Are you the kind of person that jumps excited every time there’s a group selfie only to be disappointed yet again at how everyone else looked good except you? Do you get annoyed at how unkempt your hair was or how another dab of lip gloss would have made your photo look better?
While everyone ungroups to continue with their stories and enjoy their meal, do you sit through the night thinking how the group selfie looked so good on everyone else, how you should have posed differently, or how you could have smiled better? Do you secretly have dark thoughts in your head asking how come your friends always seem to look so good in photos unlike you?
Are they just naturally photogenic, perhaps there was something wrong with the way the light shone on you or maybe the cameraman was just plain lousy with group selfies? There is a habit I have somehow developed since young.
Whenever someone took a group photo, or I got snapped at a birthday party or wedding, the first thing I would do is zoom my narrow eyes to a picture of myself and then slowly start to compare my picture to others. Regardless of whether there were two people in the picture or twenty people in the picture, I would always compare myself with others in the photo.
I guess the easiest thing to do is to blame our childhood for this behavior of comparing ourselves to others. It all starts from our parents comparing us to our siblings, then to our cousins and friends, it continues in school where everyone compares looks, grades, friends which then leads to our comparing careers, choice of partner, the lifestyle we have and it just keeps continuing to every aspect of our life as we grow older.
Seems like it’s just another human character but this one little innocent habit of comparing ourselves to others does more damage to our self-esteem, self-love, and happiness then we realize. Some of us are taught to learn this habit to improve ourselves, competition is good, is it not? Today with social media, it has taken the meaning of comparing ourselves to others to an entirely different level.
Some of us are spending hours looking at people who have better lives, more beautiful, sexier, and richer than we are. There used to be a time when looking at pictures of a model, an actor or the rich and famous was rare but today you can watch them every minute of your day. Social media enlarges success stories, everyone is sharing the good news, the wins, and the fun times in almost every post.
We hardly see bad news, sad events, and failures on the feeds. Do you honestly feel happier and better at the end of the day after comparing your life to others? It’s not hard to understand how this comparison plays a big role in our race for happiness.
Happiness starts with self-love. Isn’t this what everyone is claiming? But how do we achieve this and continue to stay happy with all that is happening around us? For me, the key to happiness could be many but it first starts by stop comparing yourself with others. Here are 5 Hacks that you can use to learn how to stop comparing yourself with others making yourself a happier person.
1. Understand that Everyone has Strengths and Weaknesses
Each one of us is different, each one of us has strengths and weaknesses because no one is perfect. There is no one that only has strengths and does not have any weaknesses. That’s what makes us human. As a human, we are also good at showing our strengths and hiding our weaknesses. No matter how good or successful someone is, their life is not going to perfect in every way.
What we show to the world is usually the good parts while we each struggle with our own shortcomings usually in the privacy of our own minds. So, stop comparing with others or feel bad about your life when someone is looking prettier or being more successful than you. It’s only one part of their life they are sharing with the world.
2. Strive to Be the Best Version of Yourself
How many of us really know our own strengths and weaknesses? Most of the time, we let others tell us what we are good or bad at. Why not find some time to sit and ask yourself what are you good and bad at? Instead of comparing yourself to others, spend time to understand areas of your life that you need to work on so you can be the best version of yourself.
This may not be an easy thing to do but when you start working on yourself, you start to feel good about yourself. Whether it’s going to the gym to work out, eating better, reading more, or learning a new skill, find one or two things that you want to work on to improve yourself. Don’t compare but by working on yourself, you will feel you are doing more value-added things in your life and naturally feel proud and happy with your life.
3. Remember Each of Us is Unique
Each one of us is unique and we cannot always copy or try to be like someone else. Instead of comparing with others and trying hard to become like them, accept yourself for the unique person that you are. Let them be them and let you be you. Everybody has their own life path and journey to complete and so do you.
Focus on your own life and let others focus on their lives. By focusing on your own life, you will spend less time comparing to others and lead you to be a happier person.
4. Do Little Things You Love Daily
All of us like to enjoy things that make us happy, but we tend to wait to have these things. When we talk about doing what we love, we always name the big things like travelling, buying a house, taking a holiday, or getting married. Why not start to love and enjoy the little things in life daily.
Having your favorite cup of coffee, taking a long hot bath, watching a movie on Netflix, making a phone call to your loved one, having a power nap, hitting the gym, reading a good book, working on a passion project, meditating or simply going for walk.
These are tiny blessings that you get to do every day that makes you smile and feel good. Instead of comparing yourself to others, make time to do the little things you love daily that makes you happy.
5. Take Breaks from Social Media
Research shows on average, we spend two and a half hours daily on social media every day. There are many of us that are guilty of spending more hours on social media then communicating with the people around us. Setting a limit to the number of hours or setting a time for you to be on social media helps you to put the phone away and focusing on other parts of your life.
Although every second you can now follow your favorite artist or friend, you don’t want to end up living their lives each day and letting your own life slip away. Learning to have the discipline to take breaks from social media will surely make you compare less and focusing on getting things done and doing more important things on your daily to-do list. As you complete these tasks and build this newfound discipline, it will surely make you a happier person.
Try these 5 Hacks and notice how you feel about yourself and the changes it brings to your life. Do you have any other hacks to stop comparing to others and making yourself happier? Share it here.
Article contributed by Premie Narayanan!