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Inferiority Complex.

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Old 02-03-2013, 12:23 AM   #1
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Default Inferiority Complex.

As many of you have come to know me on this forum, you've probably kinda figured this out about me, and I really don't know how to overcome it. Sorry for the length,

Somewhere along the line, I don't know if it stems from being an overweight child or what, but somewhere along the line I got it in my head that I'm less than awesome. As a teenager, I felt pretty useless and worthless. Now, as a young adult, I merely feel like I'm not awful, but I don't think there's anything particularly special about me, either. As far as I'm concerned, I'm just your run of the mill average-jo, and there's just nothing all that special about me. I never feel like I measure up and I'm always hard on myself and I'm almost never satisfied unless things are going perfect, which as we all know almost never happens. And this is in all aspects of myself: in just about every way possible, I feel like I'm not good enough.

And the thing about it is, I don't really know WHY. Because really, there's nothing really "wrong" with me, other than I'm still in that awkward transitioning period between graduating college and moving on to the next step (grad school/career), and I haven't quite left the nest yet, so to speak. And really I can already name off awesome things about me: number 1, I've lost nearly 85 pounds! And I graduated college with honors, and I'm on my way to grad school. I'm a pretty decent writer and I'm pretty good with music and I have awesome hair and a pretty face. But for some reason, I feel like even the "good" things about me aren't good enough.

This really hit me in the face when I went out on that date a couple weeks ago. The guy really is of a high-caliber. And maybe its just from age, but I feel like he's better than me all around and honestly although I want to see him again, I almost don't even blame him for not wanting to see me again, and I'm almost to the point where I don't care if he decides to see me again. But it's not because I'm not concerned about whether he likes me or not, it's because I don't think I'm good enough for him anyway. He's got a better education than me, a better job, a better car, a better body, he sings better, he knows so much more than me; I really felt kind of dumb with him at times. But the thing is, I know all of this is really silly because it's all so trivial, but for some reason it matters to me. When he didn't ask me out again this week, I didn't think he might be busy or something, I immediately thought, "Who am I kidding? What would a guy like him want with a lame-o like me?" I felt like a loser compared to him.

And I always feel like that and I'm constantly worrying about what everyone thinks of me (e.g., feeling inferior to date) but the funny thing is... no one thinks badly of me. In fact, almost everyone I come into contact with seems to think I'm awesome and the people that really matter (supervisors, professors, people like that) always think extremely highly of me. I know I'm a good person; I TRY to be a good person. But for some reason, although I'm really great at being what other people expect me to be, I'm awful at being what I expect me to be.

I guess the main thing is I don't know how to STOP feeling inferior. It's like no matter what I do, I'm never gonna be good enough for myself. I thought losing all this weight would change my perception of myself, but it didn't, in fact some times I think I'm worse off than I was prior to losing weight. I'm tired of this constant battle of nitpicking myself for everything; I want to be happy and satisfied. I just wish I knew how to do that naturally without having something/someone else do it for me. -sigh-
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:08 AM   #2
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I think you feel what every other person on the planet feels!

I don't think I'm special... or rather I don't think I'm anything more special than anyone else AND I don't think I'm less special than anyone else.

At the end of the day, we're all trying to live our lives every day. We can do the best with what with got or spend all the time thinking about what we haven't got and don't even attempt to do anything about it.

You sound like you are attempting to make the best of your life and change the things you aren't happy with! You've lost a great amount of weight which is an awesome step!

Don't compare yourself to other people... what they have and what they want is not necessarily what you want and what you need...
For example, some people have sports cars... I don't even have a car. Do I need a car? nope. Would I like a car? sure if someone gave me one.

Everyone has their own merits... and you have to find yours and be confident with them. You realise you are a good person which is a merit!

Have faith in the people around you, too. If they are speaking highly of you then they care about you. I'm sure they wonder what you think of them too. If they want to be near you then the chances are they aren't thinking badly of you... and if they are: they can go take a running jump off a short pier because people like that aren't worth it!
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:05 AM   #3
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Totally normal to feel this way.

I personally think that recognizing it is a good sign. Self awareness is extremely rare in my experience.

How to fix it?

In my opinion there are a number of things.

Gratitude - take a little time on a regular basis to think about how good you have it. Be thankful for what you have.

Goals - setting and achieving goals builds self esteem.

Giving - volunteer. Get involved. Make a difference.

I'm sure there are plenty of other things you can do but the important thing is to take action. Don't lie to yourself. If you tell yourself you're going to do something, do it.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:49 AM   #4
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Totally agree with John's advice.

