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“I compare myself to others.”  

I hear this quite often from client’s who address confidence issues. The comparison is usually very negative and dis-empowering. Another comment I hear frequently is that "I wish I was more like so and so, who is so strong." You may want to read/listen to the post on "what does it mean to be strong?"

Now back, to comparisons..it is important to realize that from a very early age comparison is used to determine our development and progress. Comparison begins with our birth weight, how soon we walk/crawl and how soon we begin to form words. As we grow older comparisons are made between siblings, between students and later between employees.  

Comparisons are used for selecting a desirable mate and in determining who qualifies for a bank loan. It is hard to escape comparing. It makes sense that we have learned to use comparisons to evaluate how smart, confident, capable, attractive or successful we are.   

We may like to believe that we are above comparing ourselves to others but this is rarely the case. The fact is that human beings need to be liked and valued, in many ways our survival depends on it. One  way to measure our likability and value is to compare ourselves with others.  Comparisons happen, period. So, we need to be conscious of this natural tendency.   

Terri Lee Cooper MSc. RSW

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