Thursday, April 16, 2009

149 - Personal insecurity

In my younger years, I used to be unbelievably shy. I simply would not utter a single word to my classmates throughout the school day, because I thought that these other kids were strange beings, people I could not understand. And because I could not understand them, they were people that I deeply feared. (The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety. - Henry Louis Mencken)

It was only until my mother had picked me up from school and whisked me away that I was suddenly capable of human speech.
She would meet me at the gate everyday after school, lead the way to the nearest road, and hail a cab. And it was inside this cab, where I instantaneously transformed into the talkative and opinionated person that you, my readers, are presented with today.

I behaved this way at the time because I only trusted my mother, and did not trust these strangers who worked and played alongside me. I also didn't think I was the best at anything (even though, at the time, all we did in class was basic maths, basic English and drawing). I didn't think too highly of my abilities and I did not want others to know my standards. I wasn't confident. I did not have very high self-esteem.

In retrospect, I believe it was because of this lack of confidence in myself and others that I did not have many friends in primary school. In fact, I am still very much like my five-year-old self, and when I go to school these days, I actually find myself distrusting my own and other people's judgements, and that's what usually separates me from the group.

I know several people who experience unease and nervousness each day because they perceive themselves, or others, as inadequate or worthless. T
here is a very fine line between being insecure but pretending to be okay, and actually being okay. And it's in pretending to be okay that annoys me, because the person I'm talking to is achingly putting on a fake, confident smile, just for me.

So what can that person do, or what can I do?

I like to attack a problem by first eradicating the source of the problem, like hosing down the stove in a kitchen fire. By that analogy, I mean trying to build confidence is the way to achieve a healthy quantity and quality of self-regard (i.e., remove insecurity).

However, how this can be done effectively is beyond me. These people are so insecure about themselves, that they think they aren't capable of anything, and that includes change for the better. They never feel motivated enough to talk more, or talk to one more person, they never feel like they can actually break out of their usual behavioral habits. And so it's just a horrible paradoxical internal bewilderment that exists within us, a bewilderment that is borne of these strange beings who feel insecure, sort of like a sprinkling into our lives of realistic humanoids that are machined to solely experience doubt, shyness, and feelings of being threatened... it's just another one of those vicious cycles.

I hate it, how are you supposed to build a strong relationship with someone that's insecure? Come on, readers, do you hate it too?


(Do you hate it too? has received a Neno's award, displayed on the right-hand side underneath the Golden Bog Roll. Please check out the link, as I talk about why I love to blog. :D)


shanne said...

i am one of those readers whose face is slapped after reading this post. but i dont think i should call this thing i feel as insecurity. i am confident of what i am capable of doing and what i do but when someone asks me to do such a thing that I'm not familiar with, i tend to degrade myself. what's wrong with me? what do you think?

Christine said...

oh the memories ..... heavy sigh.

I often wondered why I was so shy. But looking back at it there was several reasons. One of which was my mom moved around alot!!!!
I do not remeber how many schools I eneded up in ... but in High School alone - 5.

Anonymous said...

Quite guilty with the fake smile part. But most of the time it comes out automatically for me. Though now I'm trying to work it out, making a point I don't smile when I really feel like frowning. But admittedly there are certain occasions I do it intentionally. Sometimes I see myself in this other person's shoe and naturally I don't wanna bore anyone. (=.o)

Louise said...

Why do I feel so affected? Ooooohhh...*hurt look.

I find confidence when I write...Sorry God, but I'm just too shy...I kinda lost my confidence when I entered high school. Everything just looked different like the small kiddie platform transformed into a huge opera-like stage in front of a huge mass of staring eyes.

I hate how I feel too affected of eyes. Eyes that speak of curiosity and demands. Sigh...what more now that I'm going into college? Ohhhh! Pleeeeeaaaaasssseeeeee!!!

E_M_Y said...

Thanks for the comments!
I dont even remember how i got to that girl!

J.J. in L.A. said...

Unfortunately, I have the opposite problem. Probably because I had so many brothers. lol!

Anonymous said...

Ship them off to a debating camp - worked for me.

Pam said...

I am the opposite...I can talk to anyone but don't let that fool you. Social people still have just as many insecurities as shy people.