On overcompensating


Through the academic articles and thought seiving that part time work and university has taught me, I’ve been exposed more than often to the term of the word, “overcompensate”.

Interestingly enough, when we say we overcompensated someone-it meant that we had overpaid what we had originally owed. When we apply to overcompensate in the world of psychology, it simply falls under a form of defense mechanism to protect oneself. To compensate for a portion that you feel lack or deficit in, you make up and overcompensate for your failures in other areas.

At brunch the other day, I shared with Monique the struggles I went through on a day to day basis with an old friend. He was difficult to handle, to be with as a person. On the surface, i believed (still do) that he was a really nice person. But each time we met, he constantly boasted how he was doing well in school. This wasn’t particular healthy but i took it as a form of venting and I was the ventilation to his stressors. Eventually, when that door opened, i had assumed that he would find our friendship a safe door to come to. Instead, i started realizing his indignant need to overcompensate, at the need of his own and at the expense of my own comfort. He made me feel small as a person, he often put me down indirectly, and worse still- he never stopped criticizing other people. Even the slightest bump he received on the train by another person would send him reeling into vulgarities and dirty glares.

When you start involving conversations with another person that only involves you, you become blind to see how self centered you have become. I then decided less words were better to saying anything, and slowly threaded away from the friendship quietly. It was a devastatingly sad move, I’d admit. I knew i was disappointed in some sense because he was a friend for the longest time, he didn’t always talk like that. But recent changes made me realize that I didn’t have the capacity in me to stand around and let myself get put down by a person who I called a friend at the sake of putting himself up on a higher pedestal.

On a light hearted note, I’ve come to realize whether we choose to (or not) to dig deep to analyse-that we all overcompensate for something. We are all human beings who cannot be all rounder achievers, we are not capable of following impossible standards of beauty, health and academia. We however, can choose what we would like to overcompensate the world with.

The last time I visited, the world was combined with a mess of put me down tendencies crippled with a ‘since I can’t I’ll make sure you can’t too’ syndrome.

Maybe someday, overcompensating in the form of kindness could make the action of being kind be the culture, and not one that makes us just want to restore our faith in humanity.

One day.

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