‘Me Vs. Them Trap’: How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

Figuring out how to stop comparing yourself to others is extremely tough.

If you’re like us or anyone who has ever lived a social life, you are pretty familiar with this feeling. You are bored and casually scrolling your social media feeds, and in the middle of cute dog reels are that one humble brag post from someone you know. It could be a cousin talking about their smooth career trajectory, a coworker having a fantastic vacation, a school friend with the perfect fiance, or anything along these lines that can ignite a sense of envy within you. 

This instant flash of comparison and jealousy is frequently associated with bouts of anxiety. You question other people’s happiness and compare yourself to other people. How can they achieve so much in such a short period? How are they so skilled?

And before you know it, this whole comparing yourself to others’ psychology makes you spiral into a vicious cycle. You constantly feel that other people are better than you. You are consumed by the pressure of being more successful and having more friends. Yet, even when you reach a significant milestone, you never feel happy. Your goalposts keep shifting, and you live a miserable life

What started as a mere thought of comparing yourself to other people ends up becoming a major life crisis. And the worst part? It never helps your growth and only makes things worse for you. 

This is why learning how to stop comparing yourself to others is essential. 

Now, we are not promising big and saying that you can ever reach a point where you can learn how to not compare yourself to others completely. We are not even convinced that it can be humanly possible.

However, we can promise that this blog post can help you understand that comparing yourself to others will only make you miserable and serve no literal purpose. Let’s dive deeper into comparing yourself to others’ psychology and figure out why you are always so consumed by jealousy. 

So, Why Are We Constantly Comparing Ourselves To Others?

how to stop comparing yourself to others

Comparing yourself to others is an unintentional habit we pick up over the years. It’s actually a basic part of human nature, one that can, on a reasonable level, inspire us to become better people. 

However, most of the time, this habit of comparing yourself becomes too exhausting and consumes your entire existence. Your thoughts aren’t yours anymore. Your success and happiness are defined on a scale determined by other people. Eventually, you learn all this while living a dubious life, desperately trying to be someone else. 

There are three types of comparisons that a person usually makes. These include the following:

  • Upward comparison: This means putting yourself against people you think are better than you because you constantly feel like you aren’t enough.
  • Downward comparison: This comes from a place of superiority where you compare yourself to other people to make yourself feel better.
  • Lateral comparison: This form of comparison includes comparing yourself to your past self or someone you see as an equal. 

Comparisons In The Age Of Social Media

how to stop comparing yourself to others

About a hundred years ago, most people compared themselves to the person beside them. Some 60 years ago, celebrities and movie stars joined our list. But today, with the explosion and intrusiveness of social media in our lives, you are bombarded with thousands of people you can envy.

And that’s a lot of pressure for your mind to handle.

This way, you are constantly comparing yourself to others. Social media gives you a false impression that everyone’s lives are better than yours. This makes you feel empty on the inside as you enter the vicious cycle of comparisons. This takes a significant toll on your mental health and self-confidence.

Why Do Comparisons Hurt?

Comparing yourself is almost always going to make you feel miserable about yourself. 

To be honest, we are not judging you. We understand how commonplace it is to pick up the habit of comparing yourself to others in a world obsessed with competition at every step of the way. In a world where everyone’s feeds offer a glimpse of their awesome lives, it’s easy to get stuck in the toxicity.

However, this vicious cycle can harm your growth and mental well-being. 

For starters, comparing yourself will shift your focus from your needs and goals. No matter how much you try to convince yourself that you’re drawing inspiration from people, there’s scientific proof against this. As per research by the University of California, upward comparisons are not inspirational for people in most cases. In fact, they can have the complete opposite effect and leave you feeling depressed and jealous. 

Comparing yourself to others’ psychology can make you feel inferior and significantly impact your self-esteem and mental health.

So, How Do You Stop Comparing Yourself To Other People?

how to stop comparing yourself to others

If you have ever googled ‘how to stop comparing myself to others,’ this is the perfect place for you to get started. Here are a few actionable and non-intimidating steps on how to not compare yourself to others. Let’s dive in.

1. Notice when you feel the comparison and envy creeping in. 

The first step in learning how to stop comparing yourself to others is to notice when the comparison creeps in consciously. 

It won’t feel natural at first to take a mental note of the comparisons you make daily. This is because the tendency is so ingrained in you that it’s almost like second nature. Therefore, focus on when your comparison tendencies occur. 

2. Understand your triggers. 

While noticing your comparison tendencies, keeping track of your triggers is important. To learn how to stop comparing yourself to others, it’s essential to understand what makes you feel unworthy and inadequate. 

Once you know your triggers, you can redirect your energy to more positive directions. For instance, if that childhood friend’s Instagram posts make you envious, you can actually figure out what aspect of their life makes you feel like this. With this information, you can effectively work toward imbibing that into your life. 

3. Focus on yourself.

Another tip on how to not compare yourself to others is to start focusing on what you have rather than other people. 

It’s pretty easy to lose track of your life when you constantly compare yourself to others. Therefore, focusing on your wishes, working on your goal, and tracking your growth can help you stop comparing yourself to others effectively. 

4. Question your comparisons. 

A simple ‘don’t compare yourself to others’ advice won’t really work in real life. Therefore, another tip on how to stop comparing yourself to others is to question your doubts, jealousy, and comparisons extensively. 

Question whether you really want all those things that you are cribbing about. Are they really worth your time and energy? Do you really want these things, or are you having an episode of FOMO (fear of missing out)? 

Additionally, question whether what you want is real or not. Think about what lies behind the photoshopped pictures and the carefully constructed social media feeds. Remind yourself that what people show is not really the exact reality of their lives. There’s much more that’s hidden beneath the surface. 

5. Give yourself credit where it’s due. 

There are a whole lot of people in the world who go on to do remarkable things. And we are so consumed by the glory of these achievements that we never really acknowledge our victories. 

Therefore, another effective tip on how to stop comparing yourself to others is to give yourself the required credit. Acknowledge your strengths and give yourself a pat on the back every now and then. You deserve it. 

6. Understand that everyone has had a different life. 

Another reason you don’t have to compare your life to others is because we all have different lives. We all have different starting points. Maybe you are comparing your B+ grade with another student’s A+ grade without incorporating the fact that both his parents are maths professors. This is why people with different starting points can’t be equated with the same results. 

Additionally, the resources available to each person and their talent are vastly different and cannot be equated against others without proper context.

Therefore, acknowledging how different our lives are is one of the best tips on how to stop comparing yourself to other people. 

7. Try to genuinely be happy for other people. 

Another effective tip on how to stop comparing yourself to others is by genuinely being happy for other people. 

Whenever a friend, loved one, or someone you know does well, be genuinely happy for that person. Instead of feeling the need for comparison or jealousy, use your energy to encourage and be happy for people. Share your excitement for others and compliment people (and mean those compliments). 

Additionally, don’t forget to celebrate your achievements in the same way. 

Conclusion: 

Learning how to stop comparing yourself to others is challenging. Comparisons can occupy significant space in your head and affect your mental well-being. Especially in today’s social media-dominated times, comparisons can destroy your ability to feel true happiness. This is why learning how to not compare yourself to others is important. We hope these tips will help you get started in the right direction.

Comparing yourself is just one of the signs of low self-esteem. Find out what else is affecting your self-esteem and confidence here.

To continue learning about self-development and mental health, subscribe to Your Mental Health Pal

Speak Your Mind

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *