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Conditional Love: Social Comparison and Inadequacy

A common reason we are angry at ourself is our predisposition to compare ourself unfavorably to others.

How do we judge superior and inferior in humans? What is the standard? Who is the average person to compare against? Yet, if we have money and status, our life may be easier, but we are not a superior person. The difference between having an easy or hard life, versus being a superior or inferior person is often confused. The ability to do what is hard and do it anyways is courageous and success is based on our efforts, not our outcomes.

Bill Gates is not a superior person because he has lots of money and the person who is getting food stamps because they lost their job, is not an inferior person. Our worth or value can also be gauged by the love and support we share with others or personal accomplishments. All humans are born lovable and will never be worth more or worth less. No matter how much money, status or power we have, we will never be a better person.

No matter how little appreciation, respect or comfort we have, we will never be a worse person. Our success and achievements do not make us a more loveable human. Our failures and losses, do not make us a less lovable person. If we accept that we are unconditionally worthwhile and lovable, it is not necessary to believe or rely on other people to tell us that we are wonderful.

There is no such thing as a perfect person. To be human is to be imperfect, to be imperfect means we make mistakes and to make mistakes means we have regrets. Regret is the wish that things were other than they are. But they aren’t. This thing happened, and it’s regrettable.

We can live with the regret that we are less than perfect. Our imperfections are not crimes. We are not a guilty criminal worthy of punishment. We can choose to replace our fictitious guilt with the regret that we  aren’t perfect, which only confirms our humanity.

There is no way to prevent imperfect human beings from being imperfect. We can take reasonable precautions, but beyond a certain point, our good intention to ‘prevent’ becomes counter-productive. All humans have limitations and make mistakes. Coming to accept both our assets and liabilities is the key to the door of unconditional self acceptance.

Conditional Love: Social Comparison and Inadequacy

Aaron Karmin

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APA Reference
Karmin, A. (2018). Conditional Love: Social Comparison and Inadequacy. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 16, 2018, from


Last updated: 8 Jan 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 Jan 2018
Published on All rights reserved.