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Why Comparing Yourself to Others Is Actually Good for You

So many people say comparing yourself to others is harmful and totally unhealthy. However, they never try to see it from a different perspective. Surprisingly, it’s possible to find your individuality (and not lose it, as it’s believed), and even boost your self-esteem. If the act of comparing yourself to others is making your stomach churn already, try to turn it into a positive habit instead.

As some people put it: if you can’t beat them, join them.

Bright Side is giving you 5 reasons why you shouldn’t ditch the habit of comparing yourself to others.

1. You achieve more.

By comparing yourself to others, you get inspiration from other people and this, in turn, helps you grow. You can be motivated by someone else’s productivity or persistence. Compare yourself to these people and try to take up their best habits. However, keep in mind that the number of likes is not worth comparing.

Your finances should stay out of the competition as well because it will only lead you to believe that the world is unfair. Instead, for example, try to understand why someone has so much money (if it’s not inherited, of course). This way, you’ll get an idea of how much effort you need to put forth in order to have a good life. You should look at what other successful people do and learn from them.

Bear in mind that thoughtless imitation won’t do. This acquired knowledge has to be adapted to your needs. In this case, you incorporate mindfulness, ask questions, and don’t just copy others.

2. You learn to be more grateful.

When we constantly strive to be better and better, we tend to take ordinary things for granted. Luckily, comparing your life to those of others can be an effective gratitude practice. Just simple awareness of the fact that you have a house, bed, and food, can cultivate an appreciation for your life. Some people don’t have half of the things you do, so next time you head to bed, just before your head hits the pillow, take a minute to remind yourself how happy you are to have a comfy bed.

3. It helps you cope with regrets.

study carried out by Concordia University found that comparing our regrets with other people’s can cultivate positive emotions. 104 people of different ages took part in the experiment. They were asked to share their biggest regrets. Those who felt that other people’s regrets were worse showed an increase in positive emotions.

This is the so-called downward social comparison. The idea is to feel better because someone is worse off than us. It boosts our self-esteem, promotes positive emotions, and relieves anxiety.

4. It helps you solve problems.

Comparing your problems to those who’ve already gone through what you’re dealing with can be comforting and motivational. We can even imagine the people we look up to giving us advice, as if they were our imaginary parents. We can identify how other people cope with similar problems and implement some of their solutions to our own struggles. Interestingly enough, you can avoid problems in the first place by taking a look at how others failed.

After some thorough analysis and comparison, you’re less likely to mess up.

5. You fix your personality flaws.

It’s actually possible to boost your self-confidence while comparing yourself to others. For example, if you’re painfully shy, you can become more sociable by comparing yourself and looking up to another person. Even if you’re not, say, naturally outgoing, you can learn to be that way by imitating others. Well, that’s how humans evolved — through comparison and imitation.

It’s also easy to adjust your poor behavior once you see someone behave just as badly. Such a shining example is instantly ingrained in your memory, and you’ll probably never behave that way again.

Do you compare yourself to others? If so, how do you feel when you do it?

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