Written By Alanna Gardner, MFT
One of the greatest struggles anyone can have is comparing themselves to someone else. I know it’s something that I’ve dealt with when I was teen but now that I’m older the only thing that’s changed is the ‘what’ and ‘who’ I’m comparing myself to. Whether it was my career, opportunities or relationship; I was trying to measure myself to someone else’s standards and I always felt worse after I did. I can say that it’s human nature to compete or measure yourself against your peers but doing so can be down right unhealthy. Especially if you always find yourself never being good enough. Here are four things that people compare about themselves to others & four reasons why you should stop:
1. Your Looks
You would think that since we’ve all gone through our awkward adolescence phase that we would be over comparing our physical attributes but alas this is not the case. We live in a society where you have to be damn near perfect to be deemed attractive and you’re value is measured in Facebook Likes and IG followers. But lets face it, most of us don’t look like Victoria’s Secret Models or have perfectly cut bodies. The energy you’re using comparing yourself can be focused on improving what you have an issue with or better yet, appreciating the physical differences that make you uniquely you.
2. Your Insane Family
Everyone’s family is a little bit (or a lotta bit) crazy and that’s okay. You can’t compare your family to someone else’s because without them, regardless of the circumstances, you wouldn’t be who you are. You needed your family and all of the bullsh*t that comes with them to be the person you are today. Be happy, learn from your family, keep what you like and change what you don’t.
3. Your Career
I think this is a big one for many of us quarter-lifers. We’ve all had some sort of expectation for what we would be doing with our lives, with some of us having that expectation since we were in elementary school. For those of us who have not gone those expected routes, it can be easy for us to think “Damn why am I not where so and so is with their career?” or “I thought I’d be more established by now.” It’s tough having to deal with shattered dreams of who you thought you’d be and how much money you thought you’d be making but understand that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes things fall apart for better things to come together and taking the time to really focus on your passions and what you really want to do will make you happier and satisfied professionally in the long run.
4. Your Relationships
This by far has to be the at the TOP of the list of things we compare ourselves to others about. Relationships with friends, family, and specifically romantic partners really are a sore spot in the comparison category. We see people who are getting the love we want and start to look at how our relationship measures up. “How come we don’t have as much PDA as they do?” “Why are they spending so much time together and I don’t even see my partner that much?” or the dreaded “THEY ARE ENGAGED/MARRIED BEFORE ME. I MUST BE DAMAGED GOODS” line. Please. Do yourself a favor and stop it. Now. Comparing your relationship is the fastest way to missing out on being happy and appreciative of what you have with the ones you love now. Anyone can make their relationship appear a certain way thanks again to social media, but you never know what is really going on behind the number of picture likes. You could be admiring something that is easily attainable for yourself by communicating better with your loved one about your wants and needs.
The truth is that there will always be someone out there who is doing better than you’re doing (or so it appears), so why waste your time or energy making yourself feel less than when you could be rejoicing in the journey you’re on and making positive changes to your situation. In the end, the only person you should be comparing yourself to and out doing is you; so focus on bettering yourself so you can be proud of how far you’ve come.