Comparison Trap

As some one who eats lunch at her desk nearly every day, I love it when I have the chance to get out of the office for a bit an enjoy a fun lunch date.

Since today was one of the every other Fridays that Ryan has off from work, he met me at my office for a mid-day date!


I talked him into checking out Ritazza, a café located downtown that serves everything from sandwiches to soup to salads to Mexican food! (I’ve been there a few times and love their salad bar.)

I ordered a salad topped with lots of veggies and balsamic vinaigrette dressing, but Ryan said he couldn’t get Jimmy John’s out of his head (not that I blame him).

I toted my salad to Jimmy John’s so Ryan could order his favorite sandwich.

Salad To Go!

Salad Time!

I ate my whole salad and had a few bits of Ryan’s club.

After we were done with our main meal, we walked to Starbucks for some beverages.

Though I really wanted a Frappuccino, I cannot help but classify that drink as a “sweet” and since I gave those up for Lent, I opted for an iced mint green tea instead.

Green Tea Fo' Me

I slurped it down in no time! Ryan and I laughed when he was finishing up his Frappuccino and got to the bottom where only the whipped cream remained. That’s when I usually swoop in a eat it all.

It was hard to watch him eat “my bites.” He literally opened up the cup to dump the remaining whipped cream into his mouth which I told him was all wrong. You have to slowly scoop it out with a straw so it lasts longer and you can really enjoy it! C’mon!

All in all, it was a great lil’ lunch! I love hot dates in the middle of the day.

And now onto some serious talk.

The other day a wonderful reader asked me to discuss how I handle comparing myself with other women. I think it’s something we all struggle with and her inquiry inspired me to write up this post…

The Comparison Trap

As a woman, it is so, so hard not to compare ourselves with other women. With friends, family members, coworkers, the teeny girl in spandex at the gym. Amazingly talented and incredibly beautiful women are everywhere.

But guess what? You’re one of them.

A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to the Sunday service at our church. Our pastor said something that resonated with me and I found it very applicable to women everywhere.

“When we romanticize the situations of others, we will never be satisfied with what we have.”

That quote is one of the reasons I wrote the “We’re Not Perfect” post about me and Ryan.

As a woman who is fully immersed in the world of blogging, I read blogs and have found myself romanticizing the situations of others many times. I’ve caught myself believing that certain bloggers lead perfect lives. They can run marathons. They have a perfect marriage. They have an amazing job. Their house is always spotless. They eat healthy, veggie-packed meals without lapse.

The thing about blogging is that you only see what people put out there for you to see. The same is true with people in your day-to-day life. You only know what they tell you about their lives, marriages, jobs and successes.

If all you ever read and all you ever hear is how wonderful things are for those around you, you may struggle with comparing your life to theirs. You may feel resentful, inadequate and unfulfilled.

Here’s the thing: Their lives aren’t perfect either.

You only think they are because you’re romanticizing their situation. Sure, they may be completely happy. They may have a wonderful and supportive husband. But they may also have a lot of debt that they’re struggling to pay off. They may have a family member battling cancer. You just don’t know.

Aside from simply envying the lives of others, it’s so easy to feel jealousy over the appearance of others. How many times have you left the house feeling confident only to have a girl walk by you on the street who made you feel like an instant troll?

Trolls Aren't So Bad!

Avoiding the comparison trap is a challenge. It’s a battle so many women struggle with every day. I wish my hair was as thick as hers. If only I lost some weight, I might look as amazing as she does in those jeans.

Well, you’re not her. You’re you. But that’s amazing.

Maybe she is lusting after your amazing smile. Maybe she would love to have your bubbly personality or your drive in the workplace.

I 100 percent admit that I struggle with the comparison trap. I might feel perfectly okay about myself as I head out on a date with Ryan. Then this freakin’ beautiful girl and her boyfriend walk into the restaurant and sit near us and I feel instantly self conscious. Why? I’m pretty cool, too! Why do I suddenly feel insecure?

So how do we overcome this? How do we feel okay with just being ourselves?

Know this: Being you is pretty darn fantastic.

I try to remind myself that comparing my looks, intelligence, job, successes, failures and love life to others doesn’t change anything. If I am feeling insecure about one aspect of my life, it is up to me to change it. Additionally, if my insecurities are completely unfounded, it is up to me to work on me and my love for myself. It is up to me to try to remember that I am my own person. I will never be someone else, which is a very, very good thing.

Questions of the Afternoon

  • Do you struggle with the comparison trap?
  • How do you try to overcome it?

Of Possible Interest


  1. says

    Thank you for this post, Julie! I’ve been thinking about this a LOT lately, and find myself comparing myself to others on a regular basis. It is so important for us all to tell ourselves the truth- that we are exactly who/how we are supposed to be. Love this post!!


  2. says

    I know this post is super old but when I read it I had to comment. This is such an amazing reminder of how comparisons can be the thief of all joy. It is so easy to compare yourself to others and feel down but we all have to remember that social media really only depicts someones highlight reel.

    Thanks for your words, it was exactly what I needed to read today 🙂



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