Tag Archives: Inferiority Complex

A Calmer You: arrey kahaan ka inferiority complex?

Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’ Little did she know what we go through. Consent toh koi poochhta nahi, the world seems just determined to make us feel smaller over things as mundane as the number of Facebook friends we have,’ rued my neighbour Chaddha ji’s daughter, Bansuri, the other day. I sat looking at her with an open mouth. To tell her that being born to a blockhead ding-a-ling as Chaddha ji and then being christened Bansuri, were reasons enough for her to feel inferior, would have been too mean, so I kept quiet. But jokes apart, what Bansuri was trying to play … err … I mean say, was that in today’s show-it-off world, inferiority complex comes as quick ‘n’ easy as instant coffee.

A Calmer You arrey kahaan ka inferiority complex

But I still feel that while the opportunities for the world to make us feel inferior may have multiplied, there’s no change necessarily, in our capacity to resolve that we won’t let it. Thoda heavy ho gaya kya? Simply put, Roosevelt is still right. If any of the following give you inferiority complex, you need to sort your own self out.

1. Physical appearance: I mean things that you were born with, and have no control over (don’t even think about dragging surgery into the discussion) — your height, skin colour, balding pattern etc. Someone up there decided your model and make, you didn’t choose it yourself. Why on earth should you then compare yourself with someone who has a taller frame or a different body type? This, however, is not applicable to those whose lifestyle messed up their bodies. So, you my dear, with the jiggly potbelly looking perpetually pregnant, can count yourself out. But the others, please stop comparing and letting it ruin your peace of mind. A classmate who is taller or has a sharper nose has his/her own set of problems in life to deal with. You, too, should deal with yours, and appearance shouldn’t figure. What you can, however, do is to learn about how to look the best with the body you have. Focus, people.

2. Not being ‘classy’ enough: Lo karlo baat. There are many I know who have worked hard to earn what they have, but don’t enjoy and splurge, because they don’t feel confident and ‘classy’ enough to visit posh places. Don’t spend all your life hesitating because your knowledge of English, ability to pronounce fancy terms or even the clothes you wear, are not up-to-the-mark in your eyes. I’d much rather get a complex about not being a good human being than about not knowing if the roasted bread, bruschetta, on the menu is to be pronounced broos-keh-tah or broo-she-ttah and worse yet, not ordering it altogether worrying that the waiter will think I don’t know. The waiter doesn’t care. And if he does, it’s his problem. You have a finger. Point it on the menu, look at the accent-flaunting waiter in the eye and order what you want. You’re paying for it, remember? Where’s the scope for inferiority?

3. What your parents earn: This one I’m pretty sensitive about. It hurts to see a young person feel apologetic, in front of ‘richer’ friends, about the size or location of his/her house or the amount of pocket money parents can afford to give. If your friends are gonna judge you on how much your dad/mom earns or which car they drive, you need to ask yourself if you need such friends at all. And more often, friends actually don’t care. The comparison and the feeling that you’ll be judged, is all in your own head. I know a young man, who spent his entire college life faking a posh address and narrating vacation stories about international destinations he had never been to. Now he’s at a stage where he indeed has a posh address, but has no time to invite friends over … and no happy memories either, because when he did have time, he was too busy keeping friends away from his parents’ humble abode.

If you feel the compelling need to compete with others on materialistic things, please do it on things you have earned in life. Not just you shouldn’t, you have absolutely no right to feel inferior if your parents have less money than you think they should. Go, earn it yourself first.

Sonal Kalra thinks you already knew everything written above. She’s a worthless writer with no new ideas. Oh damn, this inferiority complex.

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Are you ready to fall in love?

Thank God it’s over. The whole New Year’s Eve stress, I mean. Did you too, like me, had to answer almost every homosapien in your universe about where you are going for the New Year bash? And then to worry about how boring it’ll sound to answer ‘Nowhere. Just staying at home.’ I used to think it’s one of those polite questions for which people don’t wait to hear an answer. So, when a colleague asked me in the corridor, I casually replied I’m inviting some strippers home for New Year’s Eve. She heard me. So did three others. Moral: People do hear stuff, and judge you… and give you weird looks. So watch what you say.

calmness-tips-fight-self-pity-inferiority-complex-calmer-you-column-1-jan-2012

Anyway, as I said, the tamasha is over and we have nicely stepped into another year. Waise, please allow me one more silly thought… what’s with ‘ushering in’ the New Year? You don’t have to usher anything, woh apne aap aa hi jaata hai (it will come on its own). Try kar lo (try it).
Okay, enough of digressing into weirdness. I’ll come straight to the point. This whole ‘New Year resolution’ funda is pretty outdated. Say things like ‘I’ll lose weight or I’ll quit smoking’ and you’ll be considered ancient. The cool thing apparently is to claim that you don’t have any resolutions. Well, as uncool as I am, I actually have one this year. And that is to fall in love…with myself. Do NOT make a face and say it’s a cliché, just yet. Hear me out.

