Recently, in a meeting with a potential member for my matchmaking service (A+ Introductions, LLC), the discussion turned to the topic of reality TV. She is a big reality TV fan and thinks of it as a guilty pleasure to help wind down at the end of a stressful workday. While I don’t usually watch them, I realize that these shows have a large following with people from all walks of life. There’s something for everyone I guess. Some viewers enjoy watching others attempt to survive the wilderness (perhaps even while naked and afraid!). Some take delight in the “ratchetness” of well-dressed housewives fighting over perceived insults. The big appeal of reality TV seems to be that watching can be a quick escape into a world where the main characters can try or say anything and face very few, if any, consequences. In fact, more outrageous behavior is encouraged.
The lovely woman I was meeting with jokingly mentioned how she was amazed that the people highlighted on “My 600-lb Life” (a reality show about people struggling with morbid obesity) often were married and yet, despite her efforts, she is not. She was intrigued (perhaps even jealous) that she struggles to find The One, while someone that can barely manage to function physically has found and married The One. While I completely understand her confusion, it also brings up a larger issue: Should you really compare your life to anyone else’s? I don’t think so.
Here’s an amazing concept: We are all exceptional in our own way! Each person on this planet –yes, even the people that are seemingly horrible, unattractive and mean– has survived to live another day and to fulfill a purpose. Initially we are often clueless about the wonderful gifts others have to offer. But part of the fun is seeking out the best in each person we meet and figuring out the magic that makes that person unique. In fact, I believe that often people come into our lives to help bring out those rare characteristics we have hidden deep inside.
Believe it or not, you might serve as an inspiration to someone without even realizing it. It could be your voice, your smile, the smell of your perfume or a random act of kindness on a rough day. So, especially for singles hoping to find a mate, don’t be too quick to judge or dismiss someone. Perhaps you will make a lasting impression with just a chance encounter with a stranger. Just as a 600-lb person may capture attention with some qualities (for example, kindness, sense of humor, compassion, intelligence, etc.) that aren’t obvious to a casual observer but are attractive to The One.
So, as you move through the world, rushing to fulfill your non-stop commitments and distracted by all the ever-present technology, be sure to take a moment to notice all the wonderful people you encounter. In fact, make it your goal to take a few minutes each day to process all your interactions with others. Did anyone particularly excite you or catch your attention? Did anyone react in a pleasant way to you? The more present and intentional you are when interacting with others, the more you will begin to see the best in others. And in a matter of time, others will begin to notice everything you have to offer as well.
The “reality” is that comparing yourself to the images in the media is pointless. You don’t have to be a rich and famous housewife, a Survivor, or even a Kardashian to be special. Your talents and true-to-life qualities are more than enough. Focus your energy on making the most of your own reality.