Why You Shouldn’t Compare Yourself To Others

Competitive business couple

Have you ever fallen into the dangerous trap of comparing yourself to other people? It is never a good idea. Perhaps the function of these comparisons is to give you some sense of perspective. Looking at other people’s lives can give you a reference point for your own, but this is as far as you should take it. Too often people make comparisons in a way that is damaging, and which fails to recognize the prevailing uniqueness in everybody.

No two people are the same, and this should be celebrated. Everything is a matter of perspective, and furthermore you rarely know the full picture of what is going on in someone else’s life. You may think you can compare someone’s relationship to your own, but you don’t know their backstory, their hardships, how they are in private, or any other number of details. Your comparison is false aswell as stupid.

The Two Outcomes Of Making Bad Comparisons

If you find yourself thinking along the lines of, “is she more beautiful than me?”, or “he has a better job than me”, or “his relationship is definitely not as good as mine” then you are making a dangerous comparison. Comparing yourself to others in this way can only lead to two outcomes, both of them negative:

The first outcome of such a comparison is a type of jealousy. If you make a comparison and decide that someone is further ahead in the game than you, or that they have more, are more successful, or have better relationships, than you are saying that their situation is better than yours. You can quickly become bitter, and this bitterness can become jealousy, which is the outward display of wanting what somebody else has.

The second type of outcome when you compare yourself to others is the opposite of jealousy, though it is another form of the same bitter emotion. If you make a comparison and decide that you are better off, more beautiful, more intelligent, and have better relationships, then you are likely to belittle the other person, and to become arrogant. Arrogance happens when you think that you are better than other people.

Live A Happier Life Without Comparing Yourself To Others

Both of these outcomes can be avoided by ridding yourself of the need to compare yourself and your own life to that of others. There are at least two ways to stop yourself from making these comparisons:

The first is to become comfortable in yourself and your life. This is the realization that you are unique, and it is your right to live how you want to live. The more you can do this independently of what anyone else thinks, and the more you can do this without making constant comparisons to other people, the happier and more comfortable you become. The cycle perpetuates; the more secure in yourself you are, the less your need to compare yourself to others.

The second is to notice that everyone else has their own strengths and weaknesses, and that everyone else has their own way of living life. It is the realization that everyone else is also unique, and that they have the right to live how they want to, dress how they want to, believe what they want to, and so on. Our differences should be a cause for celebration; it is great to recognize them, and to be intrigued and inspired by them. Be happy with how other people choose to live, and with your own choices.

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