Reflections Self-Care

How to Battle The Comparison Game on Instagram

how to battle the comparison game

Social media is not real life.

I don’t think that can be said too many times. Can I get an amen? I know I personally need to be reminded of this on the reg. Because even though I KNOW this, I still find myself “falling” for the marketing schemes of fellow digital influencers, which is that things are exactly as they appear. But let’s shed some light on that notion. Most of the time, the reality of the situation is that things are most certainly not always as they appear – or as we’re led to believe by way of imagery, snapchat, etc.

The fact of the matter is that the job of a digital influencer is to do just that – influence. And a lot of the time, influence means inspiring by way of portraying “the ideal”.

I don’t mean to discount bloggers (HELLO! I am one!), but I’m just stating the fact that most of the photos are a little staged. Because they have to be; it’s just the nature of the business. Unfortunately, there are not cameras that follow us around 24/7, so if we want to capture a moment, we have to create it.

But anyway, I’m just reminding you of the reality and encouraging you to remember this truth the next time you’re fighting comparison. More on this to come (hopefully in future blog posts). I just wanted to state that things aren’t always as they seem. Even I fall for it, which makes me laugh because I know what goes into getting a good photo! And trust me, it’s not as easy as it looks!

But just in case you needed someone to tell you AGAIN, here I am. (hi!) Remember that the photos/lifestyle are just that – a projection. You don’t know what the reality of the situation is like or what their day actually looked like; you can only see what they chose to “project” or share with you. And us bloggers are good at tailoring what we share so that you get the best snapshot of our lives. Remember that it’s believable because it’s supposed to be.

What to Do When You Fall Into the Instagram Comparison Trap

It has basically become part of the new norm – playing the comparison game. It’s always been something humans struggle with, but social media has brought the issue to a whole new level! So I just accept that it’ll continue to happen no matter how hard I try to fight it.

The important thing to learn and recognize is that it’s HOW you respond to these feelings that will make all the difference. So accept that it’s normal, but be proactive in how you deal with it.

Here are a few tips I’ve come up with to help you do this well. Just to be clear, I’m more so talking about the comparison game when it comes to influencers and people on social media who “curate” images.

Admit you’re playing the comparison game

Well, first and foremost, recognize that you’ve fallen into a TRAP (because that’s what it is!). And admit the simple fact that you are comparing yourself. Sometimes we do this in our subconscious and there is power in actually admitting it to ourselves and bringing it into the forefront of our mind.

Don’t Be Fooled; Bring in the truth

Accept and appreciate that what you see is the ideal and that it’s either someone’s job to get cool photos like that, or they’re adding to their brand (usually).

Imagine what it was like to take that photo

Remind yourself that they had to “get” that photo – try to imagine what that situation looked like. Who took the photo? How did they capture that moment so perfectly? Even just considering these two questions will make you feel a little better about yourself and your situation.

Purge who you’re following

If this person always makes you feel bad about yourself, then do yourself a favor unfollow. Part of being an influencer is providing inspiration – which hopefully you get from those you choose to follow – but if not, #bye. You’re supposed to be inspired and not feel worse about yourself because of what something is posting. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Don’t let their awesomeness discount yours.

In other words, just because she’s pretty or having a really cool experience (like, all the time…) doesn’t say anything about you or your life. You can both be pretty and awesome. I know it sounds silly, but it helps me to think like this. And also, it doesn’t diminish how pretty or awesome you are.

Get off social media!

Taking a break is always a good idea! I have to do it almost every other day and that’s okay. When you feel yourself getting to down-in-the-pits over where you are in life (in comparison to hers), free yourself from that by just simply cutting it out of your life! I promise it’ll still be waiting for you when you choose to come back.

Do something to lift your spirits

Get off the couch and do something for yourself! Get dressed or do the dishes or something that will move your life forward! Shifting your focus will make the world of a difference! And I guarantee you that energy spent on doing something will be better than sitting there watching someone else ;)

I’m sure I could go on about this FOREVER, but in all honesty, it’s something I think about pretty much every single day. Which is silly because looking at social media is a choice, but it’s also part of my job. But still, I think I could handle things much better – and I’m guessing I’m not the only one who feels like that. Maybe? Either way, I thought it was important to be honest about my social media life as an influencer, and to let you know that I struggle with it to. Also, my life is very hot-messy – which I’m trying to show more of!

If you can add to this conversation, ya’ll, please do. It makes me feel less alone slash like I’m going somewhere with honest talks like this. So plz comment if you feel like it!


FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT – lol.

After writing this post, I was inspired to go through some of my photos and tell you what was actually going on or give you some insight to what was happening behind the scenes:

I don’t always look glamorous working at coffee shops. In fact, I rarely work at coffee shops and when I do, 9 out of 10 times I’m wearing leggings and an oversized sweatshirt because it’s always freezing!

