We need to tone down our ‘first world problems’

I was standing in Waitrose the other day, about to treat myself to this insanely good pine nut and pesto pasta they do and I sauntered over to the lunch shelves and guess what- THEY DIDN’T HAVE IT. Well, lost the plot didn’t I. I walked further than necessary, on my lunch, to go to flipping Waitrose and it’s raining a tiny bit and they don’t even have it and now I’ll have to get another lunch that I hadn’t planned on. Why do these things happen to me? Oh and do you want to know the icing on the terrible cake? Do you? They didn’t have any Blood Orange San Pellegrino.

How the hell do you a rescue a day after injustices on that scale? Livid.

That Waitrose scenario upset me in a big way. I got angry. I started to grind my teeth and got annoyed and didn’t enjoy whatever other salady/grainy/seedy lunch I opted for during my blind rage. Then I stomped back towards the office and treated myself to a Starbucks because I had a hard time and hey, I deserved it. I then strolled back to work and flopped down in the kitchen and told my friend via whatsapp about my misfortune. We then went on to discuss how annoying it is that we can’t have iphone 6 work phones instead of 5s models from our respective work places.

Charming, right?

Stuff like this makes me feel like a terrible, horrible, bad person. Like I should be removed- but it’s not like I’m alone. Writing down how upset and angry and hard done by Waitrose not having some pasta made me feel makes it seem even worse. Reading back my own futile temper tantrum over something so ridiculous- what a waste of energy.

I mean, it’s highly likely there was another contributing factor on that fateful day. I doubt it was just the pasta. In fact I know there was something else on my mind that day (not for this post), putting me in a horrible mood, but still. What on earth am I getting so upset about not getting the expensive lunch option I wanted from the nice, swish mini-supermarket up the road from my big Central London office? Jumping down from my high and mighty pedestal I actually started seriously thinking about this ‘first world problems’ culture we have going on. You only have to turn on the news to realise that the world is not in good shape and you’ve got it okay.

So then I started to type this out (I put it on the back burner for a while because I was busy coughing my guts and stuff for a couple of weeks), and I started taking mental notes of the all first world problems I heard in conversations.

“But if I go to Bali for only 10 days I probably won’t make it to the three day yoga course my friend did last year because I want at least three beach days too. We don’t get anywhere near enough leave over Christmas it’s ridiculous. It should be changed.” First world problems.

“They only had the candle in copper and I’m not redesigning the dining room. I nearly complained but the queue was long.” First world problems.

“He didn’t get the right blusher. Imagine spending £60 on the wrong blusher and having to face the Christmas queues to change it. I don’t get why people can’t just do things right. I wanted to use it before Christmas.” GOD IMAGINE THAT. First world problems.

You catch my drift. I could go on forever. The ‘first world problems’ just keep on coming and I know I’m just as bad as anyone. It’s become a whole thing to actually mention our ‘privilege’ and quote ‘first world problems’ while getting upset or angry when we can’t have what we want or one of our luxuries lets us down. I’m not saying people aren’t grateful, I think I actually know very few people I would refer to as being genuinely ‘spoilt’, but it wouldn’t kill us to count our blessings a little more often. Getting in a rage over stuff that matters so little, (or not at all) in the grand scheme of life, is not attractive. It’s not what we should aspire to. Yeah it might make for a funny tweet or a witty comment to your friends- but it’s time to tone it down I think.

Everyone has their stuff going on and it’s highly likely every one of us is being eaten away quietly by something. We all suffer and we all go through stuff, but on the whole I know myself and the people who will read this are lucky. We’re really, very lucky people. We have more than many and we should take some time out in 2016 to remember that and let the luck wash over us a bit. Kinda like a soul cleansing, without sounding too wanky and insufferable (not that i really know what ‘soul cleansing’ means.)

It’s refreshing to sometimes put ‘problems’ into perspective and realise your raging temper or bad mood are all there for nothing. Also it would be quite refreshing to hear a little gratitude for the nice lives we lead and have the chance to build on, even when we do feel like the world is against us and everything is going wrong. Probably a lot healthier for our wellbeing too- something that definitely needs to be looked after.

10 thoughts on “We need to tone down our ‘first world problems’

  1. This is such a great point and very well made (didn’t mean to sound like an English teacher there, promise). I loved reading the starbucks reward bit – glad I’m not the only one to think like that! Hannah xx


  2. I’m the worst for stressing about FWPs but really, they’re not even a problem. We live in a society where we feel so entitled to the best that we forget that a luxury is just that – not something we need, simply something we want and are used to having. Fantastic post 🙂 xx


  3. Very good post. When everything happened in France with the terror attacks, it really seriously put everything into perspective for me and since, I have found myself worrying about the little, ‘First World Problems’ so much less. I am much more content with just the very simple everyday things and focus much more on relationships with people. It can be easy to start complaining about little things but we really do just need to put things into perspective and be happy for what we have. You never know when everything could be taken away!

    Sarah xxx http://www.whatsasssays.com


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