Writing issues about this is my digital therapy.
I hate talking to others about my problems, but I've always been encouraged to write about them. So, I'm using this to my advantage.
I live in a world where one is always judged for personality, attitude, and even appearance. I grew up as an introvert wanting to do extrovert things. I also gained the habit of feeling incompetent or inferior to not only my own friend group but to others in general. Not everyone is able to spark a conversation and have as much charisma and likability than a normal person. I'm not normal. I'm your socially awkward and brutally honest introvert. Have you ever heard of an introvert desperately seeking attention and appreciation from others?
If you haven't, hello, I'm Trae.
Welcome to Chili's.
I was raised in Southwest Philadelphia, where my older siblings were given the opportunities to interact with people. I, however, never made full social contact with anyone until I graduated high school and moved into college. So, when I had the opportunity to make a friend or two, I often questioned myself.
I'd ask myself, "Why are they friends with me?"
I believed that I had (or have) to act a certain way, say and like certain things to impress my friends or other people around me. Even in group settings, I feel unworthy and I believe that everything I'd say or do pulls others away from me. Sometimes, friends of mine would pull away from me because I'd enable them to.
Based on these actions alone, I'm a thousand percent sure that I have an inferiority complex.
"What's an inferiority complex?" You might ask. According to ThriveTalk, inferiority complexes often consist of extreme self-doubt, lack of self-esteem, but solely correlates with how a person's insecurities affect one's "emotions, interactions, relationships, and general worldview." An inferiority complex can mostly stem from parental upbringing, social discrimination (from race, sex, etc.) and physical appearance.
Aside from my diagnosis that I constantly emphasize in every article, a lot of my insecurities come from being this socially awkward, overweight kid that means well and wants to make friends, but others don't accept. Even when others do accept, you question why. I wasn't used to most of my friends willing to get to know me. However, I continued to question this, especially in group occasions.
Sometimes, I could crack a joke or two, and my peers could crack a joke at me and laugh as if they were laughing AT me and not WITH me. If people made me feel ignored in a conversation, I'd feel inferior. Inferiority complexes often result many 'symptoms' according to ThriveTalk, such as social withdrawal (a normal thing for me), fault finding, performance anxiety, craving for attention and increased sensitivity.
But the one obvious symptom I can admit is attention craving.
I crave attention a lot, even when I hate when attention is drawn on me. I always feel like I need validation and love from others in order to better my own self-worth. This happened a lot with me with close friends that made me feel like our friendships were one-sided. Sometimes I could 'pretend' to be angry with them in order to get their attention. Sometimes, if I pretend to be angry and the plan for attention backfires, I actually get angry.
The truth is, I don't have a solution to this problem. Maybe I'm just writing this in hopes that everyone who reads will be able to tell me what to do. My confidence has always been under limbo. Always. I don't think I'd feel 100% great about myself unless someone motivates me to. I don't expect it, but it's something that I'd genuinely want.
If you've experienced inferiority in your social life, what did you do to change that?