How Men Destroy Their Happiness by Comparing Themselves to Others
The other weekend I was out in Newport, RI with my wife celebrating my birthday. It is one of my favorite places to go, near my favorite beach to surf, and it has one of my favorite restaurants, The Red Parrot. They have the best Surf 'n Turf, this amazing lobster filled steak with garlic sauce. I can never resist it.
Anyway, as we were walking back to our bed and breakfast there were some guys sitting on a bench, obviously a little drunk. They started complimenting me that I was with a woman, "Good for you, man." It was clear that the compliment did not come from a place of feeling good about themselves, but was more self-pity. It seemed from their tone of voice they were saying "What's wrong with me that I can't get a woman to go home with me?"
Well, there's the first reason they were probably not with a woman. They were not happy, much less happy with themselves. Why was this?
This made me think about how people often take the focus off of themselves and compare themselves to others. We hear about this a lot when it comes to women. There is a huge movement to end the damaging effects of the mass advertising of unrealistic images of the female body on women's self-esteem. Men are not invulnerable to the damage making comparisons to others does to their happiness.
This can be especially true for nice guys who feel left out, part of the fray when it comes to relationships. I can remember different low points while I was single. My girlfriend at the time dumped me for another guy. I was hitting rejection after rejection and could not get a date, but I had no idea why. I was in a lot of emotional pain over it. I was respectful to women, nice, went out of my way to consider their feelings. Why the hell were these bad things happening to me when I was being so nice to these women? For the life of me I could not see what I was doing to get in my own way. On those Valentine's Days I was at my lowest. I HATED Valentines Day! When I would go out with friends on that night and see all of the couples having dinner together, it would remind me of my failures with women, that I was alone, that I was not like all these other guys who had girlfriends. The problem was that even if I tried to avoid Valentine's Day, even going to the grocery store was a reminder because of all the candy and flowers strewn all over the store for everyone to see. I felt sorry for myself, and I didn't know how to stop the pity party.
That loathing for that day still carries over to now, because I think of all the guys who are lonely and struggling like I was. I hate to think of all the nice guys who are suffering this way and don't know what to do to stop the pain. That's why I write these blogs and do the work I do. I want to do whatever is in my power to reach as many men as possible and help them to stop comparing themselves to everyone else, and find their internal barometer.
Men compare themselves to others in so many more ways than by relationship status. The amount of comparison points that surround us are never ending. Comparing yourself to others only fans the flames of unhappiness. The solution is gaining clarity with the principles that feel most authentic to you and living in integrity with them.
You don't have to isolate yourself from society like Lao Tzu in order to do this. It is about stopping the noise and finding clarity about what values are uniquely meaningful for you. Dedicate a space for yourself regularly, whether every day and every week, and commit to that self-exploration. We can all do this on our own, but it does not give us the laser focus that working with somebody who specializes in self-development can provide you.
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If you're a Nice Guy who is tired of not getting the girl, or feel like you keep getting the short end of the stick in relationships, I will be running an in-person and online group called Self Respect for Nice Guys. I'm here to coach you how to use your authentic personality to your advantage to get the type of attraction you want and find a happy, healthy relationship or turn the tide in one that is not making you happy. No more getting walked all over by women, no more seeing only other guys get the girl. It's your turn now... It's time to make it happen! This is for motivated men who are willing to take the next step, but need some direction. If you want to sign up for this group, do so here: www.selfrespectforniceguys.com. This is more than the regular email list. This group is for men who are ready to be active in the next step in their personal transformation.
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Living By Your Own Principles