Where am I taking these flowers? I was in NYC and literally bought the flowers for the shoot at a corner shop.

My office is never this organized. Like, never. I rarely even work in here if I’m being completely honest!

This isn’t even my pool!

My coffee is so cold by the time I actually got this picture!

I didn’t even workout today…

I’m wearing a swimsuit. And my photographer is literally in the bathroom right now taking this photo…

“I don’t sit by the fire with my purse”

Photo: 4965/9427 – this photo took SO MANY TRIES!

There is no food in my basket…

Well for this one, I’ll be honest. This is what traveling actually looks like! But….

this is what I wish it looked like all the time! I was just having a good day haha!

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54 Comments

  • Reply
    Syreeta
    December 12, 2017 at 12:05 am

    I have suffered many episodes of depression from social media. There were so many times that I’d see post from people who seem to travel to a different country like every other post and here I am with my lousy life stuck between work and the sofa or that one pretty woman who seems to wake up extremely beautiful with a stream of followers worshiping her perfect fave and body meanwhile Im over here bloated, serious bed-head and dark circles under my eyes hating myself for the way I look, or those foodies who seem like they dine in Paris every night while I’m eating grilled cheese and tomato soup hating myself for not being like them. Or those people who post their “prodigy” modelesque children meanwhile I’m over here struggling with invitro… social media hurts sometimes and can have you taking a long hard look at all of your flaws and failures. But I appreciate your honesty, it was funny and uplifting. The best advice that you gave is to unfollow anyone who makes you feel bad about your life, if it doesn’t inspire you unfollow! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Sasha
    November 17, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Brighton, this post was incredible! I love how transparent you are and the reminder that everyone has insta envy lol! Also it was really eye opening to hear about the “behind the scenes” for each photo, the bath tub one made me laugh!
    Blessings,
    Sasha

  • Reply
    My Favorite Posts of October – Better Late Than Never
    October 26, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    […] Article: How to Battle the Comparison Game on Instagram […]

  • Reply
    Bloggers Who Get It (Social Media) – The Socialite
    October 25, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    […] to follow if you want your daily dose of fashion, served with some realness. She often talks about how Instagram can create a comparison trap (this post is hilarious – check out the behind the scenes bloggers don’t share) and […]

  • Reply
    Katie
    October 18, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    BAHAHAHAH ” I dont sit by the fire with my purse”. That’s hilarious!!!!!! Can’t stop laughing at these. Thanks for being real and fun!

  • Reply
    Renee
    October 17, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Such a great inspiring and honest post. The behind the scenes looks with the captions were perfect and really show a bit more of who you are in real life. 😊

  • Reply
    Carrie
    October 17, 2017 at 10:10 am

    OMG … those explanations CRACKED ME UP!!! Thanks for keeping it real! I post pics of my home on IG and people always ask me how I keep it so clean …. DUH … I throw all the shit just outside of the lens of my camera when I take pics! Not to mention, I try to clean up a bit for photoshoots!

  • Reply
    Stacey
    October 16, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    I love this post. I had to take a break from social media the other day because it got to be too much for me. I felt so much better after taking a break. I know that I will still struggle with it again, but knowing the truth behind the photos always helps.

    xoxo
    Stacey
    @stylingsofstacey | http://staceylyynn.wixsite.com/stylingsofstacey

  • Reply
    Christine T
    October 16, 2017 at 12:58 am

    Thanks for keeping it real, Brighton!!!

  • Reply
    Jehava
    October 13, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    LOL! I love this so much! So much truth in all we go through to take good pics! Great reminders too!

  • Reply
    Megan Pate
    October 12, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    I just love this post so much! Another fashion blogger shared a link of this for her folowers to see and I just had to check it out! I look forward to following you now too! Being a Light is more important than ever and I can truly see the light of Jesus shinning threw you ! I never comment or really read a lot of blog posts but this just really pulled me in! Bless you and you just keep letting that light shine girl! ❤️Meg

    • Reply
      Brighton Keller
      October 13, 2017 at 12:28 am

      awww I want to thank that blogger! Do you remember who it was – how sweet of her!! Thanks so much for commenting – you should stop by and say hello more often, it makes it so much more fun :) Thanks again for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Brooke
    October 12, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    This is amazing. Probably my favorite post ever. Thank you for keeping it real!

    • Reply
      Brighton Keller
      October 13, 2017 at 12:29 am

      awww yay! thanks Brooke! question – do you get an email when I respond??

  • Reply
    Lauren
    October 11, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    Loved this post! It’s indeed such an easy trap to fall into. It’s refreshing to know someone as successful as you still falls into it as well though. And btw, your bts captions are hilarious!

