How many times does it happen for us to feel good about something and after that we’re comparing ourselves with someone else and our mood turns to sh*t? How about someone else does that comparison and again, our mood turns to sh*t?
When I was a kid and I came home with a high grade at something, my mother always asked me who else took that grade and who took a higher grade. Because I was always compared with other people, I wanted to be the best at everything… and so I was, until I left to college. Slowly, I got rid of that grade comparison because I realized it means nothing to me, but it doesn’t mean that others did the same. I got compared all the time with other people.
I think that we keep comparing ourselves with other people because it comes natural. If we don’t know who and what we are from inside, we need to be defined from outside. The question is: are we using the right terms for this comparison? Also, are we comparing with others to learn and get better?
Most of the time we’re comparing to other people based on our standards and that is the biggest problem. When we’re feeling a little blue, we’re using extremely high standards and that comparison can make us feel worse because we have the mindset of searching negative things. When we feel good, we’re lowering our standards. That’s when we’re grateful for whatever we have. That’s when we realize that we could be a lot worse than we actually are.
Sometimes we’re creating something to compare even when it’s not the case. We got a new phone? Let’s check what phones our friends have. We got a raise? Let’s check what salaries our acquaintances have. We’re not necessarily going to say something about that, but it’s an internal process we might have from time to time.
In my opinion, comparison can be used as a way to create some motivation. If we want to be the best at something, it might be useful to compare our results with people that currently are the best so we can improve our process, but I don’t recommend it. Since we are all unique based on our unique experiences, we have unique ways to live and because of this, it might be useless to compare with other people to define our lives, so the best comparison we would need to make is with ourselves. If today we’re even a little better compared with yesterday, I say it’s a win.
How often do you compare with other people and why do you do it?