Today, I just wanted to talk freely about my problem with comparisons. When I say comparisons, I mean comparing where you’re at in your life to where other people are. Comparing what you’ve done or what you have to other people. Getting jealous or angry or bitter about what you think you lack.
I have a HUGE problem with this, I confess.
One of the things I’m trying out is not beating myself up for comparing or getting jealous, though, because that’s not healthy either. Instead, I’m recognising that I’m doing it, and doing a few things to stop it. This is things like writing a list of what I’m grateful for in my own life. Writing a list of the good things about myself. Writing a list of achievements or experiences that were important. Etcetera, etcetera.
Others things that I do is make sure to smile, breathe, and say that I am happy for that other person. Like my little sister has just spent a month on her own travelling in Thailand. It was an exceptional trip and of course, I’ve felt very jealous. However, when I feel the jealousy seeping in where I just want to scream and block her on Snapchat, I smile and breathe and say, “wow, she’s had an amazing trip, my baby sister, and she deserves it. And my time will come.”
Another great thing to do is put things into perspective. Take my sister as an example again. I know for sure that I wouldn’t have done what she has done. Maybe I could have gone to Thailand alone for a while, but a month? I’m not so sure. Plus, the things she’s done are extraordinary but it’s nice to do those things with someone else (in my opinion), and so I’d rather wait and do them with my partner when we’re able to. See? Perspective. I’ve wasted energy and harmed my mental health by comparing and getting jealous of the fact that she’s travelled alone and done great things when in reality, that’s not what I’d want to do anyway!
We’re all guilty of doing this. We get jealous of what others have; for example, their flashy cars that we wouldn’t even buy if we had the money to do so anyway! Or we compare our simpler lives to people who are out all the time, when in actuality, we may be introverts who don’t thrive in those environments anyway, so it wouldn’t be something that would actually make us happy!
I’ve found myself jealous of people on my social media for having all these friends to party with or whatever, but I don’t even like parties! I don’t need or want loads of friends, either! I love my own space; I thrive in alone time, and so I have friends that I see now and again, and I have my partner who’s there every morning and evening, but other than that – I wanna be alone, man! So, why do I hurt myself with comparisons?
And why do you do it?
When we put them into perspective, we often realise that they make no sense. Even when they are justified, like comparing your B grade to your friend’s A grade, we still can’t allow it to continue. How is comparing and getting sad going to serve you? It’s only going to make you feel rubbish. So, let it happen, but recognise that you’re doing it and stop yourself in your tracks.
Say, “hey, they got an A and I didn’t, but that just means it’s their subject not mine, or they revised harder, or they test well and I don’t. It doesn’t mean I am less-than or that I’m going to fail in life. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Plus, a B is pretty great too!“
It is natural to compare sometimes or get jealous, but try these things that I’m trying to do when I get jealous, too:
- Set goals to help you get what you actually want, anyway, therefore you won’t be jealous because you’ll have it too.
- Use those people you’re jealous of as inspiration instead of a source of anger.
- Do a social media cleanse and either get off it or unfollow the people who make you feel jealous and don’t actually serve any good to you.
- Have visual stimuli for what you want from life, so that you work hard to manifest it, and so that you have something else to focus on instead of people who have what you don’t. This could be dream boards, vision boards, photographs, mindmaps, photos on your phone, quotations, etc.
- Change the dialogue. Change “I’m so jealous of her/him” to “I want what they have, and I will do this and that to get it” or “I’m happy for them.”
- Give yourself a reality check. We all know that no one posts about or talks about the problems in their lives. We all share our highlights, our best parts. So don’t compare your internal dialogue, your past, your down days (etc.) to someone else’s social media feed which only features the best parts of their life. There’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than you realise.
- Remember money and material things does NOT equal health and happiness.
- Remember that you have enough and are enough already. There’s someone out there (probably loads of someones or the very someone that you’re jealous of) who is actually jealous of you and what you have.
- Stop looking outward, and start looking inward. If you’re focusing on your life, your health and happiness, your wants and dreams, your passions, you won’t have any time left to be looking elsewhere and getting jealous anyway.
If you need any help in bettering your mental health, or better coping with anxiety, depression, and stress, then my book “You’re As Mad As I Am” may be for you. Check it out here, and download a free sample to see what it’s all about.
If you want to hire me to write about mental health (or other), then don’t hesitate to get in touch!