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Let's Stop The Comparison

Let's Stop The Comparison, comparison is the thief of joy,

They say that 'comparison is the thief of joy' and we all know this to be true - unhealthy comparison leaves us feeling inadequate, not good enough, unconfident, anxious and even sometimes demotivated. It can give us imposter syndrome and temporarily blind us from seeing how special we are and the amazing things we bring to the table as individuals. 

A certain type of comparison - healthy comparison, can if we let it,  help us to appreciate something/someone else. It can motivate us, inspire us and present an opportunity for us to support one another and build each other up. But often it's the unhealthy sort of comparison that seems to dominate. 

We teach ourselves 'not to compare our beginning to somebody else's middle'. We've learnt that 'nobody is better at being you than you'. We know that comparison can often be the fastest way to feeling unhappy. 

And so we work on it.

We remind ourselves 'not to compare our behind-the-scenes to somebody else's highlight reel' and we strive to focus on only being better than the person we were yesterday. 

And yet...despite how hard we work on this, we're often still too quick to make unhealthy comparisons on behalf of others. 

Like when we compare not only our own body shapes and sizes but the body shapes and sizes of others. When we make statements about who's bodies are 'real' or 'normal' and we forget that in fact, all body shapes are completely different, unique and their own beautiful version of normal.  Whatever normal is. 

When we compare not only our lives to the lives of other people, but we compare the lives of people we know/know of against each other like it's some sort of competition. Like we're a fly on the wall - like we know the full picture. When the reality is that very few people to know the full story of somebody else's life. 

When we compare not only our own parenting but the parenting of others. When we forget that babies aren't born with a rule book or a manual. When we refuse to acknowledge that we all parent differently and that as long as we parent with the best intention that that is ALWAYS enough. 

When we compare not only ourselves and our own abilities, but we begin comparing our children and their abilities to that of other children. 

Comparison is something that often occurs subconsciously as a thought, but when we speak or write the words 'compared to' are we being aware of the negativity that we might be attaching to the person/thing that comes after those words? 

"You've done a lot better in your exam 'compared to'.."
"You're body is normal 'compared to'.."
"You're such a calm parent 'compared to'.."
"She's so genuine 'compared to'..". 

Even when our comparisons are well-intended we forget the negativity that we may be attaching to the something or the someone that follows those words. 

This is the same when we try to compliment someone else but at the same time unintentionally put ourselves down... "Your kitchen is so lovely compared to mine.". 

How about we just leave it at, "Your kitchen is so lovely.". 

Whether meant as well-intended or not, it's important to remember the hurt and sometimes the damage that comparison can do. It's important to remember also those little eyes and ears that look up to us. 

Every parent knows how hard it is to hear the words... "Mummy/Daddy, I'm not as good at writing/maths/spelling/P.E compared to.."

It can be heart-wrenching to see your child feeling bad about themselves because they've compared themselves to somebody completely different from them. As parents in that situation, we try to get them to see how special, unique and amazing they are. How proud we are and how proud they should be of themselves for trying their best no matter what their ability is. We try to get them to focus on how far they have come/how much they've learnt and achieved. And we try to encourage them to simply take inspiration from others without feeling 'not as good as'. 

So let's try to remember to lose the 'compared to'. Let's not pitch people against each other. Let's instead turn unhealthy comparison into inspiration and let's champion each other and celebrate our individuality and remember how boring life would be if we were all the same.

Because in a world full of individuals comparison makes no sense at all. 

Thank you for reading. 
  Alex xo

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