When Your Strengths Are Their Insecurities

“Just Be Thankful For What You’ve Got”

~William DeVaughn

We all have those moments when we are feeling the three F’s: “fine, fly, and fabulous”. There’s nothing wrong with that. If we don’t think highly of ourselves, how can we expect anyone else to? Contrary to what most of us are led to believe, we can be proud of ourselves, and even demonstrate that pride, without making others feel bad or awkward due to our own self esteem.

Confident people are often regarded as conceited and/or arrogant; this isn’t always true. When a person works hard at what they know, what they have, or even how they look, they should not feel compelled to “dumb it down” for those who are less confident.

Even though we all have resources and access to the same information, and sometimes the same opportunities, not everyone takes advantage of said information and opportunities. It’s been my experience that most of the time, it is these types of people who are quick to offer a negative opinion, mostly because they lack the nerve required to try, do, or say, the things that they really would like to express. Unfortunately, we often experience these types of attitudes from close friends and relatives–the very people of whom we are proud of, and would expect to be proud of us. Instead, they’d rather keep us in a box with them, because that makes them feel better about themselves. But, what about us?

My Story

I’ve always been told that I am an attractive person, but it took me years to believe that. Even though I was told often told that I was pretty, personally, I couldn’t see that until much later. However, I’ve always been intelligent, and this I have always known. I was a poor student (mostly because of my disdain for being told what to do), but even my teachers knew that I was far from stupid.

Growing up, I had many friends. I’m an extrovert, and people tend to gravitate to me. It has always been that way. I’ve also always been funny, so my thing was making people laugh, which I thought was extremely cool (in fact, to this day, laughter is my favorite compliment). As adolescence approached, things amongst my peers changed, and as result, the whole paradigm for what was accepted as “cool” changed. The focus was now more aesthetic than conscious. In other words, no one really cared about how smart or funny a person was, as long as they were cool and looked good. Those who possessed all four were golden, yet rare.

And Then Things Changed

By this time, I knew that I was all four, even though this couldn’t be proved academically. I was extremely comfortable in my skin. Most of my friends were guys. That was cool because there was no competition amongst peers. However, there was a lot of time spent defining roles and the rules of friendship. The few girlfriends that I had were quite different, save for those who, like me, were devoid of esteem issues. While in the presence of some of my girlfriends, I found myself playing the dummy– asking for advice on things that I understood better than they did. Basically, I had allowed myself to be the Black Chrissy Snow (Three’s Company) of the crew, as an effort to leave them something to feel good about. The problem with that was, of course, I didn’t care for being Chrissy Snow. In fact, I’m sure that I was smarter than they were.

I’ve always been very well read. Between my mother and my favorite aunt, Lee, I always had books, but still, I really enjoyed being a teenager. I’ve also always been a free spirit, which is an awful lot to take for those who are not. Although I’ve never been a religious person, I was (and still am) interested in all faiths. This gave the “so called” smart girls one up on me (so they thought). Where I’m from, there are two choices: of the church, or not of the church. I had tried the church and eventually chose, “not of the church“. This would become another case of “dumbing it down“, because even though I wasn’t into religion, I understood it.

Enough Became Enough

This went on and on pretty much all through the ’90s and and part of the early ‘2000s. Finally, I got tired of being the Black Chrissy Snow, when I was more like any one of the main cast of “Girlfriends“. My mother told me that this would happen. She even told me who I would have to distance myself from. Mama was right on both accounts. As I began to allow myself to be myself, without dumbing it down for the sake of those who did not have the nerve to be bold, my original circle got smaller, and that was okay by me. The universe replaced them with people who couldn’t care less about who I was aesthetically. I was now aligned with people who fed me consciously, and I, them. No competition, all love.

When I think of all the years that I spent playing a role and depriving myself, as well the world, the benefit of my true self, I feel cheated– and I am right to feel that way. I only have myself to blame. I never went out of my way to make anyone feel bad for what they are or are not, so I should not have had to appeal to their insecurities. By doing so, maybe I had made things worse for them.

It’s Not Your Problem

The moral of the story is that the blessings that have been bestowed upon you are meant for you to use. You can’t be responsible for how others feel about themselves, and you certainly cannot allow their insecurities to affect your happiness, energy, or growth.

When you are feeling fine, fly, and fabulous, don’t feel that it is inappropriate for you to act as such. Never give anyone the power to make you feel bad about feeling good and celebrating yourself. When we show the universe that we appreciate the gifts and talents that we are given, it tends to send us more.

“It’s your thing, do what you wanna do”

~The Isley Brothers

2 thoughts on “When Your Strengths Are Their Insecurities

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