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8 Things That Happen When You Stop Comparing

8 Things That Happen When You Stop Comparing

Comparing yourself to other people can be detrimental to your mental and physical well-being.

In this age of social media we have instant access to everyone’s life, from our 8th grade ex boyfriend to Taylor Swift’s cats (even though Meredith and Olivia are too stinkin’ cute.)

But with that instant access comes the fear of inferiority. Why is everyone’s life so much better than mine?

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If you are waiting for your boyfriend to propose, it seems like everyone on your FaceBook timeline is getting engaged. If you are having issues getting pregnant, it seems like everyone on your Instagram feed is posting ultrasound pictures or baby bump updates.

Whatever the case may be, it seems like all we do is constantly compare ourselves to other people and, at the end of the day, who is that actually benefiting?  Below are a list of 8 things that will happen when you stop comparing yourself to others.

1. You will realize how many wonderful things you already have.

Stop thinking about what you don’t have, and take a quick inventory of what you do have: a job (even if it’s not a great job), friends (even if it’s only a few close ones), a place to live (even if it’s not as big or beautiful as you want). There is always something you have to be grateful for in your life, so find out what those are and take a moment to be thankful.

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2. You will stop stressing over the things you do not have.

Once you have started being thankful for what you do have, you will stop stressing over the things that you don’t. It’s always great to have goals and aspire for bigger and better things, but it is not healthy to constantly focus on whatever it is you feel like your life is lacking.

3. You will put more focus on reaching your goals.

If there is something that your life is “lacking”, such as a college degree, or other realistically obtainable “thing”; it will only be once you have stopped feeling sorry for yourself, that you can put that energy towards obtaining it. Find out what it is you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to, and see if it’s something you have the ability to change or not. For example, if you are comparing yourself to people who are skinnier or more fit than you, take some steps towards eating better and leading a healthier lifestyle.

4. You will realize that what you are comparing yourself to is not always accurate.

Especially in terms of Social Media, what you see is definitely not always what you get. People are only putting the best versions of themselves out there for everyone to see.  So what you are comparing yourself to is an unfair comparison; like looking in a magazine and trying to obtain the look of the photo-shopped model. It may look perfect on the outside, but always remember that every single person has things they feel like their life is missing.

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5. You’ll see a rise in your self-esteem.

There is always going to be someone stronger, smarter, richer, and more beautiful then you. All you can do is set goals for yourself if there are things that you want to change, but beyond that, you are who you are. You have to find out what the best qualities are about you and let those shine, while working on any attributes you feel need changed; but for YOU. Not for the benefit of others’.

6. You will become a better friend.

Those closest to us are the easiest to compare ourselves to. If you feel like your friends all have things that you don’t, you may resent them without even knowing it. There’s nothing more upsetting then your friend giving you good news, and you responding with, “I’m so happy for you, but…” Nothing good can come from feeling that you deserve something more than a friend or family member.

7. You will realize that life isn’t always fair.

This one may sound cliché, but seriously. It all comes down to, “But it’s not fair that this person has this and I don’t.” Luckily, as adults, we realize the childishness of this thought and can, hopefully, move past it. Just because someone has something that you feel like you deserve more, is not going to give you whatever that is. Just like calling someone else dumb will not make you and smarter, or calling someone else fat will not make you any thinner. Realize that you are the master of your own universe and can shape your life to however you see fit, you just have to have the will-power to leave the negativity behind, and go for the gold.

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8. You will be happier.

This is, easily, the best reason to stop comparing yourself to others’. Again, constantly focusing on what other people have is mentally exhausting and, frankly, depressing. Once you’ve found the strength to stop seeing everything as a competition, you will breathe so much easier and your mental and physical well-being will reward you.

Featured photo credit: Andrés Nieto Porras via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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