Are You Causing Your Own Unhappiness (Part 2 of 4)

In Part 1, we covered how the pursuit of THINGS can cause unhappiness.

Bill James-Wallace


Today, we’re looking at how comparison with others can be a Death Trap!

We all want to feel good, be happy. — Captain Obvious!

But, like anything, how we do that can have a good side 😇 and an evil 👿 side.

We all have an ego!

Ego, in psychoanalytic theory, that portion of the human personality which is experienced as the “self” or “I” and is in contact with the external world through perception [Emphasis mine]

This is the second level of happiness: Felix (ego gratification, achievements)

It’s how we perceive ourselves (see above definition) in relation to others.

“I am better than you!” and that makes me happy!

😈 It’s when:

  • we feel good about your arch nemesis at school failing a test.
  • or you both fail, but you scored higher than them (you both still failed, but we still find a spark of happiness)

😇 It’s when:

  • you achieve an award amongst your peers!
  • hit your sales goals for the first time!

Everyone likes admiration and winning. People see us and note our achievement. But have you ever been in a situation where someone else got the recognition and you didn’t — for achieving the same thing? You were happy. Not so much now!

What happened? Someone else happened!

There’s always a “but …”

So, if this type of happiness is based on recognition in the context of others, what happens when there is no “win” or positive comparison you can make?

What happens with you need a “win”, but none is forthcoming?

It can become a race to the bottom. Who am I better than? How far down do you want to go?

Statistically, there will always be people and situations you are better than.



Bill James-Wallace

I write about growth, self improvement and success! | Facilitator | Consultant | Tries to play golf. Runs a bit. | Interested in helping make life better.