There is one wicked constant in which we all share...across generations, occurring rapidly during most moments in the company of others (and heavily on social media), and is crippling only when you give it too much credibility.
What is this sneaky beast?
and we all do it.
Of course we know it shows up when you're reading a magazine; looking at the perfectly photoshopped women on the covers and in the spreads who are meant to look effortless yet "out of reach." Potentially "attainable" if you buy the right products, subscribe to a certain diet or workout regimen, and spend heavy for the most figure-flattering looks and luxury accessories.
We also know it shows up glaringly on social media where you get a perfectly altered snapshot of unrealistic moments in that accounts life (not everyone but most).
You can't help but feel it at a social gathering where everyone is meant to share about themselves; asking "what do YOU do?" and "what does your husband do?" uggggh. gag. will you measure up?
I just came back from a glorious weekend in Arizona, celebrating the marriage of a dear friend and attending to her as a bridesmaid. She was stunning, the setting was beautiful, and there were many social gatherings where I truly connected with both her family and new friends.I mention this because I experienced moments of being hyper aware of comparison. Not just because I was meeting several new people but also because I was engaging in small talk; an exchange I am not fond of from the outset. The double-edged sword is that small talk is the very thing that can lead to genuine connection, increased knowledge and understanding, and a deeper conversation as a whole.In all sorts of conversations over the weekend, I used comparison to remind me of qualities I wanted to sharpen:- patience- approachability- asking more questions/engaging
• I often say this because though I may want to know more about someone, I don't always ask the questions to get me there.
I used comparison to remind me to focus on what I am grateful to have in my own personality, my relationships, and in the life I choose for myself.
***See... comparison can be the boost/cheerleader you need to affirm your decisions, your actions, and to cut yourself some slack!
I used comparison to see the trap one could easily set for yourself if you give it too much credibility. After all, what can you really know about the depths of someone else's life and those assessments and judgments aren't healthy for them or you.
So what do we do with comparison then?
You control it. You keep a healthy view of your own reality against the perception of another.
1. You guard the parts about yourself that you love.
• You are an amazing individual who navigates the world with your unique perspective. Stand on those qualities that allow you to be your best self, effortlessly.
• Don't allow comparison to weaken what makes you strong
2. You use it to your advantage
• as I said before, you can use comparison to "sharpen" but not completely alter who you are. there is always something to be learned about yourself against the backdrop of others; become expansive and you'll experience so much more out of the richness of relationships
3. Take it with a grain of salt
• put the phone down if you have to, disconnect from social media if the comparison becomes negative and self-destructive. remember that you are only getting a snippet of what someone is willing to share about themselves (this includes conversations too). and we all like to be seen in the best light.
4. Let it go when you need to
• don't torture yourself or others. too much comparison can become harmful. stop before you're consumed; back away so that you remain confident in your own skin.
Comparison can strangle yet comparison can elevate. Decide how you want to experience it and exercise your right to control or dismiss it.