September 4, 2019-
Every so often, when I get in a situation where it seems my presence isn’t wanted, the default status, known as Impostor Syndrome, jumps out and tries to say “Boo”.
I feel this, particularly when I go into a business establishment and am either given a pro-forma greeting, followed by a brush-off, or am treated rudely by one or more staff. Then, there are those who cannot maintain eye contact for more than a minute or so.
In the old days, I’d figure I just wasn’t worth it. Other people were okay, but I was a different matter. This didn’t so much impact my casual friendships, but it did affect everything from my dating to employment interviews.
Experiences were thus limited and my own confidence had to start from the ground and work up. Time in the Army helped-as I was responsible for accountable mail. Time in college, afterward, wasn’t so beneficial, in terms of self-confidence, nor was the first part of my educational career. It took marriage, the Baha’i Faith and time among Native Americans to build a solid foundation. Still, I had trouble whenever I dealt with mainstream society.
Having to be on my own, since 2011, has erased most of this sense of imposture. It started to come back, last Fall, when I was challenged by someone, as to my very basic level of competence. I made it past that hurdle, only to have self-doubt re-surface, over the past week.
So, it became needful to spend much of this day in reflection. Some conclusions: It is NOT my fault that the bar manager at a local restaurant was in a bad mood and avoided dealing with anyone dining at the bar, and not imbibing alcoholic beverages. It is not my fault that a vendor at Farmer’s Market would prefer I not stop at her stand, and take her attention away from older women, who may or may not purchase items. It is not my fault that a Hispanic waitress at a downtown diner prefers to not serve or interact with English-speaking patrons.
I will do what I can to accommodate these people, and others like them, but I will not, any longer, absorb a sense of imposture or unworthiness, into myself.