Susan has noticed that more and more couples have what she’s called an “InstaMarriage” on social media. You know the type I mean: all the pictures and posts are carefully crafted to show nothing but marital and family bliss. We all know life is harder and more complicated, and yet it’s so tempting to be envious of that “fakebook” world that others create. It’s not real. It’s not safe. It’s not a standard to live up to. Instead, these posts create comparisons of self, job, marriage, and status that are sometimes crushing. We must learn to confront what comparing to others does to us and fight it.
Comparison can be silent, just lurking in our thoughts. You may never say “I wish I had a car like that” to a single soul, yet that thought can dominate your mind and heart.
Comparison can be spoken. You may think saying “Why can’t you be more like your older brother?” is a good way to motivate one child, yet it can misshape that child’s sense of value and self-worth.
Comparison can be subtle. You may think you’ve never told your spouse you wish they were different, but your frequent mentions of what you like in the looks of others is telling your spouse how they don’t stack up.
Comparison can damage people and relationships. But we can’t fight it if we don’t understand what it’s doing to us. Here are four ways constant comparison is hurting our lives:
1. Robbing us of identity and value: Comparing ourselves, our spouse, or children to other people changes how we see each other. Instead of acknowledging the value and uniqueness in each person, we latch on to perceived deficiencies.
2. Fostering insecurity and hopelessness: Over time, constant comparison chips away at our ability to dream dreams and set goals. It cultivates doubt and fear that may sap us of our desire to keep working and trying in our lives.
3. Blocking satisfaction and contentment: Contentment is being satisfied and at peace with who and what we have in our lives. Constantly comparing causes discontentment. It goes like this: If I only had __________ like them, then I’d be happy.
4. Suppressing joy and happiness: Sadness and discouragement are the fruits of comparison. If you are fixated on what you lack, you cannot be grateful for what you have. [Tweet This]
So if comparison is crushing us, what can we do? Judy Garland is often quoted as saying “Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else.” Be the best you!
For more really important tips on crushing comparison in your marriage, specifically, click here. How has comparison impacted your life and marriage? Share your observations with me below.