Bragging rights?!

How many people do you know who don’t start their morning with a cup of coffee and a side of their favorite social media outlet? Who do you know that doesn’t have a few favorite blogs that they read or who isn’t a Pinterest fiend?

We all partake in reading about and sharing the perfect moments in our life. I say “the perfect moments” because most everyone puts on a positive spin on anything they care to share. It is part of our culture — Even when chit-chatting at the water-cooler  keurig machine, we automatically say “doing well” when asked “how are you?”. Let’s just admit that we are not doing well all the time.

This can lead to frenemies in the extreme case and is, most definitely, envy. Why so? Because in a way, people brag and want to showcase a perfect life. Sometimes, people go over the top, brag too much about every single insignificant accomplishment and over-share. How annoying?! No one needs to read about your entire day in a series of ten posts on just that day or that you got whatever at where-ever on the most amazing sale. That’s not brag-worthy.

Let’s set a rule — that anyone can only share and brag about something that at least seven out of ten people cannot or would not do. Wouldn’t that lessen our envy and anxiety? Wouldn’t that lead to a serious decrease in frenemies? Of course there are events and things everyone SHOULD share and brag about. These are big life events — marriage, birth of a child, cool vacation, new degree, new job, interesting experience, any award or recognition, … and so on and so forth.

I recently read an interesting Vogue article about David Chang, a brilliant and incredibly successful young chef. In the article, the author talks about Chang saying that he wants diners to come to his restaurants, taste his food and say “why didn’t I think of that? … But you didn’t”. In other words, if you work hard at something, if you’re working or studying while you could be out with your friends, if you’ve made this and other sacrifices over a prolonged period of time and your payoff is a great degree, a great job, recognition, then by all means, stand on top of Facebook’s or Twitter’s proverbial roof and scream about it with great pride.

The rest of us, shouldn’t get jealous, and should instead be supportive because, sure, we could have done it too, but didn’t.

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