Serena, the heroine in Ian McEwan’s novel ‘Sweet Tooth’, was particularly good at (and loved) mathematics at school, so was admitted to Cambridge University to further her studies in the subject.
When she got there, though, she soon realised that while she’d been head and shoulders above her fellow school students, her aptitudes were as nothing when compared to the others on her Cambridge course. She hated it and did poorly.
Comparing yourself to others can be dangerous and demoralising, particularly if you’re feeling low-spirited and believe those around you aren’t.
Most of us are pretty adept at putting on a happy face when we’re feeling shabby inside, so unless you have a lot of evidence to the contrary, when you weigh up your mood against others you’re probably comparing apples and oranges – your interior and their exterior.
If you wish, compare yourself today with yourself yesterday – or last year. But measuring yourself against others is generally not a great recipe for happiness.