Some teenagers may appear smart, but deep inside they have many insecurities that they sometimes choose to be alone and some of them even fall into depression.
When I was in high school, I was one of the smartest in our class, but I got a terrible inferiority complex. I did not feel comfortable with myself and the way I looked. Despite the praises I received from my teachers because of my good class standing, outside of the classroom, I was the invincible girl who felt miserable.
I was a secluded hermit, avoiding parties and get-togethers. I would avoid interacting with my classmates even though they were kind to me. There were times when I really would want to join them especially when I knew my crush was coming, but something was just stopping me. They thought I was arrogant and snobbish for not giving in to their invitations, but in reality, it was my inferiority complex.
Where Does My Inferiority Complex Come From?
I had a lonely childhood. My mother and father left me at a young age to the care of my aunts who were very strict. I was not allowed to go outside and play with other kids. I often get scolded for the slightest wrong deed. No one talked to me about how I felt, and when I felt sick, there was no one to hug or comfort me.
I tried my best to study hard thinking that they would change their behavior towards me, but they did not. In fact, my aunts were always telling me that I was trying hard, but it will just all go to waste. I think I had heard every negative word from their mouth. I was hurt, but I was trying my best not to show them. I just kept everything to myself.
According to a psychologist, inferiority complex paralyzes a person which can result in extreme shyness (social anxiety) and feelings of worthlessness. That was how I felt. People around me gave me that feeling that I was unacceptable no matter what I did or achieved.
“As insecurity increases in any of us, so do the symptoms associated with it. Anxiety, paranoia, fears of loss, instability, and an increasing need for reassurance begin to diminish our capacity to think and act effectively,” said Randi Gunther, PhD.
How I Was Able To Stop The Feeling
I was like that in high school and early part of my college days, and it got me nowhere. I was just this sad girl in the corner. However, as I started doing part-time jobs, I began to mature and realized how my inferiority complex hindered me from enjoying my life. I have missed so much of my teenage years because I gave in to my insecurities and I did not want to go on that way.
“There are times when insecurities are well-justified, however, and admitting those feelings is psychologically healthy,” said Susan Krauss Whitbourne, PhD. “However, recognizing that you’ve been manipulated into feeling this way can help you shake aside that negative self-assessment.”
What I Think Of Myself Is More Important
I tried my best to motivate myself and ignore every negative comment they made about me (even the slightest ones). I did not know how, but I just stopped caring about what others thought of me. I knew that whatever I did, I will never be able to please them, so I thought it would be better to just think of myself first. I no longer felt hurt and depressed because I came to know myself more and I valued that more than anyone’s opinion of me.
I Know My Value
Comparing has made me ineffective in some ways and it has become a source of my discouragements. As I have come to know my value, I stopped comparing myself to my schoolmates, friends, and siblings. I am my own unique person. I have my own strength, and I capitalized on that.
“Try to evaluate yourself based on how much effort you put in, which is controllable, rather than on the outcome, which is dependent on external factors,” said Melanie Greenberg, PhD.
Respect Begets Respect
I overcame my shyness by learning how to be sociable. I am part of the system, and we are all just equal and deserving of respect. I respect you, and you respect me. Having this mindset has encouraged me to feel comfortable around other people. And it allowed me to have real friends and be in a relationship that has brought me so much joy.
Acknowledging that you are inferior in some ways is a reality, but dwelling on your insecurities is another. Inferiority complex is a feeling you would not want to stop you from doing the things you love and things that will bring you happiness. Don’t let your insecurities eat you up, but instead use it as a healthy motivator to be a better version of yourself. Learn from it to be the confident person you ought to be.
Now that I have teenage daughters of my own, I want to make sure that they will enjoy their high school years to the fullest through motivation and by encouraging them to be themselves all the time. Feeling insecure will be a battle they will face at a point in their lives, a war within themselves and not of the world around them. It is a reality I am preparing them by telling them my story and my weaknesses. And I am assuring them that I am just here to listen to them, and I will be willing to guide them through the struggle so they may consciously open their minds to accept the truth about themselves, for that is how God created them to be.
For they can never be true to others if they are not true to themselves first.