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July 28, 2014

Love People, Not Things


I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately on stuff. I love stuff. I love pretty things. I love being surrounded by beauty. And I truly believe that the pure joy I feel from an outfit that just works or looking at the white orchid on my desk totally healthy and natural. It’s when my happiness is affected by the desire for things I don’t have that those things become a problem. Social media has made this an even slipperier slope. So much has been written on the correlation between unhappiness and consuming other people’s perfect-looking lives on social media, but last weekend’s New York Times essay, Love People, Not Pleasure took my breath away with this single sentence:

Unless you are extraordinarily self-aware, how could it not make you feel worse to spend part of your time pretending to be happier than you are, and the other part of your time seeing how much happier others seem to be than you?

My god. It actually hurts my heart to think about the time I’ve wasted comparing myself and my stuff to others’. The only—and I mean ONLY—thing that leads to is unhappiness. Once I started paying attention to that voice in my head (the roommate, as I call her), I was shocked at how often my first reaction is to feel anxious when I see a kitchen on Pinterest that’s nicer than mine or those studded Valentinos on Instagram that I will never own. And friends, I don’t need any more anxiety in my life. It is hard enough. Instead, I’m going to focus on keeping the people I love at the center. They are the best thing that’s ever happened to me and they deserve more of my attention.


  • Elizabeth Dehn
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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