Comparison – The Stealer of Joy

Comparison – The Stealer of Joy

Ohhhh I am so annoyed that I have succumbed to this. I thought I was stronger, that it wouldn’t get in my head. That it didn’t matter to me. But it has. It does. Iv fallen into the comparison trap….

Its cuppa and a chat time you lovely lot, grab your brew.

Comparison. Why do we do it? Do you do it? Why is it that even the strongest, most self assured people can still fall prey to the comparison game? I consider myself to be a pretty strong character, yet lately, have occasionally found myself questioning my direction, feeling a little inadequate, not good enough. I think a few things have contributed to this, so as ever, I wanted to discuss it!

I think, when we are younger, its natural and almost part of the right of passage, to compare ourselves to our friends or peers. We look at their gorgeous shining mane of glossy hair and wonder why our frizzy curls don’t look like that. We see their slim and trim figures and wish we could walk past the bakers instead of going in. We admire how they just seem to throw clothes on and look stylish, put together, yet we have bag lady chic going on. You get the picture. I think everyone did it as youngsters, but as we mature and grow into ourselves and realise what the important things in life are, that eases.

So why is it now, as adults, so many of us have reverted back to those feelings? I have seen it on my social media feed, spoken about it with my friends, so many of us seem to get those negative feelings of comparing ourselves to others. I wonder if, in part, its what we were taking about in the last Cuppa and a Chat post, (Is Social Media The new Validation tool), and I think in my case, it could well be, but I think it can also come down to how we feel about ourselves too. I think with me, its maybe a flaw that I have, hidden deep within my heart. I think how high or low our confidence is at the time plays a part. I also think as well, there are so many areas that we can can compare ourselves in, and with the world wide web now, so many millions of people we can compare ourselves too!

With me, I am confident in some areas, but incredibly lacking in confidence in others. For example, I know that I always try to be a good, supportive friend, I know I always try to be a good Mum, I know I try to be a good person and never deliberately hurt someone, and in the most part, I think I succeed in those areas.

Where my confidence can plummet is in my own self confidence. Like so many of us, I have taken a few hard knocks in life, been badly let down by people I trusted, and those things have left scars, so it could be the impact of those. I have also gained weight over the last few years (Iv spoken about this before) so I know that has an affect on my confidence. There are probably so many reasons that I lack in self confidence, but most of the time, I can control it and not let the feelings of self doubt affect my life. I try to “have a word” with myself and get on with it.

Until I have a low day, and the comparison game kicks in. Its a nasty, cruel game, and the only loser is us, the comparee (is that even a word, I think I have made it up)

comparison to others post - teacup and books

Lets look at some of the reasons why its so negative;

Its always, without a doubt, an unfair comparison. We look at what we view as the best traits in someone, and compare them to what we see as our worst.

Like the title says, it is a stealer of joy. When on the comparison train, we tend to ignore all what we have achieved, and only think of what we have not.

Comparing ourselves to someone else is like comparing fingerprints. No two are the same, so the comparison is always jaded. It stops us embracing our unique-ness. (again, another made up word??)

You will always find something, or someone to compare yourself with. Even if you achieve what you thought you wanted, the habit is so strong that you move on to the next comparison.

Comparison means that we are focusing on how we perceive someones else’s life to be, instead of just living and enjoying ours.

Comparison can make us feel an unfair and unjust resentment towards other people, (its not their fault we compare ourselves, is it) . I think that is one of the most destructive parts of the compare game.

I am sure there are many other negative aspects, but these are the ones that come straight to mind. Its a crappy ole journey to take part in isn’t it! So how do we stop ourselves climbing on board?

Work on ourselves – This is without doubt, the only way we can stop. It has to come from within. Iv done so much soul work over the years, Im surprised that Im feeling these feelings. It has confused me. Self-doubt is a bar****d. Im actually re-reading the Sarah Knight book, The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k to bang the point home what not to worry about.  I read it when it came out a couple of years ago, Id recommend it, its a good-un.

Lets take something I am passionate about, writing, as an example for a moment. When I am having good days, I can tell myself that my writing is always going to be my writing, because although the topics I cover could have been covered a gazillion times, my own experiences, my own take on it, they are unique to me, so my voice is going to be my voice. Does that make sense?

a post on the comparison to others

On my bad days, I read what I have written and think its boring or too personal, or not personal enough. I feel I am not educated enough, or that I don’t use the correct writing structure. I worry that I write too many “think pieces” and not enough light hearted things like reviews. I cannot tell you the amount of posts I have binned with this thinking. I beat myself up over not having enough followers on my blog, when Patricia Perfect (made up name, obviously) has thousands on hers and posts very different content. My content subjects must be crap and Patricia’s amazing.

