Whether you are chatting with friends or scrolling through social media, we’ve all paused and had that thought, “must be nice” in response to something someone else has or has posted. Maybe we have that same stab of jealousy when someone has a swanky car or an enviable handbag.
We tend to dive into this mindset when we are feeling low and have a hard time seeing anything great in our lives due to our current situation. (Which, by the way, is the worst time to be scrolling through social media.)
“Comparison is the thief of joy,” is the saying that comes to mind if I even have a twinge of the “if only” or “must be nice” urge. What we see from the outside always looks shinier than what’s behind the mask.
I’ve had people who have said, “Must be nice to have a really powerful story like yours.” Once it comes out of their mouth, they flinch, probably because of the “You’re kidding me, right?” look on my face. Who’d really want my story of a son who died by suicide? After all, that’s what I’m trying to prevent others from having to go through.
Instead of getting angry, I pause and say, “You don’t really want my story, right? You just see the healing and you want that?” And the answer is usually yes to that. What you want is to feel some peace, joy, connectedness, healing, happiness, growth even relief from a current situation. You can have that. I’m just one little example of that. But I worked for it. And there was and still is a ton of pain to find it. You can’t fast forward to that place but you can put in place the work and effort it takes to make it happen.
Notice when those feelings are the most prevalent. Is it while scrolling social media? Is it when you are alone? Is it after a fight with a loved one? Figuring out those times helps you pinpoint those episodes and put into place skills and strategies to acknowledge the feeling but then move past it.
Happiness or any state of being is temporary. No one arrives at happiness eutopia and it’s all done. Those difficult times punctuate what is important and from there you learn to pull those moments of joy and savor them.
Next time you catch yourself saying or thinking, “must be nice,” think about what you have, think about what you don’t know. People can create a facade of what a great life looks like and what I have found it what looks ideal from the outside is often not what’s on the inside.