The Dangers of Comparing Yourself to Others

The Dangers of Comparing Yourself to Others

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The truth is, I have always been comparing myself to other people. I don’t know if that makes me different or if everyone else does the same thing. It has just always seemed like everyone had the things that I didn’t have and those things seemed to make them special. They were more popular, had more friends or fit in better than I did.

When I was growing up the other kids had a dad and I didn’t. The other kids had the name brand clothes and I didn’t and the other kids were good at sports and I wasn’t. I was just this tall, skinny kid that didn’t seem to fit in any where. So I just assumed that it was because they had something that I did not have. So I searched for what that might be and I found myself lacking in a lot of things.

Comparing is Dangerous

And herein lies the danger of comparing yourself to others. Other people are always going to have different qualities than you have. There will always be someone that has more things than you, more success than you or more talent in an area than you do. We are all designed to have different personalities, strengths and weaknesses. So, in comparing yourself to others, you are subconsciously telling yourself that the things that are different about must be negative.

These comparisons can lead you to demoralize who you are and to minimize the wonderful things that make you special. After a period of time it is possible that these comparisons could lead to low feelings of self worth and depression. Playing with the demon of comparison is a dangerous game that will never lead to any where good.

In my examples above, the things I was comparing were not that serious but the comparisons get more serious as times goes on. Teenagers are desperately searching for ways to fit in by comparing themselves. Drugs, sex and dangerous behaviors are only a few of the ways that teens are tempted into “fitting in” with the crowd that they think had the “it” they think they need.

It isn’t Always Child’s Play

As adults, the results may not seem as serious because we are using tactics that are considered acceptable behavior. That co-worker that seems to have it all with the big house, fancy car and pool in the backyard is obviously living the good life. We want the kind of life because “if we have that then we will be happier”. So, we go into debt so that we can have that lifestyle but what we didn’t know is that the person we were comparing ourselves to is also in serious debt. The person you compared yourself to was living a lie and now you are too.

Eventually, the facade will crumble and unfortunately you will fall with it. When you fall what will you land on? Will it be alcohol, drugs or will your marriage fall apart? What will be the end result of those initial comparisons?

What started out as a child wanting a toy because your friend had one has now torn your life into shreds. How can I tie those to seemingly separate things together? Because comparing yourself to other people is a habit that is developed over time. The more you hone the skill the better you become at it until it becomes second nature. At some point, you don’t even realize that you are doing it any more. Those comparisons have become the driving force behind your life decisions.

How to Fix It

It is easy to say to just stop doing it but the reality is much more difficult. It is important to realize that this is a habit and it must be broken just like any other habit. You have to put forth a conscious effort to change the behavior.

And herein lies the danger of comparing yourself to others. #mentalhealth #depression #positivity #selfcare #chronicillnessEvery time I catch myself comparing my self to someone, I step back and tell myself something positive about myself. This can be really difficult to do but it really has helped. I am finding that I do not do this as much as I used to. Oh that jealousy monster does show its ugly head every now and again. As all habits do, this one is also easy to fall into if I don’t watch for it.

We live in a time of selfies, social media posts and picture perfect lives.  Our society is not encouraged to embrace our differences but are rather taught to put at filter over them and to hide them from the world.

To sum it up, life is not a status on the internet claiming how great life is or a twitter feed full of people. Life is made sweeter by the differences we each have and by the challenges we each face.


Similar Post: How my Mind Became my Enemy


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22 thoughts on “The Dangers of Comparing Yourself to Others

  1. I think I’ve become a bit lost recently too! It’s not jealousy it’s more like I’m a bit intimidated and I think I’m not good enough – unworthyness? Is that the right word? Great post Jen x

  2. I really love this! When I find myself feeling jealous or comparing I remind myself that whatever I’m feeling jealous about wouldn’t be in my life if it wasn’t meant for me. It makes me feel so much closer to my goals!

  3. Comparison is such a vicious cycle that I have been stuck in for years. I have now started to recognise when I compare and it helps me change my thinking towards it. I am an over thinker so stopping myself when I start to compare has really helped.

  4. Excellent thoughts here. I struggled with the same kind of things growing up and still have to keep a check on the lies that run through my head at times. It’s become easier over time but I still have to watch out. Just when you think you have it won, it can poop up again.

  5. This is such an important issue with big consequences! After my daughter’s injury, the comparison game held me back initially as I compared disabilities and moms and everything. I rationalized it by telling myself that I was looking for silver linings, but in reality, it was all negative and made me feel worse. Now, I completely agree with you that our differences are positives!

  6. Amazing post. Everything you pointed out is so true. Often we see only others successes and not their failings, the losses and we forget that just like us, they struggle in areas too. My uncle has a friend who earns over £100k and yet he wishes he didn’t have to sacrifice the majority of his hours when he could have been happier in a job with a lower income and he’d get to spend time with his family too, precious time that we lose everyday and after my uncle understood that, he realised that he was happy where he was because he earns enough to have some money left over and spend time with his wife and children. Now I’m not saying my uncles friend is wrong, it’s just we forget what it can cost sometimes. Every success has its pros and cons.

  7. as a family, we recently made the decision to stop comparing ourselves to others and its actually made us happier! we no longer worry about the latest and greatest toys, vacations or luxuries everyone else enjoys and have instead been focused more on us spending quality time together with experiences and not possessions. its been surreal how much stress it actually relieved for us!

  8. I’d much rather celebrate our differences than let them push us apart, though it took years to get to that point! It helps to realize that while I’m looking enviously at someone else’s life, they’re often feeling the same about a part of mine.

  9. I struggled with this for a long time–comparing myself to others. So many of us struggle too, because our society seems to promote teasing and downgrading each other and each other’s successes. I realized though that it isn’t anyone else’s problem; it’s mine. I have to decide to accept myself, and love myself. I hold the power to have so much self-acceptance that no one else’s opinion matters. <3

  10. Great post we usually tend to compare ourselves with others and that is not healthy. That’s when insecurities take over and depression barges in and wants to take over. I really enjoyed reading this post great job keep up the good work.

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