I’m starting a new “I am…” series. This essentially will tell you what to do when you find yourself in certain situations. They’re basically stuff we can all relate to. Enjoy!
“If you have to feel guilty for being smart in the midst of your friends, you DEFINITELY need new ones”
A friend tweeted that last week and I knew I most definitely had to do this piece. It’s been on my mind for months and somehow I kept putting it off. A few days ago, I wrote “shallow waters.” In case you missed it, click here for the link. It will give you a bit of a background.
I have come to realize that people who know pretty little are often intimidated by those who know a lot. Trust me, most times, it’s not necessarily because the ones who know a lot rub it in your face. I know that happens often. I mean, I’ve been there, in the midst of people who are so vast in their knowledge base, so learned, very exposed and well travelled. Some deliberately shove it in your face and do all they can to make you feel inadequate. It happens, but that’s not what I’m discussing today; we’ll do that some other time. I guess because some of us are used to being around people like that, we automatically get defensive when we find ourselves around anyone who is in anyway “better” or “smarter” than we are. Well, I have news for you. You need to calm down!
The fact that someone knows more than you do or has more exposure than you do doesn’t mean you should hate on them! For starters, you should NEVER be intimidated by anyone! If you feel intimidated by anyone just because of their abilities and without any attempt from them to undermine you, then you definitely have esteem issues. Mail me, firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll help you work on that! Now back to the point. Everyone has the capacity to be smart. We have various abilities and giftings but if you keep judging yourself based on the giftings of others, you’ll always feel small and inadequate. This is real life, you have to wake up and face the truth. Not everyone can dance, not everyone can sing, not everyone can write, not everyone can draw or paint so why would you want to kill yourself merely because someone can do something and you cannot? Matter of fact, if they can do it and you can’t, that should challenge you to excel at what you do, so you can also have an edge over them. Work hard at harnessing your potential, develop yourself and brush up whatever talents you have so that you can also be outstanding! Or maybe they can do what you can do, but they can do it better, you still need to chill. That should challenge you to work harder on yourself and improve!
Sometimes we’re surrounded by really great people; smart, funny, extremely intelligent, talented in some way and they really just want to be friends but then somehow, we manage to make them feel guilty for just being themselves. That is not just selfish, it is also stupid because in time, you will end up pushing them away and that would probably be the silliest thing you ever did. Celebrate their strengths, let them challenge you to do better. For instance, if my “bestie” has more followers than I do on twitter, simply because she’s an actress and really popular, it does not mean I should hate on her. I should not attempt to undermine what she does! I shouldn’t even attempt to ask her to be anything less than herself simply because in some twisted way that would make me more comfortable! I should rather accept her for who she is and celebrate her as often as I can. Sometimes, having friends who do not share the same talents with you or who are not as talented in the same area as yourself could be quite an uphill task. I should know, I’ve been there before. At such times, especially when you care so much, all you can think of is how to make them comfortable in your company! Hypothetically speaking, My sister dances better than I do. She’s my sister, she loves me. It’ll be tough for her if we have to go somewhere and everyone keeps asking her to dance and not me. I could make her feel even worse by giving her some terrible attitude like it’s somehow her fault that she dances better than I do. Now all she can think about in times like that would be how to make me more comfortable and if I’m giving off some attitude, she’ll likely want to clamp down on being herself just so I can feel better. I really hope I’m making sense.
I’ve made friends with some of the smartest people I know. These guys essentially work magic with numbers, it’s amazing! I hang around them often enough and I cannot begin to say how much I have been able to glean from them by merely humbling myself and listening to them speak. I’m a smart person too, I’ve got my own skills and talents but numbers, econ… they’re not my strong points at all! And I have found out that these things are extremely relevant in the larger society. So should I now hate on them for being economic gurus? or should I beef them because they’re way better with numbers than I am? I honestly doubt that! Stay with the wise and you will be made wiser, hate on them and you will only get dumber. Oops! Did that hurt? No apologies. Truth remains truth, and here’s one important code I live by; hurt me with the truth, but never comfort me with lies. You should adopt that too.
In conclusion, never be intimidated by anyone. Being intimidated by anyone just because they’re better than you at something or can do something you cannot do is merely a sign of weakness! Build capacity, work on yourself. Personal development is key. I assure you, if you spend more time adding value to yourself and less time hating on others who have value already, you would certainly not be mediocre.
Thank you for reading. Please don’t forget to share this lil peice with friends, help them also get better. And remember, your comments always encourage me, so I really look forward to seeing them. Have a fantastic weekend!