We live in a world where comparison is inevitable but not always good. I believe that you should try to compare yourself to past versions of yourself rather than to other people in order to be happier and the best version of yourself ❤️
You should try not to compare yourself to others as everyone has been dealt different cards so it’s an unfair comparison. Sure, you probably still want elements of another person’s life even though it might be impossible or would take longer to achieve, but remember that everyone has positive and negative parts to their life and you don’t always see the full picture. There is no such thing as perfection.
Just try to improve yourself using your own standards and abilities in comparison to previous versions of yourself. Learn from your own mistakes and prioritise your own goals and values to improve yourself based on your standards and abilities, not someone else’s. For example, at school when you get an exam back try not to think “I did so bad because this person did better” or “I wish I could be this person because they got this good mark” and instead think “I did better than I did in the last test of this subject” or “I need to improve at this to do better in the next test”. I am definitely a hypocrite when I say this but with ranks and constant comparison at school it is very hard to get out of this habit, but I’ll talk more about school later in this blog post.
When people say “you’re too…” (eg. you’re too annoying, you’re too fat etc.) it is compared to their standards which are based on what they view as too much. They say this because of their upbringing and the part of you that they know, which technically shouldn’t be an insult as they don’t know the full you and their upbringing has made them feel this way (obviously it can still hurt your feelings but if you think of it like this then it’s easier to be resilient). Their upbringing could comprise of family values and pressures from friends etc. but most likely is predominantly societal views about what is too much. These views of society have been imprinted onto their mind by exposure to things such as social media, and when they choose to insult you it is basically an unintentional way of moulding you to the idealistic member of the society that they appear to believe to be the end goal for everyone. But we cannot all be the same and conform to the idealistic member of society in every way so we should forget trying to reach perfection (which doesn’t actually exist) and just try to be happy with who you are. Who cares if you’re too this or too that, as long as you’re happy with who you are it shouldn’t matter what everyone else thinks 🙂
Social media has allowed comparison to hit a whole other level; now you are not just comparing yourself to people you know like classmates or friends, you are comparing yourself to the billions of people that are online on social media, available at the touch of a button. These people are most likely posting photos of their amazing bodies or cool experiences which receive heaps of likes. But the thing is, their feed and presence on social media is just the good parts of themselves that could even be exaggerated or edited to portray a perfected version of their lives which isn’t entirely true. Although this is the case, we can still compare ourselves to them and can feel jealousy towards them or feel poorly about ourselves.
But once again this is an unfair comparison. Firstly, as I’ve said this is probably a perfected representation of their life so you’re comparing your whole life, with all its negative and positive moments, to just their positive moments. And secondly, as I’ve also said, they’ve been dealt different cards to you in life so it’s an unfair comparison (this can especially be seen with celebrities). Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel this way on social media and I’m definitely guilty of this too. I spend alot of time scrolling through social media being bombarded with everyone’s stunning pictures or written text about what amazing things they are doing which have alot of likes and I can’t help but feel jealous at times. I compare myself to others wishing I could look that good or being doing amazing things like that in my life. And sometimes I find myself comparing likes of other people’s photos to my own, when really it shouldn’t matter as it doesn’t even represent the true value of the photo. When you stop and think about it, I don’t know why it matters who had the time and means to double tap on a photo, but society has drilled this concept into our heads and now it’s hard to stop it. Comparing likes of one photo to another person’s photo is the main issue, as instead of comparing the likes of one of your photos to the likes of another (although likes aren’t a true representation of the quality and value of the photo anyway) people compare the likes of their photos to the likes of other people’s, who have been dealt different cards anyway.
At the end of the day, social media is wired for comparisons as apparently that’s what society values; figuring out who’s better than who based on who has the most likes and followers. I’ve tried to cut down my social media use to remove this unnecessary jealousy and the need to obsess over likes and followers and comparisons, but I know that social media also has some positives, especially for sharing important messages like this.
Comparisons have also become more evident in society today due to the recent increase of pressure to do well. Standardised tests in schools seem to have become more “life-altering” which has caused everyone to compare themselves to others to determine their success in later life. So many more jobs have been created that didn’t exist more than ten years ago which means people want to keep their options and chances open by getting high marks and scoring more than others to do so. Also, at school they provide ranks and give praise to people getting high marks which is understandable but in Australia the actual Higher School Certificate mark (the ATAR) is a rank, and that puts a lot of pressure on people to not only do well but do better then others, so therefore comparison to others is necessary.
Overall, you should just try to focus on yourself and how to become the best version of yourself. Comparisons may push you to make a change or be better but can also have negative impacts like mental illnesses and stress, so do whatever it takes to avoid unnecessary comparisons such as on social media. Although you have been dealt different cards to everyone you can still achieve great things based on your own standards and as long as you are happy with yourself, no one else’s opinion matters 🙂