When deciding which theory or concept I would apply to my life, I considered which application my classmates would write about. I do this with every paper I am assigned. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m older or because there is more females in the classroom or even if religion and morals are involved. With this being said, I chose social-comparison as my topic.
Social-comparison can be defined as reviewing one’s thoughts and actions by comparing oneself with others. (Social Psychology, Meyers, chapter 2) Others around us help shape the person we become. From our employment, family, classmates in school, to our church and city we live in, these are the factors that we respond to every day that assist us in defining who we are.
I work in an office where half of its staff meet with customers outside the office. We are allowed to dress in business casual attire except when there is an executive staff meeting, event function or we’re going to see a client. My department handles mostly phone contacts from customers, so we don’t have to dress in business attire too much. A customer came in the office to give a donation. I stated that someday I would like to be able to give a large donation like him. He stated, “You will”. I smiled at the thought of me giving a large donation. What is it I have to do, to give a large donation and be in the elite group that this donor is in? Do I dress like him? Get an education like him? Speak like him? Maybe I have to be in the same social group as him to succeed. This can be discouraging when we don’t match up to what we perceive as success. I began to ask am I successful? Social comparisons can also diminish our satisfaction. (Social Psychology, Meyers, chapter 2).
In comparing myself to my customer, I’ve asked questions that you would think would help me to make a change in my life in order to