If you’re anything like me then at some point in your life, you’ve found yourself comparing yourself to another person. In my case, as a woman, I would sometimes see other women and think to myself, “she’s prettier than me.” And there was a part of me, deep inside, that truly believed it.
And truth be told, most people have probably had this type of experience at some point in their lives. It’s all over television and social media. We see people who have qualities, whether they were born with them or paid for them, that society has deemed beautiful. And in my case, this comparison game became a very bad habit in my life.
I can remember very specific instances from my teenage years when this game would ruin my day. There was one occasion when my two sisters and I went to the mall all dressed alike. It wasn’t on purpose but we all just had the same coat on that day. And as we strolled down the hall searching for a suitable store to shop in, there were three young men walking towards us. I can remember thinking, “oh nice! One boy for each of us!” And as if on cue, all three of them surrounded my two sisters and began flirting with them. It was as if I were invisible.
I wondered why I wasn’t as pretty as them.
On another occasion, the three of us were getting dressed for Thanksgiving dinner. Now, I’m the tallest and the widest of the girls. And I had natural hair that I didn’t know what to do with. And I can remember standing in the mirror beside my sisters and noticing how short they were. I noticed how slim and pretty they were. And I remember wondering, why my parents gave all the pretty genes to them and none to me. The tears that followed those thoughts stuck with me even until today.
But why does it matter if we compare ourselves to others?
Well, the comparison game is unhealthy and in no way promotes self love. When we compare ourselves to others, the natural effect is that we downplay our own characteristics – the things that make us unique! When in reality, those very qualities are what makes each of us who we are. Does anyone else have to like them? NO! Why do we care what others think? No really, take a second to reflect on why you care what others think about you…Because the truth is, even the people who we compare ourselves to have things about themselves that they don’t like!
So instead of destroying our self esteem, we ought to spend time with ourselves and learn who and how we are. We spend too much time pointing out what we don’t like about things we can’t change than celebrating these qualities as good and unique!