Am I making and kind of sense at all. I feel like Im rambling on?

What should I, (and we if you are also a comparer) be doing when I get my Wendy Worry-Head on? (Wendy is well posh, she has a double barrelled name don’t cha know)

What I should be doing is focusing on what I have already achieved in my 18 months of blogging (or life in general). I should focus on the joy and release it gives me to write, no matter who reads it. I should remember that Patricia isn’t so perfect, because, lets face it, no bugger is perfect!

I should walk away from the computer or situation in general, if I find those niggles creeping in. Grab my dog, take her up the woods, clear my head.

I should remember to be kinder to myself. I should remind myself that despite my many, many perceived flaws, I am kind, I have a good heart, I would give you my last penny if you needed it, and I love people I love with a strength and loyalty that scares even me. I should tell myself that no, Im not beautiful, but I have eyes that betray every emotion I feel, and I like that about myself.

The comparison game is a cruel mistress, that leads to nothing positive. Thos of us that succumb to it need to remember, that we are enough!

 

So, apologies for another long one, it just all comes out once I get going! Its now over to you. Do you get on the comparison train? Do you find yourself feeling bad about yourself at times? How do you stop yourself doing it? As always, tell me your thoughts xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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48 Comments

  1. March 4, 2018 / 2:36 pm

    Comparison is so easy to do and I think it is because it’s the easiest option. I’ve gone through this many times and it’s always easier to say – so and so is better, rather than actually trying to believe that I’m good as I am. I love your posts and I like that you are different.
    Blogging is the best to me when my Reader is filled with all sorts of posts. Otherwise it becomes boring and too repetitive. xxx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 4, 2018 / 4:32 pm

      Thank you so much Laura Jane. Ahhh so you think it could be a defence mechanism why we do it? Thats an interesting view point, and adds another dimension to it for sure. Im the same as you, I enjoy reading so many different types of blogs, because I like to see different personalities come through. Thank you so much for reading xxx

  2. March 4, 2018 / 3:19 pm

    Don’t bin any posts – please – unless you really don’t like them! I always enjoy reading your blog!
    I think one of the other negative parts about comparing is that we compare our beginnings to someone else’s middle! It’s easy to find people that we think are successful, but we forget about the journey they had to take to get there. This combined with the fact that we often try to put our most positive spin on anything in the social media realm. If I’m having a terrible day, I don’t want to blog about it.In business groups, people are happy to tell you about their amazing wins, but less likely to share that they’re having a slow start to the year or that a recent promotion didn’t work!
    Also, we may think someone is successful or happy, but they might just be good at hiding the fact that they aren’t.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 4, 2018 / 4:37 pm

      Ohhhh I love the point you make here Kirsty, we compare our start to someone elses middle. That is so true, and I think I do that, perhaps without really realising. I totally hear what your saying about business too. I used to do industry business talks when I had my business, and I always used to tell the delegates that no one will tell you their fails, only how wonderful it all is lol. Thank you so much for saying you enjoy my posts, that means so much xx.

  3. March 4, 2018 / 11:03 pm

    Yes, yes, yes! Comparison kills joy and it kills creativity. I think we all have this problem. I know I do, or I used to. But I’ve learned to compare myself only with – myself, because as you say, everything else is unfair. And why would I compare myself with anyone else? That would be irrelevant. Of course it happens sometimes but I try to just think in other ways when i start with it. To know what progress I have made in whatever area, it’s irrelevant to look at others, I only compare myself with what I used to be able to do..
    BUT I do have a problem with poor self confidence. I’m a bit like you with writing. I tend to edit and even delete posts because my writing isn’t good enough. Especially now with my whiskey blog, I write, read and reread my post, edit, reread, edit etc.. for ages before publishing. I want them to be good and I’m having a hard time knowing when they are good enough. And I think about other whiskey bloggers who are so good and ambitious but I forget that I’m also very ambitious and have tons of plans with that blog.
    And with photography I have periods when I think I suck all the time, and actually today I just wanted to delete my blog because I thought everything there is such poor quality and boring. I’m working hard to remember that there will be better days..
    And as for your writing, do NOT worry! I love your writing and I love your cuppa posts. This kind of posts is so much more interesting than reviews!!!!!!! And usually, Patricia Perfect has more followers because she does trendy posts, not necessarily because she writes better posts.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 5, 2018 / 8:13 am

