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How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People

Life is rough in the age of social media. Everywhere you look there’s a 110 lb sorority girl from an SEC school with long golden hair, blindingly white teeth and a ridiculously high profile internship/job in New York or LA making you question literally everything about yourself. Just when you think you’re having a good boob day, your Instagram explore page introduces you to some KD from Ole Miss with the abs and legs you had in middle school but the ass and tits of Kylie Jenner (post Dr. Miami). And suddenly, you’re not feeling so hot. 

We all see the same cliche quotes reposted about comparison being the thief of joy and learning to love what makes you ~perfectly imperfect- and for a second, maybe we actually buy it. But before we can even finish liking the picture, we’re back to square one – comparing, contrasting, and nitpicking ourselves to pieces. 

There are so many different ways that we compare ourselves, but today I want to focus specifically on physical appearance. I know that this is an issue thought to be exclusive to women, but men are no strangers to this – though it may be less frequently and though they often decline to openly discuss their insecurities. I’ll never forget my freshman year of college when my ex from high school messaged me out of the blue wanting to talk. His girlfriend had cheated on him, and he was a mess. “He’s taller than me, richer than me, better looking than me…” I was so heartbroken for him. 

There is no clear cut 5 step plan that will eliminate all physical insecurities. But as someone that literally drunkenly cried in the mirror when I was 18 because I felt ugly, I’ve come along way. I’m still pretty hard on myself when it comes to weight and other aspects of the way I look that I have control of, but I don’t compare myself to other women nearly as much as I used to. 

Many people (and corporations) perpetuate the idea that because so much of the beauty that you perceive in others is an illusion (whether it be via photo editing, makeup, or cosmetic surgery) you shouldn’t envy them. I get where they’re coming from, but that’s a questionable premise at best. There are 7 billion people on this earth. Plenty of them are bound to be naturally better looking than you. There are plenty of women still better looking than you hungover, barefaced and sporting the XL tee and norts combo on their morning runs for coffee and adderall refills. And that’s okay.

There isn’t a finite amount of beauty in the world. God didn’t put a cap on how many people were allowed to be attractive. Yes, some  girls are bound to be prettier than you. But that doesn’t mean you’re not pretty. Another woman’s beauty doesn’t have to cancel out your own.

I know this will sound corny but you have to realize that you’re you for a reason. There is no other person that brings exactly what you do to the table, and you’re much better off trying to be the best version of yourself than a knockoff of someone else.

We’ve been telling ourselves that beauty is in the eye of the beholder forever now. But does anyone actually believe that? I know I didn’t, even when I wanted to. When I was a scrawny high schooler with an atrocious taste in fashion, damaged hair and terrible eyebrows I blamed my low self esteem on everyone but myself. I blamed the media. I blamed society. I blamed rap videos. I blamed Eurocentrism. But in reality I was just an awkward looking high schooler that hadn’t grown into herself. But did I ever actually believe I was genuinely just as beautiful as the women held up as the standard? Of course not. Beauty isn’t some abstract, subjective entity. But it is diverse. There are universal standards, but there are also exceptions to every rule. There are beautiful thicc women. There are beautiful thin women. There are beautiful white women. There are beautiful black women. There are beautiful tall women. There are beautiful short women. To summarize my rambling, no one looks at Adriana Lima and questions that she’s beautiful. But just because you don’t look like her doesn’t mean you aren’t.

Working hard and giving your best towards self improvement is another way to reduce inclination towards comparison. When you’re eating right, working out, and doing what you need to do consistently, finding contentment is much simpler. When you’re stuffing your face, half assing work outs for 20 min every other week, you’re bound to feel lesser than because you know you’re capable of more. And seeing people that have what you know you’re capable of (in one way or another) will only remind you of your own incompetence.

It’s easy to get irrationally jealous around women that are prettier than you when there’s a guy you care about involved. And as men are visual creatures, they can’t help but notice beauty. But looks alone won’t get any woman anywhere past a bed. There will always be someone with longer hair than you, bigger boobs than you, a flatter stomach than you and a perkier ass than you. And after about 20 seconds after seeing her your boyfriend will probably forget she existed if he actually likes you.

Stop relying on likes for validation. If anything, use social media to build a business. Use social media to make a statement. Use social media to make money. People get a lot of likes on Instagram either because they’re really popular or they work really hard at it. So either start telling better jokes at parties or start putting more effort into your theme. But for the love of all that is good and mighty stop beating yourself up because your selfie underperformed. 

Realize that being ungrateful for your looks because some women are prettier is like being ungrateful for your brownstone downtown because some people live in mansions with indoor pools. Just because you don’t have what someone else has doesn’t mean you don’t have a lot to be thankful for.

Last but not least, fight the urge to belittle yourself when you encounter pretty women. Don’t default to “she’s gorgeous, I look like rotting deli meat.” She’s gorgeous. The end.

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34 COMMENTS
  • Jailyn
    5 months ago

    This couldn’t have come at a better time! I struggle with comapring myself to others not just on social media but in real life as well. It’s important to remember that I am living MY life the way I’m mean to live it! Thank’s for sharing

    • The Pretty Patriot
      5 months ago
      AUTHOR

      I’m glad you liked it!

  • Patricia
    5 months ago

    Good post! Another way that I see to stop comparing myself to other prettier women is for me to stop focusing on the outer appearance that much and comparing myself, and just work on my inside more because that is what will ultimately count after I live my life.

    • The Pretty Patriot
      5 months ago
      AUTHOR

      That’s true! It’s kind of unfortunate that women’s sense of self is so appearance-oriented

  • Allison
    5 months ago

    Love that you said to stop relying on “likes” for validation! This is 100% true and I can fall short to this at times. Such a great reminder! Thank you!

    • The Pretty Patriot
      5 months ago
      AUTHOR

      We all do; it’s so much more easily said than done!

  • Kiran
    5 months ago

    Really enjoyed reading this post. We all have something that we are not happy with when it comes to our looks and social media doesn’t make it any easier. I couldn’t agree more with one of the things you said; “Working hard and giving your best towards self improvement is another way to reduce inclination towards comparison.” So true.

    • The Pretty Patriot
      5 months ago
      AUTHOR

      Thank you! Social media highlights our insecurities all too well.

  • Gloria
    5 months ago

    Love love LOVED this! So many people need to hear this and you rocked at it! Kudos to you for such an awesome article!

    • The Pretty Patriot
      5 months ago
      AUTHOR

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • Michelle
    5 months ago

    Great article! It is very hard not to compare yourself to other women,especially when it comes to weight.

  • Sina Grumbert
    5 months ago

    Great post! Especially the part about the brown stone house really made me laugh 🙂 You’re so right, we definitely should stop comparing us to other people. Thanks for this positive and inspiring post. Sina

  • Laura
    5 months ago

    This was really refreshing to read. I’m guilty of scrutinising and comparing myself to others.. and like you say, with social media and all these beautiful people in your face 24hrs a day it’s hard not to compare yourself to them.

    It’s so important to raise yourself up and focus on the beauty in you rather than the bad. Eventually you’ll stop seeing the bad altogether with time.

    Laura ¦ http://www.laurahasablog.co.uk

  • Maggie
    5 months ago

    I see this all the time, specially young girls a lot, their whole identity is centered on what everyone is doing on social media comparing everything. For me that sounds exhausting… there were a report a while back how some ig images were faked how they will blow up a nice picture on their screen then photoshop it like they were there…
    TFS
    Cheers,
    Maggie
    https://cascadeavenue.com/blog

  • Alexandria
    5 months ago

    Yes! Learning to love yourself if important. Be the best you that you can be!

  • Cynthia
    5 months ago

    These are all lessons that I learnt later in life. I wish I could tell my teenager self that is OK to be who I am. It took me years but I’m finally at a place where I can love myself. Thanks for sharing this! It is a beautiful reminder to all us that in our own way we all are beautiful inside and out 💞

  • Christa Stull
    5 months ago

    The moment people realize true beauty is on the inside, the happier they will be.

  • tim ovel
    5 months ago

    I take the Popeye approach…I am what I am, and that’s all I am. Would I like to be better looking, better hair, better body? Yeah, I guess; but I’m a damn good guy so you get honesty, intelligence, wit and humor, and loyalty—all in a 6’5″, 27- pound package.

  • Wells Baum
    5 months ago

    Comparison is the thief of joy, they say!

  • Mandy
    5 months ago

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say. I believe everyone is beautiful in their own way. Some people who look good ont he outside aren’t so pretty inside.

    Enjoy the journey!

  • LaToya C
    5 months ago

    People definitely get caught up on likes sometimes. They measure the number of likes they get like it determines their self-worth. I like your advice to work hard to be the best version of yourself. And be happy and confident!

  • Great post! It’s so easy to compare yourself with others but agree that is usually never a good thing! I try to only compare myself to my past self and see how far I’ve grown since then.

  • Irene
    5 months ago

    With social media it’s definitely easy to get lost in it and feel insecure. But then you remember Instagram is only pictures and sometimes they’re edited. Everyone is different and has their own special beauty

  • Rodney
    5 months ago

    Great tips here. Though we could not hide the fact that sometimes we are comparing ourselves to others. It is worth it not to. And instead, focus on what you can do than what others have to say or do.

    thanks,
    ~rod

  • Kori Evans
    5 months ago

    I don’t really compare myself, but I am def hard on myself :(. Thank you so much for this post. It is for sure inspiring!!! 🙂

  • Your first paragraph made me laugh! It’s so true that you can be having a great day and you come across someone who looks better or does something better than you and you feel deflated. I think it helps to redirect your attention elsewhere like towards your ambitions and strengths. And you never know other people’s background and sacrifices. You may want what they have, but they may wish that they had the positive things that you have in your life!

  • Brittany
    5 months ago

    Society is largely to blame for people’s unrealistic expectations of what beauty “is” or should be. It doesn’t help that people are discriminated against and turned away in favor of a “more beautiful” counterpart. It has cultivated a highly competitive atmosphere and fostered a deep sense of inadequacy. That’s just from a natural perspective. As long as people are seeking their worth from man, they will never feel worthy or accepted. True worth can only be found in God! ❤

  • paras dhankecha
    5 months ago

    nice photo, i love this type of article.

  • April Kitchens
    5 months ago

    Such a great post. I’ve been struggling with this lately and time away from the internet helps.

  • jessica
    5 months ago

    it’s tough to not compare yourself to others and we’re all guilty of it from time to time but it is so rewarding move past that space!

  • Comparison truly is the thief of joy. It’s so difficult when social media is so prevalent in our lives. Great post! I think beauty can be found everywhere in everything.

  • Chelsea
    5 months ago

    This is so, so true. Such a good read! I struggle with this off and on- it can be hard to not compare yourself when there are so many beautiful people out there.

  • Jennifer L
    5 months ago

    Thank you for writing this! It’s important for all of us, especially women to build ourselves up rather than tearing us down because what society wishes to box us in. We’re beautiful just as we are.

  • Nina
    5 months ago

    Oh what a beautiful article! Thank you so much for sharing this! It’s so important that people know that to be different isn’t so bad at all!

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