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According to the social comparison theory, ‘we determine our social and personal worth based of how we see ourselves stacked up against others we view as either better or worse’. Throughout our lives we may have noticed that self-comparison is inevitable, regardless of whether you’re the type of person who consciously lives their life comparing it with the next person’s or not. I’m sure we’ve all looked at the next person and thought, ‘wow, she’s so much prettier and lighter than me’ and felt envious of that person’s looks. Or we have thought, ‘he’s such a creepy guy’! And found ourselves appreciating the way we behave or look, thankful we’re not that creepy guy we’ve just passed by.


So yes, we’ve all been a victim to comparing ourselves against others. Like I said earlier, it’s bound to happen but the least we can do is not give it the power to break us. There are two types of social comparison; upward social comparison and downward social comparison. Scholars say upward social comparison is when we compare ourselves against someone we perceive as better than us and the latter is when we compare ourselves against someone we perceive as worse than us. This is not always detrimental to one’s health and peace of mind but it certainly is, when we do it from a negative standpoint. When we look at a ‘drunkard’ and think, ‘well, I don’t want to be that guy. I don’t want to be famous for being a drunkard like that lady’. We’re looking at it from a place where we want to better ourselves and that is good for us, right? But when we think, ‘all my friends and peers are succeeding in life yet nothing is working out for me. They all drive pleasant cars and have got nice jobs but what do I have; nothing to brag about.


Nothing but the pain of having absolutely nothing to my name’. That’s when it’s detrimental to our mental and physical health because we spend days, weeks and sometimes months of sleepless nights thinking about how we’re worthless and our lives aren’t worth living because we have nothing. So many lives have been lost due to such thoughts. But it’s inevitable. Whether we like it or not, we sometimes find ourselves in a situation where we look all around us and see nothing but how everyone seems to have everything they need yet we do not even have a quarter of the things they have or the accomplishments they have achieved. We look all around us and see that we’re failures; how do we deal with that? How do we deal with the lost feeling?

I say we do it the evidently hard way; we see perfection in imperfection. I say don’t think about how worthless you are and start thinking about how you’re your own person with your own path and the next person is their own person with their own. Social media has made it so much harder for people living in this day and age to view themselves in a positive image. Social media has successfully made it hard for us to love ourselves and be at least somewhat content and happy with our lives. We are focused on the number of likes another person gets that we don’t; how they’re touring the world and having fun every day, that our minds have no room to help us appreciate ourselves for who we are. We’ve seen our kids, friends, siblings and ourselves fall into depression, self-hate and poor self-esteem owing to how others appear on social media.


We’ve lost some of our loved ones to suicide because they’ve browsed through Facebook, saw what their peers were supposedly up to in life, marked themselves worthless and consequently taken their lives. We’ve probably thought about it ourselves. We’ve seen our parents think we’re not good enough after seeing their colleagues post their kid, celebrating how they’ve made it to the next grade with straight As. We’ve seen a lot of lives ruined by self-comparison. It’s so sad how someone else’s victories can be the reason we lose faith in ourselves; the reason we overlook our strengths and see solely our weaknesses; the reason we feel we’re failures. It’s sad how it is inescapable and even sadder how many a time we compare ourselves against others from a negative mind frame.

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