Inspiring Others By Example

When We Compare Ourselves to Other People

All my life, I’ve had a tendency to compare myself with the people around me. As someone who’s suffered with eating disorders, I would find friends or celebrities who are the same height, then try to find out their weight. I did this just to see how I compared to them, and most of the time, this ended in soul-crushing disappointment.

It sometimes doesn’t seem fair. You see how many friends a disrespectful person has, or how beautiful someone who doesn’t work out or wear makeup is. And then there’s you, putting in all your time and effort to have just a fraction of what they do. In the end, you may start believing there’s something wrong with you.

Is it Helpful to Compare Ourselves?

Comparison can encourage us to better ourselves which is positive and helpful. But some things like being rich or tall cannot be achieved easily and discourage us. Becoming obsessed with comparing ourselves can lead to unhappiness, and even hate. Worst of all, jealousy can lead to us bringing others down rather than raising ourselves up.

Obsession with comparison can be crippling. It can paralyze you, making you not want to try new things, or stopping you from getting involved in activities you feel you’re inadequate at. It can also be harmful to our mental health, and shatter our self-esteem.

Remember, you won’t be good at everything, and it’s useless to beat ourselves up over the things we are not. Instead, we should compare ourselves to a former version of our self. Look back a year. Is there something you’ve improved on that you can be proud of? Be at peace with where you are and how far you’ve come. It’s better to use our energy to improve ourselves, and focus on that, than to get caught up on how successful others are.

โ€œComparison with myself brings improvement, comparison with others brings discontent.โ€ -Betty Jamie Chung Click To Tweet

In Conclusion

Sometimes, I still compare myself to others and get worked up over it. I’m much better at picking up on it now, which is an improvement. I compare to other blogs a lot, wondering how they’ve managed to become profitable or drive so much traffic to their site. This gives me the drive to work harder at my blog, but also leads me to grief and exhaustion when I don’t see clear progress. I always have to remind myself that I’ll get there eventually, it just takes time.

There are a couple things I’d like you to keep in mind when comparing yourself to the people around you. Remember, you are a work in progress. It’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to not be great at everything. Also, consider taking a step back from the people who make you feel overly jealous or inadequate. Taking a break from social media especially can help us break the chains of comparison and jealousy.

That’s it for now everyone. If you’ve found some value in this post, please share it to inspire others too! Also, subscribe for more at the top of my site’s sidebar. Thanks!

-Ang

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30 Comments

  1. Flora's Week Show

    I hope you have a good day! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. ashleyleia

    Itโ€™s hard to avoid falling into the comparison trap. I find it helpful to recognize it as my head telling me stupid things, and it will shut up eventually.

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    • Ang

      That’s a great way to look at it. It’s just your mind making things up.

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  3. Julia

    Hi Ang……. We are all individual and thank God for that, because I’ve seen some beautiful people who once they speak take away all the beauty. Vice versa there are people not attractive, but they have so much knowledge and kindness. Looks are superficial and does not last, only what’s within makes the worth of the person. Stay strong and be who God made YOU to be.
    Julia

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    • Ang

      You’re right Julia, looks are certainly fleeting. We must love ourselves for who we are.

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  4. Jim Borden

    well said. reminds me of one of my favorite quotes – “comparison is the thief of joy.”

    +1
    • Ang

      I’ve heard that one before. Theodore Roosevelt ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. Build your Presence

    Could not agree more..

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  6. Build your Presence

    The worst thing we can do to ourselves is overlook our uniqueness and compare ourselves or our life with others

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    • Ang

      So true ๐Ÿ™‚

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  7. Happy Panda

    Love this post! I so agree with you comparison can be helpful if you’re looking to get better but if it clouds your thinking with jealousy and feelings of inadequacy, you just need to stop. I realised that comparison wasn’t the best for me since I wasn’t following the same path as people I was comparing myself to and it filled me with self depreciation, so I pulled myself out of that cycle. But definitely people need to do what works best for them. I’m glad your post explains how comparing can be good and bad.

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    • Ang

      Definitely! I try to see both sides of any situation.

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  8. Lady Smith

    This was very interesting article cause I see this everyday๐Ÿ˜”Loved it๐Ÿค“

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    • Ang

      I do too. Thanks!

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  9. Shelly DS

    I think we all compare ourselves to others at some point in our lives be it in appearance, intelligence, how far theyโ€™ve gotten in life, etc. itโ€™s a horrible cycle that needs to be broken before it breaks us! I still compare myself to how others look, but somehow this quarantine has made it sooo much less relevant. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing your thoughts ๐Ÿ˜Š

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    • Ang

      I agree. It becomes a vicious cycle which only serves to make us depressed. No prob ๐Ÿ™‚

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  10. Judith

    Excellent post! I think it’s human nature for us to compare ourselves with others from time to time, and as you’ve pointed out, sometimes it may push us a bit toward improvement. Overall, though, comparisons don’t work because people are different. There are certain things — like how tall we are — that we can’t change, and comparison is only going to create unhappiness until we learn to love and accept ourselves just as we are. In areas of skill — such as art or music — it’s pointless for us to compare ourselves to others because each of us is on our own “timeline”. Beginners often compare themselves to others who have had years of experience in a field and then feel disappointed or inadequate because they don’t “measure up”. We can aspire to be better, we can work to achieve specific goals, but all in all we should avoid making comparisons that aren’t going to be useful for us.

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    • Ang

      So true! We should only compare ourselves when it’s useful. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. bereavedandbeingasingleparent

    This is so true. I need to keep reminding myself as I never feel like I get the progress I need.

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    • Ang

      I never do either. It’s a terrible feeling to have, which is why we need to train ourselves not to think that way ๐Ÿ™‚

      +1
  12. Jenny in Neverland

    Comparison and jealousy is one of my biggest issues it’s something I’m working through with my current coach x

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    • Ang

      It’s so hard to deal with. I’m glad your coach is able to help out with it ๐Ÿ™‚

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  13. Keith

    Ang, first timer here. Comparisons are hard to avoid, but should be whenever possible. One of the things about Facebook, for example, is the reader is comparing themselves to an “air-brushed” image of the Facebook’s host and his or her life. The host has purposefully not shared all the same trials and tribulations that the reader might have. Another thought I had as I read this is how many actors and actresses will use stand-in body doubles when there are close-ups of their thighs, arms, torsos.

    So, just be the very best version of yourself. Set achievable, but stretch goals and celebrate those little victories. Keith

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    • Ang

      Hi Keith, welcome to my site! It’s definitely a challenge to not compare ourselves to people we see around us, but you’re right…some things need to be taken with a grain of salt.

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  14. windsofchange18

    This was so inspiring, and I can sadly relate. I compared myself for way too many years. Lovely post.๐Ÿ˜Š

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    • Ang

      It’s so hard on our mental health. Thanks!

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      • windsofchange18

        Yes, it is. And very hard to break that pattern of comparing and judging ourselves. So thank you.

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