I’ve done this. Maybe you’ve done it, too. But why do we do it? And what are some reasons to stop putting someone on a pedestal?
We all know the story. There’s a woman in your friend group who seems to have it all. Her kids are perfectly behaved, she has an enviable career, her home is meticulously organized, and she also appears to have a Ph.D. in life. So, what do you do? You put her on a pedestal.
In your mind, you think she has more than you. You feel that she’s above you in some way. The problem is that when you even think this way, you’ve eliminated the chance for a real connection. You’ve forgotten who you are and how much you have to offer.
Here are some reasons why you need to stop doing this and surprisingly awesome benefits you’ll gain when you do:
1. Remember that comparing yourself to others is ALL EGO. Develop mindfulness instead.
The ego thrives on comparing. You think to yourself, “She has such an eclectic, amazing friend group. Why don’t I have that?” Or, “Why does she seem to be able to juggle everything so easily? I’m struggling to get through the day!” All these things are tricks the ego is playing with our minds. We aren’t better or worse than anyone. In reality, we are all the same. We are human, and we struggle with doubts, fears, etc.
We need to cultivate mindfulness. Rosie Ocasta from Radically Loved Radio says, “Without mindfulness, you will always be constructing your sense of self based on others’ perceptions.” This is an interesting add-on because by placing someone above you, you are opening the door to judging yourself through the same skewed lenses.
When you think in terms of better/worse, you’ve slipped into your ego. Your ego might feel GRAND, or it might feel inferior. Either way, it’s all ego, and the ego will never feel happy and content. It will always find a new way to compare, criticize, or puff out its chest.
Instead, through mindfulness, you can recognize when you’ve slipped into this way of thinking. Stop, and choose to soften your gaze. Look past the superficial things that might trip you up. See the goodness, vulnerability, and innocence in yourself and others. Try to let the comparisons go.
2. When you put someone on a pedestal, you miss out on the opportunity to have a real connection.
Karlie Everhart says, “(Placing someone on a pedestal) prevents us from experiencing deeper connections. When we’re putting someone on a pedestal, it can prevent us from getting to know that person on a human level. We may find ourselves hiding or simply not being our authentic selves. If you find yourself here, start getting curious! Curiosity drives connection.”
Wow, there’s so much to be said for this! If you’re in your ego – you’re probably not even listening to what the other person is saying. Instead, you’re taking stock of how you’re measuring up. You’re not seeing the person as they are. You’ve created an image, a fantasy, in your mind of who this person is, and you miss out on the opportunity to have a real (and potentially amazing) connection.
I think connecting with others from a place of warmth and honesty is a superpower that anyone can develop. And when it happens, everyone wins! People don’t want to feel worshipped – or looked down upon. Deep down, people want to feel that they belong. And who knows? Maybe that person you’ve put on a pedestal feels lonely – and like they’d love a new friend just like you.
3. By putting someone on a pedestal, you inadvertently lower yourself.
Sylvia Salow says, “By putting people on a pedestal, you put yourself lower. And it creates an energetic imbalance that will eventually lead to the breaking up of the relationship.” This is true in romantic relationships, but it really applies to any relationship.
If someone’s up there, you must be down here. When you’re placing a higher value on someone else, you’re undervaluing yourself. Putting someone on a pedestal is a way of creating a fantasy of who you want them to be or who you wish yourself to be. Either way, it’s not healthy. You’re not embracing who they/you really are.
Maybe there’s a part of you that doesn’t feel good enough. This part of you is being reflected in this polarized dynamic you’re setting.
And this leads to the last reason:
4. If you’re going to honor and cherish someone in your life – let it be YOU!
You know that little voice in your head that talks to you every day? I don’t know about you but for me, it’s NOT usually speaking in the kindest, most loving, supportive way.
Challenge – try for even one day to pay attention to the words you say to yourself. Try adding in a few new ones:
- I’m doing my very best right now.
- I’m a kind, thoughtful person worthy of everything I desire.
- Look at how far I’ve come!
- Great things are coming my way. I’m moving forward in the direction of my goals.
- I really like who I am.
- I’m going easy on myself today. I deserve a break.
Care for yourself in a meaningful way. Speak to the heart of the issue.
Take the time to discover uniquely amazing things about yourself. And celebrate them!
Sarah, at She’s So Seasonal, says, “Now, now this isn’t about looking down on others as you have just figured out your own awesome strong talents! By being on the pedestal, it is about developing a healthy mindset with the backings of Self-Confidence and Self-Respect.”
Not in an ego way – just in an “I’m pretty awesome” way. You can tell the difference because when you’re in the ‘ego’ it always feels gossipy, temporary, and unhealthy. When you’re in a mindful, nurturing space, it feels right and good.
You, and only you, know what you’ve overcome and how much unique talent, goodness, and beauty you have to offer this world. Build confidence! Commit to supporting yourself in the very best ways that you can.
Radiate the gentle warmth of a woman who knows her value, and acknowledges and appreciates the value in the women around her. That’s the best way to be!