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Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other

Health & Well-Being

How is Life Tree(ting) You?: Why We Compare Ourselves to Others (And How to Stop)

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Many of us have been conditioned by society to believe being self-critical and competitive is required for success. Some of us may not even have a direct realization of this self-comparison– scrolling through social media and looking at reels– causing us to gauge how we feel about ourselves, our appearance and lifestyle, or our progress in life based on others. 

When you feel down about yourself due to comparison, you may not feel you can pursue the things you want to do, or you might not feel confident in your relationships and career. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone.


How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others:

Set healthy boundaries. In your journey toward being kinder toward yourself, look at what situations or people start your thoughts of comparison and draw healthy boundaries with those situations or people. It can be valuable to set boundaries that protect your well-being from these types of situations or people which may cause you stress.

  • Has social media become a platform that makes you feel worse about your appearance or social life? Limiting your time on social media can help prevent you from seeing others’ curated and edited posts and see the beauty of your lived life instead. Reevaluating the types of accounts you follow and what appears on your feed can also help you adjust what you’re exposing yourself to whenever you go on social media. 
  • Are conversations with your friends only centered around internships or academic performance? Setting boundaries with your friends to talk about topics besides schools or jobs can help you better enjoy your time with friends. 

It may seem daunting to set boundaries, but your well-being and happiness are worth it. The people around you should care enough about you to respect your boundaries and respect that you are setting boundaries.

Practice self-love. Would you tell a friend that they don’t measure up to those around them because they didn’t get the job they applied for? Would you tell a friend that they weren’t worthy, weren’t beautiful? If you wouldn’t devalue them or criticize your friends, don’t do it to yourself. Instead, that kind and caring thing you would say to your friend, try saying it to yourself.

Let us continue to help one another recognize and challenge these thoughts of comparison. And remember, you are more than enough and you are worthy. 

Written by: Michaela Phan, Class of 2023


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