“Comparison Is the Thief of Joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Billy, a “normal” guy, and Margot, a rock star, are falling in love. They’ve both been in serious relationships before; Billy with a business executive / the mother of his son (Robyn), and Margot with a movie star (Lawson).
When Billy and Margot meet the other’s past loves, they find themselves in comparison traps. Margot thinks she’s less attractive than Robyn. Billy thinks he’s less accomplished than Lawson. They’re both insecure.
That’s a pretty common, although highly problematic, pattern.
When feeling uncertain, people tend to compare themselves to others, hoping to “win” and, accordingly, feel better. But, since the comparison is prompted by insecurity, they inevitably “lose” the competition (“I’m less pretty / smart / accomplished / etc.”), and feel even worse.
Here are tips to escape the comparison trap.
Celebrate Others: Encourage yourself to be happy for other people and their strengths rather than judging their strengths as related to yours.
Partner With A Goal Buddy: Help each other succeed, which will harbor feelings of support rather than competition.
Set Boundaries With Social Media: Only follow people or accounts that make you feel good. Limit the amount of time you spend scrolling.
Acknowledge Your Limited Data: You only know the highlights reel about others. The parts unseen tend to be more vulnerable. Don’t believe that reality is as rosy as public persona.
Focus On Your Strengths: Be proud of yourself for your accomplishments and who you are. List your achievements, big and small, daily. When you’re feeling down, read this list.
If Margot and Billy had followed these tips and focused on their blossoming relationship instead of continually comparing themselves to others, the road to happily ever after would have been less rocky.