Monday, December 21, 2015

Book Review: "I'm So Happy For You (Sort of Not Really) : Finding Contentment in the Culture of Comparison" by Kay Wills Wyma

1 sentence review: This book isn't really hoeing any new territory,  but it's all good reminders.

The best thing that this book did was be the impetus for an interesting conversation between myself and some friends about why people put what things up on the internet. We decided that while, of course, there are going to be people putting up pictures just because they are braggy mcbraggerpantses and want compliments, that isn't going to be the majority. We put up pictures of the exciting exotic things that happen in our lives because those (probably rare) moments have helped us escape our doldrums, and maybe it will help other people escape it too.

So I just got back from Mexico. I didn't put up too many pictures because I didn't want to be the braggy looking a-hole. But you would have rather have seen pictures of waving palm trees and huge waves then pictures of me hauling my behind out of bed to go into work early and then staying late every day for nearly two weeks because of my no vacation time yet, right (#newjobproblems, #firstworldproblems). We put up the pictures of the Christmas cookies that turned out perfectly because everyone has experienced the "burned to a crisp, these don't remotely look edible" cookies that are also currently in the kitchen (but in the trash).

In short, we put up the rare exciting things because everyone has the crappy boring things.

Though if I write this post on a day where I'm in a slightly less optimistic mood this post could easily turn into something less forgiving haha.

Anyway, this book.

It obviously doesn't have any magical answers to problems about being discontent. But it is heartening to know that this is a common struggle for many people.

Kay suggests trying to be genuinely happy for the person who can't stop talking about how gifted their kid is, or how nice their new car is. I think that that is a thing that will take an extreme amount of practice, but it seems worth trying, yes? (Or you can do what I do when Im super cranky about people having nicer things then me, comfort myself by thinking they're probably up to their ears in credit card debt. That's super nice of me, huh?)

She also talks about how when we compare, it sucks a little joy out of ourselves. So let's say I enjoy playing volleyball, I'm not the best at it but  I have fun doing it and it brings me joy. But then I see someone else, and they, like played volleyball in college and they look good in the short shorts and so on and so on. Suddenly I'm super conscious that I'm not as good as that other person and that takes some of my enjoyment out of volleyball. Comparison is the thief of joy.

This book really is summed up by every one of those little cliche phrases. They might be cliche but they are true.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review

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