need to fall into this OCD trap.
If you see that someone got a promotion, be happy for them. Don’t compare. If you see someone ran an ironman while working full time and has kids, be happy for their accomplishment. Remember sacrifices were made and don’t compare. Be happy for your life because in reality you probably wouldn’t want to be someone else!
I’m not saying social media is bad, but it can cause stress when you start the comparison game. Live your life…be thankful for what you have…and pat yourself on the back for what you have accomplished!
How do you feel about OCD?