YOU OFTEN COMPARE YOURSELF to others. We
all do. You look at the way people look and sound and move, and
you check how you measure up. When you stop at an intersection
in your car, you watch people walk across the street and you
pass judgment on the persons hairstyle, the way they dress,
and so on, and you dont even try to do this. It
is completely automatic.
You may not be able to stop yourself from
doing it. But you can change the way you do it.
When you compare yourself to people, you
look to see how theyre different from you. And when
you look at another and note your differences, it makes you feel
superior if the comparison turns out in your favor and
inferior if it turns out in their favor. When you feel
superior, your feelings are communicated subtly through the way
your body moves and through your voice tone, and this can make
the other person feel inferior. All this mental nonsense
creates a general feeling of alienation it affects your
attitude and your relationships.
But theres another option. Instead
of looking for differences, you can look for similarities.
Look and listen to people and notice how
they are like you. Our feelings of friendliness toward people
are affected by how alike we feel. When you know someone is from
your home town or went to your college or is the same religion,
you automatically feel more kinship with them. When you look
for similarities you increase your feelings of compassion and
affection toward that person. Where you once felt bad about yourself
from an unfavorable comparison or made the other person feel
bad because you found him to be inferior, there will now be good
Try it the next time you catch yourself
judging a person or when someone annoys you. Force yourself to
notice your similarities. Recall times when you acted in similar
ways. Studies show we tend to think others bad actions
stem from personal motives, yet we tend to think our own
bad actions are caused by circumstances beyond our control. This
causes unnecessary anger between people, which is bad for health
and doesnt help relationships much. Actively looking for
similarities is the antidote. Its a new habit, so it will
take some practice, but the process is enjoyable and the end
result is too.
Notice how other people are
similar to you.