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to feel inferior and ashamed

(60 Posts)
utreas Fri 23-Aug-13 21:18:19

I went out for a meal with my younger sister and brother tonight and the difference between them and me is so stark. Everything from their attitudes to their clothes shouts success whilst in comparison I looked like frumpy no-mark. When it came to choosing the food and wine they both wanted really expensive steaks and a really pricey bottle of wine whilst I have to be more modest (we’re not on the breadline but we’re not wealthy either). In the conversation sis is looking at buying a new car and was talking about how she wants to get an A1 whilst I drive a banger and bro is looking at renting a city centre penthouse apartment whilst I live in a house that badly needs renovating. Sis is a successful recruitment consultant and bro has just graduated but already got a marketing executive job and it just seems that they have made so much more of themselves and their lives than I have (the best job I’ve ever had was as an admin assistant).
It goes further because they are now both planning a trip to the World Cup in Brazil and so that will be another great experience that I won’t have. We all grew up in the same house and had the same opportunity but they have made such a better fist of it and in comparison I feel inferior and I’m quite ashamed when I think about it.

Monty27 Sat 24-Aug-13 01:10:10

I feel for you. Don't compare yourself to them, be glad for what they have, hopefully they will be generous grin

I'm skint. But I'm not frumpy. We do skint and not frumpy on here. Love yourself.


MrsTerryPratchett Sat 24-Aug-13 01:17:40

I saw a $90 million yacht today. I had a brief, "awwww" then I said to DH, who was carrying the cutest child in the world (DD) "I bet they are no happier than I am". That's the spirit.

SignoraStronza Sat 24-Aug-13 01:32:07

Don't worry op. As long as you're happy and healthy, who cares? And I'll bet that the majority of their bling is bought on credit anyway

I went to a party recently where I was the eldest there. 100% of then were graduates, at least 70% had masters degrees and half had, or were studying for, PhDsshock . I have one scraped A level after leaving sixth form at Easter of my final year, a tefl certificate and a bit of OU. I did feel really inferior at first - but then like to think I filled them in on some gaps in their knowledgewink and, to be fair, the inferiority complex was all of my own making.

They're still your siblings and I bet you have lots of embarrassing memories of times before they appeared so materislistic worldly wise and sorted.

MusicalEndorphins Sat 24-Aug-13 01:54:20

There are always people better or worse off than others. These things you mention are only material things. It may be nice to do and have this and that, but not having lot's of money is no reason for you to feel ashamed!

AmandaHoldenmigroin Sat 24-Aug-13 02:18:47

Why do they find the need to brag so much in front of you? Why does he have a penthouse apartment if he is a marketing executive? He could be up to his eyeballs in debt.

HappyJustToBe Sat 24-Aug-13 02:27:55

Comparison is the thief of joy

I'm tired and tipsy but hell fucking yeah. My new mantra.

JessieMcJessie Sat 24-Aug-13 02:51:07

Sorry OP but if your brother had a hanky in the breast pocket of his sharp suit, he probably looks like a try-hard to most people that he'a working with. He won't be earning much as a new grad marketing exec and the penthouse apartment is probably only described as such by estate agents-it'll be a top floor flat and he'll peobably decide it's over his budget anyway.

I earn a lot more than my brother. However he made some really good choices and is not chained to a desk like me- he's the clever one really. So you have DC? if they don't, maybe they envy you that. As long as they are not sneering at you, enjoy the fact that you all want to spend time together-many siblings don't- and either steer the conversation on to more neutral topics or just tell them they are making you feel bad.

Monty27 Sat 24-Aug-13 03:04:29

Probably not bragging at all, it's just the circles they are used to maybe? OP who paid? What was the occasion? They probably did not have a clue how you felt, but just glad to see you.

flowersinavase Sat 24-Aug-13 03:07:49

Almost every reason you give in your post for being 'inferior' is materialistic: they have a nicer car, a bigger house, spend more money on food etc.

This stuff means nothing in the long run. So many people with more money than they know what to do with are miserable. Also, you don't know that all this stuff isn't bought on credit which is just stupid.

In respect of the job/career thing - you can change that at any time. But what is it that YOU really want to do (irrespective of how impressive a job looks to other people)? Focus on that, not on what people will think when they hear the title (for example, I used to be a lawyer. Sounds impressive and Ally McBeal-esque, in reality it was a miserable existence).

If you're satisfied with your lot at all times other than evenings like you've had, then great: congratulations.

If this evening has just brought into your consciousness feelings you've been hiding, then great: use it as a springboard to change. But please don't fall into the trap of only considering yourself a success based on bank balance or possessions...

cantspel Sat 24-Aug-13 03:23:49

Why do people have to try to make the op feel better by being negative about her brother and sister?

The op hasn't said they are bad people or nasty in any way just that they have a different life style and have achieved different things in their lives.

Op i am sure you have things in your life which others would envy but if you are not happy with your life then you are not to old to change it. Your life can be as rich and fulfilling as you want it to be and i dont just mean by having financial success.

Secretswitch Sat 24-Aug-13 03:40:17

Damn skippy..comparison isthe thief of joy!

Funghoul Sat 24-Aug-13 03:42:17

I used to feel like this about my brother. He's five years younger and married with a house. Me and dp rent and are a long way off having money for a wedding. That said, we sat down and talked about marriage. We truly are happy as we are. We're committed and a piece of paper won't really change much apart from my name. I have a crappy job with not many prospects, but I've come to realise I'm not career minded, I work to live. We have a beautiful 3 month dd. our little family is worth more than all the money in the world.

You don't need to have a lot to be happy, you sound like you need your confidence building up. No one should feel inferior to anyone else just because they don't have flash cars, or penthouse apartments. Take stock and I'm sure you'll find something in your life that makes you feel happy and proud to be you.

Secretswitch Sat 24-Aug-13 03:44:45

Op, I struggle with envy a great deal and for many reasons. I am really working on gratefulnes. I wish I had a magic spell to cast away the feelings of inferiority that occurs when I see other's with so much more wealth.

raisah Sat 24-Aug-13 04:41:06

10 years ago i was in a bad place but now I'm in a much better place personally & career wise. I have carved a niche career for myself and years ago people would look down on me but not so much now.

There is no reason why you can't retrain, put yourself forward for jobs that earn more money. Don't belittle the admin assistant role, if you break down the skills that you have acquired they will be transferable to a lot of sectors. The term admin role is just generic, a lot of them particularly in the NHS & higher education require a highly specialised skills set.

daisychain01 Sat 24-Aug-13 05:48:55

utreas, in your early 30s, you have loads, and I mean loads of time to make some important changes to maximise your life and potential. You are very young, in the grand scheme. Dont see your life as frozen in time and set in stone, but as being open to improvement. If anything, use your siblings' success as an example to follow, not a reason to put yourself down. And dont forget, life is a marathon not a sprint, it isnt a race to the finish line! Think about success as something you deserve at every point in your life, not as something for others but not for you.

Have you thought of some training or studies, as it will boost your self confidence and open new doors for you. The new academic year is shortly starting, you could look at part time courses to fit in around your work, family commitments etc. You could apply for a concession for fees if you are on a low salary. Uni's and colleges are very welcoming to "mature students" who have life skills and work experience, as they see those people as more stable. Education is the best way to open doors and create opportunities for yourself!

Bamboobambino Sat 24-Aug-13 06:58:07

You're not inferior to anyone OP.
BUT, if it really is affecting you, channel the negative energy into night classes( or day) return to education. Get an OU degree or similar and go get that earning power of your own!

SPBisResisting Sat 24-Aug-13 07:06:32

Op did you enjoy seeing them at all? Do you feel any affection for them?
Are you like me by any chance - most clothes bought from the supermarkets? I went on a proper shopping trip to proper shops recently for the first time in about a decade, maybe longer. Sales were on and it wasn't much more expensive than the supermarkets but imo the clothes are much nicer and more flattering. It's given me a real boost.
Also at 31 you have plenty of time to enhance your career- if you want to that is. It doesnt have to be big and scary,

SPBisResisting Sat 24-Aug-13 07:08:17

Sorry phone

But I bet theres a natural next step up in this job or similar. Night classes, asking for more/different responsibilities in current role etc will get you there. Or take the plunhe and apply for something you fancy, you never know! Only do this if you are dissatisfied with your current job though.

SPBisResisting Sat 24-Aug-13 07:10:18

Agree that admin people have transferable skills. I work in a technical environment and there are plenty of trainee type roles we'd give to someone currently working in admin but who had proved to have skills and interests in the field. And of course that's if you want to move out of admin which you may not.

attheendoftheday Sat 24-Aug-13 11:18:49

Comparison is the thief of joy.


Hoi! You are inferior to nobody. That is all.

^And this.

0utnumbered Sat 24-Aug-13 11:26:50

Never feel ashamed to be you! The way you've described them makes them sound great but if I were there with you 1. I don't give a shit about cars as long as they get me where I want to go 2. I would hate to do anything that involves sales and marketing, even the term makes me cringe, I'm also an admin assistant in a doctors surgery and I adore my job 3. I hate steak unless I've cooked it myself as I'm stupidly fussy and would of ordered off the kids menu if I could of got away with it lol

Their life isn't better than yours it's just different smile if you aren't happy surf bits then change them for yourself but otherwise, be proud to be who you are

utreas Sun 25-Aug-13 00:18:15

I guess your're all right band I was probably being very negative last night.

TeaAndABiscuit Sun 25-Aug-13 11:58:12

'Comparison