How to stop comparing your looks to others…
In our appearance-obsessed world, it’s hard to avoid comparing your looks to others.
An internal battle with comparison can be a vicious cycle of feeling insecure and then comparing yourself to others, which just leads to more insecurity.
Why do we compare our appearance to others?
Why We Compare Our Looks to Others
We all do it.
You see someone with a great body or beautiful hair and think, I wish I looked like that.
In fact, when we look in the mirror, we’re often much more critical of our appearance than we are of others.
We focus on the things that make us different from society’s beauty standards.
“I wish my skin was smoother” or “I don’t like the shape of my nose.”
Why do we do this? Why compare our appearance to others?
Is it to judge or out of jealousy?
1. It’s human nature
Although we’re social creatures, we’re also competitive.
And that means that if someone else has something we don’t have or quality that we don’t have, it bothers us a lot because our animal instincts kick in and tell us that someone is trying to “beat” us at the game of survival.
So, when we see someone that is better-looking than us, we feel threatened and want to reaffirm our own self-worth by finding someone who is less attractive than us.
This is why you may find yourself looking for flaws in others so you feel better about yourself.
2. We want to fit in
We’re social creatures by nature, and most of us want to feel like we fit in with our peers as much as possible.
We can’t help but compare ourselves to those around us when it comes to clothes, hair and makeup, weight, height, and more.
3. The media promotes it
Nowadays, our lives are full of images of beautiful people on TV and online — so much so that many people compare themselves every day without even realizing it.
In the age of social media, it’s extremely easy to log into Instagram or Facebook and see pictures of your friends, family members, and acquaintances looking happy, healthy, and beautiful.
If you’re not careful, these images can cause you to feel inadequate about the way you look and lead you to negative self-comparisons.
How To Stop Comparing Yourself To Others Physically
So, how can we stop comparing our looks to others?
It’s a normal human tendency to size people up, but many of us end up comparing ourselves to others in an unhealthy way.
Are you guilty of this?
If so, let’s explore how you can stop comparing your looks to other people.
The first thing to do is to become very aware of the thoughts and beliefs going through your mind, particularly when you’re around other people.
You may not even realize it when this is happening, but try to notice any time you begin to criticize or compare yourself to someone else.
Have a conversation with yourself about why this habit is a problem for you.
Remind yourself that by focusing on what other people have and don’t have, you’re missing out on all the wonderful things that are already present in your life.
When you catch yourself comparing your looks to others, tell yourself “STOP!”
This will disrupt the negative thought process, allowing you to focus on something more positive instead.
The brain is a powerful thing, and we often feed it negative thoughts without even realizing it.
So, to change your thoughts, you have to become aware of them and then overwrite them with positive ones.
Don’t listen to the bad voices in your head.
2. Use it as inspiration
Rather than comparing yourself to others, spend time thinking about why you respect or admire them.
What is it about them that makes you feel bad about yourself?
If you know what the source of your insecurity is, you’ll be on the best path to overcoming it.
Then, think about how you can emulate their positive qualities in your own life.
Maybe they are always dressed impeccably.
Set aside time each week to put together outfits for different occasions and take pride in your appearance.
3. Stop following people who make you feel bad about yourself
You know someone you follow on Instagram makes you feel bad about yourself, but rather than unfollowing them, you check their profile multiple times a day looking for validation that they aren’t living their best life either.
It’s a waste of time and mental energy.
If they make you feel bad on social media, that isn’t healthy for you and it isn’t worth keeping them around in your online world.
4. Focus on your best features
Make a list of what you like about yourself — it might be that you have beautiful eyes or great legs.
Then, focus on these features when you’re out and about.
When others compliment you on these features, it will help boost your confidence and make you feel good about yourself.
What if you’re not sure what your best features are?
Ask a trusted friend or family member for suggestions.
They may quickly point out the obvious, like your pretty smile or shiny hair.
But if they have to think about it for a minute, their response will usually be more meaningful.
If someone compliments you, don’t brush it off as just another nice thing they could have said to anyone.
Smile, thank them, and try not to disregard their kind words!
5. Take good care of your body
The better you feel about yourself physically, the more confident you’ll be.
Eat healthy foods and drink lots of water, exercise regularly, and try to get enough sleep each night.
Maintaining healthy habits can also help boost your mood.
6. Practice gratitude
Each day, try writing down three things you are thankful for.
It will help shift your focus away from your perceived flaws.
Keep a gratitude journal.
Gratitude can help you shift your focus from what you lack to all the good things in your life.
