Student or Learner
Which sentence is right?
1. You had better not compare yourself TO your friends.
2. You had better not compare yourself WITH your friends.
CAUTION: NOT A TEACHER
(1) According to my very strict teachers, both are correct-- depending on what
you wish to say.
(a) To compare yourself to your friends. = to liken yourself to them. To say that you are
like your friends.
(i) You probably remember Shakespeare's famous words to someone:
"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"
(b) To compare yourself with your friends. = To study how you are similar and how you are
different from your friends.
(i) How would you compare the conditions of your country in 2012 with the conditions in
1989? (In what ways is life better? In what ways is life worse?)
TheParser is right. That is how teachers and grammar books say the words should be used. You will, however, find some native speakers who use them interchangeably.