comparison

ASK ME ANYTHING: Comparing Myself to Others

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This Weeks Relationship Advice Question:

Let's see, I'm in a monogamous relationship (and super happy about it. It's the right person).  I feel super embarrassed about being jealous sometimes. I do healing work with people -so shouldn't I have this one figured out by now?  My jealousy seems to stem from comparing myself to other women something I've been doing since I was a little girl. This is the biggest problem: I compare myself. It sets the stage for jealousy and deep shame. 

Oh my gosh, I am so glad you wrote about this. Comparison (and related shame) is a HUGE part of the work I do with so many people.  So many of us get caught up in comparison traps and end up feeling small, or reacting with jealousy.  

[side note: I often daydream about what a wonderful world this might be if more of us were set free from limiting beliefs and diminishing emotional experiences... I digress...]

I wonder what might happen for you if you sat with your comparison a little bit.  I think it might have something to tell you.  Try asking it a few questions in meditation and journaling whatever responses come up.

Ask your comparison:

How is it serving you?  Is comparison protecting you in some way?  Does it think it's being helpful?

What does your comparison really need?  What is it looking for?  What does it want?

Is your comparison traveling with other emotions?  Often envy, admiration, bitterness, desire, curiosity, aspiration, jealousy, insecurity, or fear might be traveling alongside comparison- who is there for you now?  

I imagine your comparison has a message for you about what you really need, want and are feeling.  Comparison might be the thought pattern on the surface, but by giving it a little space we can really see what's underneath- and take more meaningful action.  

I know there are times my comparison is all about my admiration for another.  Sometimes it's a reminder of an aspect of myself I want to grow.  Other times it tells me where I want to nourish a relationship.

Ultimately a dedicated self-compassion practice is one of the most solid antidotes to comparison I've seen (I talk a lot about this in my Daring Way workshops and retreats if you ever want to join me).  

Until you're able to join me at a workshop I highly recommend taking a look at the following resources and tools to fortify your self-compassion practice:

Self-Compassion, by Dr Kristin Neff

The Gifts of Imperfection, by Dr Brene Brown

relationship advice | marriage advice | polyamory advice

relationship advice | comparison in relationships | marriage advice

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sex educator and relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, LGBTQ issues and infidelity.  

She can help you:

  • rediscover passion in long-term relationships
  • repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
  • move past jealousy, insecurity or codependent patterns
  • open your relationship or practice polyamory with care
  • resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect
  • break unhealthy communication patterns in your relationship

Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

Click here to download her free guides to strengthen your relationship (monogamous or not).

Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Partners

Comparison | Uncommon Love Counseling for Open Relationships in Portland

Comparison is the thief of joy.  

Think about it.  

All too often I work with clients in my couples practice who are struggling with jealousy, comparison, and insecurity in relationships.  

Nobody wins when comparison comes to play.  It thrives on us feeling small and alone and can feel overwhelming to think about working through it.  

Comparison is like an unwanted houseguest who shows up unannounced and reminds you of all your imperfections.  It's hard to shake them or set boundaries.

But the truth is, you can move forward with careful intention and action.  Overcoming insecurity in relationships might be challenging, but you CAN say no to insecurity.  You don't have to feel small.  Read through the list below to learn to deal with this unwanted guest with ease:

Acknowledge your insecurity- honestly.

There is no getting around insecurity- the only path is through it.  You need to admit that it's a real problem that is keeping you from loving healthy relationships with yourself and others.  

Insecurity can be truly debilitating and isolating. Instead of letting it break you down in silence, name it to take some of its power away.

Reflect.

If you’re going to really change the way insecurity shows up in your life, you have to understand why you are having these feelings to begin with.  Most people experience insecurity in the forms of scarcity, comparison, fear and anxiety.  

Spend a little time journaling to learn more about your unique experience of insecurity to get clearer on what you can do to move forward.

Focus on self-improvement. 

If you’re a chronically insecure person, chances are  you don’t think highly of yourself and get caught up comparing yourself to others you admire.  It's time to work on making yourself into a person who has no reason to be insecure because you're so happy with who you are.  

Take a class, try something new, meet a few friends, and cross a few things off that bucket list to take the strength away from your insecurity.

Reach out to friends.

Insecurity really likes to thrive all on its own- and wants you to isolate and wallow.  

Instead of letting it take control, call in your community of compassion- those people who see you and accept you no matter what- and tell them what you're feeling.  Ask for empathy, distraction, affection, and support.

Practice gratitude.

When scarcity and fear visit, they are often protecting the things that matter most to us.  Their greatest antidote is gratitude.  Remind yourself that you're lucky just to be alive, and turn your energy to the greatness all around you.

Cultivate self-compassion and acceptance.

Improving and appreciating the life you have will go a long way to resolve your insecurity, but the truth is, nobody is perfect and someone will always have it easier/better/prettier than you. 

Learning to accept your imperfections with compassion is key to letting go of your insecurity.

This week in action:

Start by noticing when and where insecurity shows up.  It may be at work, in your family, with friends, or in your romantic relationship.  

Move through these processes: acknowledgement, reflection, self-improvement, community, gratitude, and self-compassion.  

Try them on like you are shopping for shoes, give each one a full moment of your complete attention.  Notice how they feel on your body.  

This was first published on Amplified Good.


gina senarighi couples therapist in portland | couples counseling and sex counseling in portland

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sex educator and relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationshipsjealousy, LGBTQ issues and infidelity.  

She can help you:

Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

Click here to download her free guides to strengthen your relationship (monogamous or not).