Same traits, But it Kills

Written by

Ucheckwu Uzougbo

July 9, 2020

I attended the same secondary school as my elder sister. She’s that type that will collect all the academical prizes during the awards and prize-giving day. To say that she’s super brilliant is an understatement. As a result, every teacher knew her, and she was quite popular among the students as well.

But the unintended consequences of her academic success were on me. Every teacher believes I should be as good as her and the expectations of the students were too much for me to bear. Getting into senior secondary school did not help matters. The comparison got really bad; my attitude was on the check, my grades where constantly being monitored, and I was asked more difficult questions than every other student in the class.

When it was time for introduction, and I called my surname, statements like – “oh Ngozi’s sister, right? She was very brilliant. I hope you are too” โ€“ was not uncommon. It was a bit difficult for me; to make matters worse, she was a senior prefect, and I wasn’t qualified to be one when it was time. I almost died, lol, but that aside, I had to prove myself every time to people. Subtly, I hated such a comparison.

So, my niece and nephew came visiting during the holiday recently, and I noticed that anytime I wanted to correct her I would say “stop doing this, can’t you see your brother doesn’t!” Because she is way more hyperactive than him. But later in my quiet time, I realized I was doing to my niece the same thing they were doing to me back then.

It suddenly dawned on me that I was not in any way better than those teachers and students that wanted me to be just like my sister. Regardless of the good intention I had, I realized I had started passing the same trait of comparison I suffered during my secondary school days. You might have fallen victim to this comparison syndrome as well โ€“ whether as an object of comparison or as somebody that unduly compares two people, especially children.

Like many others, I wouldn’t want my niece to feel the same way I did. Unhealthy comparison causes more harm than good, and here are three reasons:

Comparison stalls a person’s progress: If you spend your time comparing someone, you hinder the person’s ability to reach its highest point. It’s like wanting the fish to jump like a monkey or the monkey to swim like a fish.
No one has a perfect life: Everyone is uniquely created, even when we have our flaws, but that’s what makes us unique individuals. There would always be someone better, someone, more organized, more intelligent, even more, good looking. But that shouldn’t make you inferior; after all, there will also be somebody you are better than.
Comparison turns friends or siblings to rivals:ย It kills that genuine love both has for each other.

In whatever you do, do your best to resist the temptation of comparing. The urge can be strong sometimes but always find an alternative to correct. Focus on improving the individual because our beauty is in our diversity.

Have you ever being unduly compared? Does it have any negative impact on you? I would love to hear your story. You can share it with us using the comment section. You can also let us know if there are better ways to handle the unhealthy competition.

Uchechukwu Uzougbo

Uchechukwu Uzougbo

Author

Uchechukwu Uzougbo is an entrepreneur, CEO xm! Couture, a writer, poet and a content creator. Presently an intern at Alnick Consultant and investment curating ideas for capacity building and a volunteer at TMI Africa. Her love for public speaking and writing has propelled her to be more involved in the lives of passionate youths, drawing them to Christ and presently developing A talk with UC brand where everyday life challenges are discussed. Uchechukwu believes everyone has the destiny to fulfil here on earth with consistency and a positive attitude it would be achieved. Uchechukwu is tenacious, fun-loving and friendly. Amongst her other skills are graphics designing and baking.
19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Oboreh marvellous

    Comparison kills one’s esteem!, indeed a terrible seed to sow,thank God for remembering how it made you feel terrible and not instilling it on your niece.well done dearest!๐Ÿ˜˜

    Reply
  2. Nkem

    Beautiful writeup ucheโค

    Reply
  3. B

    Wow, A great message you just made my day with this, thanks for telling me everyone is special in one way or the other. Thanks for making me feel special ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’™

    Reply
    • Ucheckwu Uzougbo

      Thanks dear

      Reply
  4. Egar Deborah

    Most times the people we compare ourselves to have their own flaws and mistakes. All I’ll say is, see the good part in them and emulate them but one thing is always try being you… In public or in private. Nice write up Uche. God bless your hands and uplift them in Jesus name. Amen.

    Reply
    • Ucheckwu Uzougbo

      Exactly dear, “emulate them” thanks a lot

      Reply
  5. Onyinye

    Unhealthy comparison has a way of bringing down one’s self esteem if not handled properly. I believe most people experienced it one way or the other, let’s watch what we say to others ,it breaks or build one’s life. Great write up uche๐Ÿ‘

    Reply
    • Ucheckwu Uzougbo

      Exactly, thank you ma

      Reply
    • Inem

      This is really beautiful! ๐Ÿ˜
      Indeed we have flaws and that’s what makes us unique!

      Reply
      • Ucheckwu Uzougbo

        Thanks dear

        Reply
  6. Esther

    This is really beautiful. Keep it up ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

    Reply
    • Ucheckwu Uzougbo

      Thank you dear

      Reply
  7. Helen

    What I did when I was being compared with a close friend of mine was to Focus on my strengths. Instead of looking at my weaknesses.. Ask yourself what your strengths are. Celebrate them! Be proud of them. Donโ€™t brag, but feel good about them and work on using them to your best advantage…

    Reply
    • Ucheckwu Uzougbo

      Wow that’s really good!

      Reply
  8. Emakpor

    I would love to add this on how to handle unhealthy competition… Be OK with imperfection: No one is perfect. intellectually, we all know that, but emotionally we seem to feel bad when we donโ€™t reach perfection. You arenโ€™t perfect and you never will be. I certainly am not, and Iโ€™ve learned to be OK with that. Sure, keep trying to improve, but donโ€™t think youโ€™ll ever be the โ€œperfect personโ€. If you look at it in a different way, that imperfection is what makes you who you are, you already are perfect.

    Reply
    • Ucheckwu Uzougbo

      Wise words my dear.

      Reply
  9. Yhubi

    Oh yes, I’ve be compared serveral times and I never had a good feeling about it.
    Nice work!! Keep it up!!

    Reply
    • Chinedum

      Your right. Our little imperfection is what makes us who and what we are – Perfect. Though we strive for greater perfection.
      Keep it burning Uche, you are doing great.

      Reply
      • Ucheckwu Uzougbo

        Exactly thanks ma

        Reply

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