The Tragedy in Comparison


Maryam Sadeghifard, Staff Writer

A common trait we often exhibit is the act of comparing ourselves to the person next to us, someone online, or even our closest friend. This issue is especially prevalent during the three weeks of stress and anxiety leading up to finals week. The questions most commonly asked are variations of “What grade did you get?”, consequently leading to the comparison between you and that said person. The comparison mindset is the most intoxicating and degrading trait we have as students and humans in general. 

Recently, I’ve noticed myself giving into this way of thinking, and I can’t understand why I decide to torture myself in the way that I do. Whether that be getting an A- on a test or seeing the person next to me getting an A, I automatically digress into comparing myself to them and pushing myself down. Self-hatred embodies me, and I no longer feel that same sense of happiness I once did. The tragedy of comparison falls into line here, when the comparison impedes that happiness. Even after coming to terms with that realization, it’s a force of habit that cannot be escaped. The question stands, why do we sabotage our happiness for the sake of the accomplishments of others?

Even though some may argue that comparison is natural and can cause us to improve on ourselves, more often than not, this can feed other emotions, such as jealousy and self-loathing. An example of this can be seen in our everyday lives, scrolling through TikTok or Instagram feeds, where these social media sites fuel off of our addiction to comparison. For hours per day, my finger swipes on my screen, addicted, yet getting sadder per minute. Another girl who is my age shows up on my For You page; she’s so beautiful; she has all the features I wish I had, inevitably leading to the same question spiraling in my mind, “Why can’t I look like her?” Once again, I’m stuck comparing my every flaw to that girl, being a vicious and inescapable cycle.

Not only do we naturally want to be better than them, the unconscious realization that we are not often becomes self-destructive,” Fs blog said.

This cycle of comparison is fueled by a damaged and low self-esteem. A far memory from back to when I was in sixth grade, of someone critiquing my laugh, still sticks with me today, and I now notice a resistance to the way I laugh. How did that little girl in sixth grade notice something I never noticed in myself? And why do I now notice that laugh in everyone else? After observing my thoughts and really going deeper into the why’s of the toxicity of the comparison mindset, I realized that what I’m most insecure about is what I tend to notice in other people, and that is the reason for my self-destructive thoughts. 

In a school built off competing against the next person, it’s inevitable to deal with comparison and the faults in this toxic mindset. Though to counter that, coming to terms with your insecurities and realizing the best person you could be, is you. Once that realization has been digested, the possibilities are endless, and that’s when happiness comes back to you.

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