I think, by this point, a lot of us know how dangerous comparison is for our own self-esteem. As the well-known saying goes “comparison is the thief of happiness”. I really believe that to be true.
What I want to talk about is Comparison, but kind of flipped around, more onto ourselves. The dangers of comparing others to ourselves. Have you ever heard yourself say anything similar to the following?
I’d never do what they have done
You would never catch me doing something like that
That’s not how id handle that situation
Why are they doing that?
Any statement that includes us stating how someone else’s behaviour isn’t something we would do, in a negative way, is this specific type of comparison that I want to talk about. I guess this type of comparing is nothing short of being judgemental and I think it’s safe to say, none of us enjoy being judged. Feeling accepted for who we truly are is a game changer, imagine if we felt we were perfectly okay just the way we are? Wouldn’t it be worth checking in with ourselves to see if we are potentially allowing this judgey attitude into our lives? Myself included. It could prevent so much potential unnecessary hurt.
As I always say we are human; good and human. We are products of so many factors and perfection isn’t something we should even try to attain. I myself have been guilty of this, questioning why someone would do what they did? That it made no sense to me etc. Well guess what, Khadra? You have no right to know the answers to any of those questions! If anything this has made life easier for me because I’ve stopped trying to work out the ‘why’. In my opinion, if someone wants me to know the why they will tell me. Until then I shall keep believing they are doing the best they can.
If this is something you want to work on, please do so with patience and love. Trust that your actions aren’t malicious and if you do slip up – that’s okay. It’s the nature of the game. I think it’s just worth being aware of so that we aren’t completely blind to our own behaviour.
I wanted to share some thoughts that I have practiced to slowly reduce my previously fairly instant reaction.
Some new ways to respond/think:
They did what was best for them
They managed the best way they could
I admire their strength during such difficult times
I don’t need to understand their actions (this was a big one for me)
We’re all a team – let’s support each other
Other steps we can take:
- Monitor our thoughts
- Look for the positive
- Avoid stereotyping
- Stop judging ourselves
- Focus on our own lives
- Remember how it feels
When we compare others to how we might act, respond, talk, behave etc then we are closing off a part of our lives that can have so much potential compassion for others. We invalidate so many feelings because we are stuck in our own way of thinking.
I guess, if you were to imagine this was you and you were managing a situation in the best way you knew how to, how would you want to be met? With judgement or compassion? I know we’d all want compassion and acceptance. So let’s practice as much as we can, challenge ourselves on responses that are hurtful and see what deeper relationships we can build.
As always I’d love to know what you think about this. Does anything stand out for you? Let me know 😊