“Grass is Greener” Syndrome

The “Grass is Greener” Syndrome is a very fitting way to describe the constant nagging feeling that there is always something better somewhere else.  Rather than feeling safe and secure in the current space, a person experiencing the syndrome feels that there is more and better in every other space and place around, the anxiety of making the wrong choice to stay put, fears of compromise and commitment turning to oppressive sacrifice.  When experiencing this, the perception is that another space, another place will provide everything wanted, needed, valued, and all the issues that currently plague will fade away.

What’s interesting to me in light of site-specific performance is the transformative power of fantasy and perception.  The space itself doesn’t change .  Perception can be rooted in perfectionism and idealizations that will never be met.   The projection of fantasy image onto a space becomes more prevalent than reality.  Never being able to live up to the standards set, the space always disheartens and disappoints.  How do you view something you already think you know with fresh eyes, letting it be exactly what it is?

As a note “Grass is Greener” Syndrome is a close relative of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out),  which is a newer term added to the dictionary in 2013.  It’s defined as “the uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out – that your peers are doing, in the know about, or in possession of more or something better than you’’.  More specifically, it refers to people who obsessively check social media so they don’t feel out of the loop.  “It drives you to keep running around the digital hamster wheel to feel okay with yourself.”

One way to combat both “Grass is Greener” and FOMO?  Gratitude.

Sources: Psych Central, Time, Coppes

Photo credit and other ways to overcome both: The Balanced Life