Comparison -- The Surefire Way to a Poor Self-Image

Feisty By Feisty, 22nd May 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Personal Development>Identity

When you are assessing your qualities and progress in life, one of the most harmful methods of measuring is comparison with another person/people.

Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover

You've likely heard this old saying many times, "Don't judge a book by its cover." It's an old saying that is still around because it's simple message is as accurate now as ever: It isn't looks alone on which your perceptions and choices should be made.

It is relatively easy to make outward appearances pleasant. A smile, some makeup and even a little acting can cause other people to view a person as happy, successful or genuine.

When you look at those around such as co-workers, friends, neighbors and more, try to keep in mind that what you see, what you are able to visualize, is only a small portion of that total person and that portion is one that is easily crafted.

Photo Credit: thepeachpeddler CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr

Don't Compare Your Insides to Other People's Outsides

One of the more valuable pieces of advice that I've been given in my adult life is this: Don't compare your insides to other people's outsides. It's a simple concept and one I wondered why I hadn't arrived at myself.

I wondered why I couldn't be as happy, confident, successful, outgoing, patient, unselfish -- or a host of many other qualities -- as the people I encountered in my life. I wanted to be more like what I found those people to be like, not the way I felt inside myself.

Once I applied this new way of looking at others, though, I realized I didn't truly know that they were all those things I aspired to be. What I knew was what those people wanted me to know. Their inner struggles weren't evident to me, just as mine weren't on display for public consumption.

Photo Credit: CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr

Keep Comparison for Price Shopping

Comparing yourself to another person is sure to lead to false perceptions, whether you gauge yourself to be better or worse than someone else. Even comparing yourself at this point in your life to earlier times is an exercise in futility. You are who you are today as a result of choices you've made and life experiences you've had all along the way.

You are the only person who is uniquely qualified to be you. There's nothing wrong with having goals for self-improvement, as long as those goals represent your true thoughts and are not based on others.

Comparisons have their place -- such as when price shopping -- but not in the realm of human qualities. If you find yourself comparing yourself to someone else, halt those thoughts. After you do this for a bit, you'll find you can stop this self-defeating exercise.

Be the best person that you can be. That is where you'll find your personal rewards.

Photo Credit: Commodore Gandalf Cunningham CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr


Comparison, Confidence, Positive Self Image, Self Esteem, Self Worth, Self-Esteem, Self-Image

Meet the author

author avatar Feisty
Retired nurse and social service worker who has found new avenues for expression of creativity and compassion. I'm an advocate of common sense, an open mind and lifelong learning.

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author avatar Donald Pennington
22nd May 2014 (#)

But without self-comparison, how will I know how much better I am than others? :P

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author avatar Feisty
22nd May 2014 (#)

Oh Donald, lie down on the couch and tell me what's on your mind. : )

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
22nd May 2014 (#)

Sometimes parents make this difficult because parents often compare their kids to other people's kids, I have even heard them say "why can't you be more like...."

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
23rd May 2014 (#)

This article is chock full of good advice. And I love your reply to Donald. Spot on, Fiesty!!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
23rd May 2014 (#)

Thought provoking, Feisty When we compare ourselves with another it is almost like between apples and oranges - they are fruits like we are human species. Our goals are different. Some feel jealous of the rich but they are only in terms of material wealth as they pursue it as the be all and end all. For me, it is more towards touching as many lives positively - so the rewards are also different. I agree with Mark; here in Asia parents always compare their kids to another thereby demoralizing them - siva

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