Her point was that people who are rude, uncaring and selfish seem to get ahead, while those who are considerate, empathic, and focused on helping others seem to struggle.
It certainly can seem this way, although, what I know now, after years of working with all kinds of people, is that appearances can be very deceptive. There’s always a lot more going on behind the scenes than you know and the more I thought about it, the more some really good points came to the surface that were helpful for me to consider, and so I thought I would share them with you.
- When people are rude and hurtful to others, it’s usually a way of dealing with their own deep pain. It can be an attempt to make themselves feel better by passing on some of their pain. True – that’s not a good thing to do, but sometimes when you’re in that much pain, you’ll do anything to ease it.
- People who are selfish and only think of themselves can actually teach us something. If you’re someone who never takes care of yourself, and is always focused on others at the expense of yourself, selfish people come into your life to show you that putting yourself last is not healthy. As an empath and an Enneagram number Two (the Helper) this was a lesson I had to learn for myself (am still learning). Putting yourself first actually allows you to do more for others – it is the opposite of selfish.
- Often we see people who seem to ‘have it all,’ and this may make us feel somewhat inadequate or lacking But you don’t know what’s really going on in their life. People who are focused only on outer success are often very lonely and dissatisfied. They often struggle with relationships – I know several people who are very successful financially and in business yet they struggle with relationships and they are unhappy. They have the success but don’t feel fulfilled.
- Comparing yourself to others will always leave you feeling dissatisfied. It’s a waste of your energy because by comparing you are giving your power away. Focus on yourself, what you want, and what you need to do for you, rather than on what other people are or are not doing or do or do not have.
- You never know what’s really going on for somebody else if you are not living their life and walking in their shoes. Assumptions can be very dangerous, and you really cannot go by appearances alone.
- If you’re highly sensitive and/or empathic you are one of just 20% of the population. This means that the majority of people are not like you and so comparing yourself to others is really counter-productive. Not many people will have the same sensory perceptions as you or the same levels of empathy, and will not be affected by the same things. If you expect them to, you will be very disappointed and frustrated indeed.
I think the message is clear. Put your attention on yourself and don’t worry about what others are doing. Things are rarely what they appear to be, and there are always more sides to any story. Yes, things often seem to be unfair and others may seem to have things easier than you - but instead of focusing on them, focus on you and what you can do to improve things for yourself. I promise you’ll be much happier.
Action Step: Make a note of any situation or person that is bringing up feelings of resentment in you. What is it about that person or situation that is upsetting to you? What is that telling you about you and are you willing to let it go?
This affirmation will help:
I release the need or desire to be concerned with what others are doing or to compare myself with anyone else. I give myself permission to focus on my own needs.
P.S. If you're really ready to free yourself not just from comparing to others, but from all the thoughts and beliefs that stand in the way of your own success and inner peace, check out the 30 Day Change Your Thoughts Challenge. It's a course that will change your life and make everything easier!