Self Development

Why Do We Compare?

“Comparison isn’t only the thief of joy, it’s also the thief of dreams”

Hi there! And welcome back to The Visual Muse. Today’s blog is about comparison. Where does comparison come from? And why do we tend to compare? Is there a way to avoid it?

Many psychologists believe that a social comparability is an act that can take either an upward effect or a downward effect on your well-being. Not so long ago I was comparing my success to that of an acquaintance/friend. And while scrolling to one of her posts I caught myself deeply thinking, “wow she’s giving birth to her first child and bought her home already.” A part of me was in shock thinking, ” this could have been me if I would have chosen a more stable life plan instead of taking risks.” Here I began doubting my chosen route and suddenly felt emotions of fear, slightly depressed, and discouraged by my lifestyle. And although aware enough to know that this was someone else’s life, still my perspective only focused on her achievements, causing inferiority which erupted into the emotions described above. Having negative emotions about myself drove me to explore this topic. Sure, everyone is living different experiences but, why do we get caught comparing ourselves? I took a look at where comparison derives from by doing some research and discovered the following.

We use comparison because the human brain is wired to do so as an act of impulse and it comes from a part of the brain called social-cognition network. So, don’t worry, you’re not alone! Everyone compares because unconsciously we have been wired to do so since during our cave-men times it helped us avoid threats by evaluating ourselves against our surroundings. Unfortunately, we can’t shut it down completely. But I’ll show you some tricks to stop comparing yourself to others. 😉

Let me begin by saying that you’re already on the right path by seeking this information. Just the simple act of learning, where comparison derives from and what it does to us internally, gives us the power to reduce the negative feelings and amplify the positive ones. Okay, relapsing is part of the whole fact that social media exists 24/7 and that comparing is deeply rooted in our brains. So, it’s only fair to say that my advice will help at the very least avoid the bad type of comparison. And the fact that you shouldn’t be too harsh on yourself if you do relapse. I only ask that you make sure to get back on your feet and repeat.

Tricks to avoid comparing yourself to others:

1.  Do some social media detox because this only contributes to showing you idealized lives. Instead, practice discipline by deleting social media apps and focusing on enjoying your life.

2. Be grateful for where your life is right now. Focus on the things you love about your life.

3. Focus on your improvements and strengths. Whatever big or small changes you’ve been able to accomplish should be celebrated by you.

4. Turn comparison into aspiration by asking yourself, what is it that you like about their accomplishments? (Genuinely complimenting and admiring their success.) This type of social comparison will give birth to self-growth because you’re learning to love not to knock down others.

5. Realize that no one is perfect. There’s always someone that might excel on certain skills or talents that you wish you had. But this type of comparison is unhealthy. Your job is to focus on your best set of skills, strengths, and goals. And also remember trying to be perfect is unhealthy. Instead, free yourself from these constraints of life.

To wrapped it up, when I caught myself comparing my life to that of my acquaintance/friend I simply decided to turn off social media for a while. Then substituted my social media time by focusing on my writing skills to create helpful articles like this one on my blog. That’s how I reduced my negative feelings and so far I feel grateful for this and more. Thanks for reading. Love Melo

“A happy runner compares himself to his last run, not to others who are faster.”

Hi, my name is Melody and I am the face behind the visual muse! I am a health and wellness writer currently based out of Miami Fl. When I am not writing or exercising. I am either collaborating on voice overs projects and love spending time learning different ways to manifest self-improvement.

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