Stimulating an inferiority complex

I’ve got a friend who likes to highlight his frustrations and sometimes show off a perpetual defeatist attitude: One where he goes into a situation worried and “a wreck” and comes out worse off with no confidence at all. Usually these are either social situations where he’s trying to make inroads with a virtual stranger / romantic interest or job interviews where he feels like he has to sell himself.

Well, he has to do that in both… Or he’s certain of it. Sell who he is and what he stands for and demonstrate it.

In comparison, my worry is attaining these situations. I’m not fearful, going into it, of screwing up a job interview or a social meeting but I know that afterward I will worry that I did just that. Be it a job interview or a date. I don’t sell myself but I try to be myself.

But like I said, it’s attaining these things that worries me. That challenges me. That makes me a wreck and makes me frustrated. I scan over job listings and I see jobs I could do but then there is one, two, three, maybe a few other details that I know I couldn’t handle or things I cannot fill in because I lack those credentials. On dating sites, it’s seeing someone’s image and knowing that’s just what you want and then not getting a reciprocation of interest when you reach out to them. Or worse, “Thanks but no thanks.” Some dating sites are worse because you find out how “compatible” you are with someone and see you are not nearly their ideal… Or lack one or two key intangibles time and again on every single listing you read and requirements of what the other person wants.

You start doubting yourself and everything about yourself. Do you have skills? Absolutely. Do you have talent? Unquestionably. Do you have something to offer in a relationship? Undoubtedly…

…they just don’t seem to apply to anything you are applying for, though.

It feels like there is a phantom job that is out there just for you. There’s a phantom person that is waiting for you to drop into their lives. I’m not even talking about ideals here, but I am talking about something above bottom-of-the-barrel. I’ve been in both jobs and relationships that I ended up feeling were beneath me. The job didn’t make me feel so bad because I was being productive and I gave my all for my paycheck. You don’t get a “paycheck” in a relationship, so to speak, so you better damn well feel productive and happy with who you are with.

But in the hunt for either a job or a relationship, I end up feeling torn down before I even get a chance to make an attempt. That’s a repeatedly poor situation that just keeps popping up.

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