I’ve always had a really low self-esteem, and I always, compulsively compare myself to others. Rarely is it me thinking "oh I’m so much better than that person", I think more "why can’t I be like that?", "why can’t I look like that?", the list goes on.
Do any of you guys have the same problem? How do you go about stopping this habit?
I used to do this a lot. I am short, which is something I have always hated when I was young. I am 23 and I’m 5’6 so I was always thinking “Why me? Why did I have to be short? Why couldn’t I be taller and attract more women?” Naturally woman are attracted to big and tall men, as their instincts attract them to a perfect male specimen to provide children of the same stature. I’ve always gotten made fun of when I was young “Smurf, midget, gremlin, and it goes on” so naturally I would feel like shit and wanna be like someone else.
Now that I am 23 I realize it’s all bullshit…all those years I worried about it even though I was doing really well with the ladies. When I meet people now I try to make an impression by how I act and what I say instead of how I look. You can be the most good looking person on the planet but if you have nothing inside then all you are good for is sex (if you can even do that) lol.
Just try to focus more on who you are and how you act rather than how you look. Isn’t is a much better thing if you are saying “That person is so compassionate, why can’t I be like that?” Isn’t it easier to change that? Once again, focus on who you are and how you act.
I struggle with this problem constantly, Kels. I’ve yet to conquer the issue of low self-image myself and can thus offer you true solace or means of pacifying your problem. I can however offer some advice; try checking out the ‘love yourself challenge’ thread.
Lots of great stuff in there.
I most definitely have the same problem, though I’ve gotten a lot better about it. It wasn’t ever really comparing myself to different people, it was my boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend. Just the most recent ex of his. She is a model, and the perfect journalist student (and it doesn’t help that he has a super strong interest in journalism). She’s lived in LA and now she lives in Australia. She has lots of money and buys herself clothes that I could never afford. I was always terrified that he would drop me on my ass and go back to her, because she used to try talking to him when we were together. Not to mention that she she has lots and lots of friends and admirers. Or at least I used to think that.
How did I get over that obsession? The first step was actually this website! I learned lots of ways to love myself for what I am and I truly appreciate that. But I also reminded myself that she, and people like her have flaws too. Not just little ones, but big ones,sometimes worse than our own. She has a strong addiction to pills, and an even worse addiction to cocaine. My boyfriend and all of his friends (even their mutual friends) told me how dramatic and selfish she is, and that for fame, fortune, or drugs, she would throw all of her friends under a bus. And most importantly: my boyfriend left her because she cheated on him and tried to hide it. So really, she wasn’t so perfect at all, and I actually had nothing to worry about. I would much rather be me than her.
Also, it may take a while to believe, but I can guarantee that there are people who you have envied that look at you and are just as jealous. I’m not saying that just to make you feel better about yourself. My mom always told me that and I always just thought she HAD to tell me that because she’s my mom, but after years, I realize that it’s true. You’re not alone. Everyone wishes they had something at some point or another. It’s okay to want something, as long as you don’t lay awake at night crying about it. If you do, all you need to do is love yourself. You’re the only one you can trust, and what you have or what you look like is trivial. People you envy have big issues, they just don’t show it.
I know that wasn’t as much advice as just comfort, but I never really took steps to stopping this problem. It’s more of a psychological thing. A mindset you have to have.
And I’m not perfect, this still happens to me sometimes, it just doesn’t ruin my life like I used to let it.
You can compare yourself to others all you want, but in the end, you are you, and you should learn to enjoy it!. :)
Oh and btw, you’re actually very beautiful, so don’t go wishing you looked like someone else! I wouldn’t if I were you.
When I was younger I always thought that everyone was better than me. Physically, mentally & emotionally. Now that I am 42, hey I feel I am just as good as anyone else. Why not, God made me the way I am and he loves me, so I figure I should love myself the way I am. Huggss
@luigi Love what you had to say!
@Kels Even though society shows us that all that matters is looks.. the reality is.. it’s far from it. The point is to make a good impression by how you act and and NOT how you look. I fully accept people for who they are… And if someone is going to judge me on how I look, they obviously are not worth my time. I want to surround myself with great people who will also accept people for who they are. If someone is genuine, they too will put looks aside, because in the end it does not matter. We will all get old and wrinkly and what will be left is what’s on the inside :)
@ Johannes Davidsson Exactly! It takes practice.
@Kels Oh, I forgot to say that Facebook does not help. I found myself comparing myself to others via Facebook…I saw people traveling all over the world, graduating before me, etc etc.. It might my helpful to deactivate your account for a little while, if you haven’t already!
“Don’t Take Anything Personally…Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”
Live by this quote
FACEBOOK IS THE ENEMY OF SELF ESTEEM!!! After trying multiple times to quit by de-activating and always ending up signing back in, I deleted mine a couple months ago and I am literally 20 times healthier mentally. You see benefits immediately once the compulsory urges to sign in become a thing of the past.
I don’t need validation for my opinions or ideas(used to subconsciously search for this via comments or “likes” and feel disheartened when I didn’t receive any), I don’t get annoyed at the shallowness of others by reading the endless feed of mundane shit people post about the Kardashians, etc that have multiple comments on them yet when I post thought provoking questions or real world issues receive not one comment. And I don’t waste time brooding with envy of the fact that everyone I went to high school with is about to graduate from a University, is “prettier than me”, etc.