In a very scientific way, I went about searching a common thread in the several hundred emails this column gets. (Are you able to see through my attempts to indirectly mention how popular the column is? I’m ashamed). Every damn mail is about how people are dissatisfied with something in them. ‘I am not good looking, so guys propose to my friend instead’ or ‘I flunked the exam because I can’t concentrate’ or ‘I’m too shy, can’t speak in public’ etc etc. We are too bloody hard on ourselves. All of us. So quick to find faults in us, indulge in self-bashing and self-pity day-in and day out.

 [stextbox id=”info”]Calmness Tips to Fight Against Self-Pity and Inferiority Complex[/stextbox]

Well, enough. This year, I’m going to woo myself, because as my uncle Oscar Wilde said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” Here we go

1 Learn to take and believe a compliment:

This point is more for myself than anyone else. If ever someone says something nice to me, my first instinct is to say, ‘That can’t be. I don’t deserve this.’ Bullshit. Ab diya hai toh kuchh soch ke diya hoga (if it has been given then some thought was put into it). And if the other person is faking a compliment, it’s his problem not mine. We’re too quick to believe people when they say nasty, hurtful things about us. And too quick to disregard something good being pointed out. Not anymore. This year, I’ll let self-love score over self-doubt. I’ll allow myself to accept compliments gracefully, and feel happy about them.

2 Enjoy the courtship:

No matter how much you argue on this, the fact remains that your relationship with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have. It’s vital that you love yourself. And I’m not referring to masturbation, you silly, though I’m no one to tell you how to express your love. Just remember the last time when you gifted yourself something really nice. Not something you needed, but something you wanted. When is the last time you took yourself out on a date? Enjoy your courtship with yourself, it’ll strengthen all other relationships you have. Set aside some time, and money, every month for pampering your self. Sometimes it’s not wrong, or selfish, to think of Valentine’s day as a day for YOU. Try it.

3 Do you like yourself…as is?:

You know, there’s a thin line between genuinely giving yourself credit for something good in you, and turning conceited and arrogant. The latter is a big put-off and I’m sure even you don’t like narcissists who are too full of themselves. So, if I suddenly see people liking their own Facebook statuses from tomorrow, I will jump from a building and leave your name in the suicide list because of your staunch inability to understand that there’s a difference between healthy self respect and a creepily adoring your own stupid-self.

But, that said, it is really important that you appreciate yourself, just the way you are, and not what you aspire to be. Take a paper, and write down the qualities you admire in people you like. Then see how many of those you yourself have. And please, all those who are going to use vague words like ‘nice’ for themselves can fix an appointment with me to receive their first slap in the New Year. What’s with this word — ‘nice’. You use it for everything — a gesture, a person, an animal, a movie. Thoda vocabulary improve karo (improve your vocabulary). Using the same word for everything is not quite… err..nice.

4 Have your ‘I-don’t-care-moment’:

Again as I said, don’t turn rude or arrogant, but once a week, stand in front of the mirror, think of someone who hurt you, and loudly say ‘I don’t care’. Do not spend your life seeking approval of others. Because others would never stop saying things. At some point, you have to stop torturing the person inside you with all the crap going on in your life. Give yourself a break. Just like you won’t bother a girlfriend or boyfriend with only negative stuff and would try to say soothing, calm things to them, it’s important to treat your innerself the same way. Hey, sorry if I’m beginning to sound a bit creepy. If your parents drag you to a shrink after this, please don’t say I asked you to do all this. Please.

