Social comparison theory relationships
Search for a mental health professional near you.So, this basic human tendency makes social relationships challenging. Think about it. We tend to want others to think highly of us. We do all sorts of things to present ourselves to the public and to our friends, family, and colleagues that make us look like we have it all together and are doing well. This is part of the reason we often choose the clothes, cars, jobs, education, homes, vacations, and so forth that we do. We also want others to celebrate our successes and happiness too. Look at what so many people post on Facebook for example. Often people are posting subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) images that say “look at me and how great I’m doing.” People present their best selves, successes, fun vacations, smiling and happy family members, job promotions, new homes and cars, and the like, don't they? In doing so they run the risk of friends and family making upward social comparisons that then invoke envy. If friends and family make upward comparisons that make them feel bad you have now contributed to tensions in your relationship with them. Haven’t you noticed that when you share good news with others often people don’t respond in the supportive way that you hoped? Even when they appear supportive on the surface they often are not in reality. What do they say about your good news when you aren't around?To avoid envy in others you have to be mindful of the powerful dynamics that unfold as a by-product of social comparisons. You want to minimize the upward comparisons between you and others to best manage relationships. Not so easy to do since we all want to do well and share our joys with others. Yet when we do we invite envious reactions and even worse. It is one of the reason why people often celebrate the bad news that others experience since it reduces their upward social comparisons to a more level playing field. Not a pretty part of human nature but one we should be attentive to in our relationships.
So, what do you think?
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