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Do you have a problem with comparing yourself to other women? Even if you are confident and secure in what you have to offer, it can be so easy to start comparing. Especially because when we are at our worse it always seems like there will be someone around to make us feel like even more of a failure.
Comparing myself to other women is something I have struggled with ever since I was a teenager. During high school I was insecure because other girls were prettier, had the right clothes, and had boyfriends. I’ve spent a lot of years working on building my confidence since then and most days I can embrace who I am fully. Hey, I happen to think I’m pretty awesome, which is why I’m working on letting go of perfect. But yes, I do sometimes struggle with comparing myself to other women. It seems to mostly be in areas that I have insecurities in. I wish that I was more fashion forward, so when I see women that always seem so put together, I have the passing wish that I could look more like them. And I definitely have that woman (or occasionally women) in my life that will never fail to make me feel like crap about myself because they seem to be so annoyingly perfect all the time.
What woman are you always comparing yourself to?
You know exactly who I am talking about. That one woman that you love to hate. The one that always has her children impeccably dressed and spotless, when your toddler has snot running down her face. The one who is always posting bikini Instagram pictures with abs that you could never achieve. The one whose home looks like something out of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine, when yours is IKEA or Goodwill chic. Who creates the illusion of having the perfect life and having it all together, at least on the surface.
This woman makes a comment like, “Oh, you look nice today,” and your interpretation is that they are surprised you finally managed to pull yourself together. Or waxes eloquently about the bread she baked for the get together when you are lucky that you had enough time to swing by the grocery store to pick up cookies. Is she trying to rub it in your face?
You wonder how she does it all. Does she have a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant to get her looking that good everyday? Does she actually sleep?
Chance Encounters for Comparing yourself to other Women
You made a run to the grocery store in your sweatpants or after getting all sweaty at the gym and you run into a coworker who looks like she just stepped out off the runway. One of the moms at the park starts talking about she only feeds her children organic whole foods and you start wondering if your children are suffering because you don’t do the same.
You overhear someone the next table over at the coffee shop describing the elaborate date their significant other planned when you haven’t been on a date in six months. Or someone from a Facebook group you are part of is celebrating 1,000 sales of the product they introduced yesterday, when you can’t seem to get ahead in your own business.
These may be women you know and are part of your life, or even some random person that you’ll never see again and really shouldn’t be caring about. But they often seem to enter your life at the exact moment that you aren’t feeling 100% confident or manage to hit one of your insecurity buttons.
Comparing Ourselves to Other women is Harmful to Our Relationships
Comparing can lead to feelings of jealousy and even hatred of other women. I think it probably is the root cause of a lot of the back stabbing that we can experience among women, even among women that are supposedly friends. When someone makes us feel less, it can be easy to find joy in taking them down a peg or feel smug when we find out they aren’t so perfect after all. Treating other women as our competitors can destroy friendships and make fellow women enemies instead of allies.
And Harmful to Ourselves
When we are focusing on what is great about another woman, usually we are putting down something about ourselves. Comparing can disintegrate our confidence and self worth. If you always feel like another woman is better then you, has it all together, or is just doing things the “right” way all the time, you are going to feel pretty dissatisfied with who you are and what you have to offer. You can even being having a great day or week when you feel confident and like you are winning at life, and then comparison can creep in and drag down your mood and self worth.
Since so many women struggle with comparing, (including me!) and let it influence how we are feeling and feel about ourselves, I wrote a follow-up post: How to Stop Comparing.
How has comparing yourself to other women been toxic in your life? Do you have a “that woman”?