Self-evaluation vs. Self-enhancement
Comparing ourselves to other people actually doing two things: figure out how good I was, and make myself feel better. Comparing other people become a sort of benchmark, you can use to become better, the level of ability you're striving toward. When we compare, we build up our sense of self, we're not improving our self-evaluation but boost our self-esteem, and it gets us into trouble.
This kind of comparison gives us a distorted view of ourselves, we tend to prioritize feedback that makes us look good and desirable, and ignore that makes us look weak, undesirable, or generally “less than”. Our brain comes up with a very clever conclusion.
As long as self-enhancement is your goal, then comparing ourselves to other people will always make you miserable. If we are comparing ourselves for self-assessment, it's natural, healthy, and often very helpful. If we are comparing for self-enhancement, it's become obsessive, toxic, and often very confusing. The problem is we do both simultaneously, without even realizing it.
We study other people in order to measure our process, but we often end up inflating ourselves, tearing ourselves down, or toggling between one or the other. And those people, in turn, are doing the same things with us.
What I Already Know, I Am
Another reason for that comparison makes us unhappy is that the ideas we already have about ourselves.
We choose other people to compare, observe what comes back, and form an opinion about ourselves. We have pre-existing ideas about who I am when engaging in social comparison since we are kids, which means we had opinions about ourselves, those make-ups of our self-concept and self-esteem, these core beliefs called self-view.
Our self-view makes sense of the world around us and navigates in a way of safe, coherent, and stable. If our self-view is professional, then that belief our confidence, alternatively, if self-view is not known enough, then that belief leads you to shrink away. No matter what self-view we happen to hold, that makes sense of our world and keeps consistent. It doesn't matter how accurate it is, it is a matter that they work.
We're protecting these views very carefully and seeking out feedback that confirms we happen to hold. This means that we often compare ourselves to other people with a certain opinion already in mind. We are not a blank slate, waiting for feedback to fill in for who we are. We already know who we are and that the comparison is the way of confirmation of pre-existing beliefs.
That allows us to maintain the ideas we have about ourselves, we can predict and decide how to behave toward them in return, it called self-verification.
There are no products to list in this category.