22 Jan Why do I Feel Always That People Better Than Me?
Feeling like others are better than you is an experience many people share. The comparison lies at the heart of these feelings. I compare myself to others and come up short. Their successes make my failures all the more evident. Their talents highlight my inadequacies. Their ease underscores my struggles.
Why Comparison Causes Feelings of People Better Than Me
The Need to Belong
Humans are social creatures. We need to belong to groups for companionship, shared purpose and survival.
Throughout evolution, inclusion in a group greatly increased our chances of thriving. Exclusion could mean death. Our brains thus became highly attuned to social acceptance and rejection.
We still care deeply about belonging today. Comparisons against group norms and standards provide continual feedback on whether we meet the criteria for inclusion. If we fall short, negative feelings ensue.
The Drive For Status
Humans also strive for status within groups. Higher status meant better access to resources and mates. It conferred power and influence.
Today, we may not be vying for status to secure a mate or food. But social standing still impacts our self-esteem. Comparisons tell us whether we have high or low status compared to our peers.
Finally, we make comparisons to evaluate our abilities and self-worth. Outperforming others feels validating. Underperforming threatens our self-esteem.
Falling short of peers makes us question our capabilities. It contradicts the positive self-image we long to protect.
In summary, comparisons root deeply in our social survival needs. But just because they served an evolutionary purpose doesn’t mean constant comparisons are helpful today.
How Comparisons Lead to Negative Self-Judgments
Black & White Thinking
We categorize people as above or below us. But this black & white thinking ignores the shades of gray. Few differences are absolute.
For example, someone may be a better than me athlete but a worse musician than you. A simple “better than me” or “worse than me” fails to capture life’s complexities.
A single inferiority in one area leads you to conclude you are globally inferior. But we all have a mix of strengths and weaknesses.
Just because someone lifts more weight does not mean they are better than me you at everything. Overgeneralizing magnifies feelings of inferiority.
You focus on the flaws and failures that make you feel inferior while ignoring your assets and accomplishments. This distorts an accurate self-assessment.
Perhaps you ruminate on a college rejection but discount graduating with honors from your second-choice school. The rejection looms large while accomplishments fade.
You assume sole responsibility for shortcomings and attribute others’ success entirely to their effort and character. In reality, many factors lead to outcomes.
Maybe you take full blame for losing a race but don’t consider the other person trained longer. That’s personalizing.
Magnifying & Minimizing
You magnify others’ talents and minimize your own. Their skills seem monumental, while you discount your abilities as no big deal.
This mental exaggeration and underestimation make differences larger than they truly are.
Shoulds & Musts
You hold yourself to unrealistic standards and then feel deficient when you fall short. “I should be the best” or “I must always succeed” eventually breeds disappointment.
When you use rigid words like “should,” “must” and “need to,” self-judgment often follows.
In summary, these thought patterns exaggerate differences and certainty. No two people can be neatly categorized as absolutely better than me or worse. But comparison distorts reality to convince you otherwise, leading to inaccurate and unhelpful self-assessments.
Comparisons impact not just thoughts, but actions. When you feel lesser than others, it spurs several unhealthy behaviors:
Lack of Self-Confident Behavior
You act unsure of yourself and hesitant to assert your wants and opinions. You defer to others and remain silent due to self-doubt.
You sabotage your own efforts so if you fail, you can attribute it to not trying your hardest rather than lack of ability. Self-handicapping prevents you from succeeding at your full potential.
Lack of Effort
You opt out of pursuits where you don’t feel you measure up. Or you put in minimal effort as a self-protective measure, guaranteeing you won’t fail big. But you don’t succeed big either.
You go to extremes to prove yourself, like exerting maximum effort, seeking titles and awards, or flaunting material possessions. But this masks, rather than builds, authentic self-esteem.
Envy & Resentment
Resenting those you feel are superior leads to bitterness, passive-aggressiveness, or lashing out. None of these improve your lot and they fracture relationships.
When you feel everyone around you is better than me , you withdraw out of fear of embarrassment or rejection. However, isolation breeds more negative self-talk and perceptions.
In summary, the impact of comparison extends far beyond thoughts to behaviors that inhibit growth. When you believe you don’t measure up, it impedes living to your potential.
How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Breaking free from constant comparison requires dismantling thought habits and building self-compassion. With concerted effort, you can stop using others as yardsticks for your worth. Here are impactful strategies:
Catch Yourself Comparing
Noticing when you compare yourself is the critical first step. Without awareness, the behavior persists on autopilot.
Pay attention to your inner dialogue and emotions. Comparisons often manifest as thoughts like “I’m not as ___ as them” or feelings of envy, resentment, or disappointment.
Once you identify comparing thoughts, refrain from judgment. Noticing with neutral detachment helps short-circuit the behavior.
Mind Your Mindset
Fixed mindset assumes abilities are inborn and static. A growth mindset views talents as developable through effort. Remind yourself you can evolve and improve if you change your mindset. No one is limited by what they can do today. Beliefs about your potential have immense power.
Catch Cognitive Distortions
Notice when you engage in black & white thinking, overgeneralizing, magnifying flaws or other patterns. Counter these distortions with balanced thinking
Actively restructuring your thought patterns builds new neural pathways in your brain. With time, balanced thinking becomes more automatic, reducing comparison frequency.
