Is Comparison the Thief of Joy?

Often times, I find myself making comparisons about all types of things; from childhood milestones, fashion, jobs, relationships, music, hair and the list goes on…

The Oxford Dictionary defines “comparison” as: ‘A consideration or estimate of the similarities or dissimilarities between two things or people.’ Upon reading this definition what really stood out for me were the words ‘consideration’ and ‘estimate’.  Why then do we (I) spend endless time devaluing myself by making comparisons?

There were several directions I could have chosen for this post but as a young woman, I thought I would focus on the comparisons that I make in relation to myself.  Have you ever said things like: “They have bought their own house already and I’m still renting” or “That couple is so cute, they clearly are in a happy relationship and now engaged but what about me, single!?”  Well I certainly have!

I have compared many things in relation to my level of financial security, housing, career, facial features, fashion and general lifestyle – to a point in which I began to discredit and undervalue all the things that I already have.  As I develop daily, I no longer make comparisons to discredit myself but more for 1) Motivation 2) Encouragement/ Appreciation of others.

  1. Motivation – sometimes you require that nudge in order to get yourself in gear 5 and to get the wheels in motion.  Although I was doing things, I lacked consistency and true dedication.  By seeing what others did, I recognised the hard work and effort that they put behind it and this really encouraged me to self-reflect on my own present motives.
  2. Last night, I went to a concert and I was surrounded by hundreds of random strangers; I took a moment to think about the beauty of the people that I saw but also to, in a strange way, acknowledge and appreciate their hidden stories.  Every person there had worked hard to achieve the reward of purchasing tickets (it may seem silly, I know).  It has made me appreciate that behind every face there is a story but most importantly, a journey!

Is comparison the thief of joy?  I’m intrigued to hear your views and perhaps you too could share your stories.

Signing out for now.

K Vinnice

2 thoughts on “Is Comparison the Thief of Joy?

  1. You’ve mentioned that you began to devalue yourself when you’ve made comparisons in the past, which I’m sure we all have done. This I feel is where the theft of joy is. Joy is lost once there is no clear appreciation of what’s already been and if we use it as a means to envy others, we won’t look at what we have and smile about it.

    I think we at times forget that not everything that glitters is gold (pardon the cliché). We see others and wish we had what they had, but some have what we won’t ever want, the extreme hard work, dedication, pain, sleepless nights, depression, anxiety, etc. We can’t tell what happens within the minds and homes of those we perceive as happy and successful.

    Comparison doesn’t have to steal our joy, we just need to know how to compare and contrast our lives and find a positive conclusion as though we were being assessed for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your comment!

      I completely agree with what you’ve said! It’s so important not to be masked by the public portrayal of success and think that’s the standard but rather consider the journey.

      As you said, assessing our own lives in order to develop is important.

      Like

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