The well known saying:
“Comparison is the thief of joy” is true. You will either feel superior when you are better off than some and inferior when you are worse off than others. Neither is a good place to be. How we feel about ourselves should not be based on where we stand in relation to others. We should not be using others as our yardstick because then we risk the danger of making them our idol.
As a teenager, around 15 I had a friend who I idolised. She was confident, pretty, popular, academic and creative – basically everything I was not. I would watch the way she spoke to peers with ease whilst I struggled socially, generally preferring to speak to people on a one to one basis. She knew how to push herself forward and remain visible whilst I stayed very much in the background. I tried to become more outgoing and it lasted all of a week. I did not know it then but I was an introvert, preferring solitude and a lot of time alone to gather my thoughts. I was also ridiculously shy. I cannot remember exactly when but it may have been the first year of college when I stopped comparing myself with this friend. I stopped beating myself up that I was not more like her and began to accept myself. Making new friends at college also helped.
Unless we are very close to someone, we only see what they present whether in person or on social media. People still hold back on parts of their lives they do not wish to share (me included) and this is fine. It would therefore be naive of us to believe we know the ins and outs of someone’s life when really we only see snippets here and there and rarely the whole picture.
Comparing ourselves with others brings no benefit. Admiring others who inspire us is healthy but going on to weigh up their life with yours is unhealthy and will lead to discontentment. Resentment can trickle in unbeknown to the other person who is busy getting on with their life as should you
What are your views and experiences of comparison?