Cause of Unhappiness Part Two: Comparing Yourself to Others


December 19, 2015

Human’s innate ability to compare ourselves to others is perhaps the root of all sins in this world. Knowing that I am better create a sense of pride or even arrogant, while knowing that I am less create a sense of envy and jealousy toward the other. There can be no ends to our comparison unless we stop to put any value into it.

The fuels behind our comparisons are our likes and dislikes.

Let’s say for example that we would like to be promoted. However, someone was promoted instead. We can’t help but feel disappointed or even a sense of hate or jealousy. Why? Because we believe a promotion has value and is desirable. But if we did not want to be promoted in the first place then we simply would not care who got promoted or didn’t.

I used to be someone who enjoyed being better than others. My identity was dependent upon others being less than who I am. Every conversation I start every word I speak leak a sense of pride and the desperate need to show off myself. When I met someone who is worse of than I am then I became overjoyed because I felt I was “better”. But when I met someone who was better suddenly I felt scared and inferior.

My happiness was contextual. I thought my happiness was to look better than others, but what I couldn’t see is how tiresome it was for me as well as those around me to put up with my own inferiority complex.

Happiness is not to be taken likely. If one does not take care of it and see it objectively. It is most likely that this kind of pursue of “happiness” will never stop. And for me or for anyone, they would forever carry around this “happiness” complex without noticing it.

Mindfulness saves my life.

I was lucky. I somehow found my way to the practice of mindfulness. Through the practice mindfulness, I began to reflect upon this inferiority complex I called “happiness”. And the more I reflect the more I see its negative effects.

First, it is rather obnoxious for others who have to put up with my own insecurity. No one likes someone who fill up the conversation only to boast about himself.

Second, it was tiresome to try to talk about how great you are in every context. I simply can’t be happy by myself. I needed someone to be better than at all time else I couldn’t be happy. When I felt like I am better than a person, I became happy. When that person or someone else become better than me then I became unsatisfied. My happiness was fleeting. It’s the kind of happiness which is dependent upon whether or not the context allow me to feel as if I am “better” than others.

What I eventually realise is that it was too hard for me to find happiness. My happiness to look better didn’t do anyone, including myself, any good except fulfilling the unfulfillable desire to look “better”.

Comparing myself to others did not bring me any joy, only pain and bitterness. Thus, I quit.

How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

  • Reflect. As long as you are biased toward yourself and your ways of attaining happiness, you will never find True Happiness. You will say, "This is my happiness. Why would I change?" Thus, it is necessary to have the desire to improve one's happiness by reflecting often. Question yourself. Why I am still unhappy even though I am trying to be happy? And if possible, learn to be mindful of your actions to see whether they are driven by your unwholesome desire or the desire to prove yourself. Know thyself and change yourself before it's too late!
  • Knowing that there is no ends to comparing yourself to others. You will never be satisfied because your satisfaction is relative to how others are.
  • Better could mean worse and less is sometimes more. It all depends on which standard or perspective are you putting yourself against. No one is better or worse. Everyone has different background and up-bring and naturally each is incomparably different from one another.
  • Seeing the negative effects it has on oneself and everyone around you.
  • Compare yourself today with yourself yesterday
  • Learn the art of mindfulness! Click here to learn!

Posted with : Dealing With Unhappiness