Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Have you ever heard this saying? It really is true that comparison steals our joy. Whether we are comparing our possessions, our families, or even our own selves, comparison causes us to become discontent with what we have and who we are and prefer what someone else has. The problem with this is that we do not see the day in and day out of most other peoples’ lives.

Social media has compounded the comparison problem because it allows us to share only the parts of our lives that we want others to see. We tend to share our accomplishments and good days but be silent about our disappointments and bad days. While social media can be very good, we need to keep in perspective that peoples’ lives are only half as good as what they share on Facebook. Remember that you don’t fully know what’s going on behind the scenes in that friend’s life, but it is a guarantee that she has many of the same realities of life that you do.

I doubt that friend you are tempted to compare yourself to is what she appears to be on Facebook. That’s not necessarily due to any fault of her own. It’s just that Facebook is not the appropriate place to share the difficult things most of the time. That friend with the seemingly perfect life still has sleepless nights with her baby. She still has days when she doesn’t want to get out of bed or maybe doesn’t even shower or change out of her pajamas all day. And perhaps the most surprising thing to remember about that friend is that it is almost a guarantee that she has times when she feels insecure and inadequate when it comes to motherhood. She is also tempted to compare herself to others in stead of making the most of every moment with her family.

If you find yourself looking at others and wishing you were more like them, please do yourself a favor and remind yourself that they are human too. Remember also that your seemingly “perfect” friends are also tempted to compare themselves to others, maybe even you. Reach out to them, even if you feel unsure or insecure. Be willing to do life with them and to remind them that they are unique and that comparing themselves with other moms is like comparing apples and oranges.

The truth is that every woman is tempted to compare herself to other women. However, that is not how it should be. This is not to say that you can’t admire other women, but don’t model your life after anyone else’s. Your unique strengths are weaknesses are what make you yourself. If everyone were just alike, the world would be a boring place. This is not to say that you shouldn’t try to better yourself or learn from other women. You absolutely should, but look to keep a healthy balance between admiration and comparison.

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