Comparing Yourself And Your Life To Others Is Slowly Destroying You — Here’s Why

Scrolling through social media, all we see are people seemingly living their best lives, showing off perfect bodies, expensive cars, dream vacations, you name it. While comparing ourselves and our lives with other people’s has always been a natural impulse, the internet has increased this tenfold and it’s seriously killing us. Here are nine ways this damaging habit will wear you down.

  1. You’ll feel less proud of your own accomplishments. There’s nothing worse than feeling as if you’ve finally got your life together and are on the right track, then going on social media and seeing someone who is your age (or even younger than you!) that has done more and is seemingly more successful and admired than you. First of all, who cares? You’re not in a competition with anyone and it’s ridiculous to compare yourself to someone who lives a completely different life. Secondly, you have no idea how long it took them to get to where they are and you have no idea what obstacles they had to overcome. Everyone is on a different journey. Just focus on yours.
  2. Social media is not reality – far from it. No one is absolutely and completely honest on social media. Sure, we enjoy posting the great things that are happening in our lives, but very few people feel confident enough to share their struggles and the hardships they may be facing on a daily basis. Our online personalities are just a tiny snippet of our entire existence. It’s silly to compare your entire life to someone’s singular, happy moment. For one thing, you don’t even know if it’s true or not. For another thing, even if it is true, you don’t know what goes on that doesn’t make the cut to their social media feed. They may be incredibly unhappy or struggling with things you have no idea about.
  3. Comparing material things does nothing for you. People love to show off their houses, their cars, and all their pretty things online. It might make you feel like the things you have aren’t good enough or that you should be ashamed because what you have isn’t as nice as what they have. There is so much wrong with this way of thinking. Materials things are temporary. They are pretty and shiny for a little while but they are definitely not what makes a life happy and secure. Take pride in what you have, even if it isn’t the most glamourous, and don’t place so much emphasis on “stuff.”
  4. It’s a total waste of your time. How much time do you actually spend scrolling through social media, hyper-focusing on what other people are doing and what they have? You could be spending that time doing things that actually make you happy. You could be spending it with the people you love and enjoying your life instead of imagining all of the ways it could be better. Put your phone down and just live your life. I promise you, you will be happier.
  5. Your confidence will suffer. You might have all the confidence in the world, but if all of a sudden you see someone who is seemingly doing better than you are, you’ll start to feel like you’re not good enough and like your accomplishments don’t mean anything. This is both completely untrue and ridiculous to even consider. You are the only you there is and that is your superpower. You are beautifully unique and you can’t let other people steal your confidence.
  6. You will question yourself. You are strong, smart, and capable but when you’re constantly comparing yourself to other people, you start to wonder if you’re good enough and if you’re able to achieve everything you want in life. You should never let other people make you think that you can’t do anything, and don’t forget that there is enough sun for everyone. Just because someone reaches a goal before you doesn’t mean that it will never happen for you. Keeping living your own story. Your happy ending is coming.
  7. It will keep you from attaining your goals. You might think that focusing on other people’s lives is “inspring” you to go after your own dreams, but we all know that’s just an excuse you use because obsessing over and envying others is easier than putting in the work to get what you want out of life. It’s hard when it feels like everyone else around you is shining and you’re struggling, but you have to shut it all out and just focus on yourself. Constantly comparing your progress to everyone else’s is only going to keep you making your own progress.
  8. Happiness is subjective. If you’re thinking that someone is happier than you because they look it, you could be completely wrong. Think about the real things that make you happy in life. The people that you have, your day-to-day life, the qualities about yourself that can’t be bought. Those are the things that can’t be found in someone else’s life, only yours.
  9. Insecurities need to be fed to survive. Every time you let yourself get lost in obsessing over what someone else has that you might not have, all you’re doing is feeding your insecurities and making them stronger. Social media is a fun way to stay in touch with long-distance friends and is a creative outlet of self-expression, but once it becomes a tool that you use study other people and lust over a life that isn’t yours, it becomes something toxic and harmful.
Shelby is a journalist and fiction writer raised in the South but built for the big city. She's a book nerd (well, an overall nerd, honestly) and coffee addict and obsessed with all things leather and lacy.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Sam Houston State University and worked for her university newspaper, The Houstonian, as well as serving as a producer and part-time entertainment anchor for Cable 7 Huntsville. You can follow her on Twitter @shelby777.