“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt
I fight a constant battle with not one, but a few groups of people (over different matters) who tried to make me feel little and worthless. But the harder they tried, the stronger I became. I must say that it’s not always easy, there were times when I thought it was hard and I wanted to cry in frustration that I’m actually dealing with a bunch of high-school-minded-adults (honestly, they don’t even deserve to be called adults with that behaviour), but somehow their determination to take me down fueled me to actually stand up for myself and defend my ground. They want to take away access to things I enjoy doing, they can go ahead and try, but I know I’ll find other means to get there. They want to try take away my friends? Well, if they succeed, then I know that they weren’t my friends to start with, if they try to take away my true friends from me, they’d be lucky enough to get out of the situation with their dignity still intact. I have faith in my friends, as much as they have faith in me. Again I have to come back to the root of the problem when it comes to feeling miserable, and that is myself. Know my limit, know my capabilities, and that way, I know how to receive peer pressure from others and use it for my advantage.
I am a woman of uniqueness. I accept the fact that I am an individual and I do not feel the need to blend in or belong to a particular group of people. Being someone different at school was challenging enough, imagine being someone different in a larger community.
To start with, I tried to think of why people are trying to make me feel miserable. Jealousy normally is a spot on answer. I feel jealous a lot of times, but I always try to maintain a straight face while the unpleasant feeling blew me, and suppress the feeling until I have a little down time to process it. If I had act upon it, I may have gotten myself into trouble that would take a lot more effort to get out of. A right portion of jealousy is healthy, because it’ll keep us on our toes and force us to take care of what you already have. But when there is too much jealousy, it would tip the balance and made a sane person do irrational and hurtful things.
My first reaction was to smile. Yes… someone or some people were jealous of me. It was quite a pleasant feeling… and because of this I always try to not show my jealousy to the people I’m jealous of. To be frank, I didn’t want to boost their ego. I’d take it as a compliment that someone would go the distance to try make me unhappy and cut my access to a lot of things… I’d be thinking “Oh my… am I that much of a threat?”. WOW! Yeah! Let me bask in my glory for a bit, will you?
I know I always have the upper hand when someone is jealous of me, and when that particular person round up a troop to take me down, I have more power over him/her. Why? Someone with such low self-esteem is a very easy target. The trick is that I pick my battles carefully. There were times when I knew I’d easily win that battle, but is it worth fighting for? A lot of the times the answer is no, because at the end of the day after I came out victorious and left my opponents feeling defeated, the glory only last for a few minutes, an hour tops. The motives had changed, from doing favours for myself to stroking my ego. And the hard thing is that I am too proud to admit defeat myself. Therefore, there were times I had to suck it up and come into terms with whatever decision I have made. Lesson I’ve learnt is that taking a step back today could mean taking two steps forward on a better day, because by doing that I’m letting my opponent (or in this case the crowd who are against me) reveal their weaknesses.
So when do I know which battle worth fighting for? Gut instinct normally is my guide, but sometimes it’s clouded by emotions. I would consult to my best friends, which normally would become a reality check for me. Then I’d sit down and think of possible outcomes, what are at stakes, what could I gain from fighting this battle. Is the gain worth the effort? Am I going to be at lost in the long run should I gain this victory? Yes, tactics in life is quite similar to war tactics.