When it feels like everyone else is having a great Christmas
Except for you.
Either way, it can be a time that comes with feelings of pressure and stir up a lot of insecurities about how many friends you have and your social life.
We’re not down on Christmas, very fond of it actually. But … the forced cheeriness, and camaraderie in the run up to Christmas can be a bit hard to take.
The end of year festivities can make you take stock of your life and social life and leave yourself feeling like you’re missing out.
12 pubs and Christmas parties
Looking at huge gangs of people in their hideous jumpers (seriously) taking part in 12 pubs marathons, or just generally travelling in mass around the town, or people’s Instagram stories of the many fun-filled parties they’re at, while you’re not, can make us think this is representative of everyone else’s Christmas. But in reality, it’s not.
Having to listen to people talk about how much they have to do, presents to buy, the amount of people they have to see, the amount Christmas is going to cost them, then of course the social media updates of it all reinforces the feelings of not having enough friends and generally being envious of everyone else’s social life.
Assuming everyone is having a great time
Why do we do this? Well, we’re pretty much conditioned to do it, watching Christmas specials and movies growing up, so we’re already used to feeling like we’re just observing it and not really taking part.
Holding up unreal, fictionalised images of Christmas as a comparison to our own has become second nature to us by the time we’re in our teens.
Apart from that, a lot of us do actually just like giving ourselves a hard time and the quickest, surefire way of doing this is comparing ourselves to someone else. Not even the full picture, the warts and all of someone else but rather what we perceive of that person, the ideal them.
Negative thinking patterns
While it can be good to look at qualities you like in others and take them on, using other people to measure your own successes or failures by – and let’s face it, it’s mostly failures, if it was successes you wouldn’t be reading this – it’s only going to make you feel like you come up short.
The thing is, a lot of people do this and feel their peers have far more active social lives than their own and that cannot be true of everyone.
Celebrating your failures
At the end of the day, we’re all on our own path. Our crappy Christmases can become funny anecdotes that are only ours to tell at a later time, or they can be confessionals that help a friendship develop.
So, this Christmas if nothing else, give yourself the gift of not comparing yourself to others. Focus on what your own is, and if it’s watching Love Actually (terrible film, but we’re not judging, honest) and eating boxes of mini mince pies on your own to just get through it, so be it.
Take the time to refuel for the year ahead.