Do you feel like an outsider in your polycule? Like they’re in a club for cool people and you’re on the sidelines, thankful that they even let you take a seat at the table? Feelings of inferiority are common and can arise in response to any number of situations, but there’s something about poly life that tends to bring them to the fore.
Here are some suggestions for cultivating your own sense of self-worth, in poly life and beyond.
5 Ways to Cope with Feelings of Inferiority
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
This is not always easy. Given that our society is so obsessed with status and wealth, it can be hard to admit—even to yourself—that you’re feeling low on the totem pole. Inferiority is also hard to recognize, mostly because it can present as a whole host of other emotions such as anger, resentment, jealousy, and sadness.
Once you understand your feelings, you can start to heal.
2. Practice Self-Compassion
One of the first things you’ll notice as you begin to face these difficult emotions is just how hard you’ve been on yourself. Feelings of inferiority feed on an overly self-critical mind. Be kind. Recognize that you’re hurting, then treat yourself as you would a friend who’s struggling with the same issues.
Have you always felt inferior to others? If not, what might have triggered this current mindset?
3. List Your Strengths
Once you’re in a more positive head space, take note of all the things that make you shine. Everyone has something to bring to the table. Think of things you’ve done that made you proud, or talents that you possess. Even if your list is short, read it out loud every day, and add to it as new things come to mind.
Rewrite the script you’ve been rehearsing that says who you are and what you deserve. Whether that script has existed since childhood, or developed later in life, it’s up to you to make revisions and to find new ways of relating to yourself.
4. Find Your Passion
A good way to get to know yourself is to find what makes you tick. What gets you excited about life? What would you do if money wasn’t an issue, or you had only a short time left to live? Answering these questions can help you find more joy in life, and determine if your current situation is contributing to your feelings of inferiority.
When you’re doing what you’re meant to do, you might discover that you feel a whole lot better.
5. Stop Comparing
An additional benefit of finding your passion is that you’ll have less time and mental space to judge yourself in relation to others. Being poly is great until you’re bored and dissatisfied with your life, and it seems that your partner’s partner—who you’re convinced has their shit oh so together—is superior to you in every way.
The main takeaway here is that no one can fix this for you. If you want to shake your inferiority complex, you need to put in the work. You need to recognize all that you’re worth and then build the life you deserve.