Have you ever been compared to someone else? I’m sure you have. If you have a sibling, then I can guarantee that you’ve lived through a few comparison times in your life. “Oh look at Suzy, she’s making straight A’s on her report card. If only Rosie could make those type of grades.” Or it may have sounded more like, “Jeff is so athletic, he is a starter for three different sports. Bobby couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time.”
Oh, if you have children then you know the pain of people comparing them to each other. If you’ve grown up in a house with siblings then you probably also know this pain.
It honestly does no good to compare your children to each other. You’ll either make one feel badly about themselves or give the other one a superiority complex. Either way it goes, you don’t want to raise children that way.
But when you become an adult, does the comparison game end or does it start to grow?
I think as an adult, we put it more in the perspective of “keeping up with the Jones’.”
If Roger has a better truck than yours, then you should immediately look at his house. Is yours better than his? Because you really need to beat him out on some level.
Does Melanie have a better job than you? Well, I’ll bet her marriage is paying for it. And you know those kids are going to resent her for the hours she’s away when they get older.
My goodness how easy it is to play the comparison game.
Your game may not be that obvious, but for most people, there is a level of participation.
Some people compare in order to put themselves down. If someone looks as though they have a better marriage than you, it’s easy to say that you will never be as good of a wife/husband as they are. When you start to tell yourself that, it makes you truly begin to believe it. If you’re not careful, you’ll let those comparisons start to tear you down and give you no drive to repair the places that need attention in your life.
If you’re comparing your marriage to someone else and find yourself coming up short, it would be a good idea to turn that situation around for the betterment of your own marriage. Learn from the things that the other couple is doing right and start to apply some of that to your own marriage. Instead of seeing it as an excuse to throw in the towel, let it be a new standard to strive toward.
The same goes for other areas of your life. If Amanda looks like a beauty queen and you feel as though you look like nothing more than a common housewife, you can either make yourself better from that or let it drag you down.
If you allow yourself to just be the housewife and use the excuses that you never have time to workout and you could never have those amazing calf muscles, then you probably won’t. But if that’s something you really want to achieve and you embrace the comparison to make you a better person then you could find out that those calf muscles are well within your reach.
I know that calf muscles are a really odd thing to point out in a comparison column, but in reality, women compare everything to each other. I’m not a man, so I can’t speak for the men, but I feel as though they probably do the same.
Women are in a constant state of comparison, even when we don’t realize we are doing it. As I was writing this column, I looked out my office window and saw a lady with amazing hair. It had beautiful and vibrant highlights in it. My first thought was that I would look like I weighed 400 pounds if I cut my hair like that and the color would never look as good in my hair. That’s right folks, as I write about not comparing... I’m still comparing.
I guess that’s why it’s a good thing to turn the comparison game into a more beneficial pastime. Instead of using it to beat ourselves up, we should use it to build ourselves up.
There will always be someone who is better than you... at everything. Use that to make you better, not keep you down. And be careful about who you compare yourself and your children to. We are all individuals. We all have different things that we are good at and other things that we struggle with. Capitalize on your strengths and work on your weaknesses. See the good in others and strive to be the best you that you can be.