Dec. 12, 2022

Social Comparison Theory

Social Comparison Theory

Matt explores the findings of Leon Festinger who was trying to figure out how people like to arrange themselves into groups, peer groups, social groups, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And so he started really trying to get an understanding of what that means.
     It's hard to measure yourself against other people in your peer group because peer groups are now infinitely huge and you make certain assumptions about who is and isn't in your peer group. People used to watch the Kardashians. How in the world can we relate to these people even though we live vastly different lives? What are the consequences of comparing ourselves to others?
     George Bush buys socks from Walmart and that look at how he's one of us makes him relatable. It was such an opportunistic, and it depends on which side of the political spectrum you live on, and how you react to that. But that was publicity. It was great publicity. Exactly. But that makes him relatable. And so what we're seeing in this day and age of the influencer, et cetera, et cetera, these people want to be relatable to the maximum number of people possible. And so they can afford and can curate the experience of seeing them, of, quote-unquote being with them in a very relatable way. And so you start to, we can't help it. It's kind of like we're wired to compare ourselves to these people and you can't compare yourselves to them. But we do, but we can't help it. And so this is why sometimes we get excited when we view one of these like pop celebrities as being bad. But that makes us quote-unquote "feel better about ourselves" because we can't help but compare ourselves to others in our peer groups. And also, and this is a really messed up part, is, once we've decided who's in our peer group, we will literally go out of our way to keep them in our peer group to keep them down.


     Matt explores the findings of Leon Festinger who was trying to figure out how people like to arrange themselves into groups, peer groups, social groups, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And so he started really trying to get an understanding of what that means.

     It's hard to measure yourself against other people in your peer group because peer groups are now infinitely huge and you make certain assumptions about who is and isn't in your peer group. People used to watch the Kardashians. How in the world can we relate to these people even though we live vastly different lives? What are the consequences of comparing ourselves to others?

     George Bush buys socks from Walmart and that look at how he's one of us makes him relatable. It was such an opportunistic, and it depends on which side of the political spectrum you live on, and how you react to that. But that was publicity. It was great publicity. Exactly. But that makes him relatable. And so what we're seeing in this day and age of the influencer, et cetera, et cetera, these people want to be relatable to the maximum number of people possible. And so they can afford and can curate the experience of seeing them, of, quote-unquote being with them in a very relatable way. And so you start to, we can't help it. It's kind of like we're wired to compare ourselves to these people and you can't compare yourselves to them. But we do, but we can't help it. And so this is why sometimes we get excited when we view one of these like pop celebrities as being bad. But that makes us quote-unquote "feel better about ourselves" because we can't help but compare ourselves to others in our peer groups. And also, and this is a really messed up part, is, once we've decided who's in our peer group, we will literally go out of our way to keep them in our peer group to keep them down.

 

 

Transcript

The Social Comparison Theory

[00:00:00] FAWN: Welcome back everybody. Hello. Hello. How are you?

[00:00:04] MATT: Hello everyone.

[00:00:05] FAWN: What are you up to? Hello Martin. Hello, Wendy. Hello, everyone. Everybody, everybody. Everybody around the world. Hello, France. Hello around the world. Matt, you've been looking into something. I have

[00:00:23] MATT: Right. It's the darnest thing. You go shooting down a rabbit hole, somebody puts three words together and all of a sudden,

[00:00:28] FAWN: bam. How did it happen? How did you come across this thing?

[00:00:31] FAWN: I

[00:00:31] MATT: don't even, I don't even know

[00:00:32] FAWN: you guys. Matt has been talking about this social, what, how do you call it again?

[00:00:36] FAWN: Social comparison.

[00:00:37] MATT: Social comparison theory,

[00:00:38] FAWN: social comparison theory for weeks now, and he's been wanting to talk to you all about it. And so finally here we are . What's going on? What is it?

[00:00:50] MATT: gotta love. Psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Particularly back in the fifties, it's almost like they had nothing better to do.

[00:00:59] MATT: And so they took all these poor people and they did all sorts of terrible, amazing poor people experiments. Stanford Prince Prison experience. That experiment. Ooh, scary. But I don't wanna talk about that one. That's just wrong.

[00:01:12] FAWN: What do you mean by poor people?

[00:01:14] FAWN: Um, like, well, they would, financially poor people.

