One of the fastest ways to feel like a victim is to compare yourself to others.
We may say to ourselves: “Why can’t I look that beautiful or be that smart or talented?” Another thought might be: “Down deep, I really don’t know what I am doing but it seems like other people do.” Or, “I wish I could get that kind of recognition from my boss.”
We create our own internal Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT)™ when we compare our self to others. The self-criticism becomes a Persecutor. When one part of us persecutes, another part feels like a Victim (our inner world is made up of many parts!). Once this dynamic is set in motion, we eventually will seek a Rescuer to ease the self-perpetuating frustration and anxiety.
The Rescuer might be a person or situation we hope will ease the pain. At this point we are treading on thin ice. We have created our own anxiety and are now looking for a Rescuer. Once we do that, we seek anything or anyone that will help us feel better. The Rescuer might be food, alcohol, drugs, an unhealthy relationship, wasting time, or any number of ways to help us numb the anxiety.
We also might engage in internal rescuing thoughts, which are a form of negative and judgmental comparisons. We might say to ourselves: “It’s OK. I shouldn’t feel bad. At least I am not as bad as so-and-so.” Now we are using critical and disparaging comparisons to rescue ourselves from our own self-criticism.
What is so toxic about the comparison strategy is that we can swing from putting ourselves down one moment, to criticizing ourselves or others the next. Whew! It takes a lot of energy to keep the comparison cycle going.
The key to breaking this cycle is to slow down and listen to your internal speech. Just notice. Do not be critical of your comparing thoughts! That will only make things worse.
When you hear yourself comparing, we suggest reflecting upon one thing you are grateful for. It might be as small as the cup of tea you are drinking. It might be telling yourself what you appreciate about others to whom you are comparing yourself (“I appreciate that she/he really is beautiful, smart, talented, etc.”). It is amazing how fast gratitude shifts the destructive comparison inner drama.
Commit yourself to ending the comparison cycle and you will notice less internal DDT chatter—which makes room for the Creator in you to emerge!