Compare no more!

*Photo taken by my talented friend Olivia Hamilton Jones

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. 🙂

Be well,

8 thoughts on “Compare no more!

  1. This is great… Some thoughts that came to mind when reading this… When I’ve compared myself I may not have need realized I did and end up feeling less about myself. Maybe I’ve compared myself for so many years that sadly enough it comes without notice. Next time I’m feeling down about my self image I’ll be more conscious as to what may have caused it. I use to have a tough time taking compliments as well and have noticed others do to. For example I say, “your hair looks great!” the response, “thanks, I need a haircut badly.” It can be difficult to take a compliment – not sure why…? Now whenever friends make an excuse to a compliment I say, “take the compliment”. And now I do the same – I just say ‘thank you’. I do catch myself making excuses sometimes especially when I’m not in the best place or feel uncomfortable about saying thank you (silly I know).
    Thanks for your blog!

    1. Hi Monica! So nice to hear from you and you make such a good point about us finding it so difficult to accept compliments at times. I think it comes back to the fact that so many of us are so much more comfortable always giving, rather than receiving. But in order to be balanced, we need to learn to do both. 🙂 Thanks for pointing this out! You are setting a wonderful example for your friends in learning to gracefully accept the compliment, even if it feels uncomfortable. <3

  2. Love this tool Ambar! I also recognize that when I’m comparing myself to someone, it’s really about me, not them. It’s that I want to have something this person has and it’s a sign for me what’s missing in my life or what wound comes up for me to look into and heal. What’s really great about your tool is that it builds connection. And I think we all can use more of that 🙂 I’m definitely going to use it next time it shows up for me 🙂

    1. I am so glad you found this helpful Kasia! It makes such a big difference when we realize that the comparison is about us, not them, doesn’t it? It gives us clues about what we want in our own lives and then once we are aware of that, we can go out and pursue it. 🙂 Thank you for reading! Keep me posted how it goes for you! xo

  3. Ambar, I love your blog and this is probably one of my favorite posts so far! This speaks to me in so many ways! We as women always find a way to compare ourselves to others and in doing that we hardly ever shed a positive light on ourselves in the comparison. I love the way you turned the comparison around and showed how we all are the same. This applies to young girls too, I am constantly talking to my daughters about self esteem and healthy body image. Keep it up, your blog is amazing!

    1. Thanks so much Anita! I’m so glad it resonated with you. I love that you are bringing this to your girls. I hope that if we start to teach them young, they won’t grow up with the same inner critic that so many of us have. They are so lucky to be growing up with you as a shining example of a strong, confident woman. <3

  4. Such a great post! I love that “Connection Cures Comparison”! So clever and so right!

    I rarely compare myself anymore to others (I used to, a lot!) but I’ll admit that lately I compare my body to others. I used to have a healthy self body image, but lately I feel big, weak, and not too sexy. I wonder how complimenting someone else for looking fit, strong, and vibrant could flip my feelings about myself around? It’s worth a try!

    1. Thanks for reading and for your insights Christine! I think it’s definitely worth a try! There are soooo many ways in which we compare. I really think connection is the cure! Instead of looking at it from a place of lack, “look what they have that I don’t have”… when we choose to compliment instead, it becomes “I love what you have, now I see that I want that too, and if you can have it so can I… I’m going to go out and get it.” It gives us a much more empowered perspective.

      And since we are on this subject, I must point out that I have compared myself to you in the past because I think that you are so healthy, strong, confident, & sexy! 🙂 Funny how it works, right? xo

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