Why do we fake it?
I have been pondering a question lately... why do we fake it?
No I’m not talking about the big O, I am talking about life. Why do so many of us fake our lives to others. To our friends, to our social media accounts and even to ourselves? Why when we are unhappy, struggling, having a rough patch, reaching the end of our tether, in the middle of depression, struggling as a new parent or just plain tired, do we pretend life is wonderful?
Especially in this world of social media, I keep seeing this constant desire for people to fake their lives. To show themselves as perfect.
You could argue that this is an online world so we expect a degree of ‘fakeness’ but I see it in real life too. I even see this amongst those that I know personally, I see them struggling behind closed doors, I know they need help but when people ask them how they are or when they post on social media they make out that their life is ‘wonderful, amazing, loving the dream’.
Is it pride? Fear? Are they ashamed of normal human emotions? Do they think they are alone? That they are failing? They should be doing better? Do they think they are different?
Yes, I do understand that some people are private but why then post on social media? Yes, I do also understand that not everyone likes to share negatives but my question is then why lie and make up an often extreme positive instead of just saying ‘I’m ok’?
Who does this help? Every person then begins to compete or they think geez ‘insert name here’ can do everything so easily. It creates a society where we set ourselves up to fail. We are more connected than we have ever been but some of us have never felt so alone.
I am not saying share every bad innocuous moment nor am I saying focus on only the negatives but why can’t we be real and honest? Both good and bad.
There are so many topics we don’t seem to touch on in society, although luckily it does seem to be getting better. Since sharing my honest life on Instagram and my blog particularly around my miscarriage, Mackenzie’s genetic diagnosis, Mackenzie’s death and our IVF journey I have had SO many people reach out to me. People who say that they have gone through the same thing (whether it be a miscarriage, death of a loved one, IVF or a sick child) but they said they never felt like they could speak about their pain. They are so thankful to see more people speaking out. That they never felt safe to speak about their own pain for fear of being judged about how they are coping. But coping and being honest are two different things. I would say I am ‘coping’ most days but what if I wasn’t? That would be ok too.
I’ll let you in a secret, sometimes life can be shit. Bad things can happen to good people and when you are down sometimes you can be kicked and kicked and kicked some more, it doesn’t matter if you think you’ve had enough or if you think you don’t deserve it. In most circumstances these bad things aren’t your fault, you shouldn’t be ashamed and you are not alone. You can be honest.
One day you will suddenly discover you are standing up again and good things have begun happening and you can share that time in your life too.
I am not the first person to be honest but there should be more. These days I try to follow real people on social media, in particular Mum’s who are real. I gain so much strength from their honesty. Most days they love their lives, they are positive people and are so grateful for what they have but when things go to shit they are honest about it.
My point - find balance, share happiness, share sadness, don’t lie, don’t be ashamed, reach out, be brave and don’t fake your life.