Comparing has always been a part of our nature, but since social media became a major part of our lives comparing increased tremendously. Whether you’re on Facebook, Instagram or any other social media channel, you’re constantly bombarded with other people’s perfect posts about their “perfect live”.
While you’re sitting in front of your computer, others are on vacation in Hawaii or climbing Mt. Everest. You’re asking yourself how your life became so boring and why the other people live’s are so exciting. But you’re doing the same thing when you’re on vacation.
You take photos for 10 times only to capture the perfect one to post on social media. Most people won’t even notice the actual beauty around them.
Besides that, according to several studies, social media and comparing yourself, in general, has many negative effects on you. Not only mentally, but also physically.
There are basically two forms of comparing.
- Comparing yourself to those that have it better than you.
- Comparing yourself to the less fortunate.
Unfortunately, both of them have negative consequences.
“Comparison is the death of joy” – Mark Twain
Comparing yourself with others, that are “above” you can lead to a feeling of low self-esteem, envy towards the others and even depression as studies confirmed. It can also decrease your ability to trust others, but these are only the consequences of upward comparison.
The second form of comparing, to those who are less fortunate, can actually provide you with more confidence and self-esteem, but this usually comes at a cost. When we’re practicing that, we choose jealousy over connection and competition vs. collaboration.
Either way, either you’re devaluing yourself or the other person, which is not that good.
Besides those mental effects, your body will also take its toll when you are comparing yourself all the time. All of this causes much stress in your life and stress in your life and you’ve already know that continuous periods of stress will lead to higher blood pressure, and eventually heart disease or attacks.
All of this is really unnecessary for several reasons. First of all, the information on social media is rarely accurate. People are only posting the best parts of their life while hiding the “bad parts”. If you’re constantly comparing against your average life against the best parts of someone else’s life, of course, you will feel bad.
Another reason comparing is useless is that you won’t gain anything, but can lose very much. Often comparing yourself could cause your friendships to fall apart and turn them into enemies instead.
Comparing yourself with others will also not bring you closer to your goals. You’re rather wasting time and losing motivation when practicing this and your goals with drift further away.
Besides that, comparisons would never end. There is always somebody or something you can compare yourself to. Don’t get caught in this vicious cycle.
Think about it: Would you rather spend hours on Facebook, complaining about the perfect live of others or would you use that time to finish your first novel or that project you’ve been working on for so long? I bet it’s the latter.
For me, the first step to stop comparing myself to others (it still happens from time to time), was acknowledging how bad it actually is. As I said, there is very much to lose, confidence, friends, time but actually nothing to gain, except for depression and anger.
After realizing this, I could focus on my own goals and find my own unique voice that doesn’t need any comparison.
There are also ways to change your environment that it doesn’t promote comparing so much. For example you can install the Newsfeed Eradicator for Facebook, that will blank out your newsfeed. This way there is nothing to compare yourself to.
A few other techniques include being grateful for what you have, focus on your success and things you have instead of the things you don’t and taking a walk or a short break whenever the urge for comparing yourself arises.
If you want to compare yourself to anybody it should be to yourself because then you will know if you are growing.
Steps to take:
- Think about how often you compare yourself and how it makes you feel.
- Install theNewsfeed Eradicator for Facebook.
- Use the time you spent comparing yourself for improving your own life.