Why Comparing Yourself To Others Can Be Destructive

Everyone compares themselves to others from time to time. It is a natural thing for humans to do. But often these comparisons can be really destructive. When you compare yourself to another person for the wrong reasons you are actually looking at how your worth as a person compares to yours.

There are some people that have got into the habit of comparing themselves to others so much that they do it on an almost daily basis – and sometimes more than once a day. They do it with their friends and family, at work with their colleagues and even with famous people. So why can this be so bad for you to do?

Bitterness and Anger

You are at work and you get the news that another coworker has received a promotion. This person is younger than you and joined the team later than you did. In your opinion they are just average and they didn’t deserve to get promoted before you did.

So what happens here? You go into a negative thought spiral that runs around in your head for most of the day. “How dare they promote this person before me!” The negative spiral makes you start to doubt your own ability so you experience thoughts like “I am not good enough” and “nobody here respects me”.

What you are not taking into account is that this person has been attending night classes to learn about business and management. They have also taken on projects that you would never take on because they could go wrong and that is just too risky for you.

You are totally bitter about this situation. Every time you arrive in the office the negative thought spiral kicks in. Now your bitterness towards this person has turned to anger and you do everything that you can to avoid them. The person invites you to celebrate with them but you find an excuse not to attend.

Before this person received the promotion you had no problem with them at all. You used to talk to them all the time and even laugh and joke with them. Now everything has changed. You are just bitter and resentful.

This is a very bad situation. Every time you go to your office you feel bitterness and anger. This is not good for your health or your self esteem. You are not interested in the back story and the person’s efforts to achieve promotion. You have not done any of these things and expect everything to just fall into your lap.

Impact on Self Esteem

One of the most dangerous things about negative comparisons is the harm that it does to your self esteem. You probably don’t realize this is happening but you are thinking that you were overlooked for promotion because you are not good enough.

When your self esteem takes a hit like this it can be devastating for you. If you rant and rave about the situation to others in your team then they quickly tire of your complaining and you can lose their support. This in turn makes your self esteem crash even more.

What you can do?

Try to see the positive side of things rather than the negative. Find out how the person got the promotion and use this as inspiration so that you can embark on a similar journey. Whining and complaining when things like this happen will get you nowhere. It will just make you feel terrible and can lead to lots of other problems.

What Is Your Self View And Why Is It So Important?

The “self view” is a term created by psychology experts for how you see yourself. Sometimes you will also see this called your “self concept”. Basically your self view is a combination of your opinions, beliefs, attitudes and preferences that form your definition of who you are.

It is all about how you think about yourself. This is really powerful because it will define how you think and the way that you act. Our self view is critical and we really need it to make sense of our world.

The Self has been Studied by Psychologists for a long time

The concept of the self view is easy to understand but it is a very complex psychological area which has had psychologists trying to figure it all out for a very long time. Although everyone has a self view it is not always easy for us to know what is really going on on the inside.

This is because we are all different and our mixture of traits, preferences, personality characteristics and abilities differs wildly to the next person. It doesn’t matter that much that we cannot explain everything about the self view though.

What is important is that we are aware of its existence. People need their self view so that they can form their own perceptions of the world and feel comfortable in their environment. Without it we would always be asking others how we stack up (which a lot of people do anyway but this is usually due to low self esteem rather than not having a self view).

In the very early days of research into the self view, Descartes formed the conclusion that the very existence of an individual was totally dependent on how they perceived the world around them.

The well known psychologist, Simund Freud, believed that the self view comprised of three elements which are:

1. Your ID which is pleasure based
2. Your ego which is a state of balance between your ID and your superego
3. Your superego which is driven by your conscience
Important Aspects about the

Self View

There are a lot of different assumptions held about the self view to make sense about it. Here are some of the most important ones:

You Learn your Self View

The assumption here is that you are not born with your self view. You will develop it as you grow and become an adult. In fact your self view can change many times during your life. Many experts believe that you can change your self view if you need to and this is a good thing.

Your Self View has Structure

Over the years you are likely to develop many different views about yourself. The assumption here is that all of these different opinions are organized into a single self view. This structure helps you to instantly challenge anything that doesn’t conform to your self view.

Every day an individual is likely to be subjected to many different messages and a number of these can challenge their self view. Even though these different challenges are about different aspects of a person’s life the reaction is automatic.

Your Self View can Change

It is not easy to change your self view because you have built it up over a long period of time. But you can change it. Sometimes different environmental changes can force you to change your self view. Other times you may want to change it yourself because it is not supporting what you want to do.