[00:01:16] MATT: No, not financially poor, but

[00:01:18] FAWN: like they took advantage of people.

[00:01:19] MATT: You walk into a, an experiment and you have no idea what they're gonna do to you.

[00:01:25] FAWN: Why did people agree to do all this stuff? Like we hear about this all the time. They got paid. They got paid well, I'm sure the white people got paid. I'm sure other less fortunate people had no idea what was happening to them.

[00:01:38] FAWN: Like you always hear about crazy experiments done on people. That is

[00:01:42] MATT: true, and this is crazy from a psychological perspective, it's not crazy as far as like running electro shocks or any of the rest of that through them.

[00:01:49] FAWN: Okay, so what is it?

[00:01:50] MATT: Okay, so back in the fifties, crazy God, there's this guy, Festinger.

[00:01:56] MATT: I think he was somewhere in the middle of the Midwest, but he was trying to figure out how people like to arrange themselves into groups, peer groups, social groups, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And so he started really trying to get an understanding of what that means and. You know, it's something we do now, but I think we do it now on a global scale.

[00:02:17] MATT: There is no kind of regional or citywide; it's hard to measure yourself against other people in your peer group because peer groups are now infinitely huge and you make certain assumptions about who is and isn't in your peer group.

[00:02:32] FAWN: Well, do people, do we even have peer groups anymore? Because it feels like.

[00:02:37] FAWN: We don't really have that community anymore. So it's more like you're seeing people on TV and you're seeing people that are famous out there. And we try to relate to all these people that are unrelatable. You know, like people used to watch the Kardashians. Right. You know, and what, how, how in the world can you relate to these people and they're

[00:03:00] FAWN: unrelatable.

[00:03:01] MATT: Well, and that's the weird part is, they try as hard as they can to be relatable. It was like when Bush was running for president, I was just, you know, just a little, little boy at this point. But when he was running for president, they made a big deal about the owner of the Houston Astros. Texans, I don't know, baseball team.

[00:03:25] MATT: God help me gonna get crucified for that. Anyways, they made a huge deal about him going to Walmart to buy socks.

[00:03:32] FAWN: I

[00:03:32] FAWN: remember that like, oh, look at how he's just like one of us. Cuz he buys his socks from Walmart, right?

[00:03:39] MATT: He took those socks and threw 'em away 30 seconds after he left that, I mean, I mean, come on.

[00:03:44] FAWN: Yeah.

[00:03:45] MATT: You know, he probably had custom hand knitted socks from Virgin wool from blah blah blah,

[00:03:51] FAWN: and it was like, it was all over the news. Like, Ooh, George Bush buys socks from Walmart and that look at how he's one of us

[00:03:59] MATT: and that

[00:03:59] MATT: makes him relatable. ,

[00:04:00] FAWN: but it was such an opportunistic, like,

[00:04:03] MATT: it depends on which side of political spectrum you live on, how you react to

[00:04:07] MATT: that.

[00:04:08] FAWN: But that was

[00:04:09] MATT: publicity, that

[00:04:10] MATT: was pure.

[00:04:10] MATT: It was great publicity. Exactly. But that makes him relatable. And so what we're seeing in this day and age of the influencer, et cetera, et cetera, these people want to be relatable to the maximum number of people possible. And so they can afford and can curate the experience of seeing them, of, quote unquote being with them in a very relatable way.

[00:04:35] MATT: And so you start to, we can't help it. It's kind of like we're wired to compare ourselves to these people and you can't compare yourselves to them. But we do, but we can't help it. But, but, but, but, and so this is why sometimes we get excited when, we view one of these like pop celebrities as being bad.

[00:04:58] MATT: Like what, um, Elon Musk is currently going through over Twitter. He's getting raked over the coals. And from a subjective point of view, it's, it's a little daunting and uncomfortable.

[00:05:11] FAWN: Oh my God. I so wanna say something right

[00:05:13] MATT: now. But that makes us quote unquote "feel better about ourselves" because we can't help but compare ourselves to others in our peer groups.

[00:05:21] MATT: And this is one of the things he determined. And also, and this is a really messed up part, is, once we've decided who's in our peer group, we will literally go out of our way to keep them in our peer group to keep them down.

[00:05:35] FAWN: What do you mean by

[00:05:36] MATT: that? Well, Again, welcome to the world of experimentation. So he formed these, he figured out how to pair people. He figured out how to build these peer groups and he would have people inside of them that generally share the same opinions, similar abilities, cuz this is also how we differentiate ourselves.

