Ever feel like you’re racing to catch up with everyone else’s opinion of you?
I do, all the time. Skippy got me thinking about it this morning. Some of it is, “Why do they like hanging around with me so much?”, and some of it is, “I can’t possibly charge that much for my time.”
My husband sat me down last night, took my hands, and said, “Darling, I want to tell you something, and you have to promise to listen. You’re an awesome, awesome person. Far more awesome than you believe yourself to be. You can perceive the awesome in others, so why can’t you perceive it in yourself?”
Well, it’s embarrassing. As kids, we were mostly taught that to accept a compliment was to be selfish. It’s more modest to demur, to protest politely. We were also schooled to believe that pride was a bad thing. So if you were good at something, you weren’t allowed to appreciate your skill, or to even really have fun at it in case you made other people feel bad.
Then, of course, there was the geek factor. If you enjoyed reading, liked to be alone, had any interest in music other than the mainstream, films other than action or comedy, or technology other than a phone and a vending machine, you were uncool, and you resorted to lurking and not calling attention to yourself.
What has all that socialisation produced? A generation of people who have difficulty understanding that they’re cool people. What, me deserve something? (Praise, money, social interest, whatever?) No, no. Please, stop. It’s not just that you’re embarrassing me, you’re actually making me uncomfortable and self-conscious because like so many others, I can’t truly understand why you think I’m so great.
Argh. Scores of us are out there. Scads. Bushels.
It’s probably all connected to how incredibly bad some of us are at selling ourselves. Almost everyone I know hates writing a cover letter for a CV, because it feels like exactly that: selling yourself.
A healthy dose of pride in the self is a good thing. Now, if I could just cultivate it…