Monday 30 January 2023

Celebrating our success or just showing off?

If something is wrong people rally round with sympathy, offers of help, gossip, 'there for the grace of...' support, fund raising,  a sad face on social media or maybe an empathetic comment.

I've observed on social media that people have no issue sharing negative things online and in person. 

When I was growing up, no one talked about negatives, shared news about job loss, marriage breakdowns, depression, miscarriage, etc. It was kept on the quiet, within the family and when news did break, by word of mouth, there was always a positive spin put on it.

'Keeping up with the Joneses' was common. Almost gloating and boasting about new cars, holidays, designer clothing, inflated success in work and of children in school.

Nowadays, there seems to be less success shared, either by word of mouth or online. Boasting and showing off these days is seen negatively, we think about who might be upset by our success, because they'll often tell us that it upsets them. There are people who still try to 'keep up with the Joneses'  but are maxed out on credit cards and loans to pay for it all, to keep up with social media posts, to make sure their children don't miss out on experiencing everything they see online.

I hear a lot of negative comments and read posts about how people feel crap when they see other people's social media posts. Social media posts that are written in controversial ways, click bait for likes, comments to incite a response from as many people as possible. posts that are undeclared sponsored posts, published ahead of Christmas, where it's often obvious that they've been paid to take photos and publish an event for payment or gifted items and experiences. Having done a couple of these posts myself, it's a lot of work and time and whilst the experience or gift may have cost 100's of pounds, the work expected in exchange and the joy that is taken away with the stress of obtaining photos and ensuring the family looks like they are fully engaged and having fun in the cold or the rain, are just snapshots, carefully staged of a moment in time. These posts don't mention any negative aspects such as the queuing times, the additional costs of food/drinks, the car parking costs or the sheer volume of people there and having to wait with kids for 30 mins to get a 'clean' shot of the lavender fields, the pumpkin patch or the take in the background of a relatively small event.

People can often look at these posts and will openly say they fail a failure because they can't afford an event like that and as a parent they are letting their kids down. But I've never seen a single post that says 'if you don't visit here, buy this, do that, then you are a failure'. It's just how it is perceived by the reader, usually enforced by others saying the same thing. Forgetting that there are more people who don't do something, than do.

I've worked 3 jobs, including evenings in a chip shop, weekends in a bar and nights in a care home to pay the bills, been a single mum, gone without things for myself. I've worked hard to get to the point where I am now. My husband has worked hard to pay the mortgage, we've paid school fees and had foreign holidays from furthering our education (student loan) by working 2 jobs, often with Peter away most of the week. We've made sacrifices along the way, such as living abroad to improve our finances, not seeing family and friends.

We've taken risks along the way, but they've paid off and now I choose to work for something to do, because I want to and I enjoy my job. We're celebrating our success, it's not our intention to show off, to make anyone else feel like a failure, we know we're fortunate, there have been many times, life could've gone the other way for us and it nearly did a couple of time. Call it luck if you will.

Do you celebrate your success or is it dampened by those around you? Do you think people are just showing off? How does hearing about other peoples success make you feel?


  1. I think success should be celebrated. I think people who put a dampener on success are probably jealous. However, there is a difference between celebrating and boasting.

    1. oh there sure is a big difference

  2. You've posed an interesting question. I think success should be celebrated but perhaps there are ways of doing so without boasting or showing off?!! #pocolo