Whether most people realize it or not, they live on a ladder. Where they stand on that ladder often determines what they believe about themselves. How many people they perceive to be below them impacts how important they feel. How many people they perceive to be above them also impacts how important they feel. Most people want to be at the top of the ladder so that they feel the most important.
One of the goals of living on the ladder is to get as many people below you as possible. You can do this in many different ways. You can put people down, make derogatory comments about them behind their backs, and spread vicious rumors about them. That shoves those people down the ladder quite easily. You can pinpoint all the ways you think you are better than people to move them on down the ladder whether you do it to their face or not. These types of actions sometimes propel you up the ladder, but only at another’s expense. Your climb to the top of the ladder can leave you quite alone because you have to hurt people to move up the ladder.
There are also those people who climb the ladder in a different manner. They admire those at the top of the ladder, aspiring to be like them. Often, they even chum up to them, pretending to be their friend. Yes, they work hard and make progress rung by rung. However, the progress depends on how well they can get those they perceive to be above them to pull them up the ladder.
The problem with this ladder is that you are always climbing it going up and down, up and down. Where you stand on the ladder is completely dependent on other people. It is rather exhausting. That ladder is social comparison.
When you base who you are and the decisions you make on what other people do or don’t do, you will always be on the ladder. Get off the ladder and just be who God made you to be. It’s a lot less tiring than climbing up and down an imaginary ladder over and over again!