Why Do We Compete Over Misery?

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Let me run you through a scenario I’m sure you’ve been through at some point:

Person 1: “I’m so tired today. I only got two hours of sleep last night because I had to submit an assignment. I’ve been drinking cappuccinos all morning.”

Person 2: “You think you’re tired? I had absolutely zero sleep and I’ve been drinking espresso shot since late last night studying for today’s two finals!”

Regardless of what topic you choose, be it school, work, child bearing or anything else, Person 2 is always bound to make an appearance.

Did you miss breakfast because you were rushing? They’ve been missing out on meals for the past three days apparently.

Did you have a big fight and cry yourself to sleep? They’ve been suffering from insomnia for the last five years because of that one dispute they had with the guy who sells fruit down the street.

Did you have a car accident? They completely totaled their car last summer, and it’s nothing compared to what’s been happening to you.

Did you fall asleep on the sofa because of how tired you were? They fell asleep on the hood of their car.

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

We don’t always have to be miserable, and we certainly do not need to complain 24/7. In fact, many people have seen a difference when they forced themselves to think happier thoughts.

If our thoughts affect us, why are we so cruel to ourselves?

We don’t need to convince ourselves that our lives are awful; it’s actually quite the opposite. We need to force ourselves to look at the silver lining, even when we just want to scream at the sky.

Maybe the next time someone complains about getting too little sleep, they’ll hear sympathetic and supportive thoughts instead of feeling like they’re runner-up in a misery competition.

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