I'm going to add that I think age has a lot to do with these feelings as well. For me, these feelings diminished the older I got (and the more "life" experience I obtained).
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:45 PM   #5
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I love John's advice. Or if it gets to a point, like it has for me, where it begins manifesting in behaviors that are very negative, maybe see a counselor. I literally just decided I needed to take this step and saw one for the first time this past week. I feel like I need guidance as to learn some tools to deal with certain things, and it had become obvious I didn't possess those tools yet.

I definitely think the honesty with yourself is very important.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:47 PM   #6
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I'm going to piggyback on LockItUp / Stephanie's post and say that if it's feasible for you to do it, seeing a counselor or therapist may be a good idea. If you can't do that now, consider making it a goal to do so as soon as you can (even if that's 5 or 10 years from now).

I have had similar issues since my preteen years. I started seeing a therapist this year, at age 30, and I wish I had done it a long, long time ago. (I have depression/anxiety issues that feed into this, so your situation may not be the same as mine.) All the goals, gratitude, and giving in my life have been helpful and enriching, but they've only gotten me so far.

A book on this topic that I enjoy reading is "There Is Nothing Wrong With You," by Cheri Huber. Self-acceptance takes time. I wish you & all of us luck.

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Old 02-03-2013, 04:15 PM   #7
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I have a major inferiority complex so I can understand the feeling. They say that everything is learned though. Some studies say that if you compliment yourself every morning for a month, your brain will start to retrain itself and you'll feel better over time. I haven't personally tried it but I've known people who swear by it. Maybe it's worth a shot.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:53 PM   #8
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We tend to think of counseling and therapy as a last resort if we can't fix it ourselves. We don't do that with many other things--car repair, a new roof, you name it. Some of us can do those things without help, but many of us call in a expert from the word go--and don't think less of ourselves for doing so.

When I read your post, I immediately thought counseling would be beneficial--you are in a place where you are willing to grow--get yourself someone who will help you do that--and a good counselor will.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:07 PM   #9
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Ms Mimsyborogoves: Think about it this way: Rather than a sense of inferiority about yourself, you have an enhanced appreciation of the good, the talent, the beauty, and the kindness in other people. You are awed by them. You take a part of yourself, the flawed part that receives most of your attention and receives all your nagging, and you make comparisons between that side of yourself and the people you've met.

Yes, many people have these feelings, but certainly not all. And these feelings are compartmentalized differently in different people. You feel that you do not measure up with respect to intelligence; other people feel they do not measure up with respect to physical prowess, etc etc. And you know there are real narcissists in this world, the God's elder brothers, who do not give a flip about anyone, who demand flattery and devotion, and who become violent when criticized. This is not you, and be grateful for it. Your "inferiority" is empathy and appreciation. People can see that, and that gives you value. The other part of yourself knows that, deep down.

Try to give out compliments and stop the comparisons. "I really value these intelligent conversations with you." NOT "Wow, you're way smarter than I am." And start talking to yourself that way. You have a gift, not a flaw--the gift of appreciation. Embrace it. And, yes, if this is debilitating for you, then seek out counseling.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeMyFeet View Post
Ms Mimsyborogoves: Think about it this way: Rather than a sense of inferiority about yourself, you have an enhanced appreciation of the good, the talent, the beauty, and the kindness in other people. You are awed by them. You take a part of yourself, the flawed part that receives most of your attention and receives all your nagging, and you make comparisons between that side of yourself and the people you've met.


Try to give out compliments and stop the comparisons. "I really value these intelligent conversations with you." NOT "Wow, you're way smarter than I am." And start talking to yourself that way. You have a gift, not a flaw--the gift of appreciation. Embrace it. And, yes, if this is debilitating for you, then seek out counseling.
That is absolutely brilliant and BEAUTIFUL!!! Such great positive advice.

mimsyborogoves - I always wanted to second what a poster said above me, which is, I felt the same at your age. I am now 38. I guarantee you it gets better with age and life experience.

And honestly, when you meet someone who gives you a feeling of inferiority, whether that be your own projection or how they are acting, it's just the universe helping you out by saying "hey, you want someone you feel like YOUR HIGHEST SELF with, and someone who makes you want to BE your highest self in a healthy way".

Either you are not ready, or that's the wrong person for you to have in your life at this time. And that's all totally okay.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:31 PM   #11
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I agree with all of the above!

Also, credit is due to you for asking for help. I went down the completely ineffective route of not doing this, and ended up a few years ago having to unravel the whole thing and start my life all over again.

