Comparison is the very nature of society. It is not just about a particular gender, culture or country. Everyone is busy comparing themselves with other people all the time.
In this post, we will look at the cause and effects of comparison and also how to deal with it for better mental health and well-being.
What you need to know is, this comparison trap is making you a discontented person as the days are passing by. And you would be surprised if I told you that most of the problems in your life are because you think that you are not good enough in comparison to somebody ‘you think’ you know! Sounds insane, but is, in fact, the truth.
A lot of people do not realize this, but the things we want to own or the way we want to look is a result of comparison. We saw someone on social media who owns some luxury or someone getting a lot of attention because of that new photo they have posted, and we want to have that badly. This feeling comes from the lack of self worth, or when you feel that you do not have something that is your fundamental need. And honestly, on basic levels, you only need food, shelter, clothes and secure living conditions. We’ve discussed this in one of our posts.
Then how do these uncontrollable desires take a toll on our mind? It happens because of comparison.
The Root Cause
The way people grow up plays a crucial role in their adult behavior. If people lived in deprivation of some of the essentials, they remain dissatisfied with their current living standards. They will look for gathering things they do not even need, to satisfy their ego. As a result, they are always unhappy.
If someone has seen financial issues at their home while they were growing up, then even after earning well, they will not be happy, as that still does not fill the void that the early childhood comparison trap has created in their mind and heart.
If you have grown up hearing that you are ugly or not as pretty or handsome as the other girl or boy, as a result of this, you will have inferiority complex within you even after growing up. It could be like you are too skinny, too fat, too clumsy, too short, too tall, not intelligent enough, etc. I have seen so many people who look nothing like what they used to when they were small and yet live with the complex that they are not good enough even after growing up.
Sometimes, it is the family, or friends, or the schools, that make small kids hate themselves for being themselves. They will rip every ounce of self-esteem that the child has as he/she grows up. And these things remain in their subconscious until the very end of their lives. They need to make an effort to erase these hurtful memories from their mind.
Can we do something about it now?
Comparison, on basic levels, is related to you seeing something which someone has and you want to have that too, without asking the question – Do I actually need this? Do I want to become like someone else?
We have ingrained in our minds that it is normal to compare ourselves with other people. It is not going to do any good to you or to that person. Sometimes this comparison goes to another level, which is – insecurity. We start envying the other person because of this, and we start insulting them because we are so insecure about ourselves. The other person’s success becomes equivalent to our failures. And this is detrimental to our mental health and peace.
We humans, see a reflection of ourselves in every other person. Maybe the person you envy has some quality that you have in yourself too, and you want to showcase it! It is that simple. Jealousy is when you know that the other person is doing better than you. Accept it and try to identify those qualities in yourself as well.
Next time you find yourself envying someone, ask yourself, what is that quality that this person has that makes me envious of him/her?
Our generation is blessed with immense potential and resources. We need to lay the foundation of a community where every individual not only rationally identifies his/her needs but also feels good enough with what he/she has or is. And if you are lacking somewhere, then try to take inspiration from the people who are doing better than you, rather than getting stuck in this vicious trap.
When you were growing up, you had no choice but to get compared with other people of your age. However, now when you’re an adult, you have the power and control to change that mindset and understand that comparison with other people is demeaning your individual potential. You might be an amazing photographer, and the other person might not be able to hold a camera properly. And it is true for all the unique qualities you have. Just value yourself for who you are and accept it, and the rest of the world will!
Every minute you spend wishing you had someone else’s life, is a minute spent wasting yours.– Anonymous
Know that you and that other person have very different journeys. The mindset of a person who has a lucid vision of having something or doing something is way different from the person who is comparing and trying to copy the former. The moment you have goals and aspirations which are solely yours, you shine from within. When you know what you’re doing and why you are doing it, there’s a charm in you that never goes unnoticed.
If you want to live a happy and peaceful life, compare yourself with your former self and see how far you’ve come. That is the only kind of comparison that helps you to grow and become a better version of yourself.
Here is a video by Absolute Motivation
Comparison is the best way to judge our progress but not with others, compare your yesterday with your today.