After having spent two incredible weeks in Trinidad & Tobago for a massive family reunion, I find myself reflecting on group dynamics and individual contributions. People, especially kids and teens, can spend a lot of time feeling inadequate, that someone else is more popular than they are, therefore worth more than they are. We are not immune to this in adulthood as we notice personality traits that we wish we possessed or we might feel less likeable than others. The mental tape plays, “That person is better than I am. I wish I was more like that.”
What I observed over two weeks with about 100 different family members, coming together from Canada, the U.S., France, England, Australia, and Trinidad, is how that comparison game is such a complete waste of energy. Apparently my extended family is somewhat unusual in that, for the most part, we adore each other and get along astoundingly well. As we converged on and explored this island from which all of our roots extend, we truly celebrated the coming together, and celebrated each other.
That’s the key. We celebrated each other. The truth is, each personality, each individual energy, makes an important contribution to the group at large. Starting from our immediate family and extending outward to aunts, uncles, and cousins galore, everyone has their unique place and unique value.
All too often in life we play the comparison game.
If only I could be as skinny as her.
I wish I were as funny as him.
I’d like to have her energy.
None of that matters. You matter. She matters. He matters. I matter. All for our own unique reasons.
I adore all of my cousins and yet they are all so different. And I’m sure they adore and value me for exactly who I am and whatever I bring to their lives (essential oils anyone?). When we gather as a group, all the personalities converging make for loads of laughter and incredible conversations, because the common factors are LOVE and APPRECIATION.
Rather than play the comparison game, a better question to ask is, “How do I contribute to this group dynamic?”
Whether you’re with friends, family, or colleagues, what matters most is your ability to be present with those around you. If your mind is drifting into comparison land, you’re not really there. So whoever you are, and whatever makes you you, trust that you matter and be sure to bring the best version of yourself to the table, with love, compassion, and generosity. If you’re not feeling on top of your game, learn how to ask for support from the people around you. The more open and loving you are about what you need, the more people will want to help.
I challenge you this week to notice when you’re putting yourself down by playing the comparison game. Instead, in that moment, acknowledge your own personal value and bring your loving presence to the table.
In the comments below, share how you contribute uniquely to the group dynamic of your family, friends, or workspace. Let’s celebrate YOU!
P.S. Do you struggle with the sting of envy? If so, come to my Women’s Wellness Circle on August 16, 5:30pm-7:30pm at Liberation Yoga for some helpful guidance on how to navigate that sticky territory. Call 323-964-5222 to RSVP