      Ohh Susanne, thank you so much for taking the time to give your view, I appreciate it. It makes me so sad that we are all so hard on ourselves, our own worst critic. Someone made a great point, that we shouldnt compare our start, to someone elses middle, and I think that is a great point! I think I do that, maybe you do too? Someone that has been doing this for 3/4 years is going to be more experienced, more established. I certainly need to remember that! Photography is something I have been trying to improve on too, so I totally understand where you are coming from there. We can only try to improve eh! Thank you so much, and I am thrilled that you like these posts, (they are probably my favourite to write). Have a wonderful week, lets vow to ignore Perfect Patricia ha ha x

      • March 5, 2018 / 12:34 pm

        I definitely agree with not comparing your start with someone else’s middle, and I don’t even think it’s relevant to compare your start with someone else’s start because we are all different!! I’ve come quite a way with not comparing myself with others but my self confidence still sucks really bad but I try to ignore it and just go on and work to improve!

        • kerrylifeandloves
          Author
          March 5, 2018 / 3:14 pm

          Well thats a blooming great attitude to have, brilliant. Your doing just fine xxxx

  4. March 5, 2018 / 8:35 am

    This is an incredible post! We have all been in a comparasion headspace. I was once told by a wise person that the people I was comparing myself to were also comparing themselves to others. It’s a vicious cycle. I try to be in a space of appreciation, gratitude and be in the moment in order to find happiness in everyday life. xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 5, 2018 / 8:49 am

      Thank you so much Ingrid! That is wise words indeed isnt it. We are all on this crazy merry go round. I get annoyed with myself when I find myself doing it, because I am not that person usually. I find stepping away from social media for a day or two helps me, and like you, appreciate and be thankful x. Thank you so much for your comment x

  5. March 5, 2018 / 2:05 pm

    I love cuppa tea and chat time. Another fantastic and thought provoking piece.
    Is it wrong to feel glad that someone else feels like you do. You obviously don’t want them to feel bad but you’re relieved it’s not just you!

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 5, 2018 / 3:19 pm

      Ahhh me too! I love how we all get chatting. No, thats not bad at all because I totally understand what you mean. I too feel that sense of relief when someone understands how Im feeling, its almost that thing of a trouble shared is a trouble halved isnt it. We are all so tough on ourselves, so I think thats why we compare ourselves to others? Thank you for reading, I really appreciate your input xx

  6. March 5, 2018 / 2:33 pm

    Comparing yourself can be so easily done and just start off so small that you don’t realise how damaging it can be. I think self reflection is always a great way to help combat this. You’re so right about only seeing people’s best traits, especially when we are comparing ourselves with people over social media. You only see what they want to put out into the world and obviously we see ourselves in all sorts of states. I know exactly how you feel about not thinking your posts are good enough, the amount of times I’ve binned posts because I just feel like no one will be interested or think that I’m educated enough to be talking about something but really we just need to think that people follow us for a reason. Doesn’t matter how many followers or whatever we have, there are people interested in what we have to say and want to read our views. I will never think a post of yours is too deep or personal, I always enjoy reading your posts. This is such a brilliant post and made me think so much, I love your cuppa and chat posts they’re always so interesting to read and make me reflect a bit of my attitudes xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 5, 2018 / 3:27 pm

      Thank you so much Grace for all these fab points! Im really surprised at myself that I have moments of comparing myself, its not me at all. I think sometimes, it can be when we are tired, hormonal, stressed. We feel lower in ourselves anyway, then start beating ourselves up lol. We are our own worst enemies sometimes! I agree with you totally, I follow the blog I follow because they all give me something a little different, and things I find interesting. Im so glad that you enjoy these posts, they are always my favourite to write as they allow my brain to dump out its contents ha ha
      Thank you for reading and for your support xxxx

      • March 5, 2018 / 3:41 pm

        Yeah I think sometimes it can sneak up on us without realising! Exactly when you think of it like that it helps put things into perspective a little. I love them, you can tell how much thought went into writing and planning it. Of course, any time Kerry xxxx

  7. March 5, 2018 / 4:57 pm

    Isn’t it so tempting to compare? I find to walk away from either social media or my phone is the only way that clears my head. No-one of us really know the circumstances that someone else may have opportunities that we are still searching for but it’s hard not to question why.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 5, 2018 / 5:13 pm

      Hi Helen, thank you for reading x. I think that is great advice, walking away fro a little while, to clear your head. I do the same. I tend to have Sundays where I completely switch off from all forms of social media, and find I am always more motivated on a Monday. Not sure if its coincidence but its definitely the case. Thank you so much for taking the time to give your input, I always appreciate peoples comments xx

  8. March 5, 2018 / 7:46 pm

    Kerry your blog is gorgeous and your photos are always super dreamy, I bet there’s plenty out there that would compare themselves to you and feel inadequate, so the door swings both ways. The game we’re in means we’re always going to be comparing ourselves, it’s part of our nature as human beings and blogging seems to highlight it so don’t be too tough on yourself. Just for the record, I love your writing style, it always flows and and very relatable. Great post on a fab and relevant subject to touch on. Keep up your good work Kerry.

