One of the ways that most people make our lives unpleasant, and drive wedges between ourselves and others, is by comparing ourselves to them.
It is a chronic and pernicious problem in our materialistic society in which we are assaulted by a constant barrage of messages prompting us to consume more goods and services to become “better” than our neighbors.
For those of us with the compromised or fragile sense of self-worth stemming from mental illness, addiction, or trauma damage, comparing ourselves to others becomes a vicious, endless cycle. We criticize other people to pull them down (to make ourselves feel better). Or we come up woefully short in the comparison and feel lower than whale shit.
This can lead to Clinical Depression, feelings of isolation, self-hatred, anxiety, suicidality, and other forms of pathological immiseration. I know this from agonizing personal experience.
What I learned intellectualy years ago , and have slowly taught my heart through practicing CBT over and over again, is to stop comparing myself to others. We are all inherently valuable because we are human beings. We all have different strengths and limitations. We all have gifts and talents. We all have character defects and make honest mistakes.
While I don’t practice it when I am not spiritually fit, when I am, I love others for who they are. And love myself for who I am. Without comparing.