I have always had this inferiority complex—I pick someone I know and pick out why they’re better than me in some way, shape or form. Dad and Mom always told me to stop comparing what I have to others. But, that girl? She writes better than me. Oh, and her? She has a much better personality than me. She’s funnier. She’s prettier. She’s smarter. She’s has a better body, clothes, this and that, the list goes on. The point is, she’s just… better… than me.
To a certain extent, I never saw this perspective as 100-percent terrible, because it would at least drive me to better myself to do whatever I thought would make me better. Intense? Yeah, a little. But at least I had a focus, though extreme, that implied at least I believed in myself enough to strive to improve.
But then I didn’t.
I stopped writing for awhile, because I started feeling like my words were a waste of space, I went from calling myself a writer to doubting if I was even remotely decent, in all aspects of my life. I started wearing eye shadow everyday, I felt ugly without it. I started finding myself changing my outfit—no exaggeration—at least three times a day (not including getting in and out of pajamas). I would find myself trying to check myself out in car reflections on my way to class, just to make sure I looked presentable. I even started putting off some of my schoolwork because I felt like I wouldn’t succeed anyway so I might as well not even bother.
I wanted to be prettier. I wanted to be smarter. I wanted to be better.
And then I gave up.
The truth is, there is always going to be someone out there who is “better.” Someone once told me that they read a study about how the way we perceive ourselves versus the way we are perceived differ to the extent that we wouldn’t even be able to recognize who we are if we met ourselves. Granted, I hate the way I sound whenever I hear my voice outside of my head, but I couldn’t grasp this concept. But then I thought about it, and thought how despite my inferiority complex, which I could’ve sworn people could see right through, I have been called confident, and all the other things I strive so hard to be. One time, someone actually said they wanted to murder me because I was cute (?). But what’s so cute about over-obsessing about every aspect of myself? I just couldn’t take compliments, because even when given those compliments, I was still comparing them to how I perceived people who I see as better than me.
Here I am in constant intimidation, but I think the only thing worse than feeling threatened is the fact that I allowed myself to get to a point where it seems that I’ve stopped believing in myself all together.
But I realize now that in order to believe in myself again, I need to look at myself through the lenses of people who do and have always believed in me. The people who know what my past entails and have stuck beside me, despite my hysteria and despite the thousands of fleeting relationships that come and go. These people have stuck around, and it’s OK to need them. They wouldn’t want me to be at this point where I am now. And for them, I cannot let them down. That type of comparison, comparing the people who believe in me and utilizing that in myself, is the only type of comparison that can ever be justified.