“Stop comparing yourself to other people!”
You probably heard that in your mother’s voice. This piece of advice, while solid, isn’t actually all that helpful on its own. It falls flat, just like telling someone to, “Just be yourself.” Or, “Be more confident in yourself.” Do you know why you should not compare yourself to others?
This advice, while well meaning, never really hits its target. And part of the reason why is that the adviser never, well, gives reasons why you should follow this advice. So, to help this classic wisdom better connect with you, we are going to give you some reasons why you should stop comparing yourself to others.
That little piece of wisdom was brought to us by Mark Twain. When you compare yourself to others, the hope is to feel better about yourself. But when you get into the habit, you don’t just do it when you will come out on top (and there are problems with this as well). This leads to feelings of envy, worthlessness, and other negative emotions that do nothing to improve your life. The more you compare yourself to others, the less happy you are.
You know you—the real you. You know the dirty, ugly truth that you hide from the rest of the world. But you don’t know this about others, and this means that you are always comparing the worst of yourself to the best of others. How can you possibly measure up when the data is skewed?
So, back to comparing yourself to others when you come out on top. Doing this makes us feel good, right? It feels good to know we are doing better than others. But this can also lead to a sense of superiority. At best, it might make you pity others. And if these are people whose relationships you treasure, you need to stop; they will feel this shift in your dynamic, and it won’t bode well for your continued association.
As soon as you come out on top in one of the competitions you have running in your head, there will be another to take one, and several that you will have lost. It is a never-ending cycle unless you choose to break it. It is exhausting, and offers no reward.
And when you look at all of the reasons, it is clear why you should stop comparing yourself to others.