Why am I bitter? Hmmm… let’s see. I grew up in a family that had high expectations of me academically, but did nothing to support me. In fact, my dad’s job made things worse because I changed 8 different schools by the time I was 16. I was always behind in the class because I would start school half way through the year. And what did I get for that? “I never imagined I would ever be the parent of a failure”. Or “why don’t you work hard and top the class like you did when you were in 3rd grade?”.
You would think as a grown up, having graduated through college with good grades and getting accepted into a Ph.D. program at one of the best schools in the world would make your parents support you. Nope. I was talking to them today about how I made an important discovery that supports previous findings from my research. And what did I get? “What difference does supporting your findings make if you haven’t even submitted your paper for publication?”
I think I have had it with unsupportive jerks in my life. If you are in the same boat, think of all of your accomplishments. Think of how far you have come on your own and be proud. As for me, I have achieved a great deal on my own. I have worked hard and come up with brilliant ideas that have taken me this far. Sure there is more to learn…. but I still deserve dignity and respect for who I have made myself.
And so do you.
A few instances of late have made me ponder what the connection is between lack of self-esteem and being egotistical. Let me phrase it differently – I am starting to think that those who are egotistical might actually be low on self-esteem regarding some aspect of their personality.
In my case, I always feel like I am lacking intellectually. Recently, I was corrected by my boss for lack of clarity in thought and the way I think. Clearly this made me feel stupid. Secondly, a colleague at work solved a technical issue that I was unable to solve. This experience also made me feel stupid. The question is why?
I think it is because I don’t like being corrected. “How dare you tell me that I am wrong?” – that is my ego and pride talking. Yet, this is intricately related to my lack of self-esteem, where my mind says “I am such a stupid, good-for-nothing”. How is it that these two seemingly contradictory thought patterns go hand-in-hand? Is it because I am a narcissist at some level? Or is it because I feel the societal pressure to be smart and hence egoism becomes my defense mechanism to trick me into believing that it is not me that is lacking, but rather that the other person is wrong.
What do you think?
Talking to a colleague today made me realize how much I have to be thankful for. I don’t know that Being that I should be thankful to, but maybe someday I will know. Until then thank You! Whoever You are! Please give me strength so that I may never be ungrateful again.