What kind of person am I compared to others?

Medically reviewed by Andrea Brant, LMHC
Updated January 3, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

What kind of person am I compared to the people I know? At some time during their development as a healthy person, nearly everyone asks this question. However, despite how common this can be, research shows that comparing yourself to others can have negative effects on your health and well-being. There's generally nothing wrong with wanting to find your place among others. It can be part of the process of understanding who you are. However, you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice who you are just so you can fit in. Sometimes, it can be helpful to ask yourself what kind of person you are for the purpose of introspection or self-improvement. Still, in general, it can be best to accept that you are unique and do not need to compare yourself to others. For help with self-esteem and learning to accept yourself for who you are, you might consider online or in-person therapy.

Explore the tendency to compare yourself to others

You are uniquely you

No one else may have your combination of physical and emotional characteristics and life experiences. No matter how hard you try to compare yourself to others, it may feel impossible to come to a conclusion that describes the differences exactly. Not only may you be unique, but it can be normal to be unique. That generally means you shouldn't have to fit in with everyone else or try to be like everyone else. For this reason, comparisons don’t often lead to greater well-being or an accurate picture of who you are.

Comparisons to others aren't always helpful

While there may be occasions when comparisons to others can provide some motivation, research shows that comparing yourself to others can be detrimental to your mental health. Comparisons can lead to low self-confidence and even depression. This may decrease your desire to improve in ways that help you reach your true potential.

On the other hand, comparisons can sometimes make you feel good if you think you compare favorably to others in some area of life, but that may not be a healthy, lasting form of confidence. Someone who believes they compare favorably may end up caring less about others around them, which could be harmful to their relationships with friends, family, and coworkers. 

Getty/Xavier Lorenzo

When is it helpful to ask "What kind of person am I?"

There may be three main instances when it may be helpful to ask what kind of person you are. 

First, you can work on improving some aspects of yourself if you believe someone in your life is a healthy role model in those areas. 

Second, with the guidance of a licensed mental health professional, you may gain valuable information about your mental health if you notice that you think or behave differently from others. 

Finally, you can build your self-esteem to a healthy level if you see that you are similar to people you admire.

By looking at each of these things, you may be able to discover more about yourself and determine whether you should start doing something to change. For example, if you admire someone for being an excellent listener, you might start practicing strategies to become a more careful, empathetic listener to those around you. 

If you notice someone else has developed a strong physical or mental health routine, you can begin to implement some strategies to improve your own health, such as regular exercise or mindfulness meditation

These may be strategies that can help you improve certain aspects of your life without changing who you are as a person. As you begin to notice improvement in these areas, you may find a healthier, more accurate point of comparison—between the you of the past and the you of the present moment.

What to do when comparisons become overwhelming

Just like everything else about you, the way you think about things is likely going to be different from how others think. You have probably had different life experiences and offer different thoughts and insights than other people do. However, some things you may notice can be signs of a potential problem. If you notice that you are experiencing symptoms of depression or that your moods tend to change frequently, you may want to talk with an experienced therapist to find out more.

Explore the tendency to compare yourself to others

If your comparisons make you feel sad, lonely, or inadequate, you may find it helpful to assess the validity of the conclusions you've drawn. Are you being too hard on yourself? Do you have unrealistic expectations for yourself? If you are doing either of these things, or if you know there are things about yourself you'd like to change, you may benefit from talking to a licensed therapist.

Benefits of online therapy 

With BetterHelp, you can attend therapy from the comfort of your home, and you can contact your therapist via phone, videoconference, or live chat. This can add convenience and flexibility to the therapy process. When discussing potentially vulnerable topics like comparison and self-acceptance, speaking virtually rather than face-to-face can feel safer for some people.

Effectiveness of online therapy

Online therapy can be an effective way to address a variety of psychological concerns. If you’re prone to wondering what kind of person you are compared to others, you may be living with low self-esteem. One study looked into the efficacy of online therapy for cultivating self-compassion and found that the “participants reported significant increases in self-compassion and happiness and significant decreases in depression, stress, and emotion regulation difficulties.”


It can be normal to wonder, “What kind of person am I compared to others?” However, comparison can sometimes become unhealthy, especially if it leads you to feel as if you need to change yourself in order to be more like others or to fit in. Sometimes, frequent comparison can be a sign of low self-esteem and a lack of self-compassion. It can be helpful to work with a licensed therapist to gain an appreciation for yourself as you are.
You are deserving of positive self-esteem
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