Social Comparison Theory
The belief that there is a drive within individuals to gain accurate self-evaluations. The theory explains how individuals evaluate their own opinions and abilities by comparing themselves to others in order to reduce uncertainty in these domains, and learn how to define the self.
A social psychological theory that describes the circumstances under which a person will perceive collections of people (including themselves) as a group, as well as the consequences of perceiving people in group terms.
I’ve often compared myself to friends I believe to be better than me in terms of popularity, social interaction, confidence, talent and success. Social comparisons can lead to negative evaluations of the self because we tend to believe that we will never be “good enough” compared to another person but the truth is we all have flaws and we all have degrees of talent and success in different areas. I’ve also found it difficult to click with people in particular groups. I prefer to see myself as a butterfly flying over the field, making attempts at social interaction with several groups of friends and also being an active listener.
I invariably had to get my right ear washed out a couple of days ago, waiting an hour at the doctors but it’s always worth the wait. I’ve always had medical issues with my ears from various infections to regular blockages, ringing and flaking skin irritation and yet I’ve persevered because I rely on my hearing in everyday life. Hearing is an important gift that should be appreciated. Could this be correlated to my speech therapy sessions as a child? Possibly but I’ve tried to overcome that problem as well.
Yesterday I had my final oral presentation for the semester. It was for Social Psychology and the topic I chose was on the relationship between social ostracism and dehumanisation. Everytime I am up in front of the classroom with some people’s gazes penetrating me and some distracted by iPhones and laptops. The inevitable self-conscious “oh shit” moment always happens when I begin any presentation and then I get a rush of blood to the head. Feeling anxious and light headed, I still pushed on, reading through the notes I wrote down on my cue cards and making my best effort to make some semblance of eye contact. I stuttered a few times but for the most part I was doing okay, talking with a clear voice.
And then my tutor Matthew held up the “1 minute remaining” card and I knew I had to wrap up quickly. Thankfully I rehearsed this speech several times and managed to get it under 3 minutes each time. Even with the nerves, I managed to not blow the time limit and didn’t even have to answer any questions. A random girl at the judging table complimented me on doing a good job. Public speaking will clearly always be a struggle for me but the fact that I had to balls to get up there and not disintegrate into an embarrassing nervous mess is always a big achievement for me.
On the train, I always have a tendency to nod off into a micro-sleep and I have to fight against my body’s physiological reaction of craving sleep. It’s tough remaining conscious when you’re in these states and especially when you’re on a train, you don’t want to miss your stop. Walking to venues becomes easier and less daunting over time. We have cognitive maps that we rely on in order to determine spatial locations inside our brains. Essentially it’s like a mental version of Google Maps. You rehearse the route enough times and this information will get stored in your long-term memory for later retrieval. Then you’ll know exactly which streets you need to turn down without consulting the real Google Maps.
The walk to Wrangler Studios is such an isolating and desolate experience but thankfully it’s a relatively short one. Ironically, I walked past a sign saying POLARIS Auto Elec, one of the bands I was keen on seeing today. It wasn’t a really huge turnout but that really didn’t bother me because I still caught up with heaps of friends. Hanging out with Mark today was almost like looking at my younger self in the mirror, when I started going out to shows back in 2004. I’ve always felt like a younger person trapped inside an older person’s body and as I’ve mentioned before, age is not a significant variable when it comes to friendship.
TO THE AIRSHIP…I really felt bad for these guys today given the situation they were in. They were down two members and as “show time” was fast approaching, they just had to improvise with what they had. Their friend Henry ended up filling in on vocals. This was far from their best performance but I have to give them respect for still going ahead with their shortened set regardless of the circumstances. Shit happens and you have to deal with it and dealt with it they did.
ADVOCATES (NZ)…I’ve been wanting to check this band out for a while now. I’ve known vocalist Detlyn from his previous band Foundations Fall and with this band I can tell he is much more confident vocally and stage presence wise. A couple of people threw down with Detlyn himself getting amongst it. The boys really brought the energy today with guitar spins and punk jumps galore. A really tight performance. Hopefully I’ll be able to see you guys at a few more shows.
SURROUNDINGS (WA)…this Perth based melodic hardcore band recently had our very own Glorified as supports for their shows a couple of weeks back and now it’s their turn to come down to Melbourne. The band literally flew off the stage and made a really dominating appearance from the start. Very solid guitar riffs and breakdowns aplenty. Vocalist Nick had a very intense vocal delivery throughout their set. Chris from Glorified also dropped some guest vocals halfway through the set.
POLARIS (NSW)…It was my first time checking out this Sydney based melodic hardcore band and today they well and truly killed it. Vocalist Jamie’s stage presence was top notch, getting really animated and getting amongst the crowd at times. My photographer friend Joey thrusted his camera into my hands and it was like an expensive hot potato. I literally had less than a minute to take some snaps and I did alright. Clearly my skills are amateurish at best but I appreciated him giving me the chance to take a few photos with his camera.
GLORIFIED…as you may have read, Chris and Tom have been feeling sick for the last couple of days but thankfully they still managed to play today’s show. (Biohazard suits on? Check! Okay guys, we’re going to have to quarantine the venue :P). But seriously I’m proud of you guys for soldiering on and not disappointing fans. A really solid performance as usual, not a lot of movement from the crowd but my friend Mark grabbed the mic quite a few times which was good to see. Hopefully you guys will be feeling better tomorrow for the Frankston gig.
SIENNA SKIES (NSW)…so it’s been about 4 years since I’ve seen this band play. My last time was at the Corner Hotel when they were supporting Dream on Dreamer. They put on such an incredible performance today, mainly playing songs from their new album Seasons with a couple of older tracks. With very heavy hardcore breakdowns and experimental melodic breaks, their set was one of high energy. The collaborative efforts for vocal duties worked really well as the band effortlessly switched from cleans to screams and back again. Really looking forward to seeing them play again tomorrow! A big shoutout to Ash Hull and Jayden Roy for running and organising another great local show 🙂