Do not allow comparison to steal your joy

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?


11 thoughts on “Do not allow comparison to steal your joy”

  1. Big topic here, Phoenicia. You are so right–comparing ourselves is a total non-winning thing to do. I think we may all have this twinge now and again, but as long as we stop that thought before it gets too far along, it’s all good.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree completely Phoenicia and I don’t think anyone is immune from occasional bouts of envy.
    A little over a year ago I upended my entire life and moved from Maui to Oregon. At the same time, a couple I’ve been close to for decades moved from Long Beach to upscale Palm Springs, CA. Their new house is huge with a pool and a guest house and they joined the local country club. I love them dearly, but there was a day or so I was pretty green when I compared my situation to theirs. There was a time – pre-divorce – when that was my life and now there I was starting over in a cottage in the boonies with all the possessions I had in the world in a stack of boxes in the living room.
    I got over it quickly enough and fell in love with my new life, but it’s a good reminder that comparing ourselves to others, especially those we care about, never amounts to anything worthwhile. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So agree. After years competing in endurance sports I have found this to be true. Ultimately the race is a shared experience and everyone is doing the best they can. It is one of the things that I like about the endurance sport community that they are supportive of each others performance regardless. I went to a triathlon last week and they gave an award for the last place finisher. It takes guts to finish last. She got more applause than the winners but we were all winners, weren’t we?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, credit should be given for taking part alone. I too woyld struggle to continue in a race when it is clear I am going to come last. In fact this happened when at a high school sports day. I was a fast runner, quite competitive and I was placed with a group of girls who could not care less. We obviously did not win and I was in a strop for the remainder of the day!


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