Comparison is the thief of joy. We’ve all heard that old adage haven’t we? We all strive to live our own lives and be the best we can be. But we all fall foul to the side eye glance, the one that checks if we’re ahead or behind.
Comparisons come in every aspect of our lives. Are our siblings more successful? Who got better grades? Why did they get a promotion before me? Fair enough cheat with Becky with the Good Hair, but why her?
Ultimately we ask ourselves – what is it that other people have, that we don’t. Are they prettier? Richer? Harder worker? Better in bed? Do they have an opportunity that I want? Do people turn to them before me? Do people overlook me, to look at them?
Dating is a killer for this. You know when you’re talking to someone, or in the early stages of dating, that they’re more than likely talking to someone else. And often, you find yourself drifting into thoughts of, ‘is she better looking? Funnier? Flirtier? Going to husband him up before he’s even heard my terrible John Wayne joke?’
You paint pictures of strangers in your mind. Strangers that always have the things you want to have but don’t – the designer wardrobe, the perfect date chat, the ability to make men go weak at the knees. But what makes you think they have the amazing things you have but better?
You compare yourself to your dates too. Do they have a better family life than me? Less issues? More Tinder matches? Are they smarter? Are they hotter than me?
You then find yourself talking yourself out of the date or burgeoning relationship because after comparing you both, he’s a 7 and you’re a solid 4.5 with make up and an eyebrow wax. But why do you think that way?
You also compare yourself to yourself. Was I more suggestive on the first date? Is this date more boring than last week’s? Did he like me more before 6 dates have passed and I’ve accidentally farted on his dick during a spoon?
That’s madness isn’t it? To think a past you is better than a current you.
Comparison is a little worm that wriggles into your brain and burrows until you’re ground down into believing that you’re not good enough. That anyone and everyone is better.
Blogging is no different. Hannah G(Bae)ale puts it much better than I do here. What really resonated in her post, with me, was the bitterness that comparison can bring. I’ve heard many people say things like: ‘She bought all of her Instagram followers so why is she going on another press trip?’ or ‘She’s awfully rude to PRs, why do they keep working with her?’ What’s left after these comments is resentment.
What’s left after you’ve compared yourself in a dating scenario? Resentment for your date, that’s what. There’s nothing that dampens a fanny flutter quicker than already assuming the person you’re seeing compares you to other people and themselves and thinks they can do better.
Well done, knobhead, you’ve screwed yourself over there!
In reality then, who does comparison thieve the joy from? Not Becky with the Good Hair. Not Denise at the Office who works for 12 hours a day and doesn’t have a life. Not your date that ghosted. Or the one who started seeing someone else. Or the one whose cup of tea you just were not. Not that blogger who you just know has got to where they are through unjust means. The joy is stolen from you.
So it’s time to stop the comparisons. It’s time to centre yourself on your own path. It’s time to look at all the great things you are achieving at work, in relationships and in your other hobbies. It’s time to appreciate how far you’ve come and accept that you’ll go even further, in your own time, at your own pace.
Comparison resides amongst low self esteem and disbelief in yourself. Combat it by focusing on you and instead of being bitter about what others are achieving – celebrate them! Instead of resenting the person you really like because you’ve assumed they’re comparing you (when most likely they are not), relax and let them ACTUALLY tell you they think they can do better (then put them on Twitter blast).
Try to remember that building other people up to be better, doesn’t make you any worse. And next time the comparisons creep in, don’t ask, ‘what do they have that I don’t?’ Ask ‘What do I have now, that I didn’t have before?’ and ‘What am I still to get that I didn’t have before?’