Have you ever wondered that comparison has some positibe effects? Or you still with the notion that comparing yourself to others is a waste of time and delays progress? Well let’s discuss some of the good aspects of comparison, that is, comparing our successes and failures to others in the society and see what good it can bring to us.
Comparison is a consideration or estimate of the similarities or dissimilarities between two things or people. This process always uses the comparative and superlative forms of adjective and adverbs. For instance, is the situation good, better or best. Comparing my results to yours, is mine bad, worse or worst.
The Social comparison theory by Leon Festinger in 1954, states that there is a drive within individuals to gain accurate self-evaluations. Consequent research focused on social comparison as a way of self enhancement. Comparison is a way one learn about the self.
Honestly, we sometimes check what we have against what other people have but because of certain notions we ignore the benefits this comparison can give us.
WHEN AND WHY SHOULD WE COMPARE
We compare when we have a strong need to evaluate ourselves. This comparison helps us to improve upon where we are. We can compare results in order to improve ourselves. We do upward comparisons with people who are ahead of us, this comparison is not meant to discourage us as it usually happens but, it is done in order to muster courage and catch up with those ahead of us. For me, when results are out, I first do my upward comparison and then try to do self-improvement in the semester ahead in order to score like those above me.
Comparison is not a waste of time to me but, arguing why I am not among the superiors is the waste of time. Why do you have to argue why you didn’t score an ‘A’, whilst you can evaluate and self-improve yourself.
After doing my upward comparison, I do my downward comparison, this is where I compare my results and successes to people who are worse off than me. This is a defense mechanism that I use in order to feel better, at times I tell myself, I have to work hard so that those under me will not reach my level whilst working hard to reach those above me and by-passing them at the same time.
We also have to compare our lives as individual beings in order to feel better, be on track and reach higher heights. Compare your past to your present to feel better, be on track and strive to make your tomorrow better than your yesterday and today. When I say we should be on track, it literally means comparing your worst past in order to stay focus for the good future you dream of. Compare the poor homes we come from in order to bring that rich and comfortable future we desire. This comparison always keeps us on track and says hey!! You are from a poor background, be focus and achieve success. Hey!! You just came out from a break up with that guy or lady, be on track and stay focus in order to find a good guy or lady for a future. King David of the bible, had his shepherd clothes hanged in his palace, so that when he sees it he remembers where he comes from, where he have reached and where he is going.
I always tell people who thinks they have put much effort but didn’t get their expected results that, they should compare their results if they outscored some people, if yes, they should then take breathe and feel better and try to do more in order to reach the expected results. If no, then they still have to do more than they did and not to be discouraged.
We should always remember, the mouse is not tall, but it is taller than the cockroach, whereas the cockroach is also taller than the ant. The ant is also taller than the ground it walks on and the ground is taller than anything that is beneath it.
Always remember, comparisons are not meant to discourage us, it is not a waste of time but it has its good aspects which makes us to feel better, be on track and self-improve ourselves.
“We should compare our lives as individual beings in order to feel better, be on track and reach higher heights.” (A.P. DACOSTA 2016).