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  • Who makes you feel inferior?

    21st August 2018 | Blog
  • No-one can make you feel inferior without your permission. Eleanor Roosevelt. 

    What are your thoughts on this comment? Have you ever let anyone make you feel inferior? How did they do that? More importantly, how did you let them do that? 

    If we explore some different scenarios where someone is apparently ‘making’ you feel inferior, maybe you can decide how much it was a case of you letting them do that and in some way giving them permission. 

    In an extreme case, the other person might be a bully. They might actually be using language that directly implies that they think you’re inferior to them. Their tone, choice of words and whole demeanour might back that up so that they are really quite intimidating.  

    Dealing with someone like that can be a real test of your resilience. It’s usually very unpleasant to be on the receiving end of an encounter like this.  

    However, unless at some level you believe that they are right, that you are indeed all those negative things they say you are, they cannot ‘make’ you feel inferior. Upsetting though their behaviour may be, they still need your permission for their words to land with you. 

    What might it be like to turn a situation like this round and see them as inferior for their poor communication skills and bad behaviour? 

    Perhaps at the other other end of the scale is a situation when the other person isn’t doing or saying anything to deliberately make you feel inferior. There’s just something about them that could leave you feeling that way. It could be something about the way they look, the way they speak or something you know about them that puts you in awe of them. For example, maybe they’re a celebrity, or a hotshot at something you would like to be a hotshot at or perhaps very senior to you at work. 

    In truth, these people are just being, not doing, and certainly not making you feel inferior. It’s your perception of them and of yourself in comparison, that makes you feel like that. Any sense of inferiority here is only in your head, however much you might want to attribute it to the other person seeming superior. 

    By feeling inferior in these situations you’re focusing on the attributes that person that you admire and are finding yourself falling short. 

    How else can you see that?  

    Perhaps you are still learning how to do what they’ve already accomplished. Perhaps there’s another aspect of their life which isn’t quite so enviable. We usually focus on the aspects of someone else’s life that we aspire to, whether that’s physical attributes their wealth or status and only match ourselves to that bit, which is why we end up feeling inferior. 

    Even if you can’t find anything right now where that helps you rebalance your feelings, remember that as human beings we are all equal. You don’t need to let anyone make you feel inferior. Don’t give them that permission. 

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