75. Social Comparisons

This is a malady practiced by those who are depressed and those who are not. “Why can’t we have a job like Jack? Why can’t we have the wealth that Mary has? Why do we have to be depressed and others aren’t?” Social comparisons and wishful thinking put a burden on us and make us feel inferior or a failure. It is a dangerous game to play. I heard a wise saying once that meant a lot to me – God only tells us

our story, and it is that story that we need to focus on and not other stories, if we are to be healthy non-contributors to depression.

There is another form of social comparison that is equally as bad: looking down on others with an air of moral, social, or spiritual superiority.  Let’s look at Luke 18: 9-14.

9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

   13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

   14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Take note. Do not compare yourself to those you perceive are above you or those you perceive are below you. Compare yourself to what God wants for your life. That is the way to a healthy self-concept that will help keep you removed from the clutches of depression.

About Patrick Day

In 2010, I escaped from four long years of deep, dark depression. This blog shares lessons I learned from those years as depicted in my autobiography - How I Escaped from Depression - as well as other insights about depression and anxiety that only come from someone who has gone through it. When you have a heart attack, you become an expert in heart attacks. When you have diabetes, you become an expert in that condition. As such, I am an expert in depression, with a four-year experiential degree and graduate studies in how to live a life going forward that keeps the ever-lurking Depression at a healthy distance.
This entry was posted in Depression, Living a Spiritual Life, Making Changes in Your Life, Overcoming Depression and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 75. Social Comparisons

  1. Robert Farquhar says:

    This (social comparison) also can prevent work teams from being highly effective. Marriages can also suffer when this tendency is allowed to overcome us.

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