I’ve realised how often I make unfavourable comparisons and how these impact my life.
I’ve made a point not to compare myself to others, particularly post-crash. Thanks to the extreme circumstances in which I was hit by a car, it is my priority not to compare myself to others. I consider my life to be on a completely different path to my peers.
It’s important that I don’t look at others’ lives and wish I could be where they are, mainly because the crash was the day after I finished university. At 21, we all began trying to work out what life should look like. At first, I did compare to see if my life was ‘successful’ like those around me who went and got ‘real’ jobs. However this was damaging, and as I started to do my own thing more, I managed to stop comparing. This has happily continued. I no longer look at the lives of others and feel bad that I’m not in a stable career, married or with children.
But recently, I’ve realised I make a different sort of comparison. I look to other people’s lives to justify negative behaviour. Or rather, I look to an idea of what others might possibly do, which I know nothing about and have no grounds to think is true.
If I want a takeaway, I think, ‘other people get to eat crap whenever they want, why can’t I?’ Then use this to excuse me ordering one I don’t need. If I want to drink alcohol, I think, ‘other people drink whenever they want, so I may as well do the same’. I do this with many things, particularly when I’m not being disciplined.
It’s weird to realise this. If I don’t make the comparison, I stay true to myself and don’t indulge in negative behaviours. I eat better, drink better, clean more, yanno, all the sensible stuff. But I often use the notion that other people overindulge or are lazy to give myself the incentive to cave into said behaviours.
This is the wrong way to make decisions. It isn’t fair to others or to myself. I shouldn’t use an ‘idea of everyone else’ to make choices that I feel guilty about. I need to find a better balance between not feeling guilty about overindulging whilst also not doing it as often. I hope, now I have realised this, I’ll be able to make decisions based on what I want rather than what I think everyone else is doing.