ANN ARBOR—Contradicting long-standing beliefs about the once frowned-upon practice, a study released Tuesday by psychologists at the University of Michigan found that comparing yourself to others is actually an effective way to gauge success. “While we did not study the effects that comparing yourself to others may have on your mental health and self-esteem, we found that personal success is, in fact, often completely relative to that experienced by others, making it especially important to beat other people in your vocation,” said research director Dr. Ellen Hadley, 35, observing that she herself is much more successful than many of the older contributors to the study, many of whom hold neither a director’s title nor enjoy the privilege of being quoted in articles. “Comparison is, frankly, a very effective strategy of determining where you stand in a hierarchy of who you are better than and who is better than you. We recommend starting with a list of your 10 closest friends and ranking aspects of their professional, personal, and romantic lives on a scale of 1 through 10 compared to your own.” Hadley added that the report found that anyone who relies on their inner resources for a sense of worth and self-confidence is probably a total loser.
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