We all do it, don’t we? Compare ourselves to others? Whether it be to make ourselves feel better or to use someone’s skill or knowledge as a yard stick to live upto. Or is it just me?
I think we all feel influenced in many ways by others and it’s through this that we look to better ourselves. However we also compare ourselves to put our “bad luck” or mis-fortune in to perspective against others to make ourselves feel better.
I know I do. For example, a lecturer at my university was fantastic. He knew everything there is to know about Psychology (I understand that’s his job). Though when I compare my knowledge to his I think to myself that I want to be like that, it can also have negative effects though as I may never reach the heights of his Psychological knowledge or educational level but it’s important to have a measurement of knowledge and success to aim for.
“Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged” – Helen Keller
I have also done this in order to put my problems in to perspective and essentially made my self feel better. Like the Millions of people queuing at the Job Centre looking for work, I have found myself on the unemployment line once or twice, it’s crippling and emasculating. I felt very low and pathetic. I remember as I flicked the pages of the Macc Express looking for the next minimum wage sales executive role I could apply for, thinking to myself how lucky I actually was.
“Yes, okay I have no job” I reassured myself, “but neither do 2.5 million others but I have a Girlfriend that loves me. I have friends that care about me and a family that would do anything for me and I knew that I’d be ok”.
Comparing my situation to those that may not have a family who could help them if need, those that may not have a friend to talk to in times of need or to be held by a partner when its all going wrong. I’m a very lucky person in comparison to others.
There are equal positives and negatives to comparing
I think it can be important to compare yourself to those you admire in order to work towards a goal or standard. It’s also important to compare yourself to others in order to put problems into perspective.
Yet, the point of comparing yourself to others is to only improve yourself, goals or feelings. It’s essential to NEVER forget the strong qualities that you posses because you never know, someone else may be looking at your good qualities as the yard stick in which they want to to live up to.