Social LifeSocial Problems

Social Comparison

As social beings, we are certainly dependent on others, as we, ourselves, are unable to fulfill every single wants and needs that we, ourselves, requires. We need to be surrounded by others that could help us survive and fulfill the demands we need to do so. Hence, the relationship we have made with others, like for example, we would need farmers to plant rice for us to fulfill our daily need to consume rice as our food and the farmers would need us, the consumers, to give them the resources (money) for them to keep on planting rice and finance their daily necessities too. The relationship as such can be classified as a mutualistic symbiosis, which is where the parties involved in the relationship have something to gain from being in the relationship.

With the different roles people play in a community, it is bound for the community or society to have a socioeconomic structure. Socioeconomic structure is a concept in which, people are sorted into a structure based on their economical levels. It is common that people with lower economic level to be sorted into the lower parts of the structure and people with higher economic level to be sorted on top of the structure. This is usually the main drive for a lot of people to work better jobs and earn better/ higher income, which usually causes people to become workaholics.

With a structure established within a community, people tend to compare themselves to others in the structure lower or higher than the level they are in. The theory of this is called social comparison, where people compare themselves with either their past, their future plans or others. Social comparison are usually done by people to make themselves feel assured and safe in the position they’re in.
Social comparison towards people in a higher level can be the drive to learn and improve one’s self to be better, in order to get into a higher level, which is definitely a good thing. But social comparison is often misused as people tend to use it to compare themselves to people in a lower level and think of how lucky they are to not be in that level. It is definitely a good thing to be grateful for everything, but instead of looking down to feel superior over people that are below in the social structure, people should look up, improves self and tries hard to get into the a higher level in the structure, as social comparison can be a great motivation for self-improvement for people who aspire to be better in person, in character and in the socioeconomic structure.

A person has to constantly be improving one’s self as that is how a person grows and that is just the entire point of living. To constantly be better to help make the world a better place. And to start doing that is to have self-motivation to reach the goal of becoming a better person. A good self-motivation should definitely be a positive one and should always be the driving force that can push yourself to reach the goal of becoming a better version of yourself. A goal and motivation is not complete without a concrete plan on how to achieve the goal. Most people require concrete plans as a way to guide them in achieving their goals. A good plan involves good guidelines that can help people to achieve their goals step by step without getting off track.

Social comparison can be a motivational drive for a person to grow if it’s being used to look upwards to try to be on a higher level, but can be very damaging as it could create the feeling of scorn if is being used to look downwards on the structure.

(c) Grace Monica, April 2018
(Intern Student from Kanaan Global School)

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