If you find yourself judging your life with that of others, you are not alone. Social comparison is an attempt to make accurate assessments of ourselves. It has become common now more than ever before with the explosion of social media sites. These platforms provide a never-ending stream of content upon which to compare ourselves. What’s more, this has taken our attempts to keep up with the Joneses beyond the neighborhood and onto a global scene.
Although comparing your looks, possessions or lifestyle to that of others can be a source or motivation, it has its downsides as well. It becomes a problem when you start to gauge your own self-worth based on the accomplishments, qualities or possessions of others. This post will cover 5 reasons why you shouldn’t compare yourself to others in order to shed more light on the negative impact of falling prey to this emotionally dangerous trap.
#1: It Will Steal Your Joy
It is natural to long for things or accomplishments that other people have. However, this yearning for the kind of life or opportunities that someone else has can often elicit feelings of envy. When it reaches that point, you will be sabotaging your own happiness because you will feel mediocre compared to others.
If constantly comparing yourself with others is how you evaluate your worth, this will only create a vicious cycle of discontentment that will leave you more dejected than ever.
#2: Sets You Up for Failure
People who compare themselves with others find that they are always lacking in something. Because let’s face it, there will always be someone who is more successful, more talented, better looking or generally doing better than you in life. If you judge yourself based on what you don’t have, your self-esteem will start to drop. And once you feel you can never measure up, this can lead to a downward spiral of giving up on your goals.
#3: Comparisons Disregard Differences in Personal Circumstances
All too often than not, most people don’t take into account personal differences between themselves and celebrities or peers they compare themselves to. As a result, successful people come off as overnight sensations while in fact that is never the case. The truth is everyone goes through struggles and setbacks on the path to success. Therefore, you can’t truly judge your own worth by comparing yourself to someone leading a completely different life and in totally different circumstance than yours.
#4: Comparisons Centered on Superiority Hinder Personal Growth
Sometimes people compare themselves to others who are “beneath” them in a bid to boost their own self-esteem. However, you won’t work on areas in your life that need improvement if you get off on feeling superior compared to others. Instead of trying to pass yourself off as better than everyone else, make comparisons with people who are better than you in one respect or another and use their success as an example you can try to emulate.
#5: Using Inaccurate Information for Self-Comparison
While you may think that some people are leading an amazing life, this is not always the case. There is no such thing as a perfect life. Everyone experiences challenges in life but people like to present to the outside world an edited version of their reality. And while they hide behind this facade of perfectionism, their lives aren’t always as blissful as they have other people think. Trying to compare yourself with a celebrity or peer you perceive to have a perfect life is setting standards that those people perhaps don’t even match up to. So, the next time you find yourself comparing your life to that of a neighbor, friend or superstar, remember that you don’t necessarily know every detail about their life.