Perceptions of reality
Comparison is a dangerous thing: If you have a subconscious agenda, fuelled by low self esteem, to prove how worthless you are; you will easily find the fodder upon which to feed it. And vice versa. To compare yourself to others deflects your life journey away from looking inwards. It concentrates your energy on pure avoidance of your true purpose; to better yourself compared to yourself; in mindful, solid, baby steps.
Too often I have a patient justify their need to overeat, or under eat, because 'others' do it all the time. 'Other people' aren't having a snack at that time, therefore I am a greedy pig. Or 'other people' manage to eat McDonalds without becoming overweight, therefore I can and should. This attitude is avoiding the very essential principle which makes us all walking miracles; a principle which inherently drives us to be kind and caring to all: Every person is a unique creation; designed to be themselves, to self actualise according to their own path. Comparing yourself to others denies the development of your own instincts about yourself; what works for you, what doesn't - all those things you learn as you step out of comparison stage in teenage years, and into adulthood.
For those who are prone to comparing, the media and social media environment helps to drive this tendency to a place of further intensity. Facebook is rife with pictures of people looking gorgeous (while you look like something the cat dragged in), displaying perfect, gourmet meals they have just cooked for their family (while you're frantically serving an omelette and toast) and showing happy, romantic couples, still in love after ten years of marriage.
I am in the humbling position to have many people, from all walks of life, confide in me as part of my therapeutic role. Please take my word for it that nobody, none of us, live the glossy lives represented in these social media sites. Our profile pictures show us at our most beautiful, because it is a natural part of human ego and pride to not want to have a less flattering photo represent us. But even more importantly, the posts, the articles do not represent the true reality of people's lives. At all.
So next time you want to put yourself down by comparing how useless you are to someone who appears to be so together, so fabulous, please remember you're comparing yourself to an untruth. You are unique, compare yourself to you, and set a goal that this time next year you'll be a bit further along in a journey which is important to you. Be fair.