Monday's post seemed to resonate with people, which got me thinking about more tangible ways to fight the comparison trap. It's impossible to how-to ourselves out of these situations because the icky feelings that crop up when we're struggling with comparison are normally deep within us. They're heart issues, not how-to issues.
When I find myself thinking I wish I had that many Instagram followers, deep down I'm really feeling I wish that many people liked my writing as much as they like hers. When I'd find myself feeling envious of another friend getting engaged, it was less about the ring and the wedding and more about wanting someone - anyone - to like me that much.
While we can't quickly check a few things off a How To Overcome Comparison list and be done with these feelings, there are tactics we can employ to ease our jealousy when we see other people having the success we think we deserve. We can't avoid the deep cavern that comparison can create in our hearts, but we can build a bridge to more easily walk across it.
Five Ways to Overcome Comparison & Jealousy
1. Celebrate her // How annoying that this is my first tip, right? I know! But! Comparison and jealousy shrivel in the presence of celebration and collaboration. Jealous of a friend's awesome article? Repost it. Comment on it. Celebrate her as genuinely as you can in the moment, instead of stewing behind your screen. Jealous of yet another baby announcement? Send a card. Don't be insincere or over the top (no need to throw a shower, here!), but celebrate her as honestly as you can while respecting your own boundaries.
2. Pray for her // If celebrating her feels like too much, try praying for her. Pray that the Lord blesses her marriage, her business, her homeownership, her baby, whatever it may be. Pray that He works in her life to draw her near and shine bright in this chapter of her life. Whenever I do this, I notice my heart softens.
3. Have boundaries // One of my wedding showers happened to be on a friend's birthday. She was struggling with turning another year older and being single. She told me, ever so politely, that she wanted to celebrate me but didn't think she could spend her birthday at a bridal shower. I understood her feelings completely and was so grateful that she felt safe enough with me to be honest. If something feels like too much, opt out. Don't do something begrudgingly; set boundaries. They help us love another better.
4. Tell someone // If you see something, say something, right? I sometimes struggle online when I see another small business owner having (what appears to be) more success than me. Instead of sitting there, scrolling and stewing, I put down my phone and tell Chris: I'm feeling envious of her. I wish I was having that much success. By saying it out loud, I've noticed I can defuse the feelings.
5. Don't be ashamed of how you feel // You. Are. Normal. Don't let yourself experience guilt for feeling envious. It doesn't mean you are a bad person or that anything is wrong with you. This world can be uneven and it is sometimes tricky to navigate. What you're feeling is a very normal reaction.