Social Comparison

I'm not about to break any news here, but most of us, even if we would prefer not to, compare ourselves to others in one way or another. Sometimes we do it by choice, or because of external factors (eg school rankings, quintiles, etc), and sometimes we do it without thinking about it, looking at instagram pictures and thinking about our own lives and what they might lack.

If you want to read up on social comparison theory, here's a summary of it.  But I write today to say it's something I've long fallen prey to, and I bet most of you have to.

I am committing to new practices not to get lost in measuring myself against others, but the question is: can you do the same? It's much easier said than done, and one's own brain chemistry sure makes it harder.

But when you feel yourself slipping, remind yourself of something good about yourself that doesn't have anything to do with being better than someone else.

Would I advocate turning off all social media? No. I'd say, though, if there's a particular person you often compare yourself to, maybe hide them. Or make it harder to see what they're doing it.

Or think about the fact that something is a challenge in their life, no matter what they are choosing to show the world.

We all have objectively good things about us, valuable things to cherish. It's lip service for me to say this when I have a tendency to compare like all of you, but it's still worth saying.


Justin Gerald

Age: 28 Hometown: NYC Location: NYC Career: Education Undergrad: Princeton Grad: New School Likes: Cooking, Baseball, Socializing, Parks, Pop Culture, Feminism Loves: Traveling, Running, Lifting, Trivia, Teaching, Equality