Quote from Guns ‘n’ Roses
Who knew that Axle Rose had such insight? But he is absolutely right. Especially in this age of social media, we make a lot of assumptions about the lives of others. I hear it all the time from my clients how they think everyone else is more with it, or happier, or knowledgeable than they are. But so often this is not the case. We all learn to wear masks, to present ourselves in the best light we can. For many of the folks I work with, these masks helped them survive toxic childhoods where it was not safe for others to know the real them.
As for reading what we want between selected lines, that is something that depression and anxiety can do to us. When we suffer from depression or anxiety, we filter everything through this lens. That is because our brains are set up to look for information that confirms what we already think. So, if we are depressed and think everyone else is better off than we are, we tend to only see the information that supports this line of thinking. And unconsciously ignore information to the contrary. That is why it can be incredibly helpful to learn some tools that help you to look for other information that might provide a fuller, more balanced view of things. This is a classic cognitive behavior strategy and there are plenty of self-help books or worksheets that can help direct you in this process.