Everyone compares themselves to others from time to time. It is a natural thing for humans to do. But often these comparisons can be really destructive. When you compare yourself to another person for the wrong reasons you are actually looking at how your worth as a person compares to yours.
There are some people that have got into the habit of comparing themselves to others so much that they do it on an almost daily basis – and sometimes more than once a day. They do it with their friends and family, at work with their colleagues and even with famous people. So why can this be so bad for you to do?
Bitterness and Anger
You are at work and you get the news that another coworker has received a promotion. This person is younger than you and joined the team later than you did. In your opinion, they are just average and they didn’t deserve to get promoted before you did.
So what happens here? You go into a negative thought spiral that runs around in your head for most of the day. “How dare they promote this person before me!” The negative spiral makes you start to doubt your own ability so you experience thoughts like “I am not good enough” and “nobody here respects me”.
What you are not taking into account is that this person has been attending night classes to learn about business and management. They have also taken on projects that you would never take on because they could go wrong and that is just too risky for you.
You are totally bitter about this situation. Every time you arrive in the office the negative thought spiral kicks in. Now your bitterness towards this person has turned to anger and you do everything that you can to avoid them. The person invites you to celebrate with them but you find an excuse not to attend.
Before this person received the promotion you had no problem with them at all. You used to talk to them all the time and even laugh and joke with them. Now everything has changed. You are just bitter and resentful.
This is a very bad situation. Every time you go to your office you feel bitterness and anger. This is not good for your health or your self-esteem. You are not interested in the back story and the person’s efforts to achieve promotion. You have not done any of these things and expect everything to just fall into your lap.
Impact on Self-Esteem
One of the most dangerous things about negative comparisons is the harm that it does to your self-esteem. You probably don’t realize this is happening but you are thinking that you were overlooked for promotion because you are not good enough.
When your self-esteem takes a hit like this it can be devastating for you. If you rant and rave about the situation to others in your team then they quickly tire of your complaining and you can lose their support. This in turn makes your self-esteem crash even more.
What you can do?
Try to see the positive side of things rather than the negative ones. Find out how the person got the promotion and use this as inspiration so that you can embark on a similar journey. Whining and complaining when things like this happen will get you nowhere. It will just make you feel terrible and can lead to lots of other problems.