When I was a child, I had a favorite cousin, Bobbie. She was pretty, smart, kind, and really fun to be around. We always looked forward to spending time together.

As we grew older, we lived in different cities and didn’t get to see each other so often. I lived closer to my grandmother than my cousin did, so I spend a lot of time at my grandmother’s home when my mother was working. My grandmother told me often that I should be more like Bobbie. It didn’t take me long to figure out that Bobbie was prettier, smarter, kinder, and much more popular than I would ever be. In fact, it seemed that Bobbie was super girl and I was just ordinary. Bobbie took dance lessons and was often in recitals that we heard about for months and months. Bobbie was a cheerleader. Bobbie was the Homecoming Queen. Bobbie was the lead character in the school play. And even though, I didn’t go to the same school, I wouldn’t try out for any of those things, because I didn’t want to be compared to Bobbie. I knew I couldn’t measure up.

It actually wasn’t long before I started to dislike Bobbie and made every excuse not to be around her when the opportunity presented itself. So, we ended up going our separate ways and lost track of each other except for an occasional note from another relative.

I look back now and see how very sad this situation was. Bobbie was my favorite cousin and because someone else constantly compared us, I felt inferior. I believed I was inferior. Ultimately, I became an over-achiever.

Later, I learned my grandmother had done the same to her…telling her what a great writer I was and that I had a newspaper column and perhaps she should be more like me.

What a shame! I don’t believe my grandmother meant any harm. I believe she was trying to build up our characteristics. It was a sort of form of bragging about each of us. But the damage it did was irreparable. Bobbie passed away before I was adult enough to realize what had happened to us.

Is there someone in your life that you were compared to unfairly? Do you need to reach out to that person now? Will you do it?

Author's Bio: 

Judi Moreo is an author, speaker, and life coach. She has written 11 books including “You Are More Than Enough: Every Woman’s Guide to Purpose, Passion, and Power.” Judi can be reached at judimoreo@yahoo.com