BEWLEYTHERAPY: Comparing yourself to others
Updated: May 27
Figuring out what you want from life...
Do you remember a time when you were at school and the bullies made you feel bad? Did you have parents that made you sit up until late doing your homework? Did you have times in your life when you missed parties with your friends or your favourite TV programme just so you could get a project you were working on down to perfection?
You realise you are not alone.
The key take-away from knowing all this is that you understand you may need a guiding hand to help you through the challenges you face.
While everyone is different and nobody is perfect, I've outlined here some issues that many face on a daily basis:
Comparing yourself to others who are seemingly better off than you (May)
Putting off to tomorrow, what could be done today (June)
Thinking you have to be perfect (July)
Comparing yourself to others...
You may have caught yourself looking at another person and feeling slightly inferior to them. Their voice sounds confident, they are dressed smarter/brighter/more fashionable, they stand out from the crowd - and you believe their whole being is better than yours.
These days, you only have to look online, scroll through thousands of images of happy, smiling people having more fun that you are. When you do, that aching jealousy rises up inside and threatens to suffocate you.
You begin to ask yourself, so many questions. Questions like:
How they are having such a good time?
Why do they get to be in such a glamorous location and I don't?
How do they manage to write and sell their book to thousands of followers, and I can't even get started?
Why do they have such a wonderful boy/girlfriend, and I can never seem to find anyone?
How do they look so gorgeous/pretty/handsome...
And on and on...
These all may be so, but have you ever asked why you feel inferior?
Is that little nagging voice at the back of your mind, somewhere, telling you that other person is better than you?
Many people have felt this way. It's natural, it's human and it harks back to when we lived in a different kind of society, one where competition - or the 'likeness-factor' meant the difference between life and death.
These days, online the bullies are commonly known as 'haters' - those who respond to your online posts in a negative or offensive manner. There are also the neighbours who 'snitch' on you for going out twice in a day during the lockdown period. Or even those who speak in a friendly way to your face, then stab you in the back the minute you walk away.
To find out that someone has betrayed your confidence, has lied for some reason or another, or who had even created an untrue story about you for their own benefit, is a horrible sensation. It's gut-wrenching and emotionally upsetting. It brings on a kind of fear sensation that locks you inside of yourself.
And we've all felt it at some point. So, what's the trick to avoiding this pain?
One of the good things about knowing how you feel, or why you feel it, is that you have won half the battle towards gaining control of your own life.
Knowing the way you feel, and acknowledging the ache inside is unwanted, brings to light the urge in you to want to change.
Of course, we all have bad days. Those days where big (and little) things go wrong to the extent that you believe the world and his dog are out to get you.
Sometimes those bad days get to be in our lives more often than we'd like and, as a result, we get trapped on some kind of merry-go-round to the point that we begin to accept that we must have been cursed in some way back in history - or in another life.
The best thing about today's modern age is that we have a multitude of ways to communicate. And there are many voices out in the 'ether' available to guide us on to a better path. One that helps to keep us calm and helps us to know that we don't suffer alone.
Of late, mental and emotional health have been brought to the front of human conversations. And that's a good thing.
While not wishing ill on anyone, it is good to be aware of another's pain. Ironically, it is good to know that others, too, are suffering the same emotional upset as ourself. To be aware that someone else is struggling with similar issues to you, in an odd way, lifts your spirits.
To know that others suffer too, is one way to accept our own troubles. Another way to understand the fears we have to deal with is to see each fear as a challenge and, when we have the courage to face them, we can grow from that experience. Yet another way to begin to accept you as you is to not compare yourelf, your life and your gifts (or lack of them) to what others have.
Next month, I'll be exploring how you can deal with those challenges by dealing with them as they arise and not putting them off to tomorrow...
All the best,
Please note, if you buy anything from the links provided, I will earn a smidgen of a commission - and I mean a smidgen (like 0.0001p for any product that takes your fancy enough for you to press the buy button). But at least it's something. And, please know that none of those funds are paid by you, the buyer.
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Kaye is a freelance publisher, author and certified psychotherapist with over three decades of experience. She is also a writer for various blogs about writing, publishing, travelling and health care.
Feel free to visit her BewleyBooks.com site, where you can sign-up to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube.