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Old 1st May 2019, 20:42
Mr. Nobody Mr. Nobody is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Strathclyde
Posts: 5,745


Default Comparison

I think this subject merits some discussion,
I see so much grief on these pages, a lot of it centred around comparison,
People feeling bad because they're comparing themself to other people based on age, marital status, wealth ,etc.
Everything, every single aspect of life seems to be up for comparison here for some reason, no matter how unhelpful, uninformed or misplaced it may be

I'm seeing how much this just brings people down, how much it then magnifies 10-fold whatever pain or loss there existed already from SA etc.

I'm wondering if we see this clearly, how it's just artificial, ..because your life is yours alone,
Your life stands alone, and is unique and different from someone else's,
I'm wondering if we see clearly how this habit of comparison is also just twisting the knife, making things worse and just turning your world view into something miserable and hurtful?

I think if we didn't compare we'd perhaps experience our lives in a completely different way,
Our life story would be ours alone,..our own path, our own skills and talents could shine through, we could see things shining alone for what they are

I also think that in the comparison mind-set you end up stopping your own life and your own personal progress and end up following and getting into other things you're probably not meant for or good at, or at least I have anyway.

Ending comparison could also unleash a lot of positive energy and creativity, as comparison often means following other people, which would inevitably stifle your own vision, your own creativity, ..

What are other people's views on comparison?
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Old 1st May 2019, 20:53
Dougella Dougella is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 8,370


Default Re: Comparison

Comparison is the thief of joy.
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Old 1st May 2019, 22:46
limey123 limey123 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 810
Default Re: Comparison

Life is the most difficult exam. Many people fail because they try to copy others, not realising that everyone has a different question paper.
--Source unknown
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Old 1st May 2019, 23:38
gregarious_introvert gregarious_introvert is offline
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: near Bolsover, Derbyshire
Posts: 836
Blog Entries: 12
Default Re: Comparison

I agree wholeheartedly with the OP; we all face different challenges in life and we have to recognise our achievements in the light of our particular challenges. What is right for others is not necessarily right for us and measuring ourselves against others often brings a negative perspective on ourselves.

We live in an age where the old "milestones" are becoming more irrelevant anyway; people are no longer expected to get married/settle down/have children by a certain age. As house prices rise, renting is becoming more common and those who do buy their own homes are doing so later in life. Conversely, social media is telling us that everyone else is having a wonderful life, as they portray only the most positive aspects of their existence.

Let's not forget that half of all marriages end in divorce and that often, those who seem to have it all early in life may lose it later; the local meetup groups where I live are full of people who, for various reasons, are starting again in their 40s or 50s and discovering that life isn't as easy as it seemed twenty-odd years ago!

Personally, I've never had much interest in what others are doing and have tended tow pursue my own path; life has taken me down some unusual roads and a few dead ends, but it's also brought me to a place where I feel happy and fulfilled. I've had many low moments and hit rock bottom more than once, but without that past, I wouldn't be appreciating what I have now.

There are many people, in fact the majority, whose lives are not filled with happiness, success, wealth, adventure or whatever else it is that we perceive that they all have and we lack. For most, life is drudgery, a mundane existence interspersed with occasional moments of joy. Happiness is never a permanent state, nor does it come from what we have amassed; it comes from within and is much easier to find when we know what we want and pursue our own goals.

Sent from my SM-J330FN using Tapatalk
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Old 2nd May 2019, 10:03
limey123 limey123 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 810
Default Re: Comparison

Wise words by GI
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Old 2nd May 2019, 10:18
firemonkey firemonkey is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Calne,Wiltshire
Posts: 5,370


Default Re: Comparison

I think I haven't done much that's worthwhile,but I don't compare myself to any one particular individual except my father.
When I was about 9 my mother, who by that time was regularly arguing with him, said I'd never be as good as him.