  • Reply
    Margret
    October 11, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    This is an amazing post and you are amazing for sharing it!! Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Lauren Nowaczyk
    October 11, 2017 at 12:58 am

    I love you! I love this post! The BTS were hilarious! So glad to know someone as successful in this business as you, has the same feelings that I do!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    October 10, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    I love this and thanks for being real. Can we also talk about how likes don’t mean anything ? It’s so easy to fall into the comparison game with likes.

  • Reply
    Barbara Benton
    October 10, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    My sweet Brighton ….. somehow or other I missed being subscribed to your blog, and when I realized it, this was the first post I got …. too perfect! It makes me happy to see you sharing your kind heart and warm soul with others – what a blessing you are to so many. Keep up the good work – I will enjoy being one of your readers! Love you … mrs. benton

    • Reply
      Brighton Keller
      October 13, 2017 at 12:27 am

      OMG HIIIII long longggggg lost friend! How wonderful to hear from you!! HELLO!! This was such an amazing comment to read! Made my day!! THanks so much Mrs. benton! I miss you!!! and love you too!

  • Reply
    Olivia
    October 10, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Oh my gosh I loved this post so much! I fall into the comparison trap way too often, and this is such a good reminder to take a step back and realize that the people you’re comparing yourself to are trying just as hard as you are to make it look like they have their sh** together online 😂

  • Reply
    Alyssa
    October 10, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Haha! The comparison game is so real but so UGH at the same time. I’m a blogger but I’m honestly sitting at home in leggings and a sweatshirt most of the time when I’m working, and it’s so hard for me to dress up for shoots. I’m amazed at your travel photos – you always look so cute when you’re traveling! (Are those your real travel outfits or just for photos?)

  • Reply
    Kaitlin
    October 10, 2017 at 11:25 am

    HANDS DOWN one of my fave posts lately!!! I was for real loling at your commentary on what was actually going on in some of your pics :)

    – Kaitlin

  • Reply
    Tomi
    October 10, 2017 at 10:13 am

    This is such a good idea, Brighton! Thank you for showing the reality behind posed photos.

    xx, Tomi
    http://goodtomicha.com

  • Reply
    Alyson Banks
    October 10, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Love, love LOVE your honesty and openness! That is one of my favorite things about following you. You’re so real and relate-able and positive! <3 Thank you for being encouraging and reminding us that it's not always as perfect as it seems. I know this is something I struggle with on a daily basis!!

  • Reply
    Stacie
    October 10, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Thank you for your transparency.

  • Reply
    Chay
    October 10, 2017 at 7:41 am

    This is so awesome! I love reading your blog because you are so funny and down to earth. You have a great sense of style, and you don’t take yourself too seriously. Basically everything I look for in a fashion blog! Ha!

  • Reply
    Molly
    October 10, 2017 at 7:19 am

    Definitely something we all fall prey to- thanks for writing about something as all struggle with!! Loved your commentary on your own pics :)

    http://www.mollyonthemoveblog.com

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    October 10, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Great post!!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    October 9, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Love this post!! It is all so true! Glad to know I’m not the only one:) I agree – I have to unplug all the time!

    Loved the photos, it gave me a good laugh!!!

  • Reply
    Kailey Payne
    October 9, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    This is such a great post!! It’s so easy to get caught up in the comparison game ESPECIALLY as a blogger. It’s sad because I’ve actually been the victim of some girls who I thought were friends saying mean things behind my back because they are also fellow bloggers and instead of being cool with us being friends and supporting each other they feel like we are competing and it’s a comparison game. But I totally agree, just because they are fabulous and gorgeous doesn’t discredit our own awesomeness! We can all be awesome at the same time! Love love love this, and love you!! Thank you so much for sharing and continuing to inspire other women ❤️

  • Reply
    Elissa berg
    October 9, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    I honestly can’t get enough of you! You are such a real and amazing instagramer and blogger. Every time I leave your page, I am encouraged! ❤️❤️ Thanks for the honest blog post! It’s weird for me to imagine YOU doing comparing, because you always seem so perfect! But lately I’ve been loving your upfront and honest posts! Keep doing you! It encourages this gal! 👌🏻👌🏻😊

  • Reply
    Melanie
    October 9, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    #preach Lol love this post!

  • Reply
    Annaliese
    October 9, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    I always love posts where you can hear the story behind the photo!! Such great tips Brighton!! Good reminders for sure :)

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  • Reply
    Heather
    October 9, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Haha loved this post! Thank you for bring a realness to your blog :):)

  • Reply
    Michael @ Mile in My Glasses
    October 9, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    I loved this Brighton! I absolutely love your Instagram, it’s fantastic! I’m really loving the network right now – it’s so much fun!

    I hope you have a great Monday,
    Michael
    https://www.mileinmyglasses.com

  • Reply
    Simone
    October 9, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Also, that cardigan looks so dreamy!

