They set us up to fail, and they criticize us for failing.

The world sets us up to fail. We are ALWAYS wrong.

“Colour within the lines” “think outside the box.”
“You look so pretty!” “Everything worthy is on the inside.”
“Be nice to girls.” “Don’t call them girls, and don’t even think of gender.”
“Go into highly paying jobs to make a good life.” “Do what you love! Work is not life.”
“Speak your mind.” “Don’t be pushy.”
“Be a man and don’t show emotions.” “Please listen empathetically.”

Because marketing is all about making us feel incomplete, inadequate, and in dire need of their product/service.

The way to avoid all this hurt? There are only a few choices. 1. Be perfect – we know this isn’t possible. 2. Trick myself and everyone into believing I’m perfect – this worked for a few years. 3. Denounce these messages. 4. Protect myself.

#3, denouncing these messages is what we are supposed to do. But they didn’t set us up for that either, did they? I was raised to doubt myself. How?
I was supposed to laugh when an adult shook a toy in my face regardless of my feelings.
When aunts came into the house, they did everything to get me to jump up and scream like it’s a competition, then next moment shouted at me to be quiet now because they want to have tea with grown-ups.
“Don’t be upset” when someone broke my favourite toy.
I told my mother I got bullied for having pigtails. She fixed my hair.

You know me. I’m naturally a strongly-opinionated, determined, confident person who has no trouble denouncing…anything. And even I couldn’t fight it all off when I was younger.

So option #4. we look for protection. The cape, as discussed in this clip.  Everyone has a cape, she says. What is yours?

I personally don’t think we have to shed it completely. The world is too dangerous not to have an escape. But I do think it’s healthy for us all to know what our cape is and when and how we use them.
And to acknowledge that the ones we have the urge to criticise and make fun of – the ones with all their unglies hanging out – are the bravest ones.

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