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Why not to compare yourself with others

Why not to compare yourself with others

One of the problems with comparing ourselves to others is that we experience other people in a very different way from ourselves.

When we look at other people, we get a snapshot of them and feel that we can say something definitive about them. We struggle more to do this towards ourselves because living, at its most fundamental level, involves looking outwards and engaging with other people and things.  It gets confusing when we try and look inwards. We’re different in different situations and we don't know how we'll be in the future. It’s really difficult to say 'I am this' and 'I am that'. We might have some kind of general sense of competency in certain areas of life but it’s difficult to be conclusive about this.

As a result, we sometimes base our criteria for judging self-worth on qualities we see in others rather than ourselves. Then when we turn back to ourselves and compare, it seems we don’t have the qualities the other has. This can create a really distressing sense of inferiority and self-dissatisfaction which undermines our more generalised feelings of competency.

Even when we come off well in the comparisons, there’s something limiting about this. What really matters is how present and responsive we are to the situation we’re currently in and self-assessment takes us away from that.

 If we don’t compare, we might also stop assessing ourselves. That will free up more capacity to engage in potentially meaningful/fulfilling relationships and activities. It’s through this that we can experience genuine ease and confidence.