[00:05:54] MATT: And he would manipulate the environment in such a way that you would make the decision as to whether or not to keep down somebody in your peer group. Most people voted to keep, most people took steps to keep them down. How messed up

[00:06:11] FAWN: is that? Wait, I, you always lose me here? Mm-hmm. and I don't know why.

[00:06:15] FAWN: Can you re-explain that again?

[00:06:19] MATT: Yeah. Yeah. And this was one of the more kind of uncomfortable, like factoids. He kind of, he dug out of this, so he, he created these groups. And these groups were generally, concerned with people of similar socioeconomical, similar socioeconomic, um, folks, similar opinions, similar abilities even.

[00:06:44] MATT: And he constructed an experiment where one person in the group could perhaps be seen as being no longer belonging or moving out, out and up upwardly mobile out of this social group. But you and or you and someone else could choose to block that. And I don't remember exactly what the crux of the matter was, what the particular experiment, how you were able to do this, but they found out that in like 70% of cases, they would actually block the person from leaving their social group and keeping them

[00:07:20] MATT: down.

[00:07:21] FAWN: Is this like the crab theory, like how they talk about a bunch of crabs in a bucket? When one crab figures out how to leave the bucket, they pull him down all the crap.

[00:07:33] MATT: Have you heard of this? I have. Is it

[00:07:35] MATT: like that? I think so. It's

[00:07:38] FAWN: just, and why is that? Is that because people feel threatened that their group will disappear if one person leaves? Well, I, then everybody else can leave. It's, and he'll be the only one that's not successful?

[00:07:49] MATT: I think it's like what we go through every time.

[00:07:52] MATT: You know, it's it, it feels like every time we decide to move, people take a offense to the fact that we would dare leave our current location. , which is typically where these people are. Like, why would you ever want to leave dot, dot,

[00:08:08] MATT: dot.

[00:08:08] FAWN: Yeah. A lot of people stopped being friends with us once they realized the miles involved in our move.

[00:08:18] FAWN: Right? They like said, oh, okay, well I guess that's it for our friendship. They literally said that, right? I'm like, really? It's a small world. Seriously. Like you wouldn't wanna have a friend over here that you can visit or like have a connection with? They literally ended the friendship.

[00:08:34] MATT: Right. And it's, it's so bizarre in this day and

[00:08:37] MATT: age where, you know, we're so global, we're so global, communications are so global, and we're able to video chat, phone; we can literally text anybody any second of the day.

[00:08:50] MATT: But even video chat, we figured out how to overcome most of the barriers There.

[00:08:54] FAWN: Is. Like

[00:08:55] FAWN: what you say, we offend or people get offended because they feel like you're insulting their way

[00:09:02] FAWN: of life,

[00:09:03] FAWN: right.

[00:09:03] MATT: But that's us moving out of a peer group. That's how they perceive it. And in point of fact, that's kind of how we're wired to perceive it.

[00:09:12] MATT: Because we're used to having a peer group. We can physically be present with our Elks Lodge, our boy scout t troop, our high school class, our, you know, fill in whatever blanks you want there.

[00:09:25] FAWN: So what do

[00:09:26] FAWN: you think the deal is? Why, why do people try to block you?

[00:09:31] MATT: Great, great question. If you ask anybody, and I mean anybody, how do you compare yourself in gen?

[00:09:40] MATT: And you say in general, which isn't a fair statement because people always kind of think about their peer groups, they don't think about the world. But if you ask everybody, you know, how good of a driver are you or how good looking are, do you think you are? Or, or, or, the most common answer is,

[00:09:59] FAWN: Above

[00:09:59] FAWN: average.

[00:09:59] MATT: Exactly

[00:10:01] FAWN: . It's like that documentary we saw 20 something years ago. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. It's "People Like Us".

[00:10:06] MATT: It circles around that

[00:10:07] MATT: exact same drain. Absolutely.

[00:10:08] FAWN: So we saw this documentary that was done by these guys. I think they were from New Jersey or something, or maybe it was Brooklyn East Coasty thing. Yeah.

[00:10:16] FAWN: They, these two men did this documentary. and then recently, somewhat recently, there was a movie called the same title. It's not that this was, this was a documentary that was done. We saw it on PBS or something, didn't we? Yeah.

