Comparing ourselves to others is an inevitable human trait. You are always comparing people and things in your everyday life.
You are always comparing the beauty of people you see on the street. Comparing cars that pass you by, Comparing houses you pass by and comparing the appearance of people you meet and you make a conclusion from which you make a choice
For example, when you compare beauty between two people, you will choose the one you perceive attractive to be your friend or when you compare houses, you will decide which one to buy
And that’s okay; the problem starts when you compare your beauty to other people’s beauty or when you compare other people’s houses to your house
Why you should not compare yourself to others
Of course, the effects of comparing yourself to others can be both good and bad though in this case there are more disadvantages of comparing yourself to others than advantages
The following is what is likely to happen when you compare yourself to others and perhaps the reason why it’s discouraged most of the time;
You are going to make inconsistent comparative conclusions
For example, just because something worked out for someone else doesn’t necessarily mean or guarantee it will work out for you, for instance just because Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg made a multi-million franchise after dropping out of school that you should also drop out of school
In the same aspect, just because someone failed at something, doesn’t mean you will also fail at it too
The circumstances that led Mark to where he is now may not work for you today even though they might have worked for him then. And still, not everyone that dropped out of school at that time achieved the same level of success as he did
Even when you try to follow his footsteps, you are very less likely to end up in his shoes due to different external and internal circumstances he faced and you may face.
For example, back then there were not many social networks so it was easier to break through with a good idea unlike now when lots of social networks are cropping up every day
So in this instance comparing yourself to Zuckerburg who didn’t go to school and he’s a billionaire to yourself who went to school and you have nothing much to show for it will definitely make you fill like a failure even though the comparison is unfair
This is a good example as to why you should draw comparisons basing on facts in relation to circumstances at hand in your own life. And not compare your life to someone else’s life instead
You also don’t know what someone else went through or is going through to get where they are today, so your comparisons may still not help at all. But at least you have factual information about yourself, so comparing your self to your former self is good
Like if you where once an alcohol addict and now you are not, now that’s a very good useful achievement to compare yourself against your former self with
You will elevate someone’s strengths against your weaknesses
The sad bit about comparing yourself to others is you tend to see only the good things about them and compare them with the bad things about you even if they are unrelated
So instead of comparing strength against strength, you are very much likely to compare strength against weakness
And even if something is not really bad, you will see the bad in it or you will tend to see it as too bad
For example, if you compare yourself to a basketballer in height, you are going to appear very short when in reality you are not very short but the person you are comparing yourself to makes you appear short
This will, in turn, affect your confidence and lead to low self-esteem or even jealous and envy because you don’t have what the other person has
This will also make you feel bad about yourself
You will look for the bad things about others
In other instances, you will realize you are better than the person you are comparing yourself with, for example, if you have a good job and someone is not employed
The chances are, you are likely going to look down on them and treat them badly after getting a feel-good experience that you are actually better
You might also not even help those whom you feel are below you in status because you fear they might get better than you and you end up with unnecessary insecurity
Actually you might also end up being that nagging person who is always bragging about what they have among people who don’t have it
On the contrary, this could be a benefit of comparing yourself to others in that you will realize how fortunate you are to have what you have and then develop empathy towards others or even more help others get better
Why you should compare yourself to others
The subheading could have also read the advantages of comparing yourself to others because comparing yourself to others is not entirely a bad thing, but how, when and why people do it is what makes it bad
This section shows you that there is a good side of comparing yourself to others that you can use to your advantage to benefit you
Even though in this article we have given you tips on how to stop comparing yourself to others much as it’s a human thing but we are going to show you how to do it because there is a good in it
It’s impossible not compare ourselves to others because we naturally designed to draw comparisons between everything
For example, how will you know if you are rich if you are not comparing yourself to others or how will you know you are tall unless you compare yourself to someone else?
So comparing yourself to others will not necessarily stop but how and why you do it is what matters
Consider the circumstances that made someone get something. For example, someone might have a car at 15 years because he comes from a rich family and he’s parents bought it for him well as you come from a poor one so it won’t come easily
This already unfair comparison and you will just end up feeling bad for yourself when actually nothing is wrong because the comparison you are drawing is out of your control.
Besides if you had rich parents they would buy it for you too
Of course, there instances someone might have worked to get the car but what lead him to get the job to raise enough money to get the car.
He could say he applied for the job. Interestingly you can also apply for the job so comparing yourself to another person pays off, which makes it not all that bad
But that’s not how life works as there are no guarantees on anything
On the other hand, you could also apply & get rejected, well that’s also a good thing too because when you try to find out why you got rejected.
It will help you work on yourself by fixing the reason you got rejected so that you are not rejected again which is a good reason to compare yourself to others
In this way of comparing yourself, you look for something that someone has that you don’t have and then you try to acquire it too.
