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MOTM January 2013
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Minddump/

So I thought I would write a little about this topic as on my internet travels, I have heard this term being thrown around a lot and want to know if this is a theme in your life or if it has been to where it may have caused some friction in yourself. If this does't apply to you, great, its partly a myth but from my experience online mostly(because I don't think I know any other INFP's irl, perhaps 1, not sure about that) this comparison to others seems to be more than a coincidence so perhaps you could explain a little more about this and if you don't relate, still feel free to share your perspective and why you think people(inc other INFP's do this), is there a pattern to it? I think that comparison stems from a base root of insecurity, where one must feel on par or above others to feel worthwhile, when others are better in something, it is easy to feel inferior for those who have a comparison complex.
We can also positively compare ourselves to others, would you consider that to be a positive approach though.

Disclaimer (im aware that this perception and judgement of self and others won't fit everyone but im curious about those who do).

Spill away...
 

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Hmm, haven't thought about this too much, but I think there's a difference between comparing oneself with others, and comparing oneself with others and then making judgement. The latter is unhealthy behaviour, but is in all likelihood more prevalent. I know that I do the latter a lot, although I'm actively trying to quell my judgemental side (I come from a very judgemental family, and you know that people can be really judgemental in this country). I typically judge myself negatively compared to other people (which can invoke some rather unpleasant feedback loops - I know some people have written on the Fi-Si loop which I seem to get quite a bit).

I would think that the it stems mostly from not feeling comfortable in ones skin, constantly probing and trying to find out where one is. Again, I've always seemed to struggle with identity, uncertainty in self, and low self esteem, so I have compared constantly in the past, sometimes clinging to things which would make me a 'better' person and having strong negative reactions to observing things in others which make me feel 'weak'. I think acceptance of self and others is the key to healthy comparison (i.e. comparison out of curiosity, rather than as a means to an end).

Am I barking up the right tree? Some of my ideas are a little half-baked, would like to hear some other perspectives.
 

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It's just something I've personally associated with depression. Recently, within, say, the past year or half, I've managed to kick doing this as I've made a number of big life decisions and become more okay with being different. On that point I agree with @Distill, it seems to have decreased in incidence as I've become more comfortable in my own skin. I've increasingly accepted the fact that I am incomparable; I'm not sure whether I've stopped doing it because it's logically fallacious or simply because it was exhausting me.

I used to frequently, and still do, compare myself negatively to others. It's like the comparisons I automatically draw - and it is just an automated thing my mind does - are specifically tailored to have myself in the lowest position. It's not so much a mental obsession with comparing and judging myself against others as a mental obsession with looking for ways I am most inferior to others. Hence I just lumped it in as a depression thing; if INFPs are particularly prone to it I would have thought there is a relation to INFPs being particularly prone to depression (haven't read any more than anecdotal evidence for that, though)
 

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I do tend to compare myself to others.
Especially when it comes to age.
Like I'm 22, and I often feel like I should have achieved more by this age.
So I get depressed when I see people make success of themselves or do things I haven't done yet at a younger age.

Of course one can say to me, why don't you do it then?
Believe me, I try to do stuff all the time, I work on self-development constantly, but unfortunately I don't seem to get the right set of opportunities, and capabilities to do such things. -_-

(E.g. I'd start a business, but I don't have any money and I'm still at uni. And I have to help out my family all the time ontop. Plus what I want to do I need skills, talent. Something I haven't got round to developing as quick at as the naturals. -_- And then someone's like, Oh why don't you socialise and go to events ect. I'd love to but I normally have work on a Saturday, or I'm looking after my younger sibling, or I don't have the money to learn to drive, let alone have a car I could drive to said event. I don't have many friends in that field. I struggle to make new connections. You know. The wrong set of variables at the wrong time.)

Lately though, I'm not doing this so much, because I am putting alot more time into investing into myself. Trying to make myself better, happier. Its slow progress and I often fight to keep faith in myself, but I seem to muddle through just enough. And I'm happy about that.
 

