This is a topic that I think we have all fell victim of at some point…so we get it. In most cases it happens so subtly, you might not even notice that you are doing it. This usually leads to us feeling depressed, as if we have not achieved much worth mentioning.
I had this ridiculous theory that I need to have achieved certain things by a certain age. And life (post-graduation) has definitely not gone according to plan. When we get to early adulthood, we all set on our own paths and we achieve things at our own pace. So there is no use comparing yourself to others.
The easiest way to fall into this trap is to peruse social media. Everyone’s life looks so perfect on instagram or facebook. So you stalk all of your friends from high school or varsity. You find that they are buying houses, getting married, being promoted, buying cars….or whatever else it may be. After this, I am usually left feeling like:
“I am not doing anything with my life”
“We studied the same degree, but she’s already been promoted…what am I doing wrong?”
“How come I don’t travel and go out as much as she does?”
“She has the best outfits/perfect boyfriend/perfect life”
These thoughts are not good at all because they just bring you down. And for what? Do you even have grounds to compare yourself to compare yourself to these people? This post will show you how to avoid comparison and to even turn it into something positive and live a happier life.
How It Happens
Comparing yourself to others happens to easily, especially when scrolling through social media. The thoughts you get lead to jealousy or envy.
This shows itself in two different ways:
- Spiteful jealousy
- Benign jealousy
With spiteful jealousy, you actively wish bad on the person whom you’re comparing yourself to. For example, “She just bought my dream car…I hope she gets into an accident”. As you probably can tell, this is the harmful type that you should definitely avoid.
However, on the other hand, you might just have benign jealousy. This is completely harmless, but it will affect because it might leave you feeling like you have not accomplished much in your life and might lead to depression or emotional eating.
Benign jealousy comes from acknowledging what someone else is doing and wanting the same thing for yourself. This easily happens as you scroll through social media platforms.
How To Avoid It
Now staying away from social media completely might not be easy to do in this day and age, but there are a few ways that you may avoid comparing yourself to others and the depression that follows.
- Regulate Your Social Media Usage
Since the biggest source of this comparison happens when you go through social media, controlling how you use it will be good for you.
For example, avoid going through instagram in the morning because that put in a negative mindset for the rest of the day. Instead let your mornings be about you. The same is true for when you have had a bad day. If you go on instagram when you’re already depressed, it will just make you feel even worse.
I use instagram as an example because that’s my self-shaming usually comes from. Everyone’s life just seems so perfect there! This leads me to my next point.
2. Life is not perfect
When on this social networks, and as we criticize ourselves, it is so easy to forget that no one’s life is perfect. Regardless of what is on her feed, she also does not have it all. Our social media profiles are just a curation of our lives.
You likely won’t see the bad parts of someone’s life. They only display the best parts of life, in the best way possible.
So remembering that it is just a curation of their lives will help avoid negative thoughts.
3. Keep A Journal
Once you recognize that life is not perfect, it is important to start recognizing the good that you are doing. You will benefit from keeping a gratitude journal. You can write in it every morning and acknowledge your successes and stating what you are grateful for.
This is effective because you are doing it for yourself, outside of social media. Not everything has to be a broadcast to the world.
4. Empower Yourself
I use this one a lot. When I feel down and worthless. I turn to different sources of women empowerment to remind myself of my worth. This helps me recognize my own potential and to work on improving my life, regardless of what everyone else is doing.
Turn It Into Something Positive
Another way to avoid comparing yourself to others is to get rid of the negative thoughts by turning it into something positive.
We all have that one person who we follow and look up to. But when the negative thoughts start to build up, it will be best to reach out to the person and congratulate them. You could simply send them a message showing your appreciation for the work that they are doing.
This will make you feel better and will get rid of the feelings of jealousy.
Do you find yourself comparing yourself to others? Which other methods have you used to avoid this? Have these tips helped you become a better you? Let me know in the comments below.