    Samantha x
    http://thebesutyspyglass.com

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 6, 2018 / 12:45 am

      ohh Samantha thank you so much, what a lovely compliment. I think you are right, human nature plays its part for sure, and I think always wanting to do my best makes me compare too. Its only now and again it sweeps over me, its crazy. Thank you so much for popping over and reading, I really appreciate your input, (and of course the lovely word, thank you) xxx

  9. Jean
    March 5, 2018 / 9:24 pm

    Great blog Kerry, I bet there are more people than you realise having exactly the same thoughts, it’s called life. If you believe in yourself when comparing yourself to others you will realise you’re doing just fine and give yourself a tap on the back. SELF BELIEF and confidence follows, it’s human nature to sometimes think you’re not as good as others but remember someone is probably comparing them self to you and feeling exactly the same

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 6, 2018 / 12:48 am

      Thank you so much Jean, I think you are right. Human nature plays a part, definitely. I think we are all so critical of ourselves too, always looking for what we did wrong instead of what we got right! Thank you so much for taking the time to give your input, much appreciated xxx

  10. March 7, 2018 / 10:03 am

    I am terrible for comparing myself to others in everything in my life, from how well I’m doing at uni, to what I’m doing at work (and any other girls I know that I think my boyfriend might like more than me because they’re skinnier/prettier/funnier) and I know a lot of it is silly and unjustified but I’m constantly worrying that if i don’t make myself ‘better’ then the things I have won’t stay the same. It’s a real source of anxiety and something I think pretty much everyone is faced with but it’s SO hard to turn around and be like ‘you know what, I’m good enough as me and I don’t need anything else’. Another fantastic read, I love all your posts! xoxo

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 7, 2018 / 10:42 am

      Ohhh Shannon, you are beautiful and should never doubt yourself, but I know exactly what you mean. We know nothing good can come of comparing ourselves, but do it anyway! We are so self destructive. You must turning it around, dont let it steal your joy xxx Thank you so much for reading, and the lovely compliment xx It makes me so happy that people enjoy my posts xxx

  11. March 7, 2018 / 10:03 am

    Especially with social media it is easy to compare yourself to someone else because you only get a glimpse of their “perfect life” but you do not know what goes on behind the screen and their perfect life is probably far from perfect.
    I try to not compare myself to others, but of course it’s only human. When that happens and I start feeling down on myself, I try to focus on the good things about me and what I have accomplished.

  12. March 7, 2018 / 10:13 am

    I get this, too. But like you say, the news may be old, but your perspective is unique. I read you for you. I also need to read that book. And the Mark Manson one, too

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 7, 2018 / 10:44 am

      Oh thank you so much, thats such a lovely thing to hear xx. The book is great for just kind of simplifying and putting things into prospective. The Mark Manson one is also meant to be amazing, I havent got round to that one yet, but plan to. Thank you so much for reading, I really appreciate it xxx

  13. March 7, 2018 / 11:14 am

    Agree I am bad for comparison also. Less so with age. I try and think everyone is unique where is only one me and one you. Can you imagine no one exactly like you or me! Corny but helps at times. Always enjoy your posts.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 7, 2018 / 2:51 pm

      Thank you so much, I am glad you enjoy my posts, thats so lovely to hear x. I think that is a great way to think of it, we are all unique! Thank you so much for reading x

  14. March 7, 2018 / 1:57 pm

    We are hard wired to compare ourselves because society teaches us how to ‘fit in’ by comparison. Every role model (they are lovely but DO form part of comparison culture), every time we are compared to someone older – from the moment we first talk to adulthood, it all builds up. It’s like binary theory – that we define ourselves as what we are NOT vs what we ARE (yes/no, thousands of tiny comparisons!). By then the synapses are wired to compare and it’s almost impossible not to.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 7, 2018 / 2:55 pm

      This makes so much sense! You make a fabulous point. We are told oh you look so much like your Mum, your different to your brother etc, we are compared very early on. Its almost programmed into us from a young age. Thank you so much for your valid input, much appreciated x

  15. Losing the Plot
    March 7, 2018 / 2:03 pm

    Wow! That was like you had a poke around inside my head, made notes and typed it into a comprehensive, well thought out and well presented blog post.

