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Are they really better than you?

Picture the scene....

You're having a tough day. Maybe even a tough week or month. Everything you do or say seems to go wrong. Maybe work is starting to become tedious or stressful and you can't get it out of your head so it starts to affect your home life. Perhaps little niggles that you could previously shake off or perhaps didn't even notice before now start to really grate on you. Have you ever realised that you're bickering with family and friends who now, somehow, seem to be doing everything possible to annoy you. (You know it's not true but it just feels like it).

Or maybe this tough time in your life is more serious. Perhaps you struggle to get out of bed every day and can't see the point in even bothering. All of life's trials and challenges feel too much for you and you can't seem to cope with any of them.

I would suggest that there is not a single person that has not experienced something like this at some point in their life. Nobody goes through life smoothly without a single bump in the road. It's impossible.

It cannot be denied that some people's lives are more of a struggle. You may have met someone that appears to have been dealt more than their fair share of adversity and when it comes to dealing with life's challenges there is a widely accepted rule that it's easier to deal with them if you have help and support. Whatever form it takes, it's better to have it than not.

But there is something else that can compound the negative situation. That is your perception.

A good illustration of this can be seen if something happens to you and the same thing, or something very similar, happens to somebody or a number of people that you know.

Take a very basic example of this.

You buy a new item of clothing. You get it home, try it on and it doesn't fit. So you have to return it. But now you have to make a special trip back to the shop and you have loads of other stuff to do. Plus this annoyance has happened on the same day as a big bill dropped through the letterbox and the car was making a funny noise.

You meet a friend and tell them about the clothing and they reply with the fact that they did the same thing a couple of weeks ago and isn't it a pain when that happens.

Outwardly you agree with them but inwardly you want to say that it was far worse for you because of all the other stuff that happened. How nothing is going right for you and it's just another example of how bad your life is. This train of thought can continue to you deciding that when it happened to your friend it was somehow easier for them. They live closer to the shop. They have more time on their hands. Whatever the reason, your experience was worse than theirs.

The reality is that the same thing happened to you both, but your perception of the situation is very different.

At this stage it has to be pointed out that some people's personality allows them to be far more laid back and relaxed in life. Things that seem like the last straw for one person is just a trivial non-event to another.

But when life starts to get really tough, this perception about how your situation compares to that of somebody else can lead you to feel far worse.

Why is it that you can't deal with life and yet everyone else can? Why do life's challenges cripple you when everyone else just sails through them? How come that person is always happy and successful and you are struggling?

There is often a very simple explanation.

It's not that their life is great, wonderful and perfect. It's just that you don't know what goes on behind their closed door, so it looks like it is. They don't deal with life better, they may just have more support available to them. They are not some sort of super strong, super resilient strain of humanity. In many cases, the reason that it looks like they are dealing with things better than you is because they just hide it better.

Ever read a story of a famous personality that had some sort of breakdown or even took their own life? If you have then you will also have read countless words from people declaring that they had no idea what was going on and how the person hid it from the world.

Whatever is going on in your life is unique to you. There isn't a single person on the planet that knows how you feel and what it is like to experience life's challenges the way you do. Some people may have gone through something similar and, in their mind, THINK they know how you feel. But they don't. They know how THEY felt when it happened to them but they are them and you are you. Only you have to deal with life as you, with all the things, good and bad, that have previously happened in your life leading up to that moment.

If you can accept that this is true then surely you have to accept that it is a fruitless exercise to compare how someone else deals with a situation compared to you. If someone seems to be coping with a situation that you yourself are struggling with, that's irrelevant. That should not cause you to reflect on your own ability to cope and think you are any less of a person. All it shows is that you are different people and whatever it takes to get through that particular problem, you don't have it......yet. That's it.

Or maybe they are struggling just as much as you are but, for whatever reason, they do all they can to conceal it from you and everyone else. It's all an illusion.

But the bottom line is that your struggle is yours. And you must do whatever it takes to win. If that means asking for help then that's what you should do. And there is a chance that those people you thought were stronger than you will look at you, see you getting the help and improving your situation, and then wish they had the strength to do the same while they struggle in silence.

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