Comparing ourselves is human, right? Its part of our survival instinct. We judge people we see on the street as a threat or not. The fact is though, we dont live in a djungel. Threats arent around every corner. Its gone too far and we judge people unconsciously all the time. So much so that it affects our first impressions and our ongoing interactions. Its hindering us from connecting on a deeper level and it affects our self-worth. It becomes toxic. So why do we do it?
Somewhere were comparing happens often for me is comparing myself to other girls. When I see an attractive girl on social media I often find myself, like a reflex, trying to find a flaw. Thinking “oh, shes not THAT attractive” or “she has a bad personality” It’s AWFUL. I load this habit. BUT! Exucses excuses but women are brought up to be in competition with each other. That’s a fact. I think we´ve all done it. Its our responsibility though, to break that habit. Because we DON’T have to behave that way. Its awful and its one of the reasons I find it hard to connect with other girls. Theres this distance from both sides. Not always, ofcourse, but it happens. And there is this new trend of uplifting each other and girls “run the world” and so on and that is great but its too broad. I think we need to look at our everyday thoughts and interaction. Catch ourselves when the thoughts enter. I know social media has made girls more insecure then ever. Girls use filters to heighten their appearance and post the best side of themselves and we see that and think “why is my skin not that clear?” or “why is my body not as slim?” People who are attractive get loooooads of followers and its not just from people who find them attractive but girls that idolize them. And people who hate-follow because they are envious. CATCH THE THOUGHTS AND QUESTION THEM – first step. Maybe if that feels too big of a task stop following people that don’t serve you or even distance yourself from social media for a while. Im doing it. It feels great.
In the book “the courage to be disliked” they speak about inferiority and superiority complex which I think is relevant here.
The book says that the feeling inferiority is not bad per se since it’s a driving force for most people to evolve as people but the line, when it becomes a complex, is were inferiority becomes an excuse. They give an example in the book of a person thinking that they are not well educated so they have to try harder than anyone else which, can lead to motivation but when the person thinks “im not educated, so I cant succeed” When the logic of A (the situation) makes B (goal/outcome) not possible. That is an inferiority complex. (This is a pretty good thing to ask yourself, am I doing that? Excuses often equals lying to oneself. Its not fun to confront yourself, its uncomfortable, but its effective.) When the inferiority no longer serves you as a motivation force, when it becomes a hinderance, that’s when it’s a complex. I do this. I limit myself in lots of aspects in my life. With my future career and youtube – the first two things that came in mind. I still have a little hope though, so I push myself and don’t let the excuses overpower too much. I do little steps that scare me like purchasing an expensive camera (in hope of committing) and looking into education to become a zen coach. I try to do things that are uncomfortable. But the thought of “Im too timid and shy (A) so people wont take me seriously (B)” is a reoccurring underlying belief I have. Instead, a thought could be “im timid and shy and have become less with time, hence there is opportunity for growth” Or “Im timid and shy so I have a different perspective than the outgoing ideal zen coach I imagine would have” For the second dilemma; starting youtube, I tell myself “im too awkward and English is not my first language (A) so I cant make videos (B)” when I could think “im awkward and English is not my first language so I should practice until it becomes more natural” I see the differences where I can reedit my thoughts about the goals. I just need to make the choices deliberately. They wont come natural when I have thought a certain way for years. I need reminders.
Both situations ive created an ideal persona who can accomplish the goals and since im not there yet it feels foreign to me. I feel fake and like im not good enough. I see people doing what I want to do and its hard not to feel a sting of jealousy. I despise that as well. The comparison. Because I want to be able to feel 100% happiness for anyone’s success. At the moment, im there that I catch myself and reedit my thoughts when jealousy comes. Breaking those old negative patterns.. they don’t serve anyone except a hurt insecure ego. And I don’t want to feed that hurt ego. Let it starve!!
Another term in “the courage to be disliked” is superiority complex. Its when the inferiority complex develops into another mental state. In the book they explain it:
“One is suffering from strong feelings of inferiority and on top of that one doesn’t have the courage to compensate through healthy modes of striving and growth. One cant tolerate the inferiority complex or thinking, A is the situation so B cannot be done. One cant accept ones incapable self. The person thinks of trying to compensate in the same other fashion and looks for an easier way out. Its to act as if one is superior and to indulge in a fabricated feeling of superiority.”
They explain it as the person is giving the I a authority, for example exaggerating and misrepresenting ones work experience. Fashion is also discussed in the book; people who only wear flashy brands and diamonds and pearls. The I is superior by linking it to authority. This is also a way of dealing with the inferiority feeling. One who brags does not have confidence in themselves. The feeling of needing to flaunt one’s superiority. There is fear that if one doesn’t do that no one will accept who they truly are.
An interesting thing in the book for me was that they also discuss how this can play out in people who “brag” about their own misfortune. Those people make themselves feel “special” because of their experience of misfortune and that leads to putting themselves above others (victim mentality?) This hit home for me. I think I might be guilty of that. I feel like I identify so strongly with my past that I feel like Im special. Its hard to not identify with the past when its what shaped you. Its also what explains why I am where I am today. When speaking to someone new about what I want to do with my life I often find myself feeling that feeling of “calling” when I tell them about my history. BUT. Its important to notice this and not put emphasis on the feeling of needing to feel chosen. Fine, I can do good things in the world but Im not destined to do something special. That is a lot of pressure to put on oneself but its easy to have that wish. I need to let that go. That hope/dream only developed because I wanted a purpose. Feeling lost in the world, my lacking ego romanticized a fantasy where I was the chosen one. And no, not like a movie where someone saves the world but in a sense that I need to do something big. In my fantasy as a teenager I envisioned it all. When I reach a certain level of things I wanted to do I would be happy. Total denial of reality.
I felt like I needed to be a persona who changed lives if that’s with life coaching, meal planning, youtube, etc I didn’t know but I knew I wanted it. I needed the acceptance and the recognition. Now, I know that chasing things like that only leads to more chasing. The point, I feel like, now is connection with other people. Influencing others to be happy and content. There is nothing more important than that. And im doing it now. Because there isn’t anything to achieve. I have a great boyfriend. The best mom and brother and people around me. I influence people around me just by living by my own truth. There is nothing to accomplish more than expanding as a person and loving people around me unconditionally. Experiencing life.
So, this post was all over the place haha. But also, an important reminder. I can write more on girls comparing themselves, appearances and body acceptance etc and I will in the future. There is also a good portion of comparing yourself in the book; How you should accept the cards your dealt with and its useless to compare yourself with another person. Beauty is subjective. More on that to come.