Comparing Yourself to Others

/Comparing Yourself to Others

Comparing Yourself to Others

Ballet dancer doing standing splits

Imagine what it takes to be that thin and flexible!

One ugly truth about me is I’m a pretty competitive person. I reckon if someone else can do something, I can probably do that same thing, too. This thinking has led me to some amazing situations and jobs, but the dangerous thing about being competitive is if you compare yourself to others.

Doing so gets you into trouble and is apparently, a major source of unhappiness. In our wired world, it’s hard not feel, well, at least something when you’re bombarded with images of people FakeBooking all over social media.

The trick I’ve recently learned, is to recognize “that thing someone else has” as being nice or even desirable, but to consider if “it” really fits into your life. On this you have to be critical. Is this really a job, vacation or thing you want in your life right now? Because if you really, really wanted it, you could probably make it happen.

Here’s how it works. To have “that thing” like whats-her-name does, you’d have to put up with everything that goes along with it. Covet your neighbour’s fancy new car? Would you really want to have her dull (but well paying) job to pay for it? To live in that swish house your good friend has, you’d have to be married to her asshole of a husband and parent those brats. It’s kind of a fun game once you get the hang of it.

Now, I’m not nearly as envious of what other people have, because I don’t want everything that comes with it.

Am I alone here? Is anyone else guilty of comparing themselves to others? Do you have any advice you can share for how to get out of the habit?

P.S. You also might like Visions Boards: Not As Lame As You Think and Confessions of a Cheater.

Photo via Angela Stirling

About the Author:

I’m a freelance writer with bad hair, a loud mouth and a serious case of wanderlust. Whether it’s luggage, time or just life, I cram as much as possible into small compartments. Warning: Contents may shift during flight. My life is one bumpy ride! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.

6 Comments

  1. Heather Walsh 23.04.2014 at 13:25 - Reply

    Bang on Jody!

  2. Debra 23.04.2014 at 15:49 - Reply

    What an interesting take on envy. Thanks for the fresh perspective Jody.

  3. Heather (@HomeToHeather) 23.04.2014 at 19:21 - Reply

    It’s not always about the pie but instead what goes into growing the apples.

  4. Well put Jody. I think the older I get the less I compare myself to others – one of the few benefits of getting older I’m aware of. Social media can really mess with your head but it’s interesting to hear how trips REALLY went down when you talk to people versus listen to them on their outlets.
    Looking forward to seeing you at TMAC this weekend.

  5. I couldn’t agree more, Jody! Actually – there was just an episode of CBC radio’s ‘Tapestry’ entitled “Haunted by the Life You Aren’t Living” (http://www.cbc.ca/tapestry/episode/2014/03/14/haunted-by-the-life-you-arent-living/) in which they talked to author and psychotherapist Adam Phillips about his new book: “Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life” that I thought offered a really fresh, insightful take on this dilemma. I keep meaning to download it to my e-reader — sounds like it might be up your alley too!

    • Jody 02.05.2014 at 07:39 - Reply

      Thanks for this rec, Ashley!

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