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Comparison The Thief of Joy

Welcome to the Blog Hop – Comparison The Thief of Joy? where bloggers from all over the world are invited to share their ideas about Theodore Roosevelt’s quote: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Do you agree of disagree with Teddy’s POV? Please share your unique perspective.

There are 3 easy steps to join the Blog Hop:

1. Follow the instructions for submitting your entry using the Linky provided below – remember to copy and paste the link to your specific ‘comparison’ post, not just your blog, into the Linky.

2. Copy and paste the following announcement (with links) into the intro to your blog post:
Linking in to the Comparison Blog Hop on Dangerous Linda and Everyday Gyaan.

3. Be sure to read and comment on other bloggers’ posts in the hop. It’s a great way to get to know each other and expand our cyber-community of awesome writers and thinkers.

Comparison The Thief of Joy

the punk & the conehead

If you’re unlucky, it starts even before you’re born. “My last pregnancy was so much easier”, mourns the mother. Or if you’re her first child, “But my sister didn’t get this sick. This baby is giving me a hard time.”

Then you are born. And they come in droves to see you. “Oh my doesn’t she look just like Cousin Anabelle.”  “No, no can’t you see her nose is just like Grandma Nancy’s!”  “Fourteen hours of labor? You didn’t have to wait so long with Terry, did you?” “He keeps you up all night? My baby sleeps like an angel at night.”  If there are no siblings or cousins to compare you with there’s always Dr Spock‘s babies who can be used as a yardstick for your growth or lack of it.

You start to grow. “Lola stop fidgeting. Can’t you see how quietly your brother is sitting?”  “Anirudh, you really should stop drinking milk from a bottle. Look at your cousin Satish. He’s only three and he drinks  from a cup.”

Now comes school and with it a whole new set of children to compare you with. “You got 73/100 for your test? Shame on you – see how well Mrs Choudhary’s daughter does.”  “Why do I keep getting complaints about you from the teacher? Mala’s teachers always praise her.” Even the teachers get into the act. “You’re Nalini’s cousin? She was an angel, you’re a devil!”

After a while you learn to start doing it to yourself. You are constantly measuring your height against your sister’s. You improve your grades in school, but you’re not happy because you wish you had the same grades as your friend, Sharon. You gradually start skipping meals because you want to lose weight so you can look like Andrea. You start to work out at the gym, pushing yourself to exhaustion, because you want to develop muscles to look just like Salman Khan!

You stop feeling good about the way you look, because you wish you looked like a movie star. You stop trying to work on your talents, because you’ll never be as good as…..You stop enjoying achievements because you’re always wishing you had done better than your friend. You want to be better dressed than……. You want to be richer than……. You want to travel more than………. You want to sing just like……. You forget that all you have to be the best YOU.  It goes on and on. The cycle of comparison….

Is comparison the thief of joy? Need I say more?

Now I’m off to see Dangerous Linda’s post on the subject, so I can compare 😉 (I’m also linking in to Blogelina today.)

May you be inspired – every day!

195 Comments

  1. comparison:“thief of joy?” blog hop » DANGEROUS LINDA comparison:“thief of joy?” blog hop » DANGEROUS LINDA January 29, 2013

    […] Follow the instructions for submitting your entry using the linky provided below or at Everyday Gyaan — remember to copy and paste the link to your specific ‘comparison’ blog post, not just your […]

  2. Jadelouisedesigns Jadelouisedesigns March 11, 2012

    I agree with that statement! When you compare with others, you lose the treasure and blessing that you have right in front of you! a 73/100!? Congrats, as long as they did their best, that could be a huge improvement from their previous efforts!  Besides if your child hears you comparing them, it breaks down their self confidence and then they put less effort into everything they do. It steals joy they may have had in themselves. 

  3. Heather Heather March 10, 2012

    Wow, your post really got me thinking about this.  I am guilty of saying many of these things to my son on a regular basis.  At the time it seems like an easy way to help him understand what I mean.  However, I will have to re-think this.

  4. Wendy Wendy March 9, 2012

    I’m so guilty of comparing myself to others.  🙁  However, I don’t really compare my kids or anything like that…they are totally different and love them just the way the are.  🙂

    Wendy

    Around My Family
    Table

  5. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 9, 2012

    So true, @0785ec8324737a7112bf8e506b262399:disqus  that often we don’t realize what we are doing to ourselves or others by comparing.

