Comparing yourself to others is the easiest way to put yourself in either a better mood, or the worst mood possible.
It’s helpful when you want to feel better about something. Got a 60 on an important paper? That’s okay, at least you did better than that girl who got a 52. Having a bad hair day? That’s alright, you could be the girl who burnt her hair off with a curling wand. The bottom line is always: it could be worse.
Sometimes you’ll find yourself in one of those unlucky moods where you’ll overanalyze and compare your supposedly miserable life with someone who’s obviously got it all under control. You can’t talk yourself out of it and it completely sucks. With today’s technology, it’s become easier than ever to peek into someone’s life through the content they post on social media. We often neglect to remember that we’re only seeing the polished, filtered highlights of what they’re actually experiencing.
Personally, this horrible spiral of comparison happens with a close friend of mine. When I’m in one of these pathetically self-deprecating moods, all I can think is that I’m the ugly duckling and she’s the beautiful swan. She doesn’t even intend on making me feel this way, which naturally makes me feel worse about resenting her. As she explains her conquests and the many men pursuing her, (4 at the moment), I can’t help but feel sorry for my lonesome self. She discusses furnishing her new apartment for the school year, and I look around the room I’ve lived in for six years, suddenly regretting choosing a university so close to home.
I swear I’m not always as pathetic as I sound right now. I know that I’ve got plenty to offer the world and that this is all trivial in the grand scheme of life. But it’s tough to pull yourself out of one of these emotionally draining downward spirals, especially when its cause is inescapable. Everyone does it. It’s an irrational pattern of thinking that people are drawn into when they’re feeling the most vulnerable.
It’s important to recognize how you’re feeling and what’s causing it so that you can pull yourself out of this funk. You’re not the only one feeling down, and sometimes all you need is to take a step back and realize that glamorizing someone else’s life doesn’t mean yours is any less worth living.
As one of my favourite quotes says: “Trust the timing of your life.”