Social media has basically made it impossible to avoid comparing ourselves to other people, but we don’t have to let that impulse take over our lives. If you do, here’s what will happen.
You become unsatisfied with things you actually liked before. Once you let comparison get a foothold in your life, it tends to take over. You may start by admiring a particular person’s career, but given enough time, you’ll find yourself wanting the type of house or car they have too. What we forget is that things always look better from the outside. Comparison is a slippery slope.
You start to pressure those around you to change. When you compare yourself to others, you want what they have. It doesn’t just apply to you—I can’t tell you the number of people whose relationships have ended because they wanted their partner to become more like someone else. No one likes to feel like they’re not loved for who they are, so unsurprisingly, a lot of these relationships end. When you pressure someone to change, you make them insecure. Don’t be surprised to find yourself alone.
You end up living someone else’s dream. This is an unfortunate thing to see. A lot of people think that they’ll be happy when they get something that someone else who appears to be satisfied has. Unfortunately, what we often see on social media is a lie. It’s heartbreaking to change everything about yourself and your life and then wake up one day and realize your living someone else’s dream. Despite what anyone may say, your dreams are valid. Hold onto them.
You make it hard for people to enjoy being around you. When you’re always comparing yourself, your experiences, and every fun thing you do to what someone else has done, the people in your life tend to shy away from you. It’s no fun to be with someone who’s continuously obsessed with living up to someone else’s standard instead of being in the moment.
You get way too stressed. Keeping up with the Joneses is hard work. There often are great benefits when you start, like learning that you can push the boundaries, but it quickly becomes a full-time job. Down at the end of it is nothing but a ball of stress because no one can run another person’s race, which is what comparing yourself to others leads to. Do yourself a favor, and stop caring what other people think. It will help you lead a more fulfilling life.
You become someone completely different. I believe that everyone is born with unique personality traits and skills to live the life that would make them happiest. When you start going after things that you’ve never really wanted simply because you don’t want to be left behind, you have to change who you are. That’s the one thing a lot of people don’t tell you. They’ll happily show you the photos of what they’ve achieved but they won’t tell you about the kind of person that had to become to achieve them.
You’re likely to make questionable decisions. When we compare ourselves to others, we end up feeling inadequate. That’s a horrible feeling to carry around and unfortunately, a lot of us are willing to do anything to feel different. I’ve seen friends lie to get a better job. I’ve seen women leave good guys to date people that could get them into a powerful circle. It’s sad but comparison can blind you.
You’ll never be satisfied. People who always compare themselves to others are never happy. Why? Because human innovation means that there’s always a new horizon to conquer. Newsflash: the finish line of success, beauty, or whatever it is you’re chasing is continually being moved. You’ll never achieve it, so why torture yourself?
You’ll raise insecure children. Unfortunately, this dysfunctional need for us to compare ourselves to others and try to match up often doesn’t come from us. For a lot of us, it’s a generational thing. Perhaps your parents compared you to your siblings or other kids in your school. While it might seem innocent, it’s pretty damaging to a young person’s ego and can’t be shaken off easily. This type of parenting creates a negative cycle that needs to be broken. If it isn’t, we’ll raise a generation full of depression and suicidal thoughts. That would be a real tragedy.
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