I compare myself to other people. I know better, but I still do it. When I see other girls, I’ll compare my looks to theirs. When I go on Facebook, I compare my life to my friends’. I judge myself harshly, and usually find myself lacking. This certainly does nothing to alleviate my depression.
Comparing myself to others has never made me happy. It’s a sort of sick compulsion, and part of a competitive nature I can’t seem to shake. “Stop comparing yourself to others”; I will…just as soon as I’m doing better than them.
I know I’m not alone in this. A lot of us spend time seeing how we measure up – if we’re keeping up with the Joneses.
Obviously I do not know the inner workings of every person’s mind, but it seems like some of the happiest people I know are not burdened by self-comparison. Of course, I compare my own relative discontent to their happiness and end up envious!
However, I had something of a breakthrough when I was considering some upcoming events. Let me take you through the events:
- In a month and a half, my best friend is getting married.
- About 2 months after that, i will graduate from my program and complete my 20th consecutive year of school.
- About 2 months after that, my cousin will give birth to her first child.
My friends, my cousin, and I are all very close in age (all born within a 32-day period). We all grew up in the same county. We all went to the same schools. Yet, despite these similarities, out lives have taken drastically different paths.
How can I compare my life to either of theirs? It’s all apples and oranges.
Am I failing because I’m not getting married or having a child? No. Are they failing because they have not pursued education to the same extent I have? No.
Comparing our lives to the lives of those on different paths will not make us happy, and it’s a silly thing to do anyway. I think, from now on, I will find it a bit easier to remember this.