[00:10:31] MATT: And then we had to track it down.

[00:10:32] FAWN: Yeah, we had to track it. We bought it. We'd like tracked down the creators of it because we were so impressed by their work.

[00:10:39] FAWN: We bought a DVD back then. Um, but it was called People Like Us and it was about the social class system in the United Sates. It was mind blowing.

[00:10:50] MATT: They went to Appalachia, they went to Jack and Jill Club. They went to, they covered upper

[00:10:56] FAWN: class, they went, they covered things that I, I wasn't even aware of that existed in our culture.

[00:11:03] FAWN: Right. It was fascinating. But what everyone had in common was, well, not everyone, but those truly affluent people. What everyone else had in common was they always thought they were of a higher class than they actually were. Well,

[00:11:21] MATT: and they, they always felt they were above average inside of that class.

[00:11:25] FAWN: Like above average beauty of above average intelligence above average. Uh, financially

[00:11:33] MATT: until, until you got to like the really wealthy, and they would always say they were middle class. Isn't that interesting? Or upper middle? That's as high as people would generally go. But

[00:11:42] FAWN: like remember, they were showing this one kid who lived out of a trailer.

[00:11:47] FAWN: Was it, was he from the Appalachian? Appalachia

[00:11:50] MATT: Mountains. I don't think that was the Appalachia piece.

[00:11:53] FAWN: Um, he was basically living in total poverty, no running water, no electricity. He lived in a decrepit, like broken down, um, what do you call those things? It was a trailer. A trailer, and he barely had teeth.

[00:12:10] FAWN: He was a young guy and he said he was middle class, right. anyway,

[00:12:17] MATT: but that's just it. We perceive ourselves to be a little bit better than the average person in our peer group. And so when somebody leaves our peer group or starts to assert that they're quote unquote "better than us", and where it gets fascinating is he took a look at two facets of peer groups, which is people's opinions and people's abilities.

[00:12:39] MATT: And unfortunately for, for you, If you know, you're, you're grouped together by abilities and it's, it's all about how fast you can run a mile. That's an objective measure. You can absolutely say who's faster than you and who's not. So that's, there's a comfort there. But we do something similar with opinions.

[00:12:55] MATT: So typically people want to, hang out and associate with people whose opinions are similar to theirs. Welcome to, welcome to the World, welcome to certainly the United States in 2022, 2023. and so when people are moving out of that peer group, you know, their opinions are shifting and that makes people uncomfortable and they wanna drag people back to where they are because that gives them comfort.

[00:13:22] MATT: Because you know this, this is yet someone else who agrees with my opinion.

[00:13:26] FAWN: Mm. Yeah, and it's a protect protection thing, like looking for people of the similar opinion as yours. If you're looking for that right now, I would say I'll speak for myself. If I do seek that out, it's because I'm looking for comfort in numbers, right?

[00:13:46] FAWN: Because I don't, I'm, you know, I'm tired of running into, um, racist, antisemitic people out there, and I know if I, if I meet someone of a certain political belief, if I meet someone who has a certain political belief that is similar to mine, that it's safer for me because I know chances are they're not a Nazi, they're not a neo-Nazi, that they're not whatever, go down the list of things that I think is dangerous towards me.

[00:14:26] FAWN: Right. So, yeah. I mean, I, I want to therefore be around people with similar opinions

[00:14:36] MATT: and Right. And yet you even, you'll, you'll have issues with people who are kind of soundly. I, I suppose, in the middle.

[00:14:45] FAWN: I think we've gotten to a place where if you are in the middle, for me, it's a deal breaker. I can't handle it in the middle.

[00:14:52] FAWN: Yeah, in the middle is a deal breaker for me because like yeah, in the middle. Well, so you can't decide if this Nazi is good or

[00:15:01] MATT: not. Well, maybe you've decided they're not good and you're not voting for them, but you're still a moderate.

[00:15:06] FAWN: But for me, that's a life and death issue. Right. So if you're in the middle about that, you're gonna be in the middle about possibly saving or destroying my life.

[00:15:17] FAWN: I'm

[00:15:17] MATT: just, I'm just talking about a moderate now I'm not talking about someone who's like tilting one way or the other. I'm just talking about somebody who, I don't know, maybe they have a, a jumble of kind of left wing and right wing kind of thoughts and beliefs.

