No one can make you feel inferior without your consent
For a very long time, I felt as if this quote applied to allowing other people to make you feel small-and I still think that it does. But just yesterday I began thinking about it in a new way: it can also be about how we make ourselves feel inferior.
I have lost track of the number of times I have looked in a changing room mirror, and thought urgh. Wondered why I don’t have what I assume the “perfect” body is. I have also lost track of the number of times that I have received an essay back, and immediately beaten myself up for not having achieved the mark I wanted- despite having working my butt off. There are many things I have lost track of making myself feel inferior for: not being able to do a pull up like this one girl in the gym, not being able to get a six pack, when I get ill and I’m sat there with three boxes of tissues and a lifetime’s supply of paracetamol, not having read War & Peace, not being one of those students with multiple conflicting talents (bio-chemical engineers who also write, and read at poetry events anyone?), knowing very little about politics (working on that one), being 5ft 4 inches instead of 5ft 6inches, having that weird pimply chicken skin on my arms and legs, not knowing how to curl my hair with rollers, not understanding complex scientific things like DNA to the extent of some students I’ve met, being unable to make a decent omelette (I usually end up with a scramble), not feeling able to take on a role in a society because I’m worried I would a) not have enough time, and so b) let people down….
Up there you see some of the funny, the bad, and the down-right pathetic. But it’s true. We all feel inferior for the simplest little things. It is possible to be a person who has no issue telling people where to go when they’re being douche-bags- but also spend an awful lot of time making yourself feel inferior. I am living proof: I pretty much sit back and let my inner-bitch make me feel inferior sometimes- because its too fucking exhausting not to. And I’ll bet, at times, you do the same. Which is where this week’s quote comes in.
This next week I shall be working on letting the most important person where consent is concerned know that they can’t make me feel inferior. I shall be letting myself know that it is not okay to talk down to myself- that I cannot, and do not consent, to that. And I hope that you’ll do the same.