Do you ever compare yourself to people around you and feel like you’re not adding up? Do you think that others have it all together, or are better off than you are? Do you sometimes find yourself stuck in comparison and feeling badly about yourself? I think it happens to all of us at times. I’ve learned a unique way of looking at comparison, and I wanted to share it with you today.
I’ve recently been playing with the idea of turning comparison into a compliment. Think about it. When you find that you’re comparing yourself to someone else and thinking that they are better than you, it’s a sign that there is something you really like and admire about that person. Why not tell them?
I had a chance to do this the other day at my local Anthropologie store. Anthropologie is my absolute favorite store. I love everything about it: the clothes, the home goods, the accessories, the style, and the whole vibe. I decided to stop in to my local store the other day on my way grocery shopping. I found something I liked (of course) and went up to the register to pay for it. I noticed that the saleswoman behind the counter was wearing a gorgeous, trendy outfit, complete with perfect accessories and impeccably styled hair. I looked at myself in my yoga pants and unwashed hair and immediately felt inferior. I started spiraling down the cycle of comparison, and was feeling pretty lousy about myself, until I recognized this as an opportunity to turn the comparison around. I realized that the comparison I felt stemmed from my admiration of how put together this woman looked, and my own desire to look and feel like I stepped out of an Anthropologie catalog. In admiring the woman’s perfect accessories, I noticed that she was wearing a beautifully unique engagement ring, and I commented on it, saying how pretty and different it was. She immediately broke out into a smile and told me I had made her day! We started chatting about her engagement and the comparison I had been feeling completely went away. We were just two women having a friendly conversation. In that moment I learned a powerful lesson: Connection Cures Comparison! As soon as I put my feelings of inferiority aside, and connected with this woman, we were instantly able to drop all pretenses and have a lovely chat.
Next time you find that you’re comparing yourself to someone and thinking that they are more stylish than you are, have better behaved kids, a nicer home, a sweeter disposition… why not compliment them? Chances are, it will lead to a moment of connection with that person that you wouldn’t have had otherwise. As human beings, we all crave connection. We all want to feel good about ourselves, and we all appreciate compliments. Next time you find yourself comparing and despairing, turn it around. Instead of getting stuck in comparison, focus on what you are admiring about that person, and tell them. It will give you the opportunity to make someone else feel good, and in turn, you will feel better yourself.
Wishing you a week of less comparison and more compliments and connection. 🙂