There is a very simple step toward happiness, that most of us tend to overlook. That one forgiven step is to avoid social comparison.
Unfortunately, we tend to compare ourselves to other people in all aspects of our life. It seems like human nature. We compare our kids with other kids at school or in their play group. We compare our homes, our cars, all of our belongings with others. Your closest girlfriend just remodeled their master bedroom and now you have too. Your best Boddy just bought a new car and you want one too. You keep asking yourself, why other people can have nice things and you can’t!!!!
It is unfortunate that instead of being happy for them, we get angry of ourselves. Even worse, is that some of us go through a great deal of trouble and debt to get what they have. We do this, because we think if we have a nicer looking master bedroom, we will be happier. If we have a nice car, like our friend, we will be happy. All of these social comparisons are taking us further and further away from achieving happiness. Due to that expensive master bedroom remodel, now you have to work a second job, which is taking you away from your family. Because of the new car payment, now you have to work on weekends, which means you cannot hang out with your friends anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying looking and trying to improve ourselves will take us away from happiness. All I am saying is to stop comparing yourself to your surroundings and do what you like to do not because everyone else is doing that. In order to avoid social comparison, there are a few steps that we need to take:
- Know your priorities in life and strive to get there. My priority in life is to spend as much time possible with my daughter and husband, and I will do anything in my power to do this. Spending time with my family is what makes me truly happy. Do you know your priority in life? If yes, then make sure you remind yourself every day about it and don’t let your surroundings and society to mislead you. If no, find it. What is it that will give you joy and happiness? Once you know it, then don’t let anything keep you from moving toward it.
- Look for ways to improve yourself to be a better you, not better than everyone else. My goal in life is to be a better mom and wife and to improve every day and as long as I am doing better than I was yesterday, I am happy. The chances are very slim that I will become the best mom or wife in the world, so why upset myself over it 🙂 this is true about other situations in life too. No matter how hard you work the chances are someone is out there who is more successful than you, so stop comparing yourself to others and try to be as good as you can be.
- Stop looking at others. Spend your time improving your life. Believe me, you won’t have time to look at others and comparing yourself to them. If your goal is to make more money or have a nicer car or a bigger home, then start searching and looking into how to make this happen, maybe go back to school or look for a better job, instead of looking at other people and comparing yourself with them or trying to compete with them
The bottom line, in order to live a happy life, you need to eliminate things that make you upset and the worst of all is social comparison, so avoid it as much as you can.
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