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Competing For Who Has It Worse? You'll End Up The Loser.

Don't waste your time making people justify who has it worse.

By Ellen "Jelly" McRaePublished 4 months ago 7 min read
Image created on Canva

Do you realise we're constantly competing in a proverbial peeing race?

In case you don't know what a peeing race is (or pissing contest to be less polite), it's where everyone compares themselves against each other. 

Sure, the true meaning is a competition to see who can pee the furthest. But now, in life, we're having these competitions in so many different ways.

Sometimes it's a contest about who can get the furthest. You would know this well when you run the gauntlet with your colleagues. 

Who can make it to the top of the corporate ladder first? Who can get the boss's attention before anyone else?

Sometimes it's a contest about who has what. Who has the biggest house? The most money? The most to boast about?

What I never thought we would engage in is the peeing race for who has it the worst. But we're there. Every time a celebrity, influencer, or person of notoriety talks about something horrible that's happened in their life, out come the races.

Everyone is quick to point out to the famous person their problems don't compare. 

They don't "win" anyone's sympathy because their problems don't make them the worst. There are other people who have it worst off than them, which means they're not allowed to complain. 

And, subsequently, these powerful, notorious people are not "allowed" to have problems.

It's time for this stop. Yup, I'm sticking up for the people with more money, power, and fame than me.

Why? Let me tell you.

Everyone has problems

When you're engaging in the peeing contest of who has it worse, society seems to think celebrities shouldn't even enter. How can they have it worse, right?

Well, everyone has problems. Every-one.

No one is special enough not to have problems of some kind. And, just because their problems are different to say my problems, it doesn't mean I have it worse off than them.

Celebrities still have problems with:

  • Money - More money doesn't mean you don't have issues with how to spend it, whether you will get any more or how people treat you regarding the money you have.
  • Relationships - People with power and money aren't immune from heartbreak, cheating, divorce, disloyal friends, and annoying family.
  • Work - They have deadlines, like everyone else. They have pressures like everyone else. They have as much to risk as everyone else does.
  • Health - Cancer, heart disease and broken bones aren't just for "normal people". Wealthy people have the same amount and potential for health issues as everyone else.
  • Trauma - People with money and power can experience trauma like everyone else. They can also bury their trauma, medicate it with addiction and let trauma affect every facet of their life.

I want to make it clear; I know they have a lot of good problems, too. 

But I guess you could say I don't understand why people assume once you have money, and fame, your problems suddenly disappear.

If I became famous tomorrow, the problems I have from gallbladder removal in 2013 wouldn't go away. I couldn't get my gallbladder back.

Sure, you might argue I could now afford a nutritionist, the best specialists, the best doctors to help me. But my problems don't go away. 

I still have a health problem that upsets me, challenges my life, and causes me day-to-day concerns. And that I have to do something about.

Money, wealth, and fame aren't magic wands for everything, you know.

You're invalidating a person's problem

When you tell people in these positions not to talk about their issues, because other people are suffering, you're invalidating their problems.

You're basically saying to them:

  • Your issues don't matter to people
  • Your issues don't count in the world because they don't seem that bad
  • Your issues could be worse, therefore you shouldn't be unhappy about them
  • Your issues are redundant compared to everything going on in the world

As you could see from my earlier point, everyone has problems. And no one, no matter who you are, everyone deserves to have problems.

You're allowed to feel sad, angry, and annoyed about what happens in your life. And, just like everyone else, you're allowed to talk about it with whoever you choose to.

Invalidating people's problems is a dangerous thing to do, no matter who you are. 

When people think no one cares about them, the problems worsen. They turn into greater, more debilitating issues.

And then it causes greater problems within society, with sections feeling ignored and unloved.

You're invalidating the voice

If you tell one person their struggles aren't as bad as other people's problems, you're invalidating everyone's ability to speak about their problems.

If you say one person can't talk about their problems, it applies to everyone. Even if you think it's just the celebrities, people can hear the undertone.

Let me explain.

On a local level, when people in your life see that you think celebrities should stop complaining, they assume you think that about them too. If celebs can't complain or talk about the issues in their life, neither can they.

That's not an attitude you want your loved ones to believe, am I right? You don't want them to think you're invalidating their problems, right?

But people can put two and two together. They know if you're saying things like this about everyone you see, they know you're saying it about them, too.

The minute you stop one person from talking about their problems, you stop everyone. And that's a dangerous game to play, one that will come back to bite you.

Right place, right time

Picking your audience. Choosing who you bitch and moan to. Sure, there is the right time and place for talking about your issues.

If you walk up to a homeless person and moan about how your contractor still hasn't finished tiling the pool, that's not cool. Why? Because you're seeking sympathy from someone whose problems don't even compare to yours.

But here's the problem for celebrities; when they complain, the world deems everyone who's not in their position below them. The entire general public is someone whose problem's done compared to that of the famous person.

Personally, I don't like the comparison. 

Why do I have problems so bad that I can't relate, sympathise or empathise with a famous person? They're still a person, are they not?

I might not be able to empathise with the specific problem, but I can empathise with the feeling. I know what it's like to worry, stress, and go through sleepless nights over something small, large, or in-between.

Again, this comes down to everyone being human.

Life is not a competition

There's always someone who is going to have it worse. There's always someone who is going to have it better.

There are always situations that could be worse, too. We all know this. We've all felt times it's happened to us. It's called putting it into perspective.

And that's just a nice way of describing a pissing contest. A nice way of describing the competition between people in a race no one is running. Because life is not a competition.

There are no awards for who has it worst. There are no prizes for who is suffering the most. 

Though I'm sure everyone in the world knows this, we still find ourselves engaging in the contest.

But the more we engage in the pissing content, the more we turn life into a competition. It promotes an idea that doesn't exist. If we were smart enough, we wouldn't keep doing this because it doesn't make any sense.

What logic is there in reinforcing this idea of competition that doesn't exist? What a waste of time and energy, if you ask me.

Comparison is the enemy

I grew up with siblings. Two of them. I spent my life being compared to them. I spent my life having what I go through being compared to them. 

  • When I took my first steps. 
  • What score I got on my high school certificate. 
  • What I contributed to life compared to them.

I hated this comparison. Everyone hates comparison. I don't know anyone who doesn't hold some resentment towards it.

That's what these pissing contests are; comparing the haves to the have-nots. And deciding on what people should or shouldn't do based on the outcome of this comparison.

Even when we're trying to be nice about it. When we're putting life into perspective for someone else, we're comparing their life.

If we want to live a happy life, the comparisons have to stop. And if we quit doing this with celebrities, we stand a chance of everyone doing the same elsewhere.


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About the Creator

Ellen "Jelly" McRae

I’m here to use my wins and losses in #relationships as your cautionary tale | Writes 1LD; Cautionary tale #romance fiction |

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