Do You Constantly Compare Yourself To Others? Read On

We’re in a shopping centre, I’m pushing my daugher in her buggy and we’re chattering away. She stops talking and suddenly wails, pointing at another child who has passed us. “That girl has a lollipop why don’t I?”. I deal with it in a motherly way (No, I don’t rush to buy her a lollipop). I explain. She whimpers until she finds something else interesting to talk about or covet.

We’re not dissimilar this small girl and I. She’s comparing herself to the girl with the lollipop and identifying that it’s lacking in her life. I do exactly the same, just not with lollipops, but with things that I want just as much as she wants lollipops.

The stay at home mum spending time with her kids. A thigh gap. The perfectly done makeup. The new car. The positive equity. The nanny. The perfect figure. The 10km runs completed. The five star hotels. The jeans I saw in the magazine. The big house. The tidy kitchen. The manicure. The time to do things. The headspace. The peace and quiet. The cake.

Comparison is the thief of joy


I can’t help myself.

You probably can’t either.

You compare yourself to others. To your family, your friends, your colleagues, your enemies, strangers. Everyone.

You see someone with something you’d like and you’re the three-year-old who sees the unfairness in the the world’s lollipop distribution.

It’d like to blame social media, but it’s around a lot longer than that..  Maybe it’s in our faces more now? Maybe it’s in my face more now? It starts young.

“Every else in my class has a phone, why can’t I?”

“Is he very much taller than me?”

“He always wins the races”

Comparing, contrast. Faster, Bigger, Stronger, Shinier, Richer. Happier?

The comparisons always fall to us coming out badly, where we’re unfair to ourselves. Too hard on ourselves.

“Compare and contrast” may have been an easy exam question but it’s not an easy way to live.

comparison chung quote.jpg

You compare your worst to the subject’s best, it’s human nature and it doesn’t end well.

Their fully made up pout to your pjs and sudocrem.

Their cocktails on the beach to your cups of tea on the couch.

Their well-behaved children to yours at their most feral.

Their gym body to your jelly rolls.

We can’t really superficially compare what really matters though.

Love, Friendship, Family, Health.

Nobody posts photos of their really worst times, of the bills piling up or the walls closing in. We want everyone to think we have it great. We’re all making one another unhappier.

It’s human nature. We’re putting ourselves down. How often do we congratulate ourselves for a job well done? Pat ourselves on the back for being more successful? Sure, we share our successes on social media but do we really celebrate our own achievements?

I’ve recognised this behaviour in myself and done some research. (OK, googling, I did some googling.) Articles like this one  and this one confirm my theory. Need I say more. (Ahem.) Comparing yourself negatively is a source of unhappiness. Unhappiness is bad for us. We don’t want unhappiness, we want the opposite, so we need to leave this behaviour behind and we can be happier. Easy.

This new revelation ties in very nicely with my 17th item on my list of things that all adults should do.

It’s time to concentrate on what’s good, look to what we have, not want we don’t have and stop comparing ourselves negatively to others. For things we CAN control TAKE control. For things we can’t learn to accept them. And by doing that more happiness should follow. Maybe it is that easy. Let’s try.

Are you in?




I am one of ten finalists in the Boots Maternity and Infant Awards in the “Best Parenting Blog”. Thanks so much to everyone who voted for me in the first round. Voting in the next round is open until 28th August and you can vote from anywhere in the world.  You can vote by clicking here or on the massive pink button above and choosing Bumbles of Rice. (It’s easiest to do if you click the Facebook option). Any votes and shares are very, very much appreciated.  Thanks!


  1. Yep, I’m in. Slowly slowly I’m realising that what we have doesn’t make us happy, it’s what we are that makes us happy. I instantly forget and covet the next fancy jeep that passes me, but I’m getting better. Great post ( and yes, a thigh gap would be fab!!!)

  2. I’m in just to take the bad look off yiz. Certain comparisons work well. You should see the state of my hair.

    • To be clear, the ones I have the problems with are the ones that I come out bad in Having better hair than you is good for me, but bad for you so less happiness all around. And I think you look lovely, sure my roots need doing and I haven’t washed it since yesterday morning…

  3. Think the older I’m getting I’ve stopped doing this. The more I talk to people the more I find that each one has their own hangups about something and it’s quite refreshing to know. No one is 100% happy with themselves but as long as we can just do the best we possibly can , well that’s something. It may not be perfect but what exactly is perfect ? If our kids are happy and healthy then we’ve done something right

  4. I’m in, with two pre~teens on the way I’m trying to just BE.

  5. So important, but it can be hard to do!

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