Limit Social Media Usage
Social media often sparks comparison with the highlight reels of others’ lives. Curate your feeds to people who inspire you and skip mindless scrolling.
Rather than looking outward to determine your worth based on others, look inward. What values matter most to you? What gives your life meaning? What brings you joy and purpose?
Connecting to your inner compass builds security from within. You act based on your priorities, not external benchmarks.
Treat yourself as you would a dear friend. Don’t call yourself names for perceived shortcomings. Talk to yourself with gentleness and understanding. Recognize you deserve love simply for being human.
Self-compassion still allows for growth, but from a nurturing place of worthiness. You clear negative perceptions so your light can shine.
With consistent practice, these strategies can help you catch and neutralize comparisons when they creep up. You take their distorting power away and build your sense of self from within. In time, you naturally compare less and appreciate yourself and others more.
Ways to Build Self-Confidence from Within
Alongside curtailing comparisons, you can cultivate self-confidence through these actions:
Take Inventory of Your Strengths
What abilities, skills, values and qualities do you possess? What do you admire about yourself? Reflecting on your strengths builds awareness of your gifts.
Set Smaller Goals
Small wins build your confidence muscle. Pursue incremental goals where you can experience regular success. Progress and improvement drive motivation.
Develop New Skills
Learn new hobbies, take a class or tackle projects that help you expand your talents. Meeting challenges and gaining competencies breeds self-assurance.
Emulate Positive Role Models
Notice how self-assured people carry themselves. Reflect their body language, tone of voice and attitude to build your confidence.
Silence Your Inner Critic
Don’t let negative self-talk sabotage you. Counter criticisms with affirmations of your strengths and capabilities.
Practice Public Speaking
Turn nervousness into excitement and share your knowledge with others. Being seen and heard builds poise.
Boost Your Health
Exercise, nutrition and sleep bolster energy and wellbeing. When you care for your body, self-confidence follows.
Perfection is impossible and paralyzing. Pursue excellence while embracing imperfection. Give yourself credit for doing your best.
Take More Risks
Don’t let fear hold you back. Move past comfort zones, make bold asks and put yourself out there. Risk breeds reward in ability and self-belief.
Stop Apologizing Excessively
Frequent “sorry’s” reflect over-apologizing for yourself. Apologize only when absolutely warranted.
Make Eye Contact
Look people in the eyes while interacting. It conveys assuredness and helps you present your best self.
Pull your shoulders back and lift your chin slightly. Good posture communicates confidence.
Voice your thoughts, wants and opinions. Don’t minimize yourself by staying silent. Remember your perspective matters.
Practice Public Speaking
Turn nervousness into excitement about sharing your knowledge. More exposure builds confidence.
Stop Negative Self-Talk
Halt the critic in your head. Replace criticisms better than me with affirmations of your strengths and abilities.
Perfection is impossible. Pursue excellence while embracing imperfection. Give yourself credit for doing your best.
With consistent practice, these tactics instill confidence from the inside out. You rely less on external signals like comparisons to gauge your worth. Each person’s path to self-acceptance looks different, but believing in your inherent value lies at the core. There are no shortcuts, but with concerted effort you can get there.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I compare myself to others so much?
Comparison is a psychological tendency better than me rooted in basic human needs to belong, gain status, and protect self-esteem. Comparing yourself to others provides data points to evaluate your worth and abilities against social norms. However, taken to the extreme, comparisons can distort reality and become unhelpful self-criticism.
How do I stop comparing myself to friends who seem more successful?
Catch yourself comparing and reality check exaggerated thoughts. Reframe “shoulds” about accomplishments. Focus on your own definition of success. Be mindful of social media usage. Limit time with friends who trigger comparisons. Find community with those with similar values. Make a gratitude list of what you have already achieved.
Why do I feel inferior around certain people?
You may be subconsciously comparing yourself in areas where you think they excel, like intelligence or status. This triggers internalized feelings of inferiority. Even subtle interactions can tap into comparisons. Try to determine your exact thoughts when these feelings arise and counter them with realistic assessments of you and others’ strengths and weaknesses.
I compare my career to my peers a lot. How do I stop?
Rather than determine your job satisfaction based on others’ accomplishments, get clear on your professional values and goals. What matters to you and aligns with your skills? Focus on the aspects of work you can control like building key skills, seeking meaningful projects, and finding good mentorship. Measure progress based on your personal goals versus outside standards.
How do I stop comparing my life to the picture-perfect lives on social media?
Social media only shows highlight reels, not real life. Make a list of what you appreciate in your life away from social platforms. Curate your feeds to accounts that inspire you. Limit mindless scrolling and social media use overall. Unfollow accounts that routinely make you feel less than others. Do activities away from your devices and stay present in your own life.
Much like how comparing yourself to others can lead to distorted self-perception, the question of whether humans can get sick from flea bites reminds us that, while sharing common vulnerabilities, individual reactions to external factors vary, highlighting the complexity of human nature. With awareness of comparison triggers, substituting healthy thought patterns, and consistent self-compassion, you can stop using others as the benchmark for your worth. Your path to happiness and fulfillment comes from connecting to your inner compass, not besting others. There are no shortcuts, but you can gain security from within in time. You are enough, just as you are.