Comparing ourselves to others is human and let’s face it, we’re all guilty of doing it at some point. And might I add, it’s not necessarily a bad thing per se either – after all, a bit of healthy competition can help us assess our situation and see where we stand in life. It can even be an incentive to improve ourselves in certain aspects and move forward.
When we start to go down that destructive path of self-loathing and envy however, is when comparing becomes toxic. It’s when we are constantly convinced that the grass is definitely greener on the other side – and start to put ourselves down in the process – that we need to draw the line. Never, ever lose the respect for yourself by putting yourself down.
Easier said than done, in a society so obsessed with perfection, success and appearance. Whether it’s on social media or in our interactions with other people in everyday life: We all put up a bit of a show (some more, some less than others) to display our best side to the outside world. We spend countless hours editing our profile pictures and posts on Facebook or Instagram, paining the picture of the perfect life, filled with adventure, a stimulating social life and clever quotes. Heck, if you glanced at my Facebook page, you’d probably think I was traveling to exotic and interesting places all the time. While it is certainly true, that I love to travel and go out, it is equally true that I spend most of my evenings just like everybody else: huddled up on the couch, wearing a washed-out tracksuit and binge watching Netflix. Doesn’t sound so exciting, does it?
The same goes with relationships: Every relationship has its ups and downs and yet hardly anybody will admit it. “So, how are you guys doing?” A simple question like this will almost certainly prompt answers along the lines of: “We’re doing really great. Jack has landed this perfect job and we just got back from vacationing in Dubai. It was so amazing. We’re doing so well.” Because God forbid we should admit that we have occasional rows over stupid things like vacuuming the living room or cleaning up after dinner. Instead, we leave the person asking the question believing that our relationship is picture-perfect.
So, don’t blindly believe everything people say or do. It most likely is an exaggerated or incomplete version of their lives, which does not necessarily reflect reality. Because the truth of the matter is, none of us knows (and never will know) what goes on behind closed doors. What may seem perfect on the outside, might very well not be on the inside and vice versa.
Furthermore, next time you find yourself thinking that the grass is greener on the other side, change your thought to “the grass may be a different shade of green, but that doesn’t make mine less green”. There is a huge difference there. What works for your neighbor, might not be what works for you and the other way round.
Seeing that we are all unique individuals in unique relationships, there is no real comparison anyway. It’s as simple as that. Let’s not waste our time in useless comparisons and instead appreciate who we are and what we have.
Life shouldn’t be a race to prove you are better than others. So, let’s stop comparing, take a step back and start enjoying who we are and what we do.