In this comparison aspect, it also makes you curious why someone has something whilst you don’t when you could all be having the same resources at hand
This is when you consider what some is doing that you are not and you do it so that you may attain what they have which in most cases is a good thing
Another example would be if someone has more friends than you do. The chances are high something is too wrong or too right
For example someone might have more friends than you because they are rich, but are they really friends or they are all after money
And you could have 2 friends that are priceless, which is worth more than 100 fake friends
But assuming it’s not money, and it’s because he’s kind to everyone, when you find how he does it, and you also put it in practice so that you can get more friends than you already do
The good advantage of this, is you will not settle for less by just comparing yourself to your yesterday
This also a good way of learning because if you already knew, you would have already done what you competitor did and get what he has
Of course this comes with negativeness like unnecessary competition that could spin out of control.
Even jealous, envy and hatred can result from this especially when you realize that you can’t have what someone else has or depression when you try to have it and fail
How you should compare yourself to others
Don’t compare yourself to anyone, But compare yourself with who you where yesterday
This is the best type of comparison we would recommend and what everyone should follow
A good example would be if you were earning 1000 dollars from your work every year, and this year you are earning 2000 dollars
That’s 100% increase and it’s really good progress.
But if you compare yourself to another person that was earning 100 dollars last year and this year they are earning 10000 dollars then, that comparison shows you are failing
Because this person has earned more than you were earning and now they are better than you which will make you feel bad
But when in reality you also improved though not as much as this person did. This could also make you drop the strategy that helped you make a 100% increase and you adopt another person’s strategy when actually yours was already good enough considering the results before and after
How to stop comparing yourself to others
Here are 6 practical tips you can follow to help you stop comparing yourself to others;
1. Someone can’t be you and you can’t be someone else
You should always have this at the back of your mind to avoid comparing yourself to others;
“Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be younger, someone will always be smarter but someone will never be you”
There is always going to be every single version of a person and we are not designed to be the same, some people are left-handed well as others are right-handed. Some people are tall well as others are short let alone some differences being genetic and out of your control
If you try to be someone else you are going to lose yourself in that person by trying to be them and avoiding being yourself
So you have to accept you are complete the way you are and you don’t need to be anyone else
2. You should wake up from social media fantasy
When was the last time you went to a friend or family member’s social media account and you saw them posting something bad happening in their lives?
Is it a coincidence that they are actually no one is having anything bad happening in their lives on social media?
Social media has turned into a place where people post only the good things happening in their lives and hiding the bad ones
“Don’t compare your behind the scenes to someone’s highlight reel”
You will end up comparing the bad things you are experiencing in life with the good things someone is showcasing on social media which will, in turn, make you feel bad or a failure
3. Be grateful for what you have?
One source of unhappiness is not necessarily lacking something but also not being content with the little you have
“Half a loaf is better than no bread”
You will always be happy and grateful for the little you have until you start comparing yourself to others and that’s when you will realize what you have is not enough
While before the comparisons to others you were contented with the way life was
4. Avoid situations that make you always compare yourself to others
This could be quite hard but do it when you can, for example, you may not want to compare yourself to your classmates academically but your teachers are always going to it
And consciously you will do it too even if you didn’t want because the thought of comparing yourself to other students has been implanted in your mind
But if there is no one to make you do comparisons, then you can avoid circumstances that lead to it.
Like you can avoid a friend who is constantly bragging about their success or avoid going to place like a 5-star shopping mall where you literary can’t afford anything which would make you feel discontented with your life
5. Find what you actually compare yourself with other people and do something about it
It’s hard not to compare yourself to others and it can turn into some obsessive habit that can destroy your happiness
Find out if you can do something about it and do it so that you can be at peace with your inner self and stop the comparisons
Keeping on avoiding the comparisons may lead to regret later when you realize you could have attained something had you tried
This is more like “Try and fail but don’t fail to try”
And if you can’t then let it go because it’s out of your control, had it been within your control you would have fixed it,
“If you can do something about it why worry and if you can’t do anything about it why worry either”?
6. Avoid unnecessary competitions
When you compare yourself to someone, you indirectly start a competition with someone, and in this case, positive and negative comparisons are definitely going to be drawn in
Unlike in sports where you have to find your competitors strength and find a solution to them whilst taking advantage of their weaknesses
In life you are not competing with anyone apart from yourself, you should always compare yourself to your former self and who you are today not someone else because you are likely to look at their strengths against your weakness which will definitely have a negative effect on you
And when you compete with yourself in life you motivate yourself to get better than you were yesterday
Even though we naturally can’t stop comparing ourselves to others, we can avoid it
And if you cant, you should always do it in the sense of making yourself better and also help those around you but not in the sense of trying to draw superiority between you and others or trying to pull others down just because they are better than you
Instead, we should seek help from those better than us and also help those whom we are better than in life while also using comparisons as a motivator to achieve something