As individuals, it’s natural for us to formulate opinions based on information we’ve accumulated up until the present moment. We compare new people to people we know, like, dislike, trust and don’t trust. We compare products to other products, pricing, which store is better to buy from and why. This is all natural, I get it.
What I don’t get, is constant comparing. If you live in a state of constantly comparing your new surroundings to past surroundings, you will never be able to fully appreciate what you have in the present for what it is. You will be stuck seeing what it is not, what it could be if and, quite frankly, making yourself miserable.
Living in Hawaii is an excellent example of this. Hawaii is not like other states simply because it is not part of the mainland. It has it’s own style, tempo and culture. People do things differently here (as they do in many regions of the mainland as well). That’s just the way it is. If you are unable to stop and look at it for what it is, you will never be happy. It will never be good enough, you will never like anyone and you’ll never truly experience it for what it is.
If I went to the store to buy food and told myself (every single time), “WOW. This would cost 39c a pound back home…” shopping will be a never ending frustration. Comparing things has it’s place. You make these comparisons initially. The cost of food is higher. People aren’t like the people back home. The weather is different than <insert place>. But Hawaii will always be what it is.
The same goes for people. If you compare people in your life to other individuals in your life, past and present, you’re shortchanging yourself the experience of that unique individual. They are not like Bobby and they’re not like Susie Q. They are like THEMSELVES. Sure, there are similarities, but if you compare them to others, you are passing judgments on them that they do not deserve.
By using comparisons you can understand the differences and make a decision as to whether or not this new place, new job, new friend or lover, etc. works for you. If it doesn’t, move on. If you can live with those differences, great. Accept them and move forward, leaving the constant, never ending comparisons behind.
Next time you find yourself making a comparison, ask yourself if it’s necessary. If you’re buying a car, it probably is. If you’re meeting someone new or realize that you’re making a comparison you make consistently… stop. Try to see it simply for what it is.
Are you a Chronic Comparer?