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are we really comparing?

Posted Aug 21 2009 10:19pm

You're right, PTC, that you're going to get an argument from me! But you knew that!

The way you walk by someone and instantly "know" that she's "thinner" and "prettier" than you are is exactly what I'm talking about. For one thing, what's "pretty" is so ridiculously subjective that who even knows what pretty is anyway... but I digress...

When we do a true comparison, we have to go through a process- even 'fast comparers" can't do it instantly. And, furthermore, you (and most other people) go straight to the "conclusion" part, without gathering any data. Totally not a scientific process dude!

Which brings me to how we can start to say no to "comparison's evil twin" which Ann wanted to know about. The first step is to begin to notice and question ourselves when we think we're comparing. Using our example, here's how this could look- you're walking down the street and someone passes you. Instantly, you "compare" and come up with your "conclusions." Now, usually at this point you'll accept the conclusions as "universal reality" and feel lousy about yourself. Instead, I want you to ask yourself: did I really just do a comparison, or was it comparison's evil twin? Your first response will be, "duh, of course it was a comparison" but don't let yourself get away with that! Say to yourself, "ok, if it was a comparison, what were the scientific steps I went through to collect my data? What was the process I used to come up with my conclusion?"
This should get your attention and stop you in your tracks for a second. Try to catch yourself each time you "compare" and question the process. Doing this is a great first step towards saying no to the evil twin that gets us feeling so lousy about ourselves. 
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