Imran Khan speaks about his ‘Constant Comparison’ With Ranbir Kapoor

Imran Khan speaks about his ‘Constant Comparison’ With Ranbir Kapoor


Imran Khan, one of the most likeable Bollywood actors admitted how his comparison with Ranbeer Kapoor gave a “bitter aftertaste”.

Both Imran Khan and Ranbir Kapoor started their Bollywood acting careers as a protagonist around the same time with their movies “Sawariya” and “Jane tu ya jane na”. With a great spectrum of fame, fans used to compare them, even with sparkling rumours. Though both did their best not to be a part of any toxic or baseless competition, Imran even admitted to clearing any misunderstanding by talking it out: but it does leave a sense of displeasure, He said. So why do we even compare so much?

Social Comparison Theory

This 1954 theory by Leon Festinger describes why we compare ourselves and others. We all have a sense of curiosity about who we are, and what are our skills and weaknesses. But how do we determine it? By comparing to others. For instance, I am good at mathematics, I know this by comparing myself to my classmates.  A dancer feels his quality when he sees his other group members. So comparing ourselves socially helps us to gain a better perspective about ourselves. Though it appears as just a simple quality, it does satisfy our restlessness that is caused by unsolved questions. The question of our existence and identity is like the question of what the is universe or does god exists.

Celebrity obsession

People tend to set their idols. Bollywood actors have always been idealised by citizens. People tend to follow their way of living, dressing style, and even their way of walking and talking. Why do we do this? When we see an actor or any other celebrity, it gives a sense of escapism to us. When we see a glamorous and almost perfect life, the feeling of pleasure is drawn from it and becomes a source of entertainment. Some people go beyond worshipping celebrities. So if another actor with the same fame comes forward, certain fans may feel discontented with a feeling of threat to their actor’s stardom. In certain situations, rumours get ignited that can disfigure someone’s self-image.

Read More: The Psychology of Self-Perception

Comparison in everyday life

Indians, or Asians as a community are known to have this approach to education and other aspects of their kids’ life. While this is not completely true, we as a society are obsessed with marks and ranks to a certain extent. Kota city is a leading example for it where students are trained to embed a persona of competition. The cutthroat competition for a few seats in some prestigious colleges has become unhealthy both for physical as well as mental well-being. Apart from comparison in educational or vocational aspects, comparison can be a part of our everyday lives at the micro level that we are not even aware of. If it’s too much, it can contribute to an unhealthy part of the personality that significantly hampers satisfaction and the flow of life.

Read More: Why is our Society Obsessed with Success?

Combating with Comparison

Be it a student, a teacher, or a professional everyone goes through a comparison that can affect our mental health and can even be fatal.

Exams and workplace comparison: With the educational approach of our society, scores and ranks hold great prominence. It has even changed the meaning of education where some students study to gain marks and not with an approach of learning. Commonly, colleagues compare themselves to each other. Envy is a human trait. Hard work, smart work, productivity and efficiency all have their contributions.

Healthy vs unhealthy comparison: Competition to a certain extent is required to give an extrinsic push to our motivation to do a task. What goes wrong is when competition becomes the sole factor in achieving a task. Any activity can lose its essence for the sake of getting the highest rank. If the competition is with self, where we acknowledge that a person is better than us, then it’s helpful in our growth, otherwise just a risk factor for mental illnesses.

Coping with it– We can not eliminate comparison and competition from our everyday lives. It can be brought to a minimum threshold but what after it? It’s our coping strategies that help us to handle the heat of comparison. Each one of us has varied aspects as to how we can achieve and develop our coping strategies with dealing with negative aspects of competition and comparison.

Read more: The Spotlight for Mental Health: Understanding the Unique Stress Actors Face

References +
  • Desk, H. E. (2024, May 28). Imran Khan says constant comparison with Ranbir Kapoor left ‘bitter aftertaste.’ Hindustan Times.
  • Nortje, A., PhD. (2024, February 27). Social Comparison Theory & 12 Real-Life examples.
  • Web, P., & Web, P. (2024, January 4). The Psychology behind Comparisons. Psychologs Magazine | Mental Health Magazine | Psychology Magazine | Self-Help Magazine.
  • Samra, A., Warburton, W. A., & Collins, A. M. (2022). Social comparisons: A potential mechanism linking problematic social media use with depression. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 11(2), 607–614.
  • Kedia, G., Mussweiler, T., & Linden, D. E. (2014). Brain mechanisms of social comparison and their influence on the reward system. NeuroReport/Neuroreport, 25(16), 1255–1265.

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