• The Hopefulist

The danger of comparison

Comparing is likely one of the fastest way to feel inferior and unhappy with what you have. We all do it all the time and it is so detrimental to our well-being. Our minds can't help but compare so put yourself in a position where you are less likely to do it. Or keep it realistic. It's really hard for me to not compare myself to my friends that live around here. A lot of people rebuilt their homes after Superstorm Sandy back in 2012. They have much bigger homes than me that are updated and gorgeous. I have a kitchen from the 1980's and old, tile floors, windows that could really use replacing and a deck that needs a facelift. Do I look at these other beautiful homes and feel jealous? Sometimes, but mostly I'm just happy to be living here at all. When I start to feel envious of others, I remind myself that there are many people who would love to live in my house in my neighborhood. I've always been more about the view than how the house looks. Trust me when I say I have lived in some dumps. But we can always make it look a little more pretty.

Watching television is a huge source of comparison. You aren't even consciously aware that you are comparing yourselves to the people you see on tv, but you are. I just watched the series; "Defending Jacob" and they had the most amazing house...inside and out. I spent so much of their time in the kitchen checking out their appliances and the decor. I didn't set out to do this, it just happened. It's human nature to compare ourselves to the others we see. We don't like it when our co-workers seem to be living a better life than us. But there are so many factors that play into it. Maybe they already come from money. Maybe their spouse makes a lot of money. Or maybe they had saved for 20 years straight and paid cash for their house. It's such a trap to fall into when comparing but we all do it and we do it all the time. This is when gratitude helps so much. Like I said above, when I feel jealous...I remind myself of how happy I am just to be here. I would live in a shack if I had to!

Remember me telling you the story of how an Olympic bronze medalist is typically happier than the silver medalist? The silver medalist can't stop kicking himself for not grabbing the gold but the bronze medalist is just happy to have made it on the podium. It's all in the way we look at things. It's not always easy to remind ourselves of this but feeling gratitude for what we have goes a long way toward combating this problem.

Did you know that studies show those who spend the most time on social media have much lower self esteem than those who don't spend a majority of time. Studies also show that social media affects your happiness more than your income level. Think about that. Isn't that crazy? If this is the problem, why don't we just stop. I don't really have the answer to that but my guess is that we are addicted to it. It's part of instant gratification society and the fact that we need to be doing something at all times. When a commercial comes on tv or we have a moment free at work, what do we do? We grab our phone and start scrolling through social media. And comparison happens most when we follow those celebrities that we admire and see them looking fabulous while living the most amazing life. It makes us feel less than. I'm not saying you shouldn't follow celebrities but try to keep things in perspective. There will alway be people who have more than you. There are people who have more than the Kardashians, athletes, Oprah and your favorite actors. Keep in mind there are people that they are jealous of as well. Whether it be material things, location, relationships, family issues, what have you. EVERYONE has problems and issues at times. Nobody has a perfect life. So stop thinking that certain people do. It's just not true. Also, keep in mind that most people's social media feeds are their highlight reel. They aren't likely posting of when they sit down with a bag of Doritos. Mmmmm, Doritos!

As I mentioned, the number one to combat this comparison syndrome is to simply be grateful for what you have. Once you are happy with what you have you won't long for what others have. Not as much anyway. Keep things in perspective, be aware of your own blessings and don't ever assume people just have it easy.

It's "I wish it were cocktail Friday" Thursday. Poor Thursday. When you feel envious today, remind yourself of one thing you have that you would never trade! You will be well on your way to putting the kabosh on comparison!

Now go be a badass...I'm cheering you on!

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