Typically, I start off my blogs with a pretty shiny “one-liner” approach but I don’t think that’d be necessary as of right now considering how confused you are of that title. So this time, I’m just going to dive right into it, and explain what I mean.
“A competition? How could you possibly make some kind of game out of my stress? How dare you belittle my problems!”
Alright, alright. Not what I meant, just let me explain.
The title is not meant to make you feel like I’m attacking your problems and your stress at all whatsoever. I can certainly understand life has shit, and because of that fact, we have shit. I get that, I do. In fact because I get that, I made this blog. So put your pitchforks down and give me a second here to explain. I am not attacking your problems and your emotions, rather, I am pointing out something that a lot of us participate in. Without even really knowing it is the scary part.
Let me throw you a hypothetical. You’re with your friend, your mate, your bestie, your homie, your mortal enemy.. I don’t care who, that’s up to you. You’re talking to this person and they cannot stop talking about how incredibly stressed they are about finals. “I have two finals coming up, while having to write three papers all due by this Monday!” Typical conversation, whether you’re going through it now, or have gone through it before, I can say with 100% certainly everyone has been here. Now, here is where the topic of this post comes in. Your response has a good to fair chance that it will be along the lines of “Oh I’m so sorry to hear that, good luck.” However, there is also a good to fair chance that you will respond with, “Oh that sucks! Well I have to write THREE papers all due by SUNDAY and study for THREE finals all by SATURDAY while still studying for my SAT ON SUNDAY TOO.” (The caps are there for a reason because let’s face it, I was spot on where you add your little emphasis on things. It’s okay, I know how you talk).
Think for a moment now, it makes sense doesn’t it. You don’t really have to think about it, it’s just natural instinct to just make it seem like you’re actually the one who is in more peril, who needs more help, who needs more attention, etc. Okay now you can cue the “oh damn” music. It’s not even like you want to create a sort of sport out your suffering, you just do. You’re right, it doesn’t make sense and it shouldn’t happen. Yet, why do all us do that? I certainly do, no shame admitting it either. I can be talking to you but the moment you think you have the right to say you’re more stressed about school than I am… Game on buddy. I’ll start making up super ridiculous things if I have to, just to prove my point.
Jokes aside though, it’s a pretty serious problem and it happens a little too frequently, if you really give it a thought. You shouldn’t have to feel like your stress, your problems and your obstacles in life make your identity. Yes, they absolutely help shape your character but in no way do they associate themselves with your identity. That’s something separate, unique. So I urge you to try and make a conscious effort to get out of those bad habits and focus on other things, rather than trying to one up that other person who is going through something. It’s okay, to feel okay.