When you start feeling down and comparing yourself to others, take a minute and write down three things that you’re grateful for.
This could be something like, “My job is a good fit for me,”
“My family is supportive,”
or even something as simple as “I had a healthy breakfast this morning.”
5. Love your body for what it can do, not for how it looks
Comparing your body to the bodies of others is a losing proposition.
No matter how close you get, there’s always someone thinner or curvier, or more muscular.
You can spend all day going down the rabbit hole of comparing yourself to others and feeling bad about it.
Or you can spend that time doing something that feels good, like appreciating your body for what it is and what it can do.
If you’re just starting out with body positivity, the first thing you can do is make a list of all the things your body can do.
My legs are strong enough to carry me through 10-mile runs.
I have flexible toes that allow me to grip onto my yoga mat.
I have arms that can lift heavy weights at the gym.
My lungs breathe oxygen throughout my body, giving me life and energy.
I have a brain that allows me to learn new skills, like playing the piano or learning a foreign language.
7. Limit social media use
Social media can expose us to thousands of images every day, which can be hard on our psychological health.
Consider taking a break from certain platforms or limiting your time spent on them each day.
Understand that social media is not real life.
People carefully curate the images they post online — especially influencers, celebrities, and models who rely on their appearance for their jobs.
Remember that everything online is filtered and edited.
While it’s important to have role models and learn from their examples, it is possible to take this too far.
One of the most toxic things you can do to yourself is to compare your own life and appearance to those you see on social media.
You never know what’s really going on with other people.
You might see a photo of a friend looking great, but you don’t know what it took for her to get that photo or how she felt about herself when she was taking it.
Similarly, you may look at someone else’s body and wish yours looked more like theirs.
But unless you’re identical twins, you have no idea which parts of their body they would like to change if they could!
Look at social media as entertainment, not fact.
8. Talk to yourself kindly
Self-compassion is a very powerful thing.
Often, people say to themselves, “I shouldn’t feel this way” or “I’m being stupid.”
These are negative self-talk phrases that diminish one’s feelings.
Instead of saying negative things to yourself, talk kindly to yourself.
Ask yourself what you need at the moment.
Don’t beat yourself up for feeling insecure.
Everyone has insecurities — it’s just that some people don’t focus on them as much as others.
It’s okay to have insecurities and it’s okay to be sad about them, but remember that you are still incredibly beautiful and amazing the way you are.
9. Remember that everyone has struggles and is insecure about something
It might seem like everyone else’s life is perfect and yours isn’t.
But no one’s life is perfect — even the happiest people have their struggles.
Remembering this can help keep your comparisons in perspective and prevent them from getting out of hand.
Just because you think someone is really pretty or really handsome, it doesn’t mean they think the same about themselves.
Everyone has their own insecurities and their own ways of coping with them.
No matter how amazing they seem on the outside, everyone has some doubts in their minds.
10. Look to those you admire for their accomplishments instead of their appearance
People you admire (for their appearance) appear as they do because they have access to a lot more resources than you do.
They have money for personal trainers, hairstylists, makeup artists, and plastic surgeons.
They have time to work out for an hour each morning before work.
They hire chefs to prepare low-calorie meals for them daily.
They have jobs where they don’t sit behind a desk all day long, allowing them to maintain their figures without the need for a gym membership.
If you are comparing your appearance to someone whose appearance benefits from these types of advantages, then please stop right now.
You may not be able to attain the look that you desire simply because you don’t have the same advantages available to you like those with whom you are comparing yourself do.
Focus more on their hard work and accomplishments and be inspired, instead of their looks.
11. Learn to ignore those who insult you about your appearance
It’s easy to get depressed when someone calls you fat or ugly, but the best thing you can do is ignore those comments and move on with your life.
12. Choose friends who like and admire you for who you are, not how you look
Stick with friends who like and admire you for who you are, not how you look.
It’s a lot easier to feel good about yourself if the people around you make you feel good about yourself.
This is a key part of emotional self-care.
Spend time with people whose company you enjoy, who make you feel good about yourself, and whom you have things in common with.
13. Find a hobby or activity that makes you feel good about yourself
Find a hobby or activity that makes you feel good about yourself.
Whether it’s playing an instrument, writing, or art, engaging in a hobby is a great way to start feeling more confident about yourself.
You can also try new activities that you know will allow you to meet new people and create new friendships.
Thinking that you have to look like someone else to be beautiful is a misconception.
How other people look has nothing to do with how attractive and unique you are.