I'll share my $0.02 from what I wish I'd known earlier:

First off: if you concentrate too much of your attention on what you think you "should" be, rather than what you ARE, you will completely stifle your own natural personality. You might end up resentful. You might end up lost, wondering who you were to begin with. I highly recommend cutting the word "should" out of your vocabulary! It causes NOTHING BUT TROUBLE.

Trying to "measure up" takes effort. Your own natural talents and personality features are innate and effortless. Imagine yourself in 10 years having gone either way. If you're fighting against yourself the whole time, you're only slowing yourself down. If you concentrate on who YOU are, what YOU feel and what YOU want, the things that make you stand out will become a whole lot more apparent, and a whole lot more easily. I wish I could express what I'm trying to say here in a more concise way, which makes more sense.

About the dude: he is not perfect. Nobody is perfect. Sure, you can look at their career, education, bank balance, appearance or whatever. Pretty much everyone shows their best face in public. What you're NOT seeing is when he leaves his socks on the bathroom floor, wakes up in a bad mood before a big meeting, has a cheque bounce, has the flu and is lying on the couch eating chicken noodle soup from the can, is taking anxiety medication before a work presentation because he feels he needs to live up to some perfect ideal, or whatever other quirks he might have. There is ALWAYS more than what's behind someone's "game face". This is true not just for the dude but for most people.

About not being "good enough". Ask yourself WTF to that. Define "good enough". Define "not so good". Define "awesome". It's not so easy. If you keep trying to be good enough, you never will be, because there is no goal. Think of weight loss: You can say ok, I want to lose 100lbs. After 25 I will feel "good enough" to wear that sleeveless top. After 50lbs I will feel "great" because I'll finally be able to run a 5k. After 100lbs I'll feel "awesome" because (insert your own myriad of personal reasons here). Thing is: it's MEASURABLE. Life is way too complex to even begin to be measurable. You'll always be better than some people at some things, and worse than some people at other things. Example: I can have lucid dreams but I can't cook. One of my best friends can cook but can't have lucid dreams. Another friend has a job with great holidays but average pay, I take a sporadic bar job and go back to uni.

I think when you're around the college age and everyone is following a similar path, it's easy to forget just how many truly awesome options are out there! Get a job, do a postgrad, travel, sit on your backside for 6 months reading philosophy books, meet a partner, or don't, get married, or don't, have kids, or don't, start a business, write a book, learn to fly a plane, anything! Trick is to pick only the most awesome things. You only get to be you once, make the most of it, and do not DO it unless you LOVE it.

Besides, everyone else is too busy with their own insecurities to be worrying about how you measure up. And if they are? Well, then they're a w*nk and you can ignore them
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:39 PM   #12
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I've read a number of your posts over the course of time and one thing I've noticed is that you allow your relationships with men to affect your view of yourself. You need to stop that. The threads I recall you writing almost always seem to be about your latest romantic interest. I'm not saying dating is bad, not at all. But it seems to be an intense focus of yours, and when it doesn't go well it seems to really bother you. Maybe branch out your interests and social life so that if your love life goes wonky it's not as big a deal.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:14 PM   #13
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:41 PM   #14
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I really appreciate everyone's advice. I talked to my mom the day after I wrote this about getting a counselor, and she's going to look into what our insurance covers and hopefully I can get set up with someone soon. I was seeing someone during my last semester at college, but she was provided by the university and when I graduated, I wasn't allowed to see her anymore. The thing was, we weren't really finished "fixing" me, so to speak, so while I'm definitely not where I was before I met her, I am definitely no where near where I need to be and I know I can't do it all by myself; my mind won't let me, lol.

As for the guy, I've been really trying hard to just let things go and not worry about it. I've been doing good so far, and I figure if I just leave him alone for awhile he'll eventually come around. And EagleRiverDee, you pretty much nailed it on the head. I do put way too much focus on dating and how men feel about me. I've been trying to be more social and keeping myself busy, but it seems whenever I want to hang out with someone they're always busy -_-. However, work's been getting kinda crazy lately so I haven't really had time to think about anything but work, lol.

I got contacts today and I actually, clearly, saw my FACE (sans glasses) for the first time since October. I look really different than I did in October, and I actually realized in that moment how pretty I am. I don't know if that sounds conceited or not, lol, but for the first time I could actually see myself through unblurred eyes and I realized how good I looked. It was a really good feeling. I hope to have more of them.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:31 PM   #15
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I think it's nice that you can see that you're pretty. It definitely beats feeling like you're not good enough! Let us know how it goes with the counselor, too.
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