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Envy and comparing doesn't seem to be my thing. I think it stems from almost a complete disinterest in others and what they are doing in their lives and also being so focused *inward* or self-absorbed. I have too much going on with *Me*, to start focusing outward on to others. I do observe others and I do make judgments about them, but I move on. If I lack something, I try to bring it into my life. Those who compare themselves to others, I think, are doing it because they are bored (?), sad (?), nosy (?), insecure (?). Maybe some people are born with a *competitive* temperament and it's in their personality that keeping up with the Joneses, is the thing to do. Maybe some people base their self-worth on how well their friend, family or neighbor are doing. That's way too extroverted a function, for me. Too much energy. lol
 

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I do tend to compare myself to others.
Especially when it comes to age.
Like I'm 22, and I often feel like I should have achieved more by this age.
So I get depressed when I see people make success of themselves or do things I haven't done yet at a younger age.
This
 

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The big thing I see with Fi-doms (if you mean INFP in the Fi-dom sense) is that when they begin comparing themselves with others, interestingly, they reach a huge point of conflict because there is almost no concept of reaching a consensus using an objective standard as to what the value of something is (even when such standards present themselves, the reference point they turn to ultimately is the self). Yet they're comparing themselves to things they see outside. This can be a dangerous rut for Fi, I think. Particularly if envy or insecurity is the root -- it can cause influences to the value judgments which are more of the form of avoiding internal pain than a more nuanced form of introverting the value of whatever it may be. They simply must self-reference as the decisive way to make feeling judgments, so when outer influences exist, I think they are more in the form of data than being decisive in influencing the judgment, and they harbor certain influences on the inner state, which the Fi type then might use to make a feeling judgment (since of course, they are prone to make a judgment rather than not).

Or to say that a little less convoluted, since the subjecitive angle on feeling is their focus, when they get influenced by the external world in a way negative for their emotional well-being, that emotional pain can over-ride all other subjective factors in making the feeling judgments they make.
 

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I have a habit of comparing myself to others, which stems from my mom always comparing me to other people my age. Also, my family situation is odd in the way that my cousin's family is super rich in a big city while my family is less well off and living in a suburb of sorts. As a kid I always envied her superficially but I dont envy her at all now. I've learned how to catch myself doing it and remind myself that since everyone is unique, there is never a real common ground for comparison and like riding a bike, sometimes you have to walk up a hill while others ride up, which is okay.
 

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When I am in a healthier mindset, I only compare myself to myself, and what I know my potential is.

But being a type 4, comparing myself to others is definitely of the envious sort. If I only had their abilities, her looks, his confidence; if only I was anyone but me, then I would be better, perfect, whole.

I mentioned in the confession thread about awards I have won over the years, dozens, both in my career and other things I have participated in. Yet they are so empty and I still feel grossly untalented. I am torn between sharing my art because it is an extension of me or hoarding it, "not casting my pearls before swine" if you will. I hate pouring my heart into my art, then seeing it next to someone else's, and how pathetic it is by comparison. Putting it on display almost feels like I am cheapening my soul, because the feelings that went into creating it were so pure, but then they are sullied by my envy when I inevitably compare my work to others.

I also do not like the feeling that I am not "special", and comparison smacks me in the face with that realization, so it can drive me to be perfectionistic in my creative acts.
 

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I just focus on myself and I do really well in most everything. However there is something to it. You know the story about the 4 minute mile? It was said that it can't be done but when one guy did it finally, ten others did it within a year (or something like that).
Comparing yourself to others pushes you to work harder.
 

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I think one of the problems with comparing ourselves to others, is that we only see the surface of people. People always try to present the best version of themselves to others. If you look at people's facebook pictures, you rarely see someone who has just woken up in the morning, with messy hair and no make up. It's always pictures of them having fun at parties, or some other image of themselves that they want others to see. If you ask an acquaintance how they are feeling, they will usually say they feel good, even if they feel bad.

People are always trying to appear as good as they can in front of others. They highlight their good points, and downplay their problems. This can lead to us perceiving people's lives as being better than they actually are. Everything seems to be going well for them and they don't seem to have many problems. Then we look at our own lives and they are filled with problems, so we start to feel inadequate. But if you could really see inside the other person, they would have their own problems too.
 

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bah. yes, for a long lonnng time my identity was solely based on how I saw myself measuring up to others...which was usually inferior. You really put yourself at the mercy of these flawed perceptions about what is important, and how you *should* be : ( and that is misery!
 

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I'm having a hard time thinking of how I compare myself to others. I probably do it, but I can't think of any examples. I would say, when I compare myself to others, I do so in awe of the other person usually. For example, my sister in law has a two year old and still manages to have a clean house, cook dinner, and even make enough arts and crafts to have her own booth at the craft fair every year. Me, I have a one year old and my house is a wreck, I have to struggle to cook anything for dinner that isn't out of a box, and there is no way I have time for any hobbies (aside from writing, which I do at night, like now). I sit there and go - How the hell does she do it?!?!? I try and figure it out. There must be a secret. There must be something I don't know! And then as I sit there in awe of her super special abilities, I talk myself out of it by saying that I'm just a different person than she is. We have different priorities. She probably likes to clean, I don't. She doesn't have the crazy schedule my husband and I do, so she has more time to herself. So I look at it and determine our differences and figure out why she can do all these things that I can't. Then I am satisfied and I don't worry about it anymore.

