Comparing with others

Why do we dream?

   How many times does it happen for us to feel good about something and after that we’re comparing ourselves with someone else and our mood turns to sh*t? How about someone else does that comparison and again, our mood turns to sh*t?

   When I was a kid and I came home with a high grade at something, my mother always asked me who else took that grade and who took a higher grade. Because I was always compared with other people, I wanted to be the best at everything… and so I was, until I left to college. Slowly, I got rid of that grade comparison because I realized it means nothing to me, but it doesn’t mean that others did the same. I got compared all the time with other people.

   I think that we keep comparing ourselves with other people because it comes natural. If we don’t know who and what we are from inside, we need to be defined from outside. The question is: are we using the right terms for this comparison? Also, are we comparing with others to learn and get better?

   Most of the time we’re comparing to other people based on our standards and that is the biggest problem. When we’re feeling a little blue, we’re using extremely high standards and that comparison can make us feel worse because we have the mindset of searching negative things. When we feel good, we’re lowering our standards. That’s when we’re grateful for whatever we have. That’s when we realize that we could be a lot worse than we actually are.

   Sometimes we’re creating something to compare even when it’s not the case. We got a new phone? Let’s check what phones our friends have. We got a raise? Let’s check what salaries our acquaintances have. We’re not necessarily going to say something about that, but it’s an internal process we might have from time to time.

   In my opinion, comparison can be used as a way to create some motivation. If we want to be the best at something, it might be useful to compare our results with people that currently are the best so we can improve our process, but I don’t recommend it. Since we are all unique based on our unique experiences, we have unique ways to live and because of this, it might be useless to compare with other people to define our lives, so the best comparison we would need to make is with ourselves. If today we’re even a little better compared with yesterday, I say it’s a win.

   How often do you compare with other people and why do you do it?

30 thoughts on “Comparing with others

  1. I’ve found that I do it with just about everything. I had the same issue – being compared to other kids, measured by their accomplishments, never really knowing my own self-worth. As a very random, but applicable, example, I find myself comparing myself to others at the gym. I think, I have to keep up with the instructor like these women twice my age, I can’t be the first to break and get water. But then I have to remember, I’m at the gym for me and my own self-image. Plus, if I don’t take breaks when I’M ready, I’ll pass out from heat or an asthma attack!

  2. I’ve come to the point that I honestly don’t do much comparison. I was blessed to have grandparents and great aunts and uncles who kept me grounded. I’m surrounded by people who think they have to have what someone else does. Constant comparison. So what if their house is bigger? At least I have a home with a roof. I guess my comparison is opposite. When I see others with less, I am overwhelmed with gratitude at what I do have.

  3. I’m sorry to hear you had such a tough mother. What a horrible way to raise a child. No offense but that put you on a bad path.

    I used to compare all the time. Usually it was to other women. I couldn’t even walk past a halfway decent looking woman without feeling like I was nothing. It didn’t have anything to do with them but how I was taught to believe I was nothing.

    1. I grew up with the sense that whatever I did wasn’t enough, but it’s ok. Have you overcome that misbelieve of being nothing?

      1. That’s a real shame because even when you are awesome you might not know if nothing is ever enough.

        It was a long hard road, but I know I am not the POS people told me I was. I started seeing the real me a couple of years ago and I got really mad because I realized I was amazing, I was kind and cute, and everyone told me I was garbage. I realize now that because they didn’t feel good about themselves they took it out on me. And it wasn’t just one person. I had dozens of people treat me that way. Knowing they were wrong and being able to see my awesomeness helped me believe it.

      2. Most of the time people are acting like sh*t with other people because they have some internal issues.

  4. The only comparison exist is between “past You” and the “present you” 😊 we are all unique..
    Nice post. I can connect to it. 🙂 And for the question.. haven’t compared myself to anything since 3 years 😊

    1. I totally agree with that! If we’re comparing ourselves with “past us” we can see if we evolved or not. In my opinion, we should be better each day and we can “know” that if we have as a reference our past state.

  5. I had this conversation with a friend today about why we always find ourselves comparing in a negative way. I can be completely thrilled for a friend’s achievements though in the same breath it can make me feel like a total failure!

  6. I have often compared myself with others in terms of “life progress”–I thought I should be at a higher “level” in life like my friends and acquaintances of the same age were, such as getting married, getting good jobs, living out their purpose, etc. But recently I have been learning that my progress doesn’t have to look like theirs to be successful. Even if no one ever believes I’m a “success story” or a “good adult,” I know I’m doing well just to be alive and overcoming things each day.

    1. That’s so true! As long as we all had different past, it’s natural that we all should have different future.

  7. I try not to compare myself to others, but when I do, it’s in the area of weight. This is a residual from childhood, when my dad instilled the idea in me that nothing is worse than being fat. Fat was a bad word in our house. And was discussed often. Now, in my late 30’s and with 3 children, I try to be nice to myself about my appearance. But I still find thoughts creeping in frequently. I’m not the dreaded F-word, but yes I am heavier than I used to be, with a thicker waist. But I try to remind myself that the scale and my waist line aren’t everything. I’m a good mother, a straight A college student, the sole provider for my family. I am a unique person who shouldn’t need to be a size 2 to feel good. But I catch myself looking at other women who are about my age, or older, and comparing myself.

    1. This is tough. I think that whenever we’re catching ourselves comparing with other people, we should immediately counter that thought with one that states a reason why we are great. Doing this frequently could slowly “kill” those comparing thoughts.

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