  6. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 9, 2012

    @3411c973cd7ff38d66af0c2221f966ad:disqus  Not completely, as you will read in the posts of the other bloggers on the hop.

  7. Busy Mom on the Go Busy Mom on the Go March 9, 2012

    I think it is.  I think that we spend so much time trying to keep up with the Jones’ that we forget about how to be happy within our own lives.  Brenda and I have devoted our blog to families.  We share family-friendly tips, recipes, craft projects and activities as an attempt to bring the bond of family closer for everyone. 

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 9, 2012

      @twitter-407448740:disqus  I agree we sometimes spend too much time on negatively comparing ourselves that we forget to be grateful for all we have.

  8. Tiffany Tiffany March 8, 2012

    Teddy had it right!

  9. Stacie Stacie March 8, 2012

    Very true! It’s hard to not compare, but I try very hard not to. Sometimes you don’t even realize what you are doing. Thanks for this post, gives me a lot to think about!

  10. LaVonne LaVonne March 8, 2012

    I recently read an article about blogging and not comparing your own successes to others. It was a great post that can be applied to life. Thanks for sharing this quote with us. I agree with it for sure.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 9, 2012

      I often am guilty of comparing my blog @lavonnelong:disqus . Thank you for stopping by.

  11. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 8, 2012

    @91cabce1acf8db6f3de48ca4ccce49ac:disqus  I’d invite you to look at the other posts on this hop – they’re more balanced than mine 😉

  12. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 8, 2012

    @c3d123aa49b6a7e165bef545c7c305b4:disqus  – been there, done that. It’s a hard habit to break. 

  13. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 8, 2012

    Thanks @49221cfe0abd0e4c7359348cd721ae47:disqus . As many of the other bloggers on the hop have pointed out, comparison has it’s good points too. But when we direct in a negative way it becomes a thief of joy.

  14. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 8, 2012

    @746661f620c9abc7976dfd206fc3ffbd:disqus I’m sure it’s real tough for mothers not to compare. But do they have to let their kids know about it, is the question. 🙂

  15. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 8, 2012

    @593cf65e2ad20909aa0520d9cda54914:disqus  – as you said learning to be grateful and content with who we are and what we have is key to being joyful.

  16. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 8, 2012

    That’s a good one @3ab7d39ce3f9850f6c5c04d96465fb6f:disqus  and so true! Thanks for stopping by.

  17. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 8, 2012

    Yes we never do know what’s going on with someone else  do we, @d3f7f7c04a37f94a10b08474fa0141b6:disqus ? Thanks for your comment.

  18. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 8, 2012

    Yes, it’s that kind of comparison that can eat us up @573b29c29bcbdc194eb4e335f8191312:disqus …I’m learning not to do it to myself!

  19. Punam J R Punam J R March 8, 2012

    Hi Corinne, I am composing a post with ‘gyaan’ from all the contributors collated and presented for a treasure trove of inspiration. I will submit that after the blog hop ends. 🙂 Would you include it here? 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 8, 2012

      Thanks, Punam. Would love to see the post – do mail it to me and we’ll discuss how to present it here. 

  20. Dawn Storey Dawn Storey March 8, 2012

    I struggle with the comparison issue – I might be perfectly happy with something I’ve done, but then I see something someone else has done and suddenly my effort is horrible! Definitely the thief of joy.

  21. Sarah Sarah March 8, 2012

    So true. Stopping the comparison game is a constant struggle though!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 8, 2012

      It is @49221cfe0abd0e4c7359348cd721ae47:disqus . Thanks for stopping by.

  22. AllieRambles AllieRambles March 8, 2012

    I am a firm believer that everyone has a gift.  And that all gifts are equal.  I never compare people because of this. 

    Now I am more than willing to compare ice cream… hee hee.

    ~Allie

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 8, 2012

      Very wise @AllieRambles:disqus .  About the ice cream I’m afraid you can’t compare with me – I can’t have any 😉

  23. mommetime mommetime March 8, 2012

    excellent delivery… something about seeing words in black and white! I will be paying closer attention with my kids. I’d like to say that I don’t say those things to them, but now I’m not so certain. Just recently my oldest daughter during art time or after an activity which I liked better her’s or her sisters.  I’ve been wondering what has prompted her to start doing that… hmm. will pay close attention. Thank you for this… wonderful job! 

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 8, 2012

      Thanks, Amy. I don’t know where kids pick this up from sometimes, no matter how careful we are. I loved your post on this subject so authentic and meaningful. 