All that matters is that I’m in harmony with myself and those closest(in real life) to me. My personal philosophy is that there should also be a line drawn that limits how much even your family or best friends’ opinions of you influence your self image. I have been practicing being kind to myself lately and it is very freeing. I read something once that said we judge ourselves so much harsher than we judge any of our friends… and why? Don’t we deserve the same compassion and respect as them? Next time you’re looking in the mirror, try making your internal dialogue sound more like something you’d say to a close friend you care about. It does wonders. The human mind is very malleable, you just have to reprogram all of the toxic thought patterns you’ve put so much energy into building by reinforcing what you know is right, multiple times daily. I’ve found that I have to go easy on myself as well, and not beat myself up for not changing immediately. It’s a process, and each day gets better as long as you stick with it!
Ellie..May I ask how you deleted facebook. I thought it wasn’t an option? If it is I want to delete mine. I deactivated mine a week ago and haven’t looked back since.
P.s. That is EXACTLY how I felt on facebook and is exactly the reason why I left it.
That isn’t true. At the beginning of the year, I quit facebook, http://mcleanification.tumblr.com/page/4
and I started it back up again in May ish, because I wasn’t going to home for the summer and had a hard time staying in touch with close friends.
Although I started a brand new account, I did try to go into my old facebook, and could, with all my notes, friends, pictures, everything still intact.
It’s just a thought pattern, you can get rid of it quite easily. The next time you start thinking those thoughts, ask yourself “Why am I thinking this?” and just wait for an answer. Don’t force an answer, just wait for your mind to answer.
Then you have to accept them, welcome them, remove your mental label as a “bad” thought. Just let it be there, see it for what it is, don’t judge. Feel it, don’t react to it and don’t try to suppress it. Then you can just let it go.
You see, when you try to force a change all you do is create more thoughts about thoughts, which will just make the “bad” thought stronger. To get rid of the thought you have to take away the thoughts about it, layer by layer.
Or you could just meditate until your thoughts won’t live a life of their own. These thoughts come from your ego which has run rampant in your head, just watch your mind until it shuts up.
This was something that I struggled with for quite a while, too. I eventually realized that part of the reason I was comparing myself to other people was because I wasn’t quite sure of the kind of person I was becoming – I hadn’t made any choices about my own life. it never felt right in the first place and so I was never fulfilled.
once I started making choices about what to do with my life I stopped judging myself and comparing to others, because I had things I wanted to do – regardless of what anyone else thought.
for me it is always better to be involved in the process of change, rather than standing back and analyzing things. when I analyze things nothing really gets done; when I am taking action, the next step always seems to be obvious and usually doesn’t require a whole bunch of planning. of course every once in a while some reflection is a good thing but in general – as someone who thinks a lot – thinking is overrated. Doing is where it’s at.
Self-talk. Pretty simple concept, all day everyday, tell yourself how awesome you are. Stay humble, keep it to yourself.
“Oh yea andrew, that’s right, drinking green tea because you’re healthy, no beer for me.”
“Look at you running at 6am when all your friends are throwing up still, staying fit even on the weekend.”
“Who is that handsome guy in the mirror? Oh yea, that’s you.”
At first, it will be a harsh voice in your head, you won’t sound congruent at all. But that voice will grow loud and boisterous, as will your self-confidence.
So much more to say but want to keep this short so you absorb it.
my 2 ¢
There is only one thing to remember, repeat and get that sink in, and that is that you only compare with yourself. Be a better person that may you were not before. Realise that today you have to be better than what your were yesterday. Just focus on that and soon you will see that it becomes a habit and everything will fall into place just fine. Everything is just part of a habit forming. When you compare, the comparison becomes so often that it sinks in and gets internalised.
Say to yourself ” I am going to be a better person than I was yesterday, focus on my more priorities and work than I did yesterday, I will be more fun than I was yesterday and today is better than yesterday”
It also helps to do things that help you feel better about yourself, this can be different for everyone.
I like to go for bike rides, when I am really down and out about my body I’ll do an actual work out.
Eating healthy =] (It will always make you feel better!)
Waking up earlier (Sometimes later if you’re used to always waking up super early)
For the ladies- getting a new beauty product (shampoo/conditioner, makeup – heck even toothpaste gets me excited)
Try pairing some clothes together you haven’t worn together before!
Just doing something out of the ordinary can put a little spark in your day and take your mind off the “ugly” voices in your head.
I would also suggest your read a book by Epictitus called The Art Of Living, It was written a few years back by a man born a slave and who found his freedom and developed a school of philosophy called Stoicism.
Everyone has faults and most of them are only imagined, not real. The thing is it does not matter. You also have virtues. What it comes down to is understanding that there are things in life you can control and those things which you cannot. For those things you cannot control, forget about them and let them be. Nothing you can do about it anyway. The only real thing you have control over is who you are, how you act and what you do. These are the things you should work on for they are truely all that you have in life.
You cannot even control your body. It will get sick, it will get well, it will live and it will die. But that essence which you call yourself, your thoughts and your actions are always able to be controlled and guided by you alone. What someone thinks of you is irrelevent.
Everything else is just a distraction from your personal growth.