  • Reply
    Simone
    October 9, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    I absolutely loved this! Such a great reminder – especially for us women (the comparison queens!) In “So Long Insecurity” Beth Moore said (and this is a complete paraphrase!!) that when we walk into a room, we want to give plus or minus signs to women – we unintentionally start rating ourselves by looks, abilities, lifestyle and even raise ourselves higher or lower – but that we DON’T HAVE TO DO THAT. I constantly have to remind myself that just because she has “x” or “y” it doesn’t make me or her any less. We can both be equally wonderful and pretty. It’s amazing how we love to trap ourselves in this game that quite frankly, no one wants to play or be a part of. I think when I realize that I am feeling negative towards someone because they have more or look more, etc. I am doing them such a disfavor and they don’t deserve me being mean (or thinking mean thoughts) just because I feel insecure.

  • Reply
    Lilly Gorman
    October 9, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I love this. It’s such a great reminder to stay true to ourselves because it’s so, so easy to fall into the trap of comparison for sure! You’re beautiful inside + out! Thank you for sharing.

    https://batalidioranddeweywalkintoabar.com/

  • Reply
    Karen
    October 9, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    LOLOL. Really, you don’t sit by the fire with your purse nearby? :) Related to this topic, I have a friend whose sister is a print model. She is middle aged now, very pretty and recently posed on a yacht with a handsome (gay) man, toasting one another in the setting sun with champagne glasses, as if they were a couple in love after years and years of marriage. One of those shots that makes me want to cut it out and put it on the fridge door to remind me of what I aspire to. However, in real life this woman, posing all lovely and happy on the luxury boat, is a prescription drug addict and has a very dysfunctional and unhappy marriage with kids who exhibit the effect of both of those things. I often remember that print add and her reality when I see the little vignettes (stories) that photographs always seem to tell…perfect people and perfect lives….the true story is most often far less attractive. You have control over one life…yours. Let’s stop living our lives trying to live up to fake-stories.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    October 9, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Great post! Love the pic with all the hats! Your sense of humor is refreshing.

  • Reply
    Camryn Glackin
    October 9, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    I was in this twisty tension for a long-time trying to figure out, “Can I really post about fashion and beauty? AND still be pointing others to Jesus?! Slash how do you do that when blogging is a world about external things knowing our lives are about the eternal??” And just so you know, you’re doing it so well (!!!). Encouraged by you and I hope you get to rest in the fact that you’ve created a space that is beautiful AND authentic. Thanks friend :)

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    October 9, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    LOVE everything about this post! Thanks for keep it real and then the instagram pictures and real comments at the end = EVERYTHING! :)

  • Reply
    Lauren Oliver
    October 9, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Seriously loved this post! It was too funny! It’s so difficult seeing other people’s fabulous photos all the time, and wishing you could do the same, but this post totally reminded me that it’s all staged and not real life… thank you for sharing this! LOL

    Lauren
    http://oliverstwistblog.com

  • Reply
    Natalie
    October 9, 2017 at 11:55 am

    This post was so awesome and real! I loved it. Loved how you included photos and what was happening. Love your honesty!!

    • Reply
      Brighton Keller
      October 9, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      Thanks Natalie! I try to keep things as real as possible over here! or I try to :)

  • Reply
    Anett
    October 9, 2017 at 11:44 am

    The hat pile! 😂 Just last week I flew from Greece to rainy Oslo. I had to wear my hat in the pouring rain and in the taxi queue in Oslo the wind caught hold of it and I had do ditch my luggage and run between the taxis (all male non-chic driver, I’d guess) to retrieve the hat as it was rolling through the puddles. I felt so silly, butI’d do it again. A girl needs her hat in the sun!

  • Reply
    suzanne devaney
    October 9, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Hey Brighton! loved this amusing view of the unreality-reality of instagram..Your warmth and honesty is refreshing.

    • Reply
      Brighton Keller
      October 9, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      aww good, I’m glad you liked it! It was honestly refreshing and pretty fun to put together! I should do it more!

  • Reply
    Olivia
    October 9, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Love the comments behind the photos and this post! Made me laugh and relieved stress about everyday life scrolling through!

  • Reply
    Hannah
    October 9, 2017 at 10:50 am

    I am obsessed with this post! I love how you shared glimpses of what your insta photos look like behind the scenes. A breath of fresh air in such a “posed” society.

    Thanks girl!!

    • Reply
      Brighton Keller
      October 9, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      to be honest – I had a blast putting that little round up together!! It was so fun to go back and find the photos that had a little bit of posing behind them (well all of them to really – but the ones that were more obvious)

      • Reply
        Anonymous
        October 11, 2017 at 2:30 pm

        Love it! Would be so funny if those were your insta captions.

  • Reply
    Sarah Shaneyfelt
    October 9, 2017 at 10:25 am

    I love this post! One of the reasons I love following you is because you’re so real and honest! Thank you!
    MeetTheShaneyfelts

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