When you compare yourself to other people, you are contrasting your life with theirs. This mindset makes you believe that other people’s lives are better than yours or worse than yours. It’s hard to break free from the comparison trap. Here are ten habits you may be doing that are causing you to make unfair comparisons of yourself to others.
Organizational behavior professor Thomas Mussweiler explains a comparison like this: saying“It’s one of the most basic ways we develop an understanding of who we are, what we’re good at, and what we’re not so good at.”
These ten habits make you make unfair comparisons
Of course, if you always make unfavorable comparisons about yourself, you will feel that you are not good at anything. The lens you use to look at your life will make your life look worse than the lives of others. These thoughts will destroy your self-esteem over time.
Envying people makes you jealous of others. According to one study, envy is looking down or up in social comparison. It divides more than it unites. When you envy others, you end up making negative comparisons to yourself. Usually, when you are envious of another person, you will not feel good about having these negative feelings. Being envious of others will cause you to not focus on the things you need to do because you are distracted by your envious thoughts.
What is the difference between jealousy and envy?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Envy is your dissatisfaction with what other people have and its advantages. It is having greedy feelings about someone else’s appearance, possessions, or career. Jealousy is feeling suspicious and upset about someone who is your rival. Most people use jealousy and envy simultaneously, although they are very different.
2 – You see people as your competition
When you see others as your competition, you rank them as better or worse than you. You feel you need to “beat” them in appearance, dress, and how well your children behave. This type of comparison is exhausting because you are always on the alert, making sure they are not “winning.”
Your self-esteem is tied to how well you think you are doing compared to others.
3 – Judge other people before knowing the facts
Judging people makes you assume that you know other people’s motives. You are critical of what they do, even if you don’t see why they are doing things. You see them as better or worse than you. You don’t like what they do or how they do it. At the same time, you may be intimidated by them.
Judging is never helpful. IIt can lead to gossip and rejection of the people. Judging can come back to bite you, as you will get a reputation for being too critical and defiant to get along. In the end, you are the big loser when you judge others and compare them to yourself.
4 – Believe that the life of others is perfect
Perfection is overrated, it is also not reality. Nobody’s life is perfect, no matter how it seems to you. Social media can give you the illusion that other people have perfect lives. People online tend to share the good things, but you don’t see the other things that happen in their life. It’s easy to compare your life to these people’s and feel like you’ve gotten a bad deal. Remember, for every “perfect” post shared. There is a whole story behind this that you don’t know.
5 – Feeling that your life is more demanding than that of others.
Years ago, your parents or a teacher at school may have told you, “Life is not fair.” You probably didn’t like them saying that. It felt so hard. Surely life must be fair. Sadly, as you get older, you will probably realize this truth.
But you may still be tempted to feel that everyone else has a more comfortable life than you. When you compare your life with that of others, you feel discontent and irritated by your life. Everyone has difficulties in their life, and sadly, some people have more challenging things than others.
But focusing on everything that is wrong in your life will not help you. You will feel miserable and angry. Get out of your life and get a good evaluation of what is good and what is less favorable.
Are there things you can change to improve your life? If so, try doing them, but if a lot of the difficult things are out of your control, it may be time to seek some light in the dark. This can help protect you against bitterness and anger.
5 – Worried about your past mistakes
It’s easy to focus on your mistakes. Maybe you’ve made bad decisions in your life, or even more complicated, maybe someone made terrible decisions for you. Perhaps the decisions that you have made make your life difficult. When you’re worried about mistakes, you miss out on what you’re doing right.
Your mistakes do not define who you are or how you live. If you compare yourself to others because you have made some serious mistakes, it prevents you from trying new things. You worry about making another mistake. Don’t live in the shadow of your past mistakes or other people’s mistakes.
Instead, choose to look ahead without comparing your life to that of others.
6 – anxious thoughts
Sitting down to reflect on all the things that are not right in your life makes you compare yourself with others. You will feel negative and unhappy thinking about how bad your life is compared to your neighbors, your friends at church, or the parents of your child’s best friend.
Anxious thoughts weigh you down and keep you from enjoying your life. Resist the urge to give in to your anxiety and worry about your life. Stop comparing him to others whose lives seem so much easier.
But when we dwell on the highlights of other people’s lives, it can quickly become toxic. We are hardwired for connection and belonging, but if we always compare ourselves to others, we are putting our happiness, confidence, and mental health at risk.
8 – Ungrateful for what you have
If you find yourself wanting more all the time, chances are you have a hard time feeling grateful for what you have. It’s human nature to compare yourself to others, but if you obsess over comparing yourself all the time, you’ll miss out on the good things in life. Take a step back and take a look around you.
There’s probably a long list of things and people you can be thankful for. Even the smallest thing in your life is worth celebrating. Shift your focus and see what you have instead of what you don’t have in life.
9 – You don’t accept yourself
You are a unique person. There is no one like you. You may not like this truth, because you wish you were someone else. When you compare yourself to others, they become your standard of measurement; They are what you think you want in your life. It is important to appreciate who you are, even with all your imperfections. Celebrating who you are can help you stop comparing yourself, so that you are free to live your life growing, creating, and caring for others.
10 – Too many social networks
A habit that accentuates the comparison is the excess of social networks. If you are bombarded with other people’s success, wealth, and beautiful homes, it makes you feel like you have a sad life in comparison. We’re not all skinny Instagram models! Even if these people share their difficulties online, you may feel like their worst days may not be as bad as yours.
A study found that too many online social networks are linked to depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Keep your social networks under control. Take a break every now and then and find other things to read or do online. You may be surprised how happy you are.
How to stop comparing yourself to others and regain self-esteem
There are some positive ways of not comparing yourself to others. Here are some practical steps you can take.
Taking time each day to look for the things you are grateful for in your life can help you overcome the comparison trap. Keep a gratitude journal. Write down the good things in your life. You can reread what you wrote on difficult days.
Contentment gives you a sense of satisfaction that your life is enough. You can feel happy with where you are in your life instead of worrying about what others are doing. You can set goals in your life, but not because you are trying to “beat” other people. Remember to set goals to grow and become the best you can be.
When you compare yourself to other people, you focus on yourself. It blinds you to see the good that others are doing. When your friend tells you that he has gotten a promotion at work, you cannot be happy for him because you are focused on yourself. Try to look up and out, see what others are doing, and enjoy your good fortune.
When you compare yourself to others, it erodes your sense of identity, as you are always looking to others to find out who you are. It’s hard to break free from the comparison trap, but it’s worth it. Find ways to stop comparing yourself to other people and enjoy who you are and the life you have. You will be surprised how happy you are to accept being yourself.