    I have no answers, because you have perfectly described where I’m at too.

    If it’s any consolation I love your writing x

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 7, 2018 / 2:57 pm

      Ohh wow, thank you so very much, that is so lovely to hear. Its crazy how many of us get caught up in the comparison game isnt it! Thank you so very much for reading, and taking the time to comment xx

  16. Lise
    March 7, 2018 / 2:10 pm

    I don’t know if I compare myself to others too often, but I do have moments where I feel like nothing I do will ever be good enough.. The problem is that I don’t really know exactly what “good enough” would be. I don’t want a typical life where I work myself to death just to buy things, I just want a quiet life, living away from others, doing my own thing but that doesn’t seem like it would be possible.. I guess I just compare my life to what I truly want, it can probably be as self destructive as to comparing myself to others in the end.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 7, 2018 / 3:01 pm

      I think its great that you dont get caught up in the comparison game, thats an incredibly healthy approach! I think anything is possible, and feeling like what we do is not good enough, is, I think, because we are always told to aim higher, strive for more etc. I think not getting wrapped up in that would be good for all of us. Thank you so much for your comment, and popping over and reading xxx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 7, 2018 / 10:19 pm

      thank you x

  17. March 7, 2018 / 8:48 pm

    I completely agree with this! I think social media can make you compare your life to glossy photos, which often aren’t an accurate representation of reality. x

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 7, 2018 / 10:20 pm

      Thank you for reading xx I think you are so right x

  18. sgmart187
    March 8, 2018 / 3:26 am

    I really needed to read this today. I can sometimes get so wrapped up in how little progress I feel like I’ve made in the last few months in blogging, or that i’m not the best mom or wife, or that I don’t look good enough. If I spend time letting myself get wrapped up in comparing myself to others, I lose track of what my own strengths are, and that other people do see me as valuable. My husband has told me several times that he wishes that I could see myself the way that he sees me, because I’d feel so much better about who I am if I did.
    It’s a struggle we all have to deal with, and it is extra hard when something is going wrong, or you’re feeling stressed. Challenges can really lower your ability to feel confident.

  19. March 10, 2018 / 2:04 pm

    Comparison is the killjoy of life my lovely! 🙂 But I’m one of those people that believe if I’m not comparing myself and my successes to others, then I’m not pushing myself to be better all the time. This logic works sometimes and then not others. Being 100% sure of yourself is so difficult to achieve, but just know from my first impressions that your blog is beautiful, your writing is truthful and funny in a self-deprecating way (which is the best way to be) and you are on point with the content you are creating. Well done! 🙂

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 11, 2018 / 10:31 pm

      Ohhhh wow, thank you so much for this lovely comment, you have made me blush! That is so kind xx. I think we are so destructive to ourselves at times do you? We seem to have a resistance to actually patting ourselves on the back and saying, “you know, you are doing alright” Its something that frustrates me as I am not usually that woman. I think you have made a great point, I too am one of those people that always wants to do something as well as possible, whether its arranging a bunch of flowers or writing! Perhaps that is half the issue, we push ourselves without congratulating ourselves on what we have achieved! You have me thinking! Thank you so much for reading and adding your input, i appreciate it so much xxx

  20. March 10, 2018 / 8:27 pm

    I am such a comparison monster, it can consume me at times. I am learning not to be as bad as I am older but it is still a struggle. It definitely steals my joy.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      March 11, 2018 / 10:33 pm

      I think us women do it far more than men do, do you? Why are we so hard on ourselves! I think I am learning some ways of distracting myself when I find myself doing it, hope you are too! Thank you for reading xxx

  21. Fiona Mahon
    March 12, 2018 / 7:26 pm

    I needed to read this today. I agree with so much of what you said. With me it’s houses. Long story, bad decision on my part….. I know things are but into perspective now and again. But sometimes little things get in on you. You made me smile today. Thank you 😚😚

  22. April 25, 2018 / 1:33 pm

    It is long for a reason! Life is tough at times and it is do hard not to compare but usually we are totally out of context doing so which makes us wrong! I found it so hard not to compare myself with others growing up. Agghhh!!

    • kerrylifeandloves
      Author
      April 25, 2018 / 2:01 pm

      I agree with you, life can be tough and during tough times, perhaps we get into the comparison game even more? I know when Im feeling low I can think everyone else is having the best times, while Im not etc. We are so blooming hard on ourselves! Thanks for reading xxx

      • April 25, 2018 / 2:16 pm

        Totally true. It always looks so much nicer in someone else’s home!

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