Comparing yourself to others happens at every age, from noting who has the best toys in the preschool sandbox to whose grandkids got into what college. But comparing oneself to others is especially rampant among young adults. Life-changing milestones happen quickly and often—graduations, engagements, career advancement—and it’s all on display on social media, the motherlode of FOMO-inducing social comparison.
The technical term for “comparing yourself to others” is upward comparison. This means comparing ourselves to someone we perceive to be better off or more proficient than ourselves. By contrast, there is also downward comparison, which is comparing ourselves to those worse off or less proficient, like “There but for the grace” or, less eloquently, “Sucks to be them.”
Comparisons may be part of human nature—I’m sure cavemen once envied their neighbors’ fires and wheels—but when it gets out of hand, it leaves you feeling inadequate and insecure, not to mention depressed and anxious. What to do? This week, by request from an anonymous listener, we’ll cover five ways to stop comparing yourself to others.
5 Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
- Feel the power.
- Find your purpose.
- Reinterpret what’s behind material possessions.
- Purge your phone.
- Remember you don’t have the full picture.
Let’s dive deeper into each tip.