It’s day 5 of the blogging challenge, and today I’m reflecting on how to deal when someone minimizes you or your abilities.
This is something that every professional has been through at one point or another in their lives- again, it has to do with people feeling the need to push others down in order to rise above. However, when I experienced this today, I don’t think that the other person was trying to make me feel small, even though that’s what it felt like to me.
This happened while I was at work, and I work in a customer service-related job. I don’t have to be an expert to do my job, but I do have to be good at listening to what my customer needs, and respond accordingly. And that’s what I was trying to do, but somehow no matter what I did, my help was not really helpful to the individual I was working with. It was frustrating and uncomfortable for both of us, and I think, in the end and perhaps without meaning to, with both made each other feel minimized. I tend to ruminate over things a lot, and so as per usual, I spent a long time after this happened thinking about what had just happened, and the way I had responded. Naturally, I’d gotten angry because who likes feeling inadequate? But after talking it over with a couple friends, I realized that maybe they had felt the exact same thing- anger and frustration because they were not able to voice what exactly they needed in an adequate way.
In contrast, maybe they felt that the help I tried to provide was inadequate, or that I was too inadequate at my job, or the services that were being provided for what they needed were too inadequate. Who knows? In the end, though, we both felt inadequate.
For people who are like me who tend to ruminate, its easy to get caught up in this feeling of inadequacy. But in this case, it’s necessary to apply some cognitive therapy to ourselves, and to try and rationalize the situation.
The truth is, this was one individual who was dissatisfied with my efforts, and I have had many individuals who were happy with and grateful for the help that I was able to provide. One failure out of many successes does not make anyone a failure overall. And besides this, I know that if I really was unqualified to do the work I do, I probably would not still be doing it, and I wouldn’t be happy doing it!
In the end, it’s important to keep remembering that your worst moments are only failures if you allow yourself to keep calling them that. Instead, try calling them “teachable moments”: moments that you can use to teach yourself to be better.