General Question

wundayatta's avatar

How do you feel about being publicly compared to others?

Asked by wundayatta (58571points) November 2nd, 2010

I believe, but am not certain, that we are not allowed to ask questions such as, “do you like me?” Here on fluther. However there are other questions that it seems can be gotten away with. “Who is the best whatever?” Or “Who wrote the best question of all time?” Or, “Who do you want to take on your journey to the bottom of the Earth?”

When people answer these questions, they are bound to hurt some people’s feelings. If someone doesn’t appear on any list, it could really bother them. If someone has numerous friends and lists just a few, it could hurt the rest of their friends.

I think that people do compare themselves, whether they want to or not. It’s hard not to notice the lurve number. However, the comparisons occur in subtler ways, too—maybe evaluations of someone’s writing or their wisdom. I’m sure everyone has their favorites here—whether for wisdom or for humor or whatever.

I’m sure there are times that all of us could use a love-fest. People get depressed and are seeking a way out, and so they ask questions about what they should do about it. Usually several people express affection for the OP.

Being compared to others, though, risks not coming out well, and the feelings associated with that. Is the risk worth the reward for you? Or would you rather not have any overt comparisons ever? In your life, have there been any public situations where you have been judged, either for good or for bad? How did you feel when someone else was chosen instead of you? What did you say about the contest/comparison situation when you didn’t get a reward you thought you should have gotten?

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19 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

Comparison and criticism are inevitable in life, when you try and hide it away, all you really do is hide it from your self.

Knowing what others think of me would be better than knowing that i know im ignorant about my self.

JustmeAman's avatar

It doesn’t bother me unless it envolves someone I care about and that I care about their opinion. I think a good example of this is the last person picked on a team.

CMaz's avatar

I honestly could care less.
If no one wants to go to the bottom of the earth with me.
Their loss. BITCHES!

But @wundayatta , you make a good point. I have never been a fan of those questions.

I luv everyone on Fluther. Y’all have your own uniqueness . I see no need to single individuals out.
They will shine on their own time, and in their own way.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Here it doesn’t bother me. There are so many of us here, so many I’ve gotten to be friends with, it’s no big if someone doesn’t get mentioned, it’s probably an oversight. In RL it bothers me if I am judged negatively by someone I like and had no idea they felt that way.

Trillian's avatar

Nah. This is the internet, not my life. I’ll say that I’ve been surprised at a negative assessment a couple times by someone who I apparently offended without the benefit of an opportunity to defend myself, but that doesn’t make me lose sleep. You can’t make someone like you, or put your name on a “list”. Nor does being on the list enhance your life in any meaningful way.
Remind yourself that the internet allows for “niche” activity more readily than real life, so a few people out of an entre population of millions can get together and agree with each other and it seems like a majority, but really it is an illusion. So a bunch of people on this site who all think one way about something is really not a reflection of the world. Certainly not your world or mine, so don’t take it too seriously.

squirbel's avatar

Usually I like such encounters IRL, but I have had my feelings miffed occasionally online.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
nicobanks's avatar

I think this is one of those things that is a hard part of life that we should be prepared for and be reasonable about. Situations like this start when you’re a little, little kid – for whatever reason, you’re not included in something. Maybe it’s not “fair” but I’m sure we’ve all heard it: who said life is fair? We should all take reasonable steps to avoid unnecessary hurt feelings, but to a certain degree, we should also be emotionally strong enough to take an unintended hurt lightly, like water off a duck’s back, so to speak.

Of course we all have those days when our emotions are strung tight, when one thing after another happens and by the end we totally lose it over something small. It happens. Hopefully we’ll feel better about it the next morning – life goes on.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I got over being compared to anyone else, for whatever purpose, many, many years ago. I taught myself to compare myself to my own capabilities. I always found that I was performing below ability level by most measures, so I was too busy trying to improve my own performance to worry about being compared to anyone else’s. I highly recommend it. : )

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I.. have serious issues with comparison. I base entirely too much of my life on what other people think of me. Not to a point where I am not true to myself, but to a point where I will avoid entirely too much of life just to avoid being compared or judged.
Having said that, in most cases I just try to avoid the limelight. Of course I appreciate a bit of love or fawning just like the next person. The truth is, though, that making a big to-do out of it just makes me uncomfortable and I’m never really sure what to say. Making it a “public” thing, where everyone can kind of see what is being said to or about me, makes me squirm in my seat over here like you wouldn’t believe. I don’t like being put under a spotlight like that.
However, in the same vein, I usually join in discussions like that because I really enjoy showering people with affection. I am just the sort of person that really looks for an excuse to say something nice to someone, or throw out a compliment, just for the sake of making someone smile. That probably sounds corny, but it is true.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Praise and comparison are two different animals in my book. Who doesn’t like praise? Sure, some feel that they don’t necessarily need it, but it is nice if it is sincere, specific, and timely. There are others that consider praise one of their prime motivators.

Comparison, IMO, can end up generating ill-feelings, whether it is delivered publicly or privately. Think about all of the children who have heard from their parents, “Why can’t you be more like your sibling?”, or from a supervisor, “You need to be more like ____ when it comes to _____.”

As for the Fluther examples given in the 1st paragraph of the question, I don’t personally have an issue with any of those. They are soliciting positive feedback based upon personal opinions or facts and are not calling for a vote that requires comparison. If it makes a Jelly uncomfortable, it can be skipped. If someone were to ask, “Who is better at giving food recommendations: @A or @B,?” then I hope it would get moderated faster than a speeding bullet.

I do get a tad annoyed when someone posts, ”@____’s answer “FTW (for the win). Who designated that person the judge? Either mark it with a GA or post a public or private “I agree with you”. There is always the chance that an even better answer could come along.

The bottom line is that empathy and sensitivity levels in each human run the full spectrum. It is a matter of being tactful while being realistic. Sugar-coating an answer can be just as ineffective as throwing a cold bucket of water on someone, particularly if you don’t know how they are wired.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

When online, I kind of like questions like that; they’re fun! But I don’t like comparison sentences like, “I wish you could be more like ‘so and so’”.

@ChazMaz I’ll go to the bottom of the earth with you. I’ll even bring Vodka!

downtide's avatar

I never read or participate in those threads that ask people to say nice things about others, because no-one ever mentions me and that just makes me depressed. Ironically I find compliments equally hard to take because my experience of receiving them is that too often they’re either a deliberate lie, or because the other person wants something from me. I did get a genuine compliment from someone on Fluther just a few days ago though, and that was really nice.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Growing up, people always used to compare my sister and I. Always. For her, whenever she did a really good job on something, it was, “You’re SO smart!”, and then they’d look over at me and say, “And Sara, you’re so pretty!”. Even when I did a really good job on something, I was never praised by any adults around me, including my own parents. It was horrifying for me, because I was far from stupid or below standard – and it murdered my confidence. To this day, I refuse to speak up about things in front of people, if I feel that my intelligence might be called into question. Deep down, I know it’s ridiculous, because I’ve always done better than average in school, but I can’t shake it.

YARNLADY's avatar

Comparison is a valuable part of life. By using it, we can find the path that will most likely lead to our goals. If we just take everything, willy-nilly we have no way to measure progress. I chose comparison.

CMaz's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate – You will will do anything for Chocolate.

Good thing I have a bag full of it. LETS GO!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@ChazMaz Pffft! I have a cauldron full of it…

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