I was reading an article about comparisons and that really made me want to write something about it.

Why do we compare other people and things?

Ever wonder why people always seem to compare people? Compare who’s prettier, compare who’s better or what’s better, or themselves with others? I think I may have somewhat of an insight to this.

I feel that comparison is a survival instinct. Say if we were given two things, we’d want to figure out which is better, so it benefits us a lot, isn’t that right? We’re always designed to want the best, so that it helps us most. Without these instinct, we may not have lived as long as we did. That’s what I believe, the reason why we always want to know what’s better, or we compare two similar things.

However, the problem is we often don’t realise there are times when we don’t need to compare. Our minds are still wired to need to compare regardless.

For example, comparing who’s the richer and hotter person who we’re never even going to meet face to face seems a little pointless, though we still do it, because we don’t know how to switch these feelings on and off randomly.

I understand that it’s something we do without even thinking or realising, but some comparisons are very harmful, particularly if we are very vocal about it, such as comparing who’s beautiful. It’s fine if we want to compare it in our minds, but I feel that vocalising the results would really serve no purpose. Comparisons is likely just to make others feel miserable about themselves, and often they’re in situations they can’t control.

Why do we compare ourselves with others?

This is another thing we often do, we compare ourselves with others. We often wish we had other people’s lives, looks or whatever. Again, as I always say, all our emotions are there to help us live better, and this is no exception. We may compare because we want to be more accepted and loved. We probably want to be prettier because we know that people in general will like us more (even though I wish that wasn’t the case!).

Perhaps our mind is telling us its inner desires. If we’re comparing our lives with other people’s, perhaps we need to look deep into ourselves and figure out what we want. Is there some unfulfilled wish? I know whenever I see someone post on facebook about their awesome time traveling, I get a bit “argh why can’t I do this” feeling, because this is exactly what one of my wishes are, to travel and meet some people I’ve been wanting to.

Sometimes, I almost feel that comparisons are like dreams and we need to look at what it’s trying to tell us.

How to deal with being compared?

I think out of all the things, being compared to and being the worse one is probably the hardest thing we can hear, because again, people are born wanting to be loved, to be the best, all of that just enhances our chances of living better lives, so we are naturally “selfish”, if you know what I mean, that is not to put anyone down, it simply means that when we were born, we fend for ourselves, we need that to survive. All our “caring for others” were learned later in life. Just look at a 2 year old, will he/she ever be willing to share a chocolate cake with another?

So how do we deal with such horrible feelings of being compared to? I actually feel that the best thing is to avoid reading or hearing it, because honestly, it serves no purpose for yourself, and just brings down your self confidence. When I say avoid, I mean decrease chances of seeing that.

How should we handle comparing situations and things?

I feel that the best way to make sure we don’t make others miserable by our comparisons is ask yourself: Is comparing really going to help me? Am I going to be better afterwards? If you are comparing what food is healthier or which products to buy because you want the best, of course it’s right to compare. If you’re hiring people to do work for you and need the best graphic designer, then yes, you need to compare and pick the best so he/she will benefit your overall success. Those situations are appropriate for comparisons, but other ones like comparing who’s more talented or pretty seem to really serve no particular purpose unless you are empowering them to learn more or take better care of their health (as beauty is closely related to health, that’s why I bet almost everyone hates acne, because it’s a sign of disease and naturally, we’d feel that it makes us look ugly).