Comparing ourselves to others can be an aide in decreased self-esteem and value. It is something that I believe we all do at times, and is normal being that we are social beings. I believe that when we focus on differences between ourselves and other people, that we should focus on embracing how we are all unique, and blessed in different areas as individuals, instead of whether those differences make us “better” or “worse” when we are looking at the lives of others.
I am sure that we all know that if we were all the same, that life would be pretty boring. It can be flattering to a person to be admired and sometimes be the source of what another person aims to become. However, I believe that trying to mimic the exact life of someone else is unhealthy, especially if a person is not taking into account their own values and talents, also. In my opinion, if we aim to be completely like someone else, we are cheating ourselves, our loved ones, and society as a whole.
Let’s say for example, a person has a close friend that they interact with regularly. We will call the first friend in this particular scenario “Jane”. Okay, so Jane looks up to her good friend, who has a well paying career, big home, the newest Mercedes, a loving husband, and two children. Jane starts comparing her own life to that of this good friend. Jane starts taking into account the things in her own life. Jane is collecting unemployment, uses public transportation, and is a single parent, due to leaving an abusive relationship. She starts to believe that her friends life is better.
What Jane doesn’t know, is that her friend secretly admires her independence, strength, and ability to maintain a life for her and her child. Maybe behind closed doors Janes friend is dealing with a marriage that is falling apart, hates her career, and has trouble controlling her children. Jane could be a mentor for those in her situation, even for her friend, who she compares herself to, because she’s “been there” herself with certain situations, which also might make her more compassionate to those in similar situations.
There are a few things to point out about comparing lives, in the brief scenario that I just shared. One point being that what we see in other people’s lives externally may not be the same situation that is being dealt with interally. People usually “put their best foot forward” when sharing personal things about their lives to others, and on the Internet. Another point is while we are sometimes admiring attributes of others, we may not know that there are certain traits or things in our own lives that are being admired by the ones we are “looking up to”.
I don’t see anything wrong with seeing certain traits or good things in people’s lives, and to want some of those things in our own lives, but I believe that it has to be “customized” to our own situations, personalities, goals, and personal needs. Maybe someone admires a friends new car, and wants one themself. Nothing wrong with that, but the desire to “equal” ourselves with other people cannot be so strong that we make decisions that are not good for us at the time, or sometimes not good for us ever.
If you find yourself desiring things in a friends life, take those ideas and think of how you can make them your own. It is important to do things according to how they fit into your own life. Things that we draw from others should add to the person we already are, and aim to become as an indivual, not take us out of character, or change who we are, for the sake of mimicking someone else.
Lastly, I’d just like to put a reminder out there, that spending excessive time on social media can lead people to compare their own situations to those of other people. When we focus more on our own goals, and we actually get out, and “live life” it doesn’t leave much time to sit around and compare every detail of our lives to those around us, or to ponder thoughts that bring negative thoughts or feelings. Thanks for reading, God bless! 😊💕✌