Constant comparison

i feel like ive never had a talent or hobby or anything that makes me stand out. i used to be big on comparing myself to by older brother. it started in elementary school. he was one of the special kids who didn’t have to study for any test and still placed at the top of his class. that never changed; to this day, he is very smart and does very well in school. he also knew he wanted to pursue engineering since he was in middle school. i, on the other hand, was never like that. i wanted to be just like him and graduate at the top of my class and get my parent’s approval. i would study for hours and still fail tests. i started overworking myself and taking hard classes just to look smart, and it worked. i started getting As and my parents ate it up. then, i lost myself. i never get assignments submitted on time and end up cheating on all my work. my point is, i’ve compared myself to my brother for my entire life. my mother has always preferred my brother over me. she will never admit it but i can tell she admires his diligence. she spoils him and is nicer to him. she gets mad at me easily. she doesn’t approve of any of my friends, so i don’t make plans with them. but then she tells me i make myself depressed by just working and sleeping. i do sleep a lot, but i also work 6 days a week and have trouble falling asleep sometimes. whenever she finds me laying in bed she tells me to clean, my brother never did chores. she’s just so unfair and if i tell her this she denies it. she’ll get mad at me and tell me to never ask her for anything ever again, but i never ask her for money or anything. i make my own money and always offer to help pay for things she buys me. it’s hard because i can’t talk to her about how i feel. she threatens to send me to a shrink every time i tell her she makes me feel invalidated. idk i just feel dumb right now. school and exams are kicking my ass and i feel like i just won’t be smart enough to work in a professional work position. this is a little off topic but i am learning to be easy on myself and i understand everyone learns at their own pace, but i feel like i’m below average at everything. and i know i am allowed to be and it’s normal, but not everyone else knows that. not everyone is patient and thoughtful enough to be so understanding. i always hear people call others dumb or slow and think down upon them, but i feel like both of those so it makes me self conscious. idk if that makes sense. i just notice strangers talking behind peoples backs and complaining about how insert name makes too many mistakes and stuff like that. and i relate to whoever this stranger is talking shit about. does that make any sense at all?? anyway i’ve just rambled for half an hour and i think that’s enough for right now. and to whoever replies to this, thank you so much:) you make me feel slightly less alone, so thank you thank you thank you<3 and plz tpwk always


I’ve compared myself to many people growing up, my younger brother was the biggest one. Just like you it seemed like nothing I did could compare. Even as an adult I’ve still done it, like the thought that he has his life together and has a family. I for the most part have none of that. Just like you said everyone learns at their own pace, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. You likely have a talent you don’t know about yet, we all do, it just takes the time to find it. Just live your life to the best of your ability, living with your parents doesn’t last forever and once you get out and find what you are good at maybe with hindsight she will see how she treated you. As for school you just do your best, just because a test kicks your ass doesn’t make you dumb or slow. Tests don’t prove fully prove you are intelligent, it may just mean you have great memory. That is just my take on it at least. I still have my moments when I compare myself and my brother, but I have also learned we are two completely different people with even more different talents that we excel at. You just gotta find what makes your light shine brightest for you. I don’t know how much this helps or makes sense, but I just want you to know you are not alone. You are far from dumb or slow, and I am sure you will find that hidden talent of yours.


There is a line in a poem, “if you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” I don’t quite agree with “greater and lesser persons,” but the poem was written in medieval times, and I think that’s the best the author could do.

It’s not fair that your parents are comparing you and your brother and trying to force competition. No doubt, over time, you will discover things that you are good at, and he isn’t, and vice a versa.

A lot has to do with individual aptitude and learning style. I was taken out of school at the age of eight, and written off as “retarded,” and unable to learn anything more. Several months later, I was caught reading a book on advanced spirituality, and when asked, I accurately explained the concepts presented. Then it was determined that I was extra smart rather than extra dumb. In spite of that, I never got good grades until after I dropped out and returned to school as an adult.

I also lived under the burden of constant comparison. My self-esteem suffered, but I got around to doing my best to work within the parameters of my compromised self-concept.

It took many years, but I got around to feeling adequate, and worthy of respect.

It’s funny though, both of my brothers and both of my parents tried to make me feel ashamed of myself because I have my own way of learning and doing things. Later on though, all of them talked about being jealous of my peace of mind and warm acceptance of others.

My best advice is to live your life as you see fit, and let all that comparison stuff burn itself out. As the attributes that make you special emerge, those with any sense will realize that such comparisons were pointless.


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