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How not to get intimidated by smarter people

education Updated: Jul 16, 2014 12:52 IST
Sameer Parikh

In life, you’ll always come across situations where there will be someone else who’s better than you, especially since there is no one quality or standard that people can be judged on. There will always be someone who looks better, has more money or is more intelligent than you. How you choose to approach these situations, ofcourse, depends on the perspective you take. People in themselves aren’t intimidating, it’s the opinions you form about them that make you feel so. Rather than judging people on a single attribute and getting intimidated, be comfortable with who you are and approach other people as complete individuals rather than a bundle of good or bad attributes.

Know yourself: The key to not letting others intimidate you is to know your own worth. Don’t let your sense of self be defined by what others think of you or how you compare yourself to them. Know what you are, and be comfortable in your skin.

Learn from others’ strengths: Instead of feeling threatened and letting your ego get in the way, you could benefit a great deal by being around people who might be better than you in some ways. Respect others for what they are and use these opportunities to learn from the strengths and virtues of others.

Accept your limitations: Don’t get bogged down by what you don’t have or can’t do. We all have limitations. Learn to accept them and focus on your strengths.

Learn to say no: A lot of times, we come under pressure from people we believe to be more popular and influential than us, in a bid to fit in with them. However, at times like these, it’s important for you to stay true to yourself and say ‘no’ when you’re expected to do something that makes you uncomfortable.

Don’t avoid intimidating situations: Your first response to an intimidating person or ­situation would probably be to avoid them altogether. However, avoidance only goes on to increase your anxiety. Confront these situations head on, with more and more practice, you’ll start finding these situations easier to deal with.

Everybody has flaws: Always keep in mind that everybody has flaws and everyone has their own share of struggles, even if you aren’t able to spot them.

Celebrate your accomplishments: Our self-esteem gets lowered when we focus too much on our weaknesses and neglect what we get right. Change this pattern and start giving yourself credit for your strengths and successes.

The author is director, mental health and behavioural sciences, Fortis Healthcare