5 Forgive yourself:

We kill ourselves over our mistakes. It doesn’t occur to us that like others, we also deserve forgiveness from ourselves. Remember, there is no mistake in this world which is not pardonable. No more torturing yourself because you are an easy target. And yeah, in the quest of loving yourself, don’t aspire to be 100% like someone you idolise. As talented as they are, duplicates of super-stars can never be super-stars themselves. Be your own super hero. The original one. I’m suddenly reminded of a few lines from an old hindi song I quite like. Makes a lot of sense to me… hope it does to you, too.

Aur nahi toh kam se kam, itni toh taqlif karo; logon ki tareefon mein, kabhi apni bhi tareef karo
Sab se toh tum khush ho, apne aap se kyun naraaz ho … Lekar apna naam kabhi, tum khud ko awaaz do

(At least do this much, while complimenting others, sometimes compliment yourself; you are happy with everyone, why are you upset with yourself..sometimes take your name and call out to yourself)
Happy New Year

Sonal Kalra just went overboard and posted an I love you card to herself. She’s being dragged to the mental hospital now.

Yes, I admit it I am a misfit [Feedback]

This column was published on 25/9/11 in HT City. Here is an excerpt;

“Raise your left hand if you’ve ever felt like a misfit — in school, college, workplace, social gatherings. Now raise the other hand if you’ve killed yourself (not literally, Einstein!) trying to change yourself because it made you feel inferior. If both your hands are up, GOOD. At least for the next few minutes, this should be your punishment for being so stupidly harsh on yourself.  If you must know, my one hand is raised too, and believe me, it’s not easy to type out this column single-handedly. See, I have nothing against people trying to better themselves….

Read Full Column

Best thing about reading Sonal’s column is that there is always a smile on your face without losing the seriousness of the subject. Same thing happened with this column too. I was smiling all through first few paras but then could not continue any further obviously because I had started feeling pain in both of my arms for having raised them for so long. Also, because I was doing this after a long long time – obviously, I did this in school last time.

Most of us do find ourselves quite a misfit not once but many times in a life time. But, obviously, this ‘misfeeling’ tends to fade away with time and age….no we don’t get rid of this problem but ultimately, we accept the fact that we are a indeed a misfit and can not change for good and hence, no longer feel bad about the same.

[stextbox id=”info”]”One of the processes of your life is to constantly break down that inferiority, to constantly reaffirm that I Am Somebody. ”
Alvin Ailey[/stextbox]

We continue to feel misfit as long as we feel that we can still change ourselves to cope with others. This generally happens in a timeframe ranging from early teens to somewhere when we reach midlife. After having felt bothered about being misfit and subsequently, having tried to change (though, in vain) a lot many times, most of us do tend to give up and try to make calm – not with accepting  ourselves – but with the fact that now nothing can be done. This is the time when, most of us have refuses-to-grow-in-age wife and always-growing kids at home . At this time, specially kids, become the single most factor to distract us and in turn, they become our soft targets.

yes-i-admit-it-i-am-misfit-a-calmer-you-column-sonal-kalra-25-sep-2011

It is then, we change our whole attention towards changing or moulding our kids so as they don’t get the same feeling of ‘misfit’ when they grow up. Little, do we realize that such an effort is only going to make the matter worse than ever. The poor kids who until now have been enjoying their lives slowly starts becoming aware about what a misfit could mean and starts relating the same with their own life only to conclude that they are indeed a misfit as their father was.

None of the problems of our life (including this one) develops overnight. When you tend to feel a certain way for quite a longer duration, it is then that ‘thinking’ turns into a disease. It is true with most of the pschological problems. So, obviously, the best way to prevent such problems is only by changing the thought process.

[stextbox id=”info”]”Misfits aren’t misfits among other misfits.”
Barry Manilow[/stextbox]

The three point solution cum medicine which Sonal has prescribed in her column is definitely a fit and hit and can really help people suffering from this problem. However, as we all know “prevention is better than a cure”. So, why not to try to prevent this problem from infecting us ever.  Childhood is the only best time when we can change the thought process  with quite an ease. So, why not try to make our kids life better so that when they grow up, they don’t find themselves a misfit as we did and instead find peace with what they are. So, next time when dealing with your kids, stop quoting examples of other kids to prove them wrong. Even if your kid is not doing good, you should handle this situation without ever doing any comparison with any one. These early age comparison are the seeds for the more bigger and serious problem /issue in the later life.

