We are a competitive species and we all do a certain amount of comparison. Perhaps our parents encouraged us to measure ourselves against others, or against our own earlier performance: “Your brother was the star player,” “I got straight A’s when I was your age,” “You were the first kid in your play group to walk on your own.”
Throughout our lives, we confront expectations within our family and within our culture. Gender roles, education, career and financial security all loom above us: how much will we achieve, how soon, how well? Will we do as well as our parents? our siblings? our friends? Will we do better?
Not surprisingly, everyone has occasional feelings of inferiority, even the most competent and intelligent among us. We might feel that everyone else is smarter, better looking or richer than we are or ever will be.
We may feel the pain of our parents’ disappointments and punishments long into our adulthood. But if we harbor deep feelings of inferiority and continually feel that we cannot measure up, we’re likely to be angry about it. We deserve better. We’re as good as the next person. We’re trying as hard as we can and still falling behind. We resent those who seem to ‘have it easy.’
The anger stirred by feelings of inferiority is a dangerous force. We feel we have to prove that we’re better, to really show those who question or doubt us. And sometimes the only way to make our point is with force: physical, emotional or psychological.
To set ourselves free of the destructive power of such anger, we must first consider the source and reasons for our low self-esteem. As we begin to recognize the many ways our sense of inferiority has been reinforced and we begin to learn ways to build our self-esteem, we can feel the anger melting away.
When we manage our anger, we save our relationships, our jobs, our health and even our lives.
For a free phone consult, call Dr. Fibus at 818.395.2831.