Who are “The Joneses” & Why do we keep up with them?

Inspiration / Pinterest Therapy Sessions / Self-Improvement

Pinterest Therapy Session - Comparison is the Thief of Joy

“Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It’s cheaper.”     

– Quentin Crisp

Do you know that family – the Joneses?

Maybe they’re your neighbors down the street – in the biggest house, of course. Or maybe you work with size zero Mrs. Jones who seemingly has a different Kate Spade bag for every outfit.

Maybe they keep cluttering up your Facebook feed with “selfies” taken with the Eiffel Tower looming in the background. You know the real Eiffel Tower, not the faux Vegas one. And maybe you’re tired of their humble Twitter brags about how they’re so over Jackson Hole now that everyone else has discovered it.

Yeah, I know the Joneses, too.

But don’t let them get to you.

Theodore Roosevelt (or Teddy, as I like to call him) said it and it’s true:

Comparison is the Thief of Joy.

Baseball supposedly is America’s national pastime, but sometimes it feels like “Keeping up with the Joneses” is truly our favorite pastime. (Watching “Keeping up with Kardashians” may sadly be a close second if Nielsen ratings are to be believed.)

“Keeping up with the Joneses” isn’t a very satisfying past time, though. It leaves us discontented with all the good things we do have. It frames life as competition in which we’re either winners or losers.

If we’re trying to keep up with the Joneses, then happiness will aways be frustratingly just out of our reach – yet another big purchase away. And happiness will always be defined by materialism and conspicuous consumption.

Is it just me or does this sound a little too much like high school? Like high school in 1988?

Don’t let comparison rob you of happiness and contentment.

So, please, ignore the Joneses. They’re probably pretentious little snits anyway. And if we learned anything from the Great Recession recently, it’s that the Joneses are probably underwater on their mortgage and have a zillion dollars in credit card debt.

This is Day Five of The Pinterest Therapy Sessions. Click here to read the rest of the series.

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How do you cope with comparison, that no good thief that wants to steal your joy and happiness? 


  1. Pingback: PINTEREST THERAPY – Day Seven: “To Be Nobody But Yourself…” | The Anonymous Blonde

  2. I refuse to compare. I’m just like, “Hey, my kids are still breathing at the end of the day. Go me!”


  3. Thanks for visiting me and I thought I’d come on by —Love your 31 day topic! I hadn’t seen the quotes you’ve posted but they’re so true! I particularly liked the worry one and this one. I’ll be back : )


  4. This is crazy true. My sister in law sent me a photo of some massive bubbling fountain in front of a mansion as she was dropping her daughter off for a sleepover and was all depressed because she’d been so happy about the little fountain she’d gotten for her garden. I’m with you on the debt thing– When I look at those massive houses all I see is debt and desperation and probably cheating spouses.
    That’s super negative. It’s not everyone for sure, but I’m in no rush to start trading up, I feel pretty lucky (despite my penchant for terrible luck) as it is.


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