Comparison – Do You Compare?
I often hear people say things like I don’t compare myself with others. Or they say, I never compared myself with anybody. Do you think that’s true at all? What about you? Do you make some social comparisons sometimes? Or you are a kind of, color-blind when it comes to making comparisons. Both by taste, color, and size you never compare apple with orange before? I make comparisons with many things in different ways and for many reasons. Healthy compassions are not bad, they are beneficial to our social wellbeing, physical, and economic wellbeing as well.
Comparison As A Measure Or Ranking
If truth be told, you will agree with me that it is hard to imagine how we can live our lives without making comparisons, because comparisons function as a reference point to many of our actions, motivations, and even our achievements. Take, for instance, the case of the economy, how do you know if the economy is doing better under President Trump if we don’t compare how the economy was during Obama’s administration? Again, how can we compare the weather this time this year if not with compassion with last year?
I don’t want to take you too far in this direction, but I believe that you’re getting the point I want to make here with a few examples. This is just to show that that comparison is part of our communication, motivation, and even our inspiration when done with the right approach and motive. We compare products, services, schools, churches, political parties, shops, and their prices, we compare movies, music’s, and so forth. I believe you’re agreeing with me so far that we all make comparisons.
Do You Compare or Compliment?
Personally, I can look at the good behaviors of some women in a group, church, work, social group, and I will say to the person, you’re my inspiration, and when I mean it whenever I say that. I do tell my mentors, or anyone that his or her attitude inspires me for good, I will always express it to the person If I can. I make such statements generously depending on my observations of the person(s). I like to compliment people freely. We don’t live an abstract life. Making comparisons helps us to put things into context for the most path.
Making comparisons helps us to make choices, compare A with B, Yellow with Green, etc. You can remember how you landed your wife or husband, boyfriend, or girlfriend. I will bet it’s through the act of comparisons and process of elimination, is that not true? Of course, it was true in my marriage choice. There’s one proverb we use to add in our love letters those years, not the text message of today, back then it was in writing in a sheet of paper. Girls, usually say that “ there are many flowers in the garden, but one decides to pick the rose flower only”. That’s by comparison.
Having established that comparison is positively functional, let us, look at the effects, both positively and negatively
- When we compare ourself to the Jones, to those who earn more than we do, those who live in a better house, ride a bigger car, than ours; it could bring envy. But have you considered that even though you’re comparing up, that when you compare down, you will see people who have less far less than what you have, or where you are now in your life journey? This reminds me of a story of a man who was grumbling that he had no shoes until he met a fellow man without legs, and that made him change his attitude, and become grateful.
- The problem with comparison, and that’s why some people see it negatively, is because when a person is consumed, by comparison, he or she takes for granted what the person already had, by thinking that he or she is missing or not measuring up with others.
- It is not healthy in some cases to compare yourself to those with whom you are in competition. Speaking from personal experience, sometimes, the best we can owe our competitors is admiration, feeling motivated, and envious is not good for our emotional health and psychological wellbeing at all, it will sap up your joy and energy.
- Comparing based on personal traits, many of us women, we have the tendency to compare ourselves with others in so many ways. For instance, you can say “I wish I’m as lightweight as Sarah, or as tall as Mary, or have her type and so forth. Some of us compare our families, our children, our husbands, boyfriends, and girlfriends with others. I have my daughter, whenever I want to mention any good trait I see in her friends, the next thing she will ask me is “mum I hope you’re not trying to compare me with Sharon?” I discovered that she is so sensitive about outside people making a comparison of her, even though she does the same to others sometimes may be unconscious.
- Comparisons as a form of criticisms, We mothers or parents, we have to be careful here too; Just like my daughter’s reaction, our children don’t like it when we compare them with their friends, or siblings. Mostly if the odd is against the person. It hurts them. For instance, telling your child, look at so and so, he or she is your mate, he is more successful than you’re, he got his degree got a good job, and you’re still doing what? Such statements hurt some children if time is not taken, the child can internalize the hurt feelings. But let me take this discussion in a different way as to ease the tension that is already building up maybe.
comparison as energizer
- We can use comparison to energize, inspire or motivate a person, or we use it to demotivate the person it all depends on the approach and motive. For people to think that we are less or more than we are can serve a double edge sword. For instance, just like my initial example above, of a mother comparing her son for not achieving much like his mates. The son can do two things with the mother’s criticism of him, either to see the feeling of her mother as a disappointment to her expectation of him and use it to say to himself and his mother, I will have to improve my life, and start doing better, or he can see it that he is been diminished, that he cannot do anything else to please his mother. Either way, it’s possible, that’s why it is not what happens to a person that counts but one’s reaction to the event.
- Another good example here is that many of the success stories we read about successful people, most of them, were fueled, propelled, motivated by what negative remark other people made to them when they were growing up, or when their life seemed as if they had no purpose. Some of them use it as a challenge to do something great with their lives to prove otherwise to people who had a lower expectation of the person at the time. The lesson here is that change is constant. No condition is permanent. We all need to be patient with ourselves, and with others. Guys, let me wrap it up here, but before I leave you, here are some important questions to consider.
- What’s your approach to comparisons?
- Does comparison affect you negatively? Or does it motivate you to do better, dress better, work harder, behave better, improve better, or does it de-motivate you for any of these?
- Does comparison beef up your self-confidence or diminish it? Depending on how you take it right?
- What are the benefits and de-benefits of keeping up with the Joneses of today’s society?
I hope you find this an interesting read. As always, your comments, opinions, contributions to the topic is highly appreciated!