No one wants to compare themselves to each other, and neither do you. It’s the hollow feeling of doing something not because you want to, but just so you can place yourself over others.
Picture buying something because everyone is buying it, with an overproduced, grotesque ad to prompt you. Or learning the skills of some mundane game just because everyone else is playing it. Where is the real enjoyment?
One alternative is to just get out of it entirely. Throw status games away. Buy several identical pairs of your favourite shirt and just wear them day to day. (This sounds like one of the tenets of minimalism – but this is not piece is not about that movement.)
By being outside of the game, you free yourself. Maybe. Throw away that miserable feeling and stop relying on others to tell you what to do. Because that is what happens if you chase things for their external value. What about you? What about your value systems, desires, and pure interests?
Interestingly, choosing not to compare yourself to others can still place you higher in status. People who hear about your choices might respect that. And so you become higher in social status. Does that mean it is wrong to pursue anti-status? No, but it means you can easily have insidious motives – which are then damaging. Because if you start thinking about how much better you are, you may lose touch with your authentic motives. And if you lose your authenticity, you may lose the ability to choose things which truly delight you. In other words, how can you be sure that you are doing things for yourself and not just for others?
So get out of your head and start deciding on your own values. At the very least, don’t pursue things for shallow social competition.