Surviving the Comparison Trap

In the moment, I laughed it off. We were having a good time and I didn’t want to turn what was meant to be a compliment (or at least I think it was meant to be a compliment…) into something it wasn’t meant to be received as. Two guy schoolmates of mine (we’ll call them Joe and Moe) and I were in the car, talking and laughing about God knows what, on our way to a fast-food restaurant. We were all cracking jokes about something, when Moe turned to me and said:

“You see! You’re the fun one.”

The fun one? I thought. Out of confusion, I responded something along the lines of “What does that mean?”.

“Your sister is the pretty one, and you’re the fun one.” Moe said.

Immediately Joe responded to Moe with “Wow man. Are you trying to say she’s ugly?”

It was then that Moe realized how what he said could’ve come across and that’s when he responded with “I didn’t mean it like that!….” and basically went on to explain that my sister, being well dressed was the “pretty, girly-ish one” and I, who I guess appeared to not care, was the “cool girl”.

The unfortunate thing about the situation wasn’t what he said.

I mean yes, it didn’t exactly feel good to be disregarded as “pretty” simply because of my 15-year-old sociable nature, but that wasn’t what gave that moment such a prominent mark in my life. What was unfortunate about that situation was that my split-second initial reaction to his statement wasn’t offense or alarm… it was agreement.

That’s right, before I even knew what he meant by “Your sister is the pretty one, you’re the fun one”, I subconsciously internally agreed.

I didn’t place any high value on 99% of the things that came out of Moe’s mouth most of the time. This time however, simply because he was a boy, I gave Moe’s words immense value. I allowed them to be written on the tablet of things I felt about myself, mixed with the list of self-proclaimed “truths” verbalized to me by other teenage boys.

If I named every situation I have ever been in that fueled this toxic comparison in my mind, this post would be a million words too long. Aint nobody got time for that…

My sister and I are only two years apart. I am two years older. It may seem like a big gap for some but, between my playful nature and her natural maturity, we’ve always maintained a close bond. I had never viewed my sister as an enemy or competitor. I’d always viewed her as a friend, in fact my best friend, because that’s all she’s ever been to me.

When I began to allow these kinds of remarks to take root within my mind as truths, I was unknowingly severing those close ties. I was making room for bitterness, jealousy, and my inflated ego instead. I was positioning myself to dispose of a relationship with someone who had no ill will to impart on me, all because I allowed the negative opinions of others to become my truth.

No specific event inspired the breaking point I reached before I finally brought it all to Jesus. Harboring all the bitterness, low self-esteem, and envy that I was proved to do nothing but keep me from mental and spiritual health.

 “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.”

– Proverbs 14:30

The truth is in life, we can’t control what happens to us but we can control how we respond. It took a fair share of teary-eyed prayers and quiet times to see God eradicate the structures of “truth” I had built up in my own mind and replace them with His. He did do it though. He can do it in your mind as well. All you have to do is bring it to Him.

We are not the sum of every negative observation ever made of us especially in comparison to someone else. Each and every one of us is an individual with a unique path, story, and gifts. Life is not fair, but we ought to be grateful for that!

Whether it’s your sibling, your cousin, a friend, a co-worker or whoever you feel less-than to in any way, you are not them. Love yourself as you are for who you are! Not because you are “more than” or “less than” anyone else but because you’re just as perfect as they are on the inside and out.

Coffee Chat:

If you are currently struggling with comparison, how are you actively working to counteract that? If you have dealt with the comparison trap before, how did you overcome that? Let’s chat in the comments!(:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 thoughts on “Surviving the Comparison Trap

  1. I always find the only time I ever really compare myself to someone is when I’m arguing with a parent (usually my mum) and I bring one of my siblings into it! Even now at age 22! Obviously my mum still completely dismisses it as she should haha!

    Ellyn x | Life Of A Beauty Nerd

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow what a detailed post!
    Comparisons suck. They really do. Although people don’t mean hard by it most of the time, it usually does end up hurting you or makes you overthink.
    I grew up with comparisons all the time, from family to friends. And it’s made me who I am, a self conscious anti social idiot.
    By the way, you’re super pretty.

    Kelly
    http://thiswayandthatway.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kelly, I highly doubt you are anything even closely related to an idiot!

      I think one of the things that can be pulled from this post is that we can’t place the blame on those who do the comparing.

      Insults are only insults if they touch a spot within us that is already insecure. It is kind of like if someone were to try to offend you by saying the sky is pink (just to name an example). You are certain the sky is blue, so a statement like that would be easily brushed off because you are 100% positive the sky is NOT pink. You would then probably conclude that said person might be colorblind. The same goes for comparisons made about you.

      Being fortified against unwarranted comparisons starts with the way you view yourself and what you know to be true about you (and i’m sure being an idiot doesn’t belong in that field).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I thought the post was gripping but that quote right there, definitely are words to remember (about insults I mean, and being fortified against unwarranted comparisons!) Thank you for this one, Courtney!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. For so so long I’ve also compared myself to other people, always viewing myself as beneath them in some way and beating myself up a ridiculous amount over it, as I’ve gotten older the comparison has switched to being between me at different points in my life, which I think is just as toxic as comparing oneself to others. It’s such a hard habit to get out of and this post is exactly what so many people need to read to remind themselves they’re fine just the way they are.

    You should be really proud of yourself, this is a really well thought out and constructed post, I’m not sure how odd this will sound but without even knowing you I can detect ‘your own voice’ within the text, as in that your writing alone stands out, before even getting fully into the thick of the topic, though you’ve nailed that too. I can feel that I’m going to really enjoy spending my time around this blog in the future. Incredibly well written!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree, comparison between the you of now and the you of the past can be just as toxic. It can be hard to accept yourself where you are when you feel like you’ve been in a better place, yet it is so rewarding and freeing when you do. Thank you so much Davis. Your comment means a lot💛 Sometimes it can feel like you’re taking shot in the dark when attempting transparency on any public platform, but comments like yours really do make it worth the temporary moments of anxiety. Thank you for reading!

      Like

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