Upbringing was a major factor. Nothing was ever good enough, I was always supposed to have done things differently and better. Never successes, always the flaws. Many folks will have experienced similar.
(So when faced with a compliment, we’re confused and looking for the catch)
I understand the intentions, but that’s not a good way to bring up happy well-balanced future human beings. Ones that are encouraged by and appreciate their own achievements (ie what life is supposed to be all about), instead of fretting over imagined mistakes and so making more.
the downward spiral, the snake that eats itself.
Society and Marketing work on similar standards - everything and everyone competing, comparing, always made to feel inadequate, encouraged to resent and attack those who fared better. Reinforcing.
Achieving something for yourself is treated as suspicious or boastful. You’re supposed to buy it, or bow and let someone else senior take the credit.
Humility is held as an ideal and rewarded. As is conspicuous consumerism/over-indulgence .. wait.. contradiction? Apparently not.
Being self-sufficient and at peace with yourself is not very profitable.
I’ve done a lot of thinking, and tried to strip away any damaging social programming. To identify and isolate what are my own thoughts/feelings from what I’ve been taught/am still told to think.
It isn’t as clear or easy as it sounds. Not sure I’m doing too well on it either.
Rationalising the process works to a certain extent, but when it gets personal, emotions kick in and all that thinking flies out the window.
Depends on the context, how solid I feel my achievement to be, the spread of supportive counter-arguments to bolster that feeling.
What has worked (for me) has been to keep on doing things - collect solid, quantifiable achievements.. as proof to myself and others that I’m not infernally useless.
Art, making things, studying and getting certificates, reading as much and widely as possible, to possess facts about everything, to be knowledgeable on as many topics as I can. Proof. Scaffolding. Weaponry.
To mentally squash the instinct to back down, curl up, deny any value in myself.
So now I get called arrogant, boastful, a know-it-all and a show-off.
I still fucking cringe on the inside. Then get furious at myself for still doing this.
This is wonderful commentary. Thank you.