  24. Carrie Carrie March 8, 2012

    Comparisons can be both good and bad.  Once we had twins, I learned not to compare.  Our twins are so incredibly different, and it sure would be unfair to compare them to each other.  Thanks for such a thought-provoking post!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 8, 2012

      Ah then I wasn’t too wrong with my choice of an image was I, @openid-130497:disqus ? I can see how it would be so easy to compare twins but yet each of them are so unique.

  25. Clarinda Clarinda March 8, 2012

    Yes  it does rob your joy. I know I looked at other and thought that they were cool/good looking/better but never wanted to be them. They have problems in their lives too. They may be rich but they also could be lonely. They maybe pretty but could be abused. They could be smart but be homeless. You are where you are for a reason and there is no need to compare.

  26. Lisa Lisa March 8, 2012

    So true! I remember hearing  a frugal mom say that you are never tired of your wordrobe until you’re at the mall!!
    :)Lisa

  27. Measuring Up Measuring Up March 8, 2012

    […] Linking in to the Comparison Blog Hop on Dangerous Linda & Everyday Gyaan […]

  28. Jamie English Jamie English March 8, 2012

    So very true!    I am often comparing myself to others and feeling yuck.  But you know what?  It depends on the spirit of the comparison.  I come at it from a self hatred point of view (I am working on this) and think I’m not as thin as or as pretty as or as smart as or….you get the picture.  I have been in a few circles in my life and it was often helpful to feel normalized.  I am a counselor and sometimes my work is hard for various reasons and it helps to talk to other counselors who are struggling with similar issues, because when I compare to them, I feel like I’m ok….I’m normal.  Perhaps it needs to come with a balance.  Finding camaraderie with others who share things you have in common but always balanced with a healthy sense of self and “I’m good enough.”  Thought provoking post….thanks!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 8, 2012

      @google-b260386afad48d861b53cdd097832f17:disqus  – you’re very right – it all depends on the spirit of it.  Thank you for your comment.

  29. Kathy (Kangaroo Mama) Kathy (Kangaroo Mama) March 8, 2012

    Teddy was right, it is the thief of joy!  Couldn’t have put it better!  We totally hate being compared but we do it all the time in all aspects of our lives.  I look at someone’s blog and like their design, layout, writing style, content, pictures, and giveaways more.  I get jealous of SAHM and WAHMs because I am a WOHM.  I compare myself to other married women and all their travels, material things, etc and it steals away from me living MY life to the fullest!  I am learning daily to try to be content with what I have and not look with greedy eyes at the lives of others and to not let life slip by me while I keep thinking about how my life isn’t as “good as others.”  Thank you for sharing this!  

  30. Kkagele Kkagele March 7, 2012

    Having 4 kids and try not to compare child #1 to #2 or #4 to #1 is hard.  But like you said everyone is special in their own way.

  31. Sarah Sarah March 7, 2012

    Wise words. I hadn’t even thought of how it starts before we’re even born but you’re right. Will try to compare less and enjoy more!

  32. Tracy Tracy March 7, 2012

    Needed this today! As I work on more patience with my middle child, I need to stop comparing her to her completely different (not better) brother. Though I do not say it out loud, I think it often. Thanks for reminding me not to give my joy away by comparing. 

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 8, 2012

      @8225b0d3ff3cd33147e3dd37f020eb10:disqus  – I’m glad this was timely for you. I think when we compare negatively we forget to value a person’s uniqueness. 

  33. homemaidsimple homemaidsimple March 7, 2012

    The statement can definitely be true! But if we look at comparison through a different light, and try to become better people it can be good. I think it’s just a matter of attitude on how we take those comparisons. I see someone I want to be like, and instead of dwelling on how I can never be like them, I strive to do what I can to make myself a better person, and then be happy with the results!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 8, 2012

      I absolutely agree with you@homemaidsimple:disqus . I chose to take one side of it for the purpose of argument on the blog hop. Thanks for your comments. 

  34. See You In the Garden See You In the Garden March 7, 2012

    Comparision is a bad habit that I catch myself falling into too often.  It only leads me to a deeper funk than when I started.

  35. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 7, 2012

    Oh my, @5b35f93f642839473ee51fd2f22bcb25:disqus that’s quite a story.  Glad you’re over it!  

  36. Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues March 7, 2012

    That’s so not fair @ddeebd504ed71aacb728a54288d0b213:disqus . Poor you!

  37. Corinne Rodrigues