Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Do you judge yourself by how you compare to others? Many of us do. That’s a set-up for low self-esteem. There will always be someone thinner, or richer, or more musculare or taller, or who attracts more dates, or who seems to have it better than you. I consider myself beyond compare! After all, how can you compare a unique individual, which we all are? Obsessing over comparisons to others can deflate you.

Comparisons bring out negative qualities and emotions.

Vanity comes into play when comparisons are about your body, clothing, hair, and other appearance related qualities. It pushes you to look better in a private competition with everyone you perceive to have a better visual quality. That’s why we’ve become a society of botox and sucking fat out and sculpting bodies to look like someone else. It’s become more about whose breasts, or chin, or butt or hair do you want? That mentality keeps plastic surgeons in fancy homes since often, the new look doesn’t bring happiness and leads to more comparisons.

Bitterness develops when you see people who have things that you can’t, or think you can’t have. Maybe you can’t afford the Botox or surgery. Or you have traits that can’t be altered. A short guy can’t pay to be taller. A large boned woman can’t become petite. This kind of bitterness creates another trait that can hurt you.

Jealousy. Emotions created when comparisons make you feel inferior are like cancer in your soul. Jealousy makes you angry that you don’t have what others do. It creates dislike for people with qualities you wish you had. And it can lead to feeling another cancerous emotion if you’re not careful.

Hatred. I hear women using hate when they give compliments. “I hate you for having such gorgeous hair. Ha ha.” Except it’s not really a joke. What they often mean is, “I hate myself for not having the kind of hair you do.” Comparisons can nurture self-loathing. Many of us hate ourselves for not being able to do or be or have what we see in others.

When I was a DoorMat I was only as good as how I compared to others. Vanity was out of my reach since I had a low self-image. So I felt bitter about my perception of not looking as good as others. Smaller women made me feel HUGE. How I felt about me was dependent on who I was with, which is a ridiculous waste of energy. Now I can laugh at how silly it was. But when I consistently sold me short in comparison to almost everyone, I was in pain most of the time.

Self-appreciation is the antidote to unhealthy comparisons.

Working on my inner self-appreciation helped me recognize how special I am—without my evaluation being dependent on others. It’s about me, and how I feel about me, not how looking at someone else makes me feel about me. That’s not real, just self-loathing! We’re all unique. Everyone has pluses and minuses.

There will always someone who seems more attractive or physically fit or smarter or more successful if you look.

But they have nothing to do with you, unless you choose to judge yourself by them. Having worked with people for years, I can assure that that few people couldn’t find qualities in themselves that they feel insecure about. I’ve heard Nicole Kidman rattle off reasons about how she’s not as good as many other women. Hello!!

Who you are in your own right has nothing to do with what others do or don’t have.

It’s YOUR choice to let comparisons make you feel less than or better than someone. We’re often our own worst critics. People who you perceive as having more or better than you don’t make you feel less attractive or successful. YOU make yourself feel that way. Comparisons are dangerous self-esteem busters. Don’t make someone’s accomplishments or attributes a reflection of your failure or limit you.

I’ve been there an know that pain. There will always be someone with something you see as better, just as other people will envy you for something. Dub thyself incomparable—because you are!

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