How your past affects your behaviour

Why do you compare yourself to that guy standing over there and feel inferior while you totally ignore that other guy on your right?

Why do you feel comfortable when being with certain people and feel completely uncomfortable in the company of others?

Why do certain people make you feel inferior while others never trigger your comparison habit?

The answer to these questions lies in a distant place that is called your past.

Your past and how it affects you these days
You might believe that what happened to you in fourth grade doesn’t have any impact on you and that these are just distance memories but the truth is that these memories have a significant impact on the way you deal with people.

If as a little child you didn’t feel that you smart enough you will feel inferior as a grown up when you compare yourself to smart people.

If you weren’t that social when you were a little child you will feel inferior as a grown up when comparing yourself to those whom you label as players or popular.

Consciously you might not realize what’s going on until you focus on your self talk but unconsciously you will experience feelings of inferiority when you encounter certain people.

Here is how the process happens:

• Assuming that you complex was related to popular guys
• You will compare yourself to anybody who is popular, anybody who appears to be popular or anybody who appears to have the qualities that can make him popular
• You will feel inferior then think that you lack self confidence while in fact it was only a reflection of your past that made you compare yourself to certain people

During each social encounter we unconsciously recall our pasts and try to put the people we are dealing with in a category that matches one of those whom we met in our pasts.

If the person was found to be in a category that you didn’t feel inferior to in your past the you will feel comfortable dealing with him while if the person had anything in common between those you felt inferior to in the past then you will feel inferior.

The first thing you must notice in here is that the criteria you use to assign people into categories is based on nothing but your wild guesses

• This player you see over there may be someone who has no more confidence than you
• This guy who appears to be popular might be shy but appears to be confident because he is around his close friends
• This person who looks like a bully might have a completely different personality than the one you imagined, the only reason you might have thought that he is a bully is that he looks like someone who bullied you in the past
• Those girls who appear to be arrogant might be feeling uneasy and insecure

You must understand that your comparisons are based on assumptions that might not have anything to do with reality!!

The next time you find yourself about to compare yourself to someone tell yourself that you can’t judge him or assign him to a certain category without knowing him well. You will be surprised to find out that most of the comparisons that are making you feel inferior are resulting from assuming super powers for ordinary people or even ones who are less than ordinary.

Anything that reminds you of the past will trigger the same emotions
So on what basis do you think that a certain person is similar to someone that you have dealt with in the past?
Let me ask the question in a different way, why did you think that the guy over there will bully you even though you never talked to him before??

Our minds were designed to believe that people who look the same have the same personality traits. If you met someone who didn’t treat you nicely somewhere in your past you might believe that all people who look like him will treat you the same way.

This is also the same reason a person who fears snakes might become terrified if his legs hit a wooden stick on the ground. Even though the stick doesn’t look like a snake his mind thought that it’s a snake in the first few moments.

The same signal of danger will be given when you encounter anybody who appears to be similar who anyone who harmed you in the past.
So up until now I am talking about physical looks but what about other factors that could trigger the same fears and that has no relation with face features?

The truth is that our minds don’t only relate physical looks but it relates almost everything that is common between the two situations, here are few examples:

• The way a person is dressed (which determines the class he belongs too) that’s why someone could develop a fear of a certain social class
• The way someone moves, talks or walks
• A person’s facial expression
• The same setup of the scene (for example you coming from a distance and suddenly three strangers appear in front of you)

As you see when we experience an emotion that affects our self confidence like fear or anxiety we usually experience it because we bring our pasts with us in the present moment.

That’s why it’s extremely important to ask yourself the question, am I experiencing the real situation right now or am I just experiencing a reflection of my past?

Keep asking yourself this question whenever you encounter a situation that make you feel afraid or anxious. Also try to find out the similarities between this situation and the situations that happened to you in your past, once you find the connection you will discover that your carried over emotions should not be felt now!!