Social comparison theory relationships : Social Development

Social comparison theory relationships

One theory that can be very helpful in understanding envy and how best to manage it is In a nutshell, we constantly make judgments about ourselves and our lives by comparing ourselves to others. So, we often feel pretty envious when we make upward comparisons (i.e., observing others who have more than we do in areas that we value) while we feel pretty good about ourselves when we make downward comparisons (i.e., observing others that have less than we do in areas that we value). For example, if you live near and interact with a lot of wealthy folks you likely will feel deprived while if you live near and interact with lots of poor folks you likely feel pretty well off. If you are around a lot of beautiful people you will feel unattractive while if you are around many unattractive people you'll feel good looking. You get the idea. Who you hang around matters in terms of how you view yourself and your life.

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?

Please check out my web site at www.scu.edu/tplante and follow me on Twitter @ThomasPlante.

You might also like

Social Reciprocity Theory.wmv
Social Reciprocity Theory.wmv
♡ Comparison and Social Media! ♡
♡ Comparison and Social Media! ♡

There is a happy-medium

by blue-heron

To address a potential relationship with a guy, folks who want relationships DO want some emotional aspects of it. Sex-Alone IS the definitive NSA relationship, a.k.a. a non-relationship (in the classic sense).
More women want more emotional envolvement, more men want less emotional envolvement, but it really does depend upon the individual. To be fair, this is merely a distinction.
I find that "dating sites" are the more perfect method of finding personalities which are more accurately matched to our desires, although not perfectly perfect.
One can attend social events, dating, wandering about in the world aimlessly hoping to just 'run across' a potential suitable mate, but one will severely limit one's chances of success by not Refining the search, and services, where all pertinent data is cross-matched is most effective, IMHGO

Redleaf Press Theories of Childhood: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky
Book (Redleaf Press)
  • Used Book in Good Condition

Nonprofit: Mental health center offers children's camps  — The Missoulian
Camps are structured with activities for small groups and focused on social and emotional development. Activities will be provided in the new Full Circle facilities at 2921 W. Broadway. Slots will fill quickly.

Springer Handbook of Child Well-Being: Theories, Methods and Policies in Global Perspective
Book (Springer)
Palgrave Macmillan Attachment Reconsidered: Cultural Perspectives on a Western Theory (Culture, Mind and Society)
eBooks (Palgrave Macmillan)
Policy Press Lone parents, employment and social policy: Cross-national comparisons
Book (Policy Press)
Praeger Contemporary German Youth and Their Elders: A Generational Comparison (Contributions to the Study of Childhood and Youth)
Book (Praeger)