27 August 2008

Inferiority Contest

I'm a noticer. You know, the person who first notices a haircut, a missing employee, a friends new car, or change in moods? I notice the neighbor's weekend schedule or how often they check their mail. I have made a habit of acute observation.

My habit is undoubtedly a lifetime of summing my value by perceived comparisons. My observations brought perception, followed by harsh judgment, and ultimately determining my value by some far-fetched idea of rivalry. This is not a good way to live or keep friends.

Years ago, I would have vehemently denied that I was competitive, let alone keeping up with the Jones'.

"You are so wrong and I'll tell you why....."

heh. I didn't even like the Jones'.

I can see in retrospect how my low self-esteem hurt me so much in the long run. If I felt inferior, I'd beat myself up in my own fight. Sad but true.

Of course, there are people who haven't grown out of competitiveness. I tend to shy away from as quickly as I can. Those types are what I call, "Penelopes". Women especially do this to each other. It is laughable. Everything you have done, every way that you have looked, and all that you have owned? Oh, yes. They can, will, and have done better.

Why would that make you laugh, you ask?

When someone does this, all I can think about is Penelope from SNL.

Now, I've learned to embrace the fighter in me. Observation or competition does not have to be a negative character trait. By embracing these traits in a positive way, I have been able to see my value beyond the core of my competitiveness. Fighting for love, spiritual health, family, or wholeness are all ideal. Fighting because I had no self-worth only alienated me from some potentially great friendships.

Regardless of my personal growth over the years, I am still a noticer. I continue to notice those who need to declare their awesomeness. These displays, via insult or posturing, are loud declarations that they are indeed better, stronger, wealthier....or will be by attempting to take away what I already have: self-worth.

Now I've learned to let it go, smile, ignore, and/or just say nothing. I've learned that no matter what, no one else defines my value so I have nothing to prove. I know what I am worth and no one can take that away from me, not by looks, wallet, breeding, or education.

Eleanor Roosevelt says it best, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Mrs. Roosevelt was a smart woman and I'll gladly admit, she was smarter than me.

~Bee is thankful that life is her teacher


Heidi said...

I am sooo the opposite. I don't even try to compete, just run my own race, so to speak. Very open & honest post. Thanks. The quote is great, I think I may need to pull that one out of my bag of tricks later down the line with my daughter.

Gen said...

Excellent wisdom here!

Jodi said...

This was/is me...excellent post!

Doozie said...

What about when Eleanor Roosevelt said this:

"America is all about hot, nasty, badass speed"

I live by that woman goll darnit!!

Brillig said...

HOLY CRAPOLY! It's YOU!!!!! You little stinker. I've been missing you like crazy, and with your other URL(s) gone, I just thought that maybe you'd fallen out of love with Bloglandia. I was so sad to lose touch with you.

I hope it's okay that I'm jumping in to say hi... I hope I'm not one of the people you were hiding from... (*giggles nervously*)

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

This post was so brilliant it hurt my brain a little bit.

Ed (zoesdad) said...

I can see myself in this post--a lot. But I still compare, even if silently to myself.

Bee said...

I still do it...just getting older and wiser (NO laughing) to make it less of a detriment to self, at least for me it was.

you inspire me every post, chicka..so I take that compliment. :)

I thought you knew?!!! Darn it...I sent out a giant email to all my bloggies and I think yahoo ate it. Yeah...ES is gone, but it's good to reinvent yourself, you know? And NO, not hiding from you..EVER. Just laying low, shielding myself from assumptions from the oxygen world. My posts are all about me, me, me. heh. But seriously, it's all good now and even better, no egg shells. :)

Are you hitting the breakfast beer again? If so, could you get me one? Oh, yeah...I don't drink beer. Then how about this quote, "Shamalamadingdong".

Reformed Penelopes, unite!

aw, thanks hun.

you are a better woman than I..pun intended..hehe.

JenLive! said...

I can relate. I don't always notice details, but I was proficient in seeing the qualities I admired in others and trying to be them. Even if they didn't fit. Actually, that's how my blog got started - me trying to find out who I am and what I like, not what I thought I should be as compared to my perception of others.

Bee said...

You are a rawkstar! That's a perfect example of the positive side. It's also the same reason I started my blog.

holly said...

i so don't notice stuff unless it's ridiculous. theeeen i notice it.

like that steven wright comment. i have laughed my butt off for 5 minutes now. (ridiculous in a good way :) ) mr wright is one my favorite dudes.

Bee said...

holly dolly dearest,
I noticed everything. I've even stopped bank robberies. It's crazy. I did notice a Yaris the other day and laughed out loud. I immediately thought of your post where you were reveling in the glories of all things Yaris.

That quote made me laugh for two WHOLE days. I just found this one:

Last night I was playing poker with tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died. ~Steven Wright.

Millie said...

I bought some powdered water but I don't know what to add.

The competitive-ness of women and girls has driven me nuts since childhood. Boys were always more straightforward. For a long time I had more boy friends than girl friends... those were the days.

I've noticed that you're a noticer. I think it's awesome because I tend to be obtuse.

Skerrib said...

I've said it before & I'll say it again: I am awesome.

Bee said...

dern straight.

haha, I love him. I'd marry him but I'm married and he is a funny looking bald du...forget it.

Heffalump said...

I think the best person I can compete with is myself. If I can outdo myself (be a better person) every day, then I'll be okay.

You, my friend, are NOT chopped liver. In fact, I would not have met all those lovely ladies this weekend without you. I clicked from Dapoppins, to you, to Millie and the rest is history...

Creative-Type Dad said...

I like Eleanor's saying. I need to remember that one.

Dapoppins said...

you are a better person than I!

That Janie Girl said...

I love that saying...and it's so true!

Momo Fali said...

I am awesome. Oh, okay...not really. Dang.

Blank said...

You are so cool, Bee.

The Joneses here have a BMW. I, the Neon woman, have given up on keeping up. ;)

Anonymous said...

I needed to read this post today.


Thanks for writing it.

Anonymous said...


I feel very fortunate to be rich, handsome and smart. I try to be humble but to be honest with you people are very uncomfortable around me.

I am really good at judging young women. I can tell you if they are going to get fat, if they will lose interest in sex, will they get cellulite or flabby arms. You might remember at my 30-year High School reunion I was carried around the hall because 30 years prior I had picked the women that would still look OK at 48.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite quotes!

Brillig said...

Ahhh yes. No eggshells. I totally get that-- and envy it a bit... I could use a few less eggshells. Maybe it's time to reinvent myself?

loveyh said...

I would beat Penelope--but she's probably had someone do it better.


Jaina said...

Great post Bee. I agree with just letting things go or smiling or ignoring...that's the best thing you can you do around people like that. I used to get annoyed by them, but now I laugh to myself usually.

Post a Comment

"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe