• Patrick McAndrew

Why We Don’t Believe In Ourselves

There is currently a video being circulated around Facebook titled, “The Biggest Relationship Killer of 2018.” Steve Barrel, who has made various viral videos, discusses how the biggest relationship killer of 2018 is unmet expectations.

Living in a world obsessed with social media has certainly skewed our perspectives. We see the latest and the greatest moments in each others’ lives. I’m all for celebrating the happy moments, but we mustn’t compare our everyday mundanity to our Facebook friends’ life-changing events. That’s like comparing receiving a new pair of socks and winning a vacation to the Caribbean; they can’t really be compared.

But, alas, we humans have a tendency to compare our lives to others. “How are we stacking up? Am I more successful than my peers? Am I living a happier and more fulfilled life?” We get ourselves caught in this trap of caring what other people think about us. We expend so much energy doing this that we seldom realize that people aren’t really thinking about us at all. No one cares. Sure, there are people who care about us as humans. Family and friends love us dearly. But they are not lying awake in bed each night thinking about how this thing you did or did not do was so awful. The only exception may be our parents or spouse.

We spend so much of our time trying to impress others when they are indifferent either way. If anything, they may prefer that we don’t succeed because it will bring up insecurities within themselves.

In any case, Barrel makes some good arguments in his video. Because we are always comparing, we have false expectations of our friends, family, and partners. We expect to have these perfect relationships and if there is one little hiccup, we show them the door. The “hook-up” culture is all the rage nowadays. But I would argue that both parties don’t leave their rendezvous feeling very fulfilled, but rather pretty empty.

With the widespread use of social media, we tend to place value on external sources. This has always been the case, but social media has expedited the issue. This isn’t Facebook’s fault, however, but our own. We search for external value and recognition and approval because we are losing our ability to fully develop ourselves into someone that we can believe in. If we don’t believe in ourselves, who else will? This is exactly the predicament we are finding ourselves in. We are in search of that thing, that event, or that person that will put us on a pedestal for all to see. That’s not going to happen. It’s up to us to get on our own pedestal and it’s up to us to build it from the floor up with our own two hands.

Facebook and other social media platforms are certainly helping to fuel our unmet expectations regarding our relationships and our lives. It is up to us to take control of our minds, realize our worth, and create the lives we want for ourselves, whether or not we achieve the approval of others.

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