I am fairly confident that my way is a perfectly valid way to exist. I think I am doing an ok job at life and I don't worry about how other people are doing in comparison to me that much. On rare occasions, like a visit to my ex boyfriend's dream house, I do take a step back and look at my life and feel inferior. But then I remember that I am doing the best I can and I am living each day the way it feels best for me. If I did things differently, perhaps it wouldn't feel right. Perhaps I would have to change my priorities or values and I don't want to do that. I do have moments of worry, where I think I'm not living up to my dad's expectations or something, but when I think about it, I shouldn't have to live up to anyone's expectations. I am doing what I want to be doing. It's going to be ok. People can love me or leave me, I guess.

And as for appearance, I don't really give a shit. If some girl is prettier than me (and most are), then good for her. I don't care. Let the boys fawn over her. I am already married and I don't need to impress anybody. Although, it would really be nice if I got some new clothes. I have been wearing the same clothes for like, years. Years!
 

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Keep in mind, this is coming from an INFP 3...

For me, it gives me a base point on where I stand in relation to others, and helps me to assess my strengths and weaknesses. On the very shallow side of it, I can walk into a room and figure out what people have the most social status, and where I fit in on that scale. This helps me assess the competition, and what parts of myself I might want to accentuate or downplay. It's not even about fitting in either, for instance, I've rolled up to a punk show just getting off of work still dressed to the 9s. I did NOT fit in at that place AT ALL, but it made people notice me, and I leveraged that to my advantage, as being different.

As far as work goes, comparing myself to others allows for competition, and the greater the competition, the higher the stakes, the more of my A game I'll have to bring to top them, and vice versa. That makes for better performance, and better people because they push themselves to their fullest potential.

Now, one must always keep in mind their inherent strengths. If you ask me to figure out a math equation, I'm fucked, but you put a guitar in my hand and I'll blow people away. If you put me in a crowd of strangers and expect small talk, I will fail miserably most of the time, but if you put me on stage to give a public talk, I'll floor people. And there's people that are the exact opposite, and that's fine, that's what makes the world go around.

If I am comparing myself to another, I am seeing strength or value in that person, and I seek to emulate it. If you want to be great, you have to surround yourself and study from people who are that way already.

At the end of the day, I know that I still have value and worth as a person, even if no one thinks so. It's a hard belief to maintain because society and advertising is designed to make you feel inferior. If only you wore THIS brand of clothes, or drank THIS beverage, or had THIS car, then you would be popular/find your soulmate/be successful/ ect.

You have to say fuck all that, and know that by just being alive, you are a valuable human being. Even if you never won a thing in your life, at least you beat out all the other sperm that were racing towards the egg!
 

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I generally dont have a problem with comparing myself to others. I know where I stand and I know my worth. The thing that used to give me the biggest problem is when insecure guys compare themselves to you and bring you down. It's like this intimidation thing that I dont really get.

It's funny to me because when you stop caring, it stops phasing you. And you start to realize that it really is a power issue. That the people who really are comfortable with themselves, treat everyone the same whether they are above you or lower than you. The weak ones are the people who act outwards and nitpick/attack every chance they get. It's a shame.
 

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I compare myself to myself:

I have very unrealistic expectations of myself and when my 'real self' doesn't match up or is the 'me' that I want or hope to be, I feel like such a failure and lose all motivation. This definitely applies to work and when grades mattered. I would starve myself because I felt embarrassed for getting a B on an assignment while my friends all got A's. It' was horrible and thank God it's not to that point anymore.

I really should stop competing with myself and take it easy. It's fine trying to be your best in all that you do but, it's never right when you feel the need to be "perfect". I wish I had someone telling me that I was fine, smart and capable just the way I was growing up.

I think these ideas of "perfection" stemmed from having parents and family members telling me that I was 'entitled' to something much greater than everyone else in conjunction with always wanting me to "1up" other kids, friends and even family members- absolutely disgusting.


As for physical appearances, I have my days but, I don't think I've obsessed too much over this. I mean, 'tis but a shell, nothing more....




....and there's make up!




Thank you, Jesus for make up...amen....
 
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