If you are competitive like me, then you don’t like losing for anything. You won’t cheat, but you’ll do just about anything to win. The comparison game is one game that you will not win at. Not at all. Ever. It’s not possible.
As a matter of fact, in your mind, no one wins the comparison game. Those that you are comparing yourself too end up enemies in your mind. If they are friends, you all of a sudden you “unfriend” them in your head. This is not good. How many people have we alienated because of this type of thinking, playing this dangerous game?
There are no specific rules to the Comparison Game.
There are no standards. Our mind starts playing and boy can it become creative in what we think are other’s strategies. Our mind will tell us that this other person is playing this game with us and they have no intentions of losing!
We compare ourselves, our marriages, children, parenting skills, careers, houses, yards, cars, clothes, hair, friends and the list can go on forever. Why do we do this? Is it we need a boost in ourself. Do we need to know that we are doing ok by someone else’s standards. That we are living up to the latest trend?
I think I have played this game in just about all aspects of my life. But especially, marriage, parenting and homeschooling. And it’s not always when things are going bad. I’ll be sitting in a restaurant and see a married couple, and start thinking how perfect they look. They are in shape, they look so so happy, their conversation looks important, the car they are driving is nice. They must have it all figured out. Why don’t we look like that? What’s wrong with us? What are we doing wrong? Of course, this is only me. I don’t think my husband sits there and plays this game. He probably would think, what’s the point! And maybe that I’m crazy!!
In homeschooling, I have played this game a lot, or at least I used to, until I realized that it was silly. I would look at other homeschool families and think they how perfect their homeschool day is. That mom, she is so organized. She wastes no time. Her kids are so obedient. The days I was playing this game, were days that weren’t going so well for me. Days that seemed out of control and chaotic. Days I felt we were behind or we could be doing more. I was comparing my worst to their best. No way would I ever win.
What I did do, was change everything about my homeschool day to match theirs. They had the perfect solution so now it was going to be mine too! FAIL! It never did work for me.
Their way was not my way. Their happiness was not my happiness. I learned to be satisfied, content and at ease with our plan. And to not deviate from it anymore to switch to someone else’s perfect day. I had my own perfect day, even when the days were not so good.
I have done this in parenting as well. I would be on a certain course, a plan, then I would hear of another family that did it a different way and it was working so well for them. Their kids were angels! So I switched, I moved on to their plan. FAIL again! It never worked! I always found this so frustrating. But why would it work? Those parents have different personalities, needs and lifestyles than we do. Their children are different than mine. After all there are…
7 billion people in world…
Over 59 million married couples in the United States…
An estimated 85 million parents in the United States…
No one is going to have the same life, no one can expect the same results following the same plan. Each life, marriage and family is going to be completely different. Sure you can take ideas from families and use them along with your already established plan. But don’t change your plan, your life, your children to be like theirs. It doesn’t work! It only hurts you, your self image and your family. No one profits.
Accept that what you do, what you have is perfect for you. Work within your life. Read books to find new ideas to add to your plan. Be happy for others where they are at. I’m sure they didn’t always have that “perfect” life that you think they have. They have struggled, learned and adjusted too.
Be happy being you. You are perfect the way you are. You don’t need to be anyone else. You are needed. And your husband, children, family and friends need you just the way you are.
How to Stop Playing the Comparison Game
- Know your vulnerable times. When you are feeling down. When you are stressed, tired or life seems chaotic. Don’t compare during these times. (Don’t compare at all)
- Pray for that person or family you are trying to compare yourself to. You never know what they are going through. This also takes your eyes off of yourself and puts them on someone else.
- Count your blessings. Start thinking about what you have, where you were and where you are now. Think about your accomplishments. About all the people that love you and look up to you.
- Have a plan. Create a marriage or family plan. Compare yourself to that plan. Are you on target? Do you need to change something or work harder to stick to that plan.
- Find something that can get you out of the mood. Do you have a good trusting nonjudgmental friend you can turn to? A good book or your favorite lift-me-up movie. Play your favorite music.
Photo Credit: (c) Can Stock Photo