Its everywhere – in the air surrounding us, in our relationships, inside us! Comparison is omniscient and inevitable, and you can do nothing (or can you?) about it...Even it features a lot of times in my previous blog posts...
Comparison is one social characteristic which can be found in any culture…it has nothing to do with education, social status, rich or poor, civilization…its all pervasive and everyone indulges in it…We compare things, places, people, status, wealth, happiness/sadness, decisions, relationships and every tangible or intangible thing possible on this earth. We do this relentlessly from childhood till the time we die and no one seems to notice it !!!
Its debatable (I wonder why all the things I write on this blog are debatable and have no right or wrong answer 🙂…) whether comparison is wrong or right…its relative to people’s perception…So, when your parents compare you with your cousin/neighborhood kid on marks in school/college, its bad. But, when you compare yourself against your crush’s girlfriend/boyfriend, and find yourself way better, the comparison is good and healthy. Your manager talks about healthy competition in the team, by comparing your achievements vis-a-vis his pet. Utter BS!! When appraisal letter is out and you exceed peers by some percentage points, you feel on the top of the world. Perspectives and situations may be different, but comparison has the last laugh…
Comparison is one conditioning every parent gives to their children, deliberately or in ignorance.
In any stage of life, you are in a race (the very platform of comparison) – be it coming first in your bloody class/school/college, in your office, in eyes of your life partner, while amassing maximum wealth. And when you have kids, the comparison thingy reboots and is passed on as a legacy to your kids. Quite a life cycle…like Energy, comparison cannot be destroyed, however, it can be created anew.
You can’t help comparing – should you give up? Problem is, you really can’t! Its a very strong force riding our mind which defines what path we choose, shape our attitude and have deep impact on day-to-day life. Almost all of us have idols, benchmarks and standards against which we constantly compare our progress in life and decide the course of action. So, how to curb it, more importantly, when to curb it? It would be improper on us to expect from a child/teen to give up comparison. But you grown up people, can certainly make a difference in your life. Exerting a better control on your personality and behavior,you better start doing some introspection and look out the areas in which you compare.
In many walks of life, we screw up because we compare. Lets stop this unending chain of comparison from areas which you dislike. Make sure what comparison you had been subject to, you would not do the same on people you have some impact (like your partner, children or employees). You have to break this chain, no one else can do anything for you. While comparisons you have created afresh and your loved ones are being subject to them now, I don’t think any strategy will work – because, they have come out of your mind/thinking and would appear alright to you.
One more argument I would put is to at least not compare people (your lovers, parents, kids, friends etc, etc.). Its difficult as we gain sense of confidence, security and pride when we compare people. But if we can minimize comparing people, it can go a long way in strengthening your crusade against comparison. If you are a ‘compulsive comparer’, do it with inanimate objects that do not possess any feelings….
Lastly, if you feel what all I have written is BS, and there is no harm in comparison as it provides a purpose and direction in life, go ahead and do it. Just make sure you do not tell it to people who you are comparing. It is not cool.