Does scrolling through Instagram got you like:
My partner is never as thoughtful as theirs…. I’m going to be lonely forever.
Another promotion and a side hustle? I’ll never be that successful.
They got their PhD? I’ll never go back to school at this rate…
She’s the perfect mom. Ugh I just hope I don’t scar my kid too much.
So it seems like their family, actually gets along and likes each other..?
Here’s the thing: as humans, we’re never going to stop comparing ourselves to others.
So, stop beating yourself up when you get caught up in a compare and despair cycle. We all do it.
But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to keep scrolling through someone’s perfectly curated life online while you focus on all your own insecurities and fears that you’ll never be enough.
Comparing ourselves to others can actually be really helpful.
It helps us know where we fall in comparison to those around us which can be motivating and reassuring.
BUT– it can also trigger shame and cause us to see our own accomplishments and value in an unfair and deceiving negative lens.
Especially when the comparing that we are doing is on limited information. Information we get from social media or surface-level relationships. We just don’t have the full picture in these cases.
So instead of getting stuck in a compare and despair shame cycle, try these things instead:
–Reach out to others who will be real with you and not just highlight their greatest hits. Building relationships where people are able to get real with each other takes time. You’ll need to risk getting vulnerable in the friendship and support others when they get vulnerable with you. Invest time when you find someone who is able to go deep with you and not just stay at the surface level.
-Stop following people on social media who only showcase the “perfect” in their lives. It’s not real y’all. Flood your stream with people who aren’t afraid to show life’s many imperfections. You’ll feel a lot less alone.
-Practice self-compassion and remind yourself that everyone has plenty of things keeping them up at night and insecurities that can get triggered. That happy family with the two kids, a well-behaved dog, the perfect house? That’s not the whole picture and they have struggles of their own.
-Instead of comparing yourself to others, try comparing yourself to yourself. Look back a year, two years, ten. Look new for you’ve come, all that you’ve learned, and what you’ve accomplished. Pretty amazing.
-Get out of your head! Tell someone else about your negative self-talk—reassurance from someone you trust can make all the difference.
And if you just can’t stop beating yourself up when you find yourself comparing and despairing—maybe it’s time to talk with your therapist. Our counselors at Love Heal Grow would be happy to help!
Hi! I'm Megan Negendank, founder and executive director of Love Heal Grow Counseling.
I help hurting, worried couples & individuals heal from pain and create thriving lives & relationships.
You can read more about me or schedule an appointment here: About Megan