- Interrupt your comparison game.
If you spend time on the comparison game (even if it doesn't seem like much time to you), be aware of what you're doing and interrupt yourself. This is kind of like stopping a toddler before he or she touches the hot burner on a stove.
See what's happening in your mind and interrupt yourself. The interruption can be you literally saying to yourself, “STOP!” It could be you laughing and thinking, “There I go, comparing again.”
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The interruption might involve physical movement too. Some people find it helpful to literally move their bodies. Get up from your chair. Step outside to clear your head. Put on some music. Do whatever it takes to stop the momentum of the comparison game.
Whatever you can do to pause and give yourself a chance to make a choice about what you will continue to focus upon, the more in control of your own happiness and fulfillment you will be.
- Listen to the need behind the game.
After the interruption, get curious. Try to understand what is pulling you to compare yourself (or your partner) to others. Look behind the game and figure out what your need is right now.
This might mean that you have a need to feel important, special or valuable-- to yourself and/or to your partner. It could mean that something about your relationship feels lacking. If so, what is it?
The more you can uncover what you need at this moment without blame or getting stuck in a story of why you do (or don't) deserve to have your need met, the easier this process will be.
Once you know what your need is, take steps to have that need met. You're going to feel more fulfilled and confident about yourself and your relationship if you can meet your own needs as best as you can.
Is there are way you can affirm to yourself that you do matter and that you are special?
Find ways to appreciate and value yourself-- and your partner-- that don't involve a comparison. This is new way of thinking for many of us, so keep trying. The more you practice, the more adept you'll get at this.
We don't mean that your partner is off the hook and gets to mistreat you. Make requests and set boundaries to ensure that your partner is giving you the kind of love and kindness you're craving.
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Just know that you can more fully receive love, attention and respect from your partner when you don't make him or her solely responsible for how you feel about yourself.
Remember, the comparison game starts with you and it can stop with you. Free yourself to live and love the way that you want to.
Susie and Otto Collins are relationship coaches and authors who help couples communicate, connect and create the relationship they desire. Click here to get their free ebook, Passionate Heart-Lasting Love.