Schools HubFriendship Making comparisons
Making comparisons

It is common for young people to compare themselves to others and this can have a negative impact on their wellbeing. These resources will support your class to explore the reasons for this and what they can do about it.

Learning intentions

  • Explore attitudes towards making comparisons to others
  • Discuss ways of managing comparisons and self-criticism.
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Junior cycle

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15 minutes

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Minding myself and others.

Olivia's story

olivia's story video thumb large

In this scenario Olivia is going through a tough time. What is going on for Olivia and why might she be comparing herself to others?
Watch this scenario in class and ask students to discuss Olivia's story, write down reflections or answer questions from the discussion prompt below.

Classroom discussion

Olivia is experiencing self-critical thoughts which are rarely true, and often overly harsh.

  • Divide the class into groups of two to consider Olivia’s situation.
  • If you think, “Olivia’s a total idiot and will mess up all her exams,” respond with “let’s look at the evidence”. On a piece of paper write down all the proof you have that points to her failure.
  • On the other side of the page, list all the evidence against it. For example, you can list other exams she has passed.

Sit back and look at the evidence on both sides. That should give you a more rational and clearer view. If there are obstacles ahead, plan how Olivia’s going to tackle them.

Dealing with self-criticism

Too many of us are quietly, privately, hard on ourselves. We walk around with an inner critic, telling us we’re not ‘good enough’ and never amount to anything.

Download and print this article from Jigsaw, (without images) to use for a group discussion in class. It also contains three helpful exercises to deal with self-criticism.

Dark haired girl sitting on couch looking out into the distance looking sad
Dark haired girl sitting on couch looking out into the distance looking sad
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