Well, as Sonal had quoted this in one of her earlier column on the similar topic which was probably published sometime in May 2011 (read that column here) –

 “When Roosevelt said ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,”

This is more than true and useful if you really want to make peace with your own feelings.

Yes, I admit it. I am a misfit

Raise your left hand if you’ve ever felt like a misfit — in school, college, workplace, social gatherings. Now raise the other hand if you’ve killed yourself (not literally, Einstein!) trying to change yourself because it made you feel inferior. If both your hands are up, GOOD. At least for the next few minutes, this should be your punishment for being so stupidly harsh on yourself.

If you must know, my one hand is raised too, and believe me, it’s not easy to type out this column single-handedly. See, I have nothing against people trying to better themselves. Constant improvisation is what dictates an individual’s growth. But then getting a complex because you don’t look, talk or dress like everyone else in your group is just.not.done. Suna Kya?

a calmer you column calmness tips to overcome inferiority complex
Last week, I got a mail from a 24-year-old engineer from a town near Dehradun. This guy recently moved to Gurgaon to work with a software giant. And within a few weeks, things have come to a stage where in his mail, he asked me for a therapist’s reference because he is depressed. “In corporate world, life can be hell for someone who is from a small town. I am worried all the time that perhaps I don’t come across as being as smart and fluent as others in my team. Even when I know that I can beat the s*** out of everyone when it comes to technical skills, I’m made to feel under-confident. I’m utterly depressed because I don’t speak or look as modern as they do.”
Oh Dehradun wale bhai… depression is not flu that you can catch standing at the bus stop. Therefore, please don’t use heavy-duty medical terms to scare yourself further. What you are going through is a problem that troubles even those who are not from small towns. Can’t you see so many from Delhi, Chandigarh or Lucknow reading this column right now with both their hands up, and trying to fool their family or friends by saying it’s some new yog asan?

[stextbox id=”info”]Calmness Tips to Overcome Inferiority Complex[/stextbox]

Let’s deal with your problem right now.

1. Being the odd one is NOT a crime:

If you’ll remember that one truth, you are likely to sail through life being way happier than others. You may not be as fluent in English as some hoity-toity classmates whose parents raised them by singing English loris every night (uff, lullabies, for those who didn’t get lori. Doob maro!). You may not dress as well as your colleagues who could easily double as beauty pageant contestants after work hours. You may be an introvert who doesn’t like to talk much while others in your group deserve a bandage on the mouth for non stop chitter chatter. You may speak with a regional accent that some mean colleagues try to poke fun at, while forgetting that they started rolling their ‘R’s after they went to US for just three days, that too on company expense.
Seedhi baat?…you could be any of the above and it is still OKAY. Don’t try too hard to transform into someone that
you are not, overnight. Dress sense, language fluency etc are things that anyway change, hopefully for the better, during the various phases of a person’s life. Give yourself time to go through that natural evolution. For those who make fun of you because you don’t belong, I’m typing these words with my middle finger now.

2. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for being different:

Author Carlos Castaneda, in his popular Teachings of Don Juan said, “In every explanation, there is an apology.” So, unless you’ve done something wrong and malicious that causes harm to someone else, how you speak, dress, behave is no one’s business but yours. Offering an explanation would seem like an admission of your shortcomings and would suggest that whoever was making fun of you is right. Be proud of the way you are, people get impressed more by inner confidence than anything superficial.

3. Misfits are necessary:

Imagine how hellishly boring life would be, if all friends in a group dressed, spoke or gelled their hair exactly the same way. Those who are different, add spice to interactions. In fact, a lot of those who history has termed genius, considered themselves misfits in the conventional sense. It worked for them. It’ll work for you. Haan, don’t try to grab attention by intentionally try to act different or cool. People who have the problem of d.a.s.t (desperate attention seeking techniques, you dirty mind!) come across as cheesy and tacky. You are good the way you are.
Okay, hands down now. Tomorrow morning, your arms will hurt so much that you’ll look and behave different than others. Mission accomplished.

The Tension-Not calmness trophy this week to
– Nicky Kulwant, for being one of the most positive people I’ve ever come across in life
– Naveen Arora for a spectacular sense of humour that’s entirely unmatched; and
– Maninder Singh for a rare combination of extremely sensible thinking and superb technical expertise.
Calmness to all of you…

Sonal Kalra wants to eradicate the disease of inferiority-complex from this world. But she thinks she’s not intelligent enough. How depressing.