I've never worked and have no friends. I've been a psychiatric patient for 45 years. I need help to maintain my independence. I'm not the average 62 year old.
My father on the other hand had a good career in the Foreign office, and has a fair amount of friends.

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Old 6th August 2019, 16:10
Bluebear Bluebear is offline
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: South East
Posts: 821
Default Re: Comparison

Good thread! I completely agree that comparing self to others brings people down, and can be a thief of joy

I have recently got back into something I used to love but stopped partly as I was comparing myself with some of those who learnt it from an early age. (In childhood). This time I am not falling into that trap. If one person (me) enjoys my playing that is enough . I am lucky that Bear also enjoys my playing
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Old 7th August 2019, 18:03
thaifoodparadise thaifoodparadise is offline
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 72
Default Re: Comparison

Yeah, excessive negative comparisons are an awful issue for me. I do it all the time and it dramatically devalues my own experiences in life. No matter how many people try to give me a dose of realism, I still negatively compare myself to others.

Two days ago, I logged into facebook for the first time in ages. I saw ex co-workers from my only ever office job tagged in photos at one of their weddings, looking like they were having a good time. And let's be honest, they probably were having a good time. This sent me into a two day spiral of depression, berating myself because I work from home and I haven't had those social experiences for much of my 20s.

However, I've has the opportunity to live in northern Thailand for several months each year since 2016, which is something I wouldn't have been able to do if I stuck to my office job. I got to really immerse myself in another culture, I saw many amazing places that the standard two/three week holiday there wouldn't facilitate, I became really passionate about thai food (hence the username).

However, because of my negative comparisons with others, none of the above matters. Some people have even said to me that others might be jealous of my life, but i highly doubt it. Much of my time abroad was spent completely alone anyway, so I even compare myself negatively against how I imagine more sociable people would've made many more friends and connections during their time abroad than me.

It's probably the way my brain is wired and there's nothing I can do to change it.
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Old 7th August 2019, 19:36
Jen. Jen. is offline
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 369
Default Re: Comparison

Originally Posted by thaifoodparadise
Some people have even said to me that others might be jealous of my life, but i highly doubt it. Much of my time abroad was spent completely alone anyway, so I even compare myself negatively against how I imagine more sociable people would've made many more friends and connections during their time abroad than me.

It's probably the way my brain is wired and there's nothing I can do to change it.
Many people, if they'd spent several months in Thailand, would probably have tried to present an image of themselves having an amazing time while there, even if that wasn't the reality. They would have only shared positive images in an attempt to make other people jealous, never showing the bad side of things. I travel quite a lot and have seen this increasing over the years as people have become more and more concerned with giving a positive impression of their lives.

I remember a few weeks ago when I was in Seville, some of the popular tourist sites were incredibly busy, yet almost everyone there seemed to be trying to take photos that made places look completely empty, like they wanted people looking at their photos later to think they were the only ones there or they were experiencing something rare. Taking photos from specific angles, waiting until people had moved out of their way, etc. Anyone looking at those photos might think "Wow, that looks so peaceful, they probably had a wonderful time", when the reality would have been that they were hot and bothered after being stuck in a queue for an hour, there were 200 people behind them when they were taking the photo and there was a huge pile of rubbish off to one side stinking the place up.

Sometimes when I'm tagged in a group photo I think anyone looking at it might think we were all having a fantastic time... but it probably wasn't true at all, not for me anyway. There was one time earlier this year when I went away with a group of ten people and in every photo I'm smiling and it probably looks like I was having a great time, but I was only pretending to be hapy because it was to celebrate someone's wedding and I didn't want to ruin it for anyone. I felt miserable the whole time I was there.

I think there probably is a way to change the way you view things, if you keep trying to remember that people are often wanting to trick you into thinking their lives are better than they are in reality. I stopped making these comparisons when I realised this. It only matters how you feel about your own reality since that's the only one you know the truth about. You can't compare your own life to someone else's when you'll never be able to know what theirs is actually like.
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