What to do when we think people are better than us

When we think people are better than us, and compare ourselves with others, we leave deep scars on ourselves. Here are a few simple strategies to combat those thoughts.

By Jenny Dsouza ~

When we think people are better than us Lifeism

First off, we want to thank you for seeking out an article like this one. The fact that you are reading this means that you are aware of your thoughts. You know that you are struggling with comparing yourself to others and you constantly feel that “people are better than me”. That itself is the first step.

Second, you not only identified the issue but also are proactively seeking a solution. You likely realize that thoughts like these are taking over your mental serenity and you are spending far too much time thinking thoughts that are not proactive. You likely even realize that this is also affecting your relationship with others. These two first steps position you for success. You are already on the right track.

If we compare ourselves to others, we will come up short every time if we are in a negative thought cycle. It's easy to get caught up in those feelings of inadequacy because it feels like there's always someone better out there doing something better than we are. In fact, if we want to be happier, it's important that we learn how to stop comparing ourselves with others.

When we think others are better than us, there are a few simple things we can do to stop that chain of thought:

Remember that what you see reflects you

When it comes to the way that we see others, there are a lot of factors at play. It's important to remember that everyone is a mirror in many ways. The fact that you can see the happiness and goodness of a person means that you have a lot of that within yourself. It is your own goodness that enables you to identify and appreciate the goodness around you.

“Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder” – Rumi

If you don’t believe me, then read the quote by Rumi, of the most famous poets of all time.

Bless that which you want

This is an ancient Hawaiian philosophy that propounds that if you want something that someone else had, bless them. Sending them positive vibes creates a deep bond with the universe that brings that goodness to your life, too. Silently appreciate all aspects you love about them. Focus on all the good and keep blessing it. Even if you don't believe in ‘the universe’, doing this will at least break the vicious cycle of negative, self-deprecating thoughts.

Remember that we don't know the whole story

It's easy to think that everyone around us is having a better time than we are, especially when we're comparing our lives with those of other people. We don't know what the whole story is, though. There could be something going on in someone else's life that has nothing to do with how they look or seem.

Maybe they have some sort of disability or illness you don't know about, and it makes them feel worse about themselves than others sometimes but also more determined to make their lives as beautiful as possible despite any challenges they face. Or maybe their perspective on life and happiness has been shaped by things they've never had before, so even though their circumstances may not seem ideal by your standards, they feel perfectly content in their own way.

Focus on what you have

When we compare ourselves to others, we are often looking at what they have and what we don't have. Next time, when you catch yourself drifting to the thought that “they are better than me”, stop that train. Start thinking about what you have that you truly appreciate. These could be simple things like a wonderful job or loving parents. It helps to make this list when you are in a happier zone. Keep this list handy on your phone or pocket notepad so you can refer to it when you are drifting to toxic comparisons.

Open up and share

We spend a lot of time and energy just thinking about how other people are better than us. But we hardly ever share our thoughts with the people we love. We are afraid that we will be deeply judged by them. But we need to give them a chance. Unless you show your vulnerability, you will never know how they will react. Talking to our partners, friends, and family about our struggles will make you feel better. You will feel like you are not alone in these thoughts. If you are with them when they occur, they can help you through the situation.

Think about who you want to become

If you constantly feel like other people are better than you, then you need to introspect deeply and define what kind of a person you want to become. Make sure that your list does not just include physical changes but also your perspective, emotional stability, and other aspects of your life. Now pick one important one in each category and make a list of things that you will do to work on becoming that person. Keep this list handy with you.

And when you encounter a situation where you feel like other people are better than you, you can go back to your list of goals and actions. Sure, you may not be there yet, but you are on your way. You are making an effort and you will get there, too.

Include affirmations in your day

The benefits of affirmations are well known and if you practice them regularly, you will see the positive benefits of it. When you repeat positive statements instead of negative ones throughout the day, especially about yourself, you are sabotaging your own life. Our thoughts are a self-fulfilling prophecy, especially when they are about ourselves.

If you don’t know where to start, we recommend affirmations for self love.

Dig deeper

While all of the above are great strategies when we feel others are better than us, they are more reactive in nature. If you want to get to the root of the insecurities that leads to thinking in this way, we recommend digging deeper into yourself. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Get professional help. This one is always a good idea. Accepting and getting help can offload a lot of burdens (sometimes, the burdens you did not even know you carried). In addition, if you haven't been to therapy in a while, you will be surprised how it's changed. You don't even have to go to a physical location. You can get help online, too. If you don't know where to start, try Online-Therapy.
  2. Let go of childhood trauma. If online therapy is a bit much, we suggest digging deeper into your past. You can try past life regression, meditation, and other such strategies to see if you are able to get over the insecurities. It is a well-known fact that childhood traumas (big and small) both shape us significantly as adults. If you need more ideas on where to start, try our article on 18 tips to heal childhood trauma.

When we compare ourselves with others, our focus shifts from ourselves and onto them—which only makes us more unhappy with our own lives and less satisfied with the things that make us happy about ourselves. As humans, we like having something or someone else to compare ourselves against because it makes it easier for us (at least temporarily) when comparing ourselves favorably to our peers or role models, but this pattern only leads down an unhealthy path of envy and jealousy which ultimately causes unhappiness instead of joy.

We can't compare ourselves to others, because everyone is unique and special. There is no right or wrong way to live our life; everyone makes their own choices. Everyone has different experiences, priorities, and interests that contribute to that person's current state of happiness or unhappiness. So instead of comparing yourself to others who may seem happier than you are now, focus on improving the things in your life that are important now and will make all the difference in becoming a happier person.


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