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Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Category: 

Lifestyle Improvement

Posted On: Jun 30, 2015

stop comparing yourself blog

It is engrained in human nature that we look to our peers to see how we’re doing in relation to them. Whether the comparisons involve financial success or relationships, everyone looks at themselves through the lens of other people’s experiences from time to time. And while a little competition might be healthy and motivational, it’s not a good idea to be constantly keeping score between yourself and others. But it can be tricky to look at someone else’s success and not think for a moment “why can’t I be doing that?” Here are a few tips on how to avoid falling into the trap of comparative behavior.

  1. Take social media with a (large) grain of salt. When you scroll through your Facebook feed, you typically see tons of photos of friends on vacation, at happy family outings, and out playing with their cute children. If you’re feeling down, seeing all of these other people living happy lives can make you feel even more miserable and inadequate. But remember: your friends are choosing what to post on their social media. They’re curating their page with all of the happy moments in their lives. Nobody (well, almost nobody) is going to post a photo of themselves having a petty argument with their significant other or being kept awake all night by that adorable but colicky baby. Enjoy your friends’ vacation pictures, but take social media for what it is—just a tiny snapshot of only what others want you to see.
  2. Analyze your comparative behavior. Rather than try to stop this type of behavior altogether, try to figure out why you’re comparing yourself to others and what you get out of it. Do you compare yourself to people who are your peers or people who are seemingly inferior or superior to you? Why do you think that they are inferior or superior? Asking yourself these questions can help you find the root cause of this behavior. Also take note of whether you are comparing yourself to someone whose qualities you admire and want to emulate, or if you are having envious feelings about someone’s success or material possessions.

stop comparing yourself image

  1. Identify your unique qualities. Focus on all of the things that make you unique from others and make a list. Be sure that you’re listing positive things about yourself, and don’t fall into the trap of using comparisons to others to list what makes you unique (e.g. “I’m tall. Taller than Brian, even.”) We hear so often about how we’re all special that the idea begins to lose all meaning. But it’s true—there are so many elements that go into shaping a personality that it’s simply impossible for two people to be exactly alike. Accept the fact that you’re different from others because everybody is different.
  2. Identify things that you can control. Comparing yourself to the friend that just inherited a small fortune isn’t helpful. In other words, don’t focus on other people’s successes that are beyond anyone’s control. Instead, think about what you discovered when you were analyzing your comparative behavior and look at the things you have control over to make positive changes.