[00:15:32] FAWN: I think I understand what you're saying, but what I'm saying is if I feel so threatened, That if this person isn't on board with me a hundred percent, then I don't want that person in my circle.

[00:15:44] MATT: And there you go. And that's how we tend to arrange ourselves in social groups. Right, right. Yeah. That's And, and in point of fact, and there you go. That's another thing he found in like 1954, he's doing this stuff and, you know, we haven't evolved really from here at all, but he figured out, I mean, here here's the word, divergent.

[00:16:05] MATT: If you're too divergent, he discovered, that's it. You're out, you're out of the group. Or people in that group won't even want to talk to you, which is exactly what you're describing.

[00:16:16] FAWN: Hmm. It happens in business too. At the office. I was divergent. Mm-hmm. and asked to leave. It seemed like a lot .

[00:16:25] MATT: And there you go. And, and there are ways of being convergent.

[00:16:29] FAWN: What's that?

[00:16:29] MATT: Well, like I remember one of the things that. Made people think very well of me is when I joined the football pool at work, particularly because I didn't do as well as maybe I should have, I was below average in it, which made everybody feel good, who was part of that social group, except for me, of course, cuz I sucked.

[00:16:48] MATT: But hey,

[00:16:51] FAWN: do you see a, do you personally think that there's a way out of

[00:16:55] MATT: this? This is how we're wired and we just need to understand that this is, this is where we are. But where, where the problem that I was coming to it from is where we kind of started, which is where we have this nasty habit of, let's say, finding an influencer because they make funny videos or they say things that I agree with and comparing ourselves to this person who's living this carefully curated perfect Facebook life.

[00:17:23] MATT: You know what that

[00:17:24] FAWN: reminds me? Can I interrupt or do you Yeah, feel free. Okay. So this reminds me of the person that you turned me onto years ago. Guy Kawasaki. Ah, guy. Guy Kawasaki. And this one book that you shared with me way back then, one of his books was, um, the Art of the Start. Yep. Is that what what it was?

[00:17:45] FAWN: Mm-hmm. . And it was when the minis were coming in, remember those minis, the cars, they, they redid the mini. Like the old school minis and then everyone started driving the minis and he was saying, take a good look at who's driving these minis, because it seemed like such a young car. A young hip car that you know, like the kids would buy it, but he's like, take a look at who's driving the minis, guaranted

[00:18:17] FAWN: in almost all the cases, the driver will be a white-haired person, meaning an old person. And he was right as soon as I read that and I looked, every owner of a mini that I saw had white, gray hair, right? And what he was saying was that, advertisers sell down. They sell youth, right? So, They want something to sell to the older crowd,

[00:18:46] FAWN: they make it seem like it's being sold to the kids. So and so. It's true. And, and what you were pointing out was, well, the kids can't afford that car.

[00:18:59] MATT: Right. Absolutely not.

[00:19:00] FAWN: Well, back then, the kids, kids couldn't afford it. Right? Right. And so it kind of makes me think of that in that these influencers that we see that seem like they're so like us, if you look, they're living in huge, beautiful mansions, like really expensive houses.

[00:19:20] MATT: Right? But you gotta pay attention and you have to be consciously, objectively meaning, uh, logically thinking it through versus emotionally. And they're tugging at your emotions all the time.

[00:19:31] FAWN: Yeah. But once you look at it, you can't ever unlook, you can't ever turn back from it. It. Years ago when we really took a look at the shows we were watching on TV or movies, you know, like, uh, remember the show Friends?

[00:19:47] FAWN: Nobody could afford that kind of apartment in New York City. And then as soon as one person mentioned it, everybody's like, Oh my God. That's right. No how in the world and yeah, in the show they said whatever was handed down because of her grandmother, but their lifestyle. But you look at all their movies, when you look at movies in general, they're always living in this beautiful, huge place, even when they're dirt poor and just, you know, it makes you relate, but at the same time, you're striving to be this and it's, it's.

[00:20:24] FAWN: It kind of leaves you feeling sad and stuck that you're never going to achieve it. It's like you're never going, ugh. It's like, do you mentioned this to me, Matt years ago, that the dream that it's impossible. Okay, I'm gonna say it wrong, Matt, you have to help me out, but like it's impossible to actually live the dream.

