Stop Saying That You're Busy
I get it. I know that you have a lot going on. But I beg you - Please stop saying that you're busy.
And believe me, I'm preaching to myself just as much as I'm preaching to you. We all have to remember that we have things going on and that we're all stressed out. You're not the only one taking 18 units while juggling a job or two. So you bringing up how much you have to do all the time can make you come across as someone who thinks their time is more valuable than anyone else's.
Mindy Kaling said it perfectly in her book:
“A note about me: I do not think stress is a legitimate topic of conversation, in public anyway. No one ever wants to hear how stressed out anyone else is, because most of the time everyone is stressed out. Going on and on in detail about how stressed out I am isn’t conversation. It’ll never lead anywhere. No one is going to say, ‘Wow, Mindy, you really have it especially bad. I have heard some stories of stress, but this just takes the cake.’”
— Mindy Kaling, 'Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns)'
Your case of stress and busyness is not the worst one the world has ever seen so talking about it isn't necessary or desired.
I was thinking about the idea of busyness this week as I prepared to write this article, and I noticed myself telling other people just how busy I was more than I thought I would. It almost became a competition - They would start by saying that they were stressed because the were taking 6 classes and had a job, and then I would chime in and say that I had two. I would bring up that I have a huge paper due at the end of the week, and someone else would remind me that they have two papers and a quiz. Nothing productive came from that conversation, we were only one-upping each other as we complained.
So why do we feel this deep need to share to the world just how busy we are?
I think this comes from the socially constructed need to prove to everyone that we're doing a lot. It's almost a source of pride to claim how much you have going on because in the US we equate busyness with imminent success. But here's the thing - It doesn't and we have to stop convincing ourselves that it does.
You are not defined by your busyness nor your stress level. Remember that you are so much more than how much you have going on in your life right now.
Originally published on The Odyssey Online.