6/25/21: Comparison Is The Enemy Of Connection

Which butterfly is more beautiful?

If you can find me THE answer, I’d love to know how you arrived at it, definitively.

We hear all the time in this space that: Vulnerability Is The Key To Connection. I believe that to be 100% true. The more we open up, the more we create a safe space, the more we feel comfortable sharing back & forth, the more we connect.

What’s the opposite of connection? In this case, I believe – it’s not being quiet or holding things in…but instead, it’s comparison.

Once again: Which butterfly is more beautiful? It’s a question we don’t have a definitive answer to. It’s a question that’s fruitless to try to find an answer to. They’re both beautiful in their own ways & if you ask 1000 diff ppl, which & WHY, you’ll get hundreds of diff answers on the “why” part.

Why’d this topic come up now? A couple of days ago, Carl Nassib became the first NFL player to come out as gay. Those of us who want to see acceptance of anyone & their choices, rejoiced at Carl’s bravery of being the first. It’s not easy being the first.

@darrenrovell put out a tweet to his large base, cheering Carl on, telling him how we support him fully, acknowledging how difficult it is to come out under this type of spotlight, in a society that hasn’t been so universally accepting, & then to cap it off, said: Same Here on the challenges we all face (Let’s all be part of the same team & support each other. Some context: Darren’s shared publicly, crippling bouts of anxiety in his life).

Some of the responses, unfortunately, were the opposite of connection. They were all abt comparison. “How dare you equate Carl’s experience to yours or anyone else’s.”…”You are diminishing his struggle by saying you’ve struggled too.”

I’m going to say this pretty simply: Trauma in any form, is THE most COMMON human connection.

Who has it worse/harder: the person who lost his mom, broke up w his wife, lost his job…or the person currently suffering from a major bout of bipolar? Who has it worse: the person obsessed since childhood abt death & can’t stop fearing it, or person whose father is terminally ill, awaiting terrible news of hospice?

We can’t compare these things! Yet what society has done for so long…what industry has done for so long, is make us feel more comfortable in buckets, than as one large group. “THOSE ppl will never understand US & OUR struggles.” If that’s the underlying belief, consider this: do we ever “stop stigma” that way? No friggin’ way. Comparison is the enemy of connection. Take it a step further, we all have small-ish circles of the TIGHT ppl in our lives we feel most comfortable with. What’s better – believing someone has to have had the EXACT same experience as us, to be able to support us? Or, to believe that folks we trust the most, through their own struggles, can at least relate & be supportive of our struggles, bc – we ALL struggle. Let’s look our for our similarities, not compare our differences. We all have a Same Here Story.

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