[00:20:47] FAWN: Like how they say, oh, you know, um, you, you can, you can build anything you want in America. You can do anything you want. You can achieve any kind of status you want. But truly is that the case?

[00:21:02] MATT: Well, let's, let's be super careful there. Okay. No, but do you remember the

[00:21:06] FAWN: conversation? I, I, could you replay it?

[00:21:08] FAWN: Cause I don't remember the exact words.

[00:21:11] MATT: I said the American dream, by and large is unattainable. That's what I said. Yeah. However, This is the fun part, and this is why people still pursue it. It's not, completely impossible. It's not 0.0% impossible. It's very, very difficult to land it. And the pictures that were fed, which were things, you know, say postwar, boom.

[00:21:38] MATT: Post World War ii. Post World War ii, boom. Yes. The postwar boom. Cause we're at war times and all the rest of it. Yeah. Um, this would've been 1940s, late 1940s, 1950s, early 1960s. You know, you could get a job in a factory and you could afford a multiple bedroom suburban

[00:21:58] FAWN: house. You could afford a washing machine.

[00:22:00] FAWN: You could afford a car. Everybody was into, it was around the world. I remember Canada, we watched this other documentary on food and how Canada was pretty much the same way. Like everybody during the World War II era, were rationing everything, food. Mm-hmm. like mm-hmm. like you, you could only eat certain things.

[00:22:23] FAWN: You could only wear certain things. Everything was rationed. Right. And then all of a sudden that fear was lifted and people were more liberated and then they started celebrating. They could eat whatever they want. They started eating lots of meat, which they couldn't before. They had more luxuries. Yes.

[00:22:44] FAWN: And so more of, more and more of that kept happening. And then from my perspective, I feel like it's when you are starving if you are hungry, if you are left to not have something for a long time or for a time that is very influential on your spirit, you can't ever really get over that. So I think that explains the 1980s and nineties.

[00:23:09] FAWN: The, the excess. The excess right. The access to the access. You know, they, it wasn't enough. Big is never big enough. Nope. Big enough is never big. Right. It was you. You couldn't get enough. It's like when you watch an animal that's been starving and it gets food and it keeps eating and eating and eating and it'll eat itself to death sometimes.

[00:23:34] FAWN: Yes. And I feel like that's what our society, especially in their, in the United States, kind of, that's what happened.

[00:23:41] MATT: Right. And that's. Kind of the conversation we were having at that point was, you know, the, the classic American dream story is not impossible, but it's pretty flippin' difficult and I think it's kind of stayed there to this point because what you, yeah, what you have is you have, you know, the 0.0001% is just getting richer and richer and richer and you know, if I'm working

[00:24:07] MATT: and my spouse is working full time, you know, maybe we're not making ends meet, maybe we're just barely making ends meet. Things start to get super tricky there. And so that's really, that's really the danger. And that's kind of my central point from where I started on this thing is as soon as we start comparing ourselves to a, to a Kardashian or to a, uh, one of these influencers who doesn't have to work for a living because they've already, you know, they have sponsors and they have, I mean, work for a living.

[00:24:37] MATT: A misnomer cuz they're working pretty gosh darn hard to get their influencers and get their free product and get their, you know, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. You know, maybe they got lucky, maybe not. Who knows? And

[00:24:50] FAWN: maybe, maybe they had, um,

[00:24:51] MATT: connections. Maybe they had connections. Maybe they had family money

[00:24:54] MATT: they're not talking about. Maybe, maybe, maybe,

[00:24:56] FAWN: maybe they had to have something to achieve the level of success that they have. And there you go. You feel like, You too can do this

[00:25:04] MATT: and you can't. Well, are you now speaking as somebody's trying to keep them down or trying to keep yourself down or self-limiting or a million other things.

[00:25:12] MATT: And that also feeds into this whole social mm-hmm. comparison theory, which is tricky. Yeah. Because I feel separate then because you want to be above average and maybe,

[00:25:21] FAWN: well, I too would like to get out of the slump financially that I'm in. Right. You know, I would like to succeed in my career, which I've been struggling at, right?

[00:25:31] FAWN: For my entire life, it feels like, you know, and I see these guys doing it and they're like, and then, you know, then they sell packages. Like, you too can do it. Just follow me or go to my workshops and pay this amount and, and I will show you how. And they can't. They don't because they don't.

[00:25:51] FAWN: It's like recipes. Recipes that are given to you by, I don't know, very influential bakers or chefs out there. They'll never give you the exact recipe, so you can never achieve exactly what they're doing. Well,

[00:26:08] MATT: and, and here's the fun part, if we take this baking analogy one more step further, cuz there's a zen saying that you can't step in the same river at the same spot ever.

[00:26:16] MATT: because the water's always flowing. But taking the recipe example, you don't have their oven, you don't have their altitude, you don't have this precise, Brand of flour. You don't have these fresh fruits that were grown in this area. You don't, and it's the same way I think, with a lot of people who would tell you, well, you can replicate my success.

[00:26:37] MATT: Well, the world changes every single day. Mm-hmm. and just because something worked three months ago, or six months ago or a year ago, doesn't mean it's gonna work today. And it just doesn't. And so you, that's why you have. If you're looking at business, and this is a terrible, well, this is a challenging place to get business advice, as it were, but you have to be limber.

[00:27:01] MATT: And that's really, that's really the key.

[00:27:03] FAWN: And I think when I realized years ago, and I've forgotten lately and I just realized it, listening to you, years ago, I told myself, stop looking at fashion magazines . Stop looking at other photographers, just do your own thing. There you go. And I felt so happy when I did that.

[00:27:21] FAWN: I couldn't care less about anybody else and what anyone else was doing. And I knew that the work that I was doing was coming from my own spirit and whatever was guiding me. And there you go, around me. That was happening. Na was happening naturally. And no matter what anyone said about my work, I was confident.

[00:27:39] FAWN: Because it came from my heart and I knew that it came from my own

[00:27:44] MATT: source. Right, right. And honestly, my biggest takeaway from this whole thing was we kind of can't help comparing ourselves to people. We just kind of can't help it. But we need to make sure to compare ourselves both up as well as down. So the people we're more fortunate than, and the people we're less fortunate than to kind of keep ourselves in balance.

[00:28:09] MATT: Cuz if we spend too much time looking either up or down, which is a terrible way of putting things and makes people feel uncomfortable. But if we constantly are comparing ourselves to people who are quote unquote light years above us. We're gonna feel terrible if we keep comparing ourselves only to people who are light years below us

[00:28:27] MATT: whatever that means to you or doesn't mean to you, ultimately, that's still not gonna be very fulfilling for us.

[00:28:32] FAWN: Well, what if you do neither one and just keep focusing on your own self? Well, is that too? And there you go. But is that too, um, what's the word,

[00:28:40] MATT: narcissistic?

[00:28:41] FAWN: No. Oh my god. I was not gonna say that.

[00:28:45] FAWN: No, I was gonna say, is that too introverted?

[00:28:49] MATT: Oh, well, and that's fair too. A narcissist is an introvert on some level. Cause they're always, they're always looking inward at themselves. Oh my God. But anyways, um, no I wouldn't. But I would say that, you know, you are one of the rare breed who can do that. I think most people cannot.

[00:29:04] MATT: We can't help but compare ourselves to others.

[00:29:07] FAWN: Well, I've been pretty miserable lately cuz I have been comparing myself to others. and there you go. But I'm gonna go back. I'm, I'm going back to just doing my own thing. I, I started that actually a couple weeks ago.

[00:29:18] MATT: Fair enough.

[00:29:19] FAWN: But it's hard to get back to that because it's so hard

[00:29:22] FAWN: not to, it's, it's, it's hard to stop looking where you were looking. It's hard to stop looking at the social media. It's, it's hard because it's everywhere now. And, and that's just it. Even if you get off social media, it's still around

[00:29:33] MATT: you. Right? So I think if you're currently finding glee at the misfortunes of others, cuz we're getting an interesting influx of that right now,

[00:29:45] MATT: check yourself. If you're feeling bad because you're looking at other people who are quote unquote, more fortunate than yourself, check yourself. Just, you know, try and figure out a balance in there somewhere of feeling just good about where you're at.

[00:30:00] FAWN: Yeah. And I think the key is to just be quiet and go out to nature.

[00:30:04] FAWN: And if you're not surrounded by nature, at night, looking up at the sky and just letting that take over you and turning off all that noise. Well, that was really good honey. Thanks. Let's continue the conversation and we'll talk to you in a few days. Take care. Again, thank you so much for listening.

[00:30:30] FAWN: Talk to you later. Be well. Bye.