Monday, September 07, 2009

Inferiority Complex

For a good part of my life I've suffered from what we used to call "poor self-image" (which is actually different from "low self-esteem", but the difference isn't likely obvious). While most other people are quick to say, "It's not my fault", my first inclination has been "Yeah, that's probably something I did wrong." I used to joke, "I'm the reason for abortion. I just haven't told the Pope yet."

Now, of course, this condition of mine has always upset to my mother, but I'm beginning to wonder if this "problem" hasn't actually served me well. Think about this. When my wife and I have had the inevitable strong disagreement that every marriage encounters now and then, my first reaction has not been "Man, I wish she'd straighten out!" It has been, "What in the world is wrong with me??!!" And on those very few occasions when I've left the house to cool off, it was never because I was mad at her. I was disgusted with me. I can't actually remember a time that I was mad at my wife. I'm the one that is at fault. So you can imagine how much easier that makes it when we make up. Or how about in the arena of ideas? The easiest way to correct errors in life is to recognize them. It's a lot harder to correct problems when you don't know they're there. Now, my tendency, when I pick up an idea that is not "mainstream" (which, I confess, describes a whole lot of the ideas I hold), is to think first, "What makes you think you're right? Why would you be right when all those others are wrong?" So my approach in these cases has been, "Figure out what is wrong with my thinking and let's get it right!" Do you see the advantage that might bring? Instead of trying to defend faulty notions, I'm expecting my notions to be wrong. I've been surprised to find that some have been right and ready to change those that I expected to be wrong and decided they were. Perhaps you can begin to see that this isn't all bad.

There is a malady that many people suffer from that doesn't seem to be my problem. It's overconfidence. I have other problems in life, but that's not one of them. So you can be fairly sure that if I hold to something strongly, it's not likely because I came to it lightly. It's probably because I was convinced against my expectations.

6 comments:

David said...

You are such a weirdo, but I thank the Lord He made you thus, and that He made you my father.

starflyer said...

Yeah, what a weirdo...and (just to add confusion) I'm also glad you are my father...

Dan said...

This is an encouraging post. Thanks for writing it. But just so you know, I see you as confident to the order of John Wayne.

Stan said...

Guess he wasn't too confident ... since he changed his name, eh? :)

Stan said...

Okay, starflyer, you got me ... in what sense am I your father?

Sherry said...

Weirdos of the World, UNITE!

I'm your sister, Stan! So.... does that make me Aunt Sherry to David and starflyer? Even though I am their sister, too? But wait, I think I might even be my dad's sister (IN THE LORD, that is!), which would make me my own Aunt Sherry!

Just one big happy family!

Too bad I've never even MET any of you guys. Well.... probably someday, huh? Eternity just seems like an awfully long time to me! So I'm thinking Stan's blog commenters will likely all eventually meet up. And nobody will look right, the way we've pictured them, if we've done that at all! I'll be expecting one reader to be a spitting image of Barney Fife and another to look like a grown up version of 6 year old instrumentation manager.

Anyway... glad to hear how open you are to being wrong/mistaken/not fully understanding or informed about things and then teachable. Also that you don't come to conclusions "lightly". Didn't really think you did though!