What Causes You To Compare Yourself?

Written by: Tanvi Vinay Gangavali – MA (Psychology)

Last updated date : November 21, 2022

When we see someone beautiful or rich, our thought is ‘I wish I was like them’. This is a comparison. But, you also need to think about what causes you to compare yourself. Why do I compare myself to others? This is often unconscious. It causes us to feel miserable. We also feel we are not well enough. But, it is important to know that with training we can stop ourselves to think that way. The article below will help us know what causes you to compare yourself and also why do I compare yourself to others.


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Chapter 1:

What Causes You to Compare Yourself?

Human beings are social beings. They like to be around people. Comparison is a very natural feeling to have.

Below are some examples of comparison:

  1. You see a beautiful woman on the street and think, “I wish I was as beautiful as her.”
  2. Your friend has a well-toned physique. You might tell yourself “I wish I had my body look like this.”
  3. A colleague at work is confidently presenting her work, you might find yourself saying, “she is more confident than I am.”

With social media, we are exposed to information to make us think that why don’t we have certain things that others have. But, also the next thought is why do I compare myself to others? One of the causes for you to compare yourself to others is also because of a lack of self-esteem. You feel like you do not have enough. But, you also feel like you want more but cannot have it. All of us have certain qualities in different proportions. For example, some might be very rich whereas some might be more skilled than you. So, we try to compare the lesser qualities that we have to the person’s best qualities. This also makes our judgment go for a toss.

Chapter 2:

Causes for you to Compare and its effect on my life

The causes for you to compare yourself to others are hard to identify. But, comparison can have many effects on your life and overall well-being such as:
  1. You might feel unhappy.
  2. It also reduces your self-esteem
  3. You feel angry at yourself for not achieving what others have.
  4. Become too hard on yourself.
  5. You are frustrated with yourself.
  6. Feeling jealous of others.
  7. Feeling hopeless that you cannot achieve anything.
  8. It might also lead to anxiety and depression.
  9. It might also lead you to constantly look at the mistakes and faults of other people.

Chapter 3:

Tips on How to Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

The causes for you to compare yourself are many. You want to stop this habit. But, you also know it is hard. Irrespective of the causes for you to compare yourself, the stress that you go through is hard to deal with. You can stop it by practicing certain things such as:
  1. Be aware of your triggers. The first step is to list down situations and events that can make you compare yourself. You have to list down the causes that make you compare yourself. This is really helpful. For example, social media, some person in your life. Many a time there are many people around us who trigger this comparison. For example, if you meet your college friend who brags about being very successful in life.
  2. Avoid them. Once you are aware, you need to take action to avoid them. This means you need to either distract yourself or avoid it completely. For example, you can stop meeting that friend of yours who triggers you to compare. But, sometimes it is not possible to avoid it at all times. In these situations, you can distract them too by changing the topic and talking about something else or leaving the situation.
  3. Everyone is facing their own struggles in life. No one knows what one is going through. Hence, on the outside, it might look all good and rosy. But, inside they might have their own hardships. Hence, do not compare others’ outsides to your own insides.
  4. We all want to be rich. We all want more money. But, in reality, money does not bring happiness. When we see rich people we compare ourselves to them. But, you need to remind yourself that money brings only temporary joy and will not solve our problems.

Chapter 4:

Some More Tips on How To Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

  1. Social media is one of the biggest triggers these days. It causes you to compare yourself instantly. But, you will notice that apart from connecting people it also has a lot of content on beauty, health, and fitness. Constantly viewing these posts can make you question your self-worth. It can also have negative effects. Hence, the best is to limit your time on social media. You can also unfollow certain accounts that are the main causes for you to compare yourself to others.
  2. We need to be grateful for all that we have in life. We might think someone else’s life is better but then the grass is always greener on the other side. You need to practice gratitude and look for things that you need to be thankful for. For example, having your own house, and having a loving family.
  3. You can also use this feeling positively. It can be used as a motivation. It can also help you to change. Instead of feeling jealous of others’ good qualities or successes we can think about how did they manage to do it. You can find ways on how you can also do it. This can also inspire you to be a better person.
  4. You need to be proud of what you have achieved so far. You need to focus on yourself. To start with, you can also make a list of things that you like about yourself. You can use this list to motivate yourself and to see that you already have enough.
  5. You can remind yourself that your past self can be used as a benchmark. Also, You have to be better than what you were yesterday, last month, and also a year ago. This brings growth and change.

Chapter 5:

The bottom line

The causes for you to compare yourself are stressful. The only and best person who should be comparing yourself is oneself. You should focus only on your growth. You need to grow from within. Celebrate other people’s successes too. This will reduce your comparison and also make you feel better. It is natural and normal to compare yourself to others. We all have certain insecurities. You need not be too hard on yourself for having this. Help is available to stop the comparison. You can train your mind to stay away from these thoughts. You need to be kind to yourself. It takes time and practice, but it is possible.

Epsychonline is a platform is on mental health to understand oneself and take charge of your life. There are many courses. You can enroll in a course on knowing how to deal with low self-esteem. This can help in your overall well-being.


"Structured and engaging course" Joan

69 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount