Before I go further, let me start by defining the word- comparison.
Com.par.i.son is the act of estimating or examining the similarities or differences between two people or things.
Most times, it is used negatively because people use it in a way to compete unhealthily or see who’s doing better than the other.
I thought through the meaning of that word and I found that it is a two-way thing. I wouldn’t say it is entirely a ‘bad‘ word, because sometimes one needs to compare certain things, in order to make better decisions.
Here’s what I’m saying…
For example, I need a phone. I walk into a phone shop and I’m presented with two top choices of my desired phones. Perhaps an iPhone 8 and a Samsung galaxy S8. I compare their features and all that. This helps my decision in picking a phone. Then I walk away with the best phone of my choice. I’m happy. How bad is that?
I haven’t used that comparison to tear myself or other people down. I have used it to make an important decision.
Comparison becomes bad when you begin to use it negatively to stir up drama or it begins to leave you feeling insecure.
Here’s what am I mean…
For example, you scroll through other people’s “perfect pictures“, “happy lives“, “exotic cars“, “posh houses” whatever whatever, on social media. You look inward and begin to feel inadequate. You miss the point that there are ‘behind the scenes‘ and there are ‘highlights‘. People often show the ‘highlights’ on the gram which you compare to your own ‘behind the scene’. You may not know the full story.
Comparison is the thief of joy! This certainly is true. Sometimes it comes in form of living to other people’s expectation of you. Which leads you to compare yourself to what others expect of you. Then you begin to withdraw and feel inadequate, which if not checked, can lead to depression and thoughts of suicide.
There is real life and there is social media. Don’t mix them up! There are highlights and there are behind- the -cameras. Don’t miss that too! There are other people’s opinions and expectations of you and there is you. The real you.
Disregard the faćade, no one has a perfect life. Everyone’s got their own struggles. Everyone’s fighting their own demons.
The grass isn’t greener on the other side, the grass is greener where it is watered. Rather than wallow in self-pity, feel insecure or inadequate, or compare your life with others or even compare people in such a way that it stirs up drama, (if it makes you feel too superior as to begin to look down on others or too inferior that you begin to feel sorry for your life, or spike drama amongst others), say goodbye to the comparison game!
Everyone’s life is different and there are different circumstances surrounding each person’s life.
Be grateful for where and who you are now, (it could have been worse). With gratitude, there isn’t really any need to compare. Believe in yourself and work towards your personal goals. Just slay in your own lane and in your own time, everything will fall in place for you.
Below is a story from Maya of Couturelysound.on how she fought comparison. Please read, learn and enjoy!
In life, there are many battles to be fought. I know I’ve had my fair share of them. On many occasions, I’ve come out of my battles victorious, but right now, I’m still at war with comparison, as I’m sure many of you out there are as well.
The problem with comparison is that it never allows for one to feel self-fulfilled or accomplished. Comparison also leaves no room for a grateful attitude.
In high school, I was an honor student in the top six percent of my class, yet I still felt inadequate, as if I hadn’t done enough. Many might wonder why. After all, good grades should have been enough for me right? They should have been, but when I looked at those above me and saw what they had accomplished, and then measured my achievements with theirs, I quickly felt down.
My comparison wasn’t exclusive to the academic sphere. After scrolling through social media feeds for unhealthy amounts of time, I even contemplated how I felt about myself and my appearance. Suddenly, I felt ugly and average because the girls from school were so pretty, and they got all of the guys, and I could never measure up to their beauty. Not only that, but everyone seemed to be having so much fun. I was at home, while they went to exotic places and spent time with several friends. I wondered why my life couldn’t be as interesting as theirs, and more so why I couldn’t have as many friends.
And then, I compared my family situation to that of other people. My best friend comes from a loving family. Her parents are well to do, and she lives in a nice home. My friend is extremely close with her two older brothers, and her parents are happily married. My family on the other hand is split. My parents are divorced, I have step parents, my brothers keep to themselves a lot, and I live in a nice home, but it is not as nice as others. Again, I wondered why my life couldn’t be like everyone else’s.
My thinking was extremely problematic. For one, my attitude was ungrateful. That’s the thing about comparison. It focuses on all of the negative things-all of the things that aren’t right or all of the things one isn’t. Comparison fails to focus on what is good and what one is. It is truly a thief of joy.
As I’ve grown, I’ve done my best to combat comparison, and my life has truly improved because of it. I have conjured up 3 points to remember for those who are at war with comparison. Whenever I find myself comparing these points help me get back on track.
•Realize That There Are Different Circumstances Surrounding Each Individual
Everyone’s life is different, and everyone starts out at a different point, so why compare? I will use my grades in high school as an example. The valedictorian of my class made it to the top because he had very strict parents. He often stayed up late into the night completing his numerous AP level courses and would fall asleep in class. While I took numerous AP courses as well, I still managed to have a normal life and sleep a healthy amount each night. My parents also didn’t put a lot of pressure on me. However, in the moment, I didn’t think of this. I attributed my not being at the very top to my own intelligence when it really came down to my own choices and life circumstances. I thought the valedictorian was this perfect student, but I was unaware of the pressures that plagued him.
•Everyone has something different to bring to the table
My older brother played basketball while he was growing up, and he always wished that he could be the one scoring all of the points. He wanted to be the star of the team, but my mom reminded him that while he wasn’t scoring all of the points, he helped the team in an important way-through defense. The top scorer was great at scoring points, but maybe he couldn’t defend all the well. My brother wasn’t a scorer, but he was great at stopping others from doing so. Comparing doesn’t allow you to recognize your own strengths or recognize that things like beauty take all different forms. The minute you stop comparing you see all that you alone contribute to the world.
•Greatness is drowned and diminished by comparison and it shouldn’t be.
In sports, there is always a GOAT (greatest of all time) debate. For years in the NBA, there has been an ongoing debate between LeBron James and Michael Jordan over who the greatest basketball player ever is. When sports analysts compare the two in order to crown one as the best they always diminish the other when in reality both are/were phenomenal players. Comparison doesn’t allow for us to recognize greatness from all fronts and in all forms. The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to someone who is an amazing athlete or a beautiful person, take a second to recognize their greatness and then appreciate your own that you possess.
The comparison game is one that lasts throughout life, but with practice, like with anything, you can become skilled at not engaging in it. Start today by thinking about all that you are grateful and all that you are. I for one am grateful for God, my( imperfect) family, my friends, and for the great memories I have made. I am a friend, a blogger, an artist, and a college bound individual. What are you grateful for and who are you? What do you specifically bring to the table? Ask yourself these questions, and together we can stop letting comparison steal our joy.
If you read up till this point, thankyou! You can also be a part of the community by joining in the conversation and share your thoughts!
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PS: I’m pleased to announce that I’m welcoming guest posts from you.
Writers, lifestyle bloggers, who’d love to be contributors on here, are very welcome. please leave me a message on my contact page.
Pss: please visit Maya’s blog and show her some love.