The Comparison Game- Week #4- Guest Article: Love Them, Don't Compare Them
Updated: Oct 28, 2019
Most people who struggle with comparison often struggle with comparing themselves to others. However, over the years I’ve come to realize that if you let it, comparison can spill over into other areas of your life.
Wives/Husbands, do you ever find yourself comparing your spouse to someone else’s? Girlfriends/ Boyfriends, do you find yourself comparing your significant other to the couples trending on social media, or that man/woman in the romantic comedy you just watched? Students, do you find yourself comparing your school to someone else’s? Employees, do you find yourself comparing your jobs/careers to someone else’s?
Comparison knows no limits! What I've noticed however, is that when you struggle with comparing yourself to others, you also struggle with putting pressure on the people in your life to meet your crazy expectations. All of this stems from (1) Always wanting to be in control (perfectionism), and (2) Selfishness and pride. I think it goes without saying that no matter the root, imposing YOUR norms on others and constantly comparing them to other people is completely unfair. No one likes to know that their loved one is comparing them to someone else. How would you like it if someone you loved compared you to someone else? How would you enjoy hearing someone think these things about you: "I wish my boyfriend/girlfriend was fit like him/her!” Or, “ I wish my husband/wife was smart and successful like her husband/wife .” Painful right? Or, how would you feel if someone was constantly trying to fix you?: “I don’t like your hair, you should wear it this way.” Or, “I don’t like your job, maybe you should look into a career in this.”
I remember ALWAYS comparing the people in my life to others. Why can't he be this way? Why can’t she be like this? Why can’t, why can’t , why can’t? Eventually, I had to stop and think, Shantè, these people never asked you to fix them. They aren’t comparing you to anyone. They aren’t trying to fix you. Why are you always trying to impose your norms on someone else? Why are you so prideful to feel that you know what’s best for someone else? I remember putting so much pressure on my friends, my family, etc. to conform to MY idea of what they should be instead of embracing them for who they are! After coming to grips with this, for many years I was filled with so much regret, frustration and shame. It was my job to love them, but comparison and pride hindered me from carrying out my true role in their life.
If you struggle with comparing the people in your life to others, or you're constantly trying to FIX them...consider three truths that I embraced. These truths helped me to take the necessary baby steps towards overcoming this giant.
1. Let people be who they are!!! For goodness sake. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t push them to be their best self or provide constructive criticism if warranted, BUT what I am saying is that if their personality or reality is too much for you to handle or appreciate, then let go. This truth is especially true for those in relationships. I’m not telling married people to divorce or families to break up...please don’t misunderstand me. But, for example, ladies if your boyfriend has a personality trait that is just too much for you to handle, just leave. Moreover, I’d like to plug in that we need to stop entering relationships knowing that someone isn’t what we want and then become frustrated when they act, well, like themselves. Either love people for who they are, or let go. Simple.
2. Look within. Often, when we find ourselves constantly comparing the people in our lives to others and trying to fix them, it is rooted in pride. It is rooted in the fact that we THINK we know better, WE can do better, or what we desire is best, but often times this is so untrue. Look at you with your flawed self trying to tell someone how to fix their life or trying to tell them what’s best for them. We need to HUMBLE ourselves. As humans, pride is so often our guide. Every now and then, it’s important to take a step back and really do some introspection. Sometimes, it is not always the people in our lives that need to change, it’s us.
3. Stop watching other people’s lives! I can’t say it enough. You wouldn’t be noticing all of these “flaws” in other people if you weren't so consumed or preoccupied with other people’s lives. Look at you on Instagram. I can see you now: “Her boyfriend bought her a car, my boyfriend doesn’t even buy me lunch." Or, “His job did that for their employees, my boss doesn’t even appreciate us.” Let me be frank, you’d be in a much better place to appreciate the reality of your own life if you would, well, focus on your own life. Bro, sis, sign out of social media and live the life that’s in front of you! You know, the one that’s real, the one that’s YOURS. You better own your life! Appreciate the people in your life and the many blessings that you’ve been lavishly given!
With much prayer and persistence, you can overcome the habit of constantly comparing your loved ones. It does NOT have to be something you constantly struggle with. Give your loved ones the respect they deserve and love them for who they are. Allow them to live their lives free of your impositions. I guarantee you, you’d be much happier.
[Check out the Worksheet for this week for deeper reflection.]
Guest Article Written By: Lashantè Stubbs
Lashantè is a fourth year Medical Student. While she is pursuing a career in medicine, she also runs an organization for young women called Pearls Empowerment, and is the Editor of her magazine for women called, "Becoming".
Connect with Lashantè on Instagram at "shantestubbs"and be sure to check out the latest issue of her magazine at the link below: