Why We Compare Ourselves to Others?

“I don’t see the sense in comparing ourselves to other people all the time. It’s not about being better than anyone else or having nicer things...”

I read it in “Seriously.. I’m Kidding” by Ellen DeGeneres and couldn’t say anything but agree. I think comparison makes you feel bad about yourself, no matter how good you are. But still, in reality, words are easier than actions.

I’ve been telling myself not to compare myself to others, but I can’t miss any single morning not doing so. I make comparisons both to people I consider in upper and lower level than mine. And I ended like never feel thankful of what I have, and simultaneously feel snobbish.

I don’t want to blame my past, but yeah I think it might be derived from my childhood. I remember those Eid Fitr days 10 years back, when my big family gathered in grandma’s house. It’s a nice and warm family time. I had the annual judging panel. No Simon Cowell, the judges are my aunts and uncles.

My aunt started the most avoided question: “so how’s school?” Well, I never ranked #1 in the class, nor attended the best school in town, but 5 of my cousins were and did. So I just answered little and let my Mom saved me by talking to my aunt.

Life went on but the situation remains unchanged. Last year, one of my uncle asked me why I didn’t join the selection of PNS (public servant) and join the Kemen PU (Ministry of Infrastructure) just like him. I said I am not interested and he was keep comparing my job as journalist with his.

This year on last Eid, luckily my aunt (wife of the PNS uncle) mentioned my trip to USA and adored how good it was. Of course, it was great. But the point is my judging session went so smooth and the next was just fine.

Then my brother sent me a LINE message: “kak, selamatkan ade dari penghakiman ini hahaha” (Please save me from this judging session LOL). I asked him what happened. He said he was fine–he is studying Physics in Gadjah Mada University so everything will be OK and he got praises–but one younger cousin was the victim this year. This cousin’s father, my uncle, keep telling him how good I am and my brother and urged him to follow us. Yes, of cours –BIG NO.

Everyone is unique and has potential. Everyone has their own fights. Comparisons will ignore the beautiful flaw of being human. Then people can’t appreciate their existence and can’t understand how precious they are.

If you want to keep updated about my life jusk ask, but please don’t comment. And please don’t tell me your advice is the way you express your affection, it’s just how you show control. By the time people stop judging and comparing me to others –good or bad–I will stop doing the same to myself and others.

I acknowledge that comparing yourself to others is somehow relieving. And if you think you still need it, just keep the comparisons in your mind. Someday you will think you don’t need it eventually. Because the only person you have to beat is your yesterday self.***


  1. In some areas, we should compare ourselves. But hell yeah... I had enough comparing. It made me suffer a lot. I mean. Really... It is a never ending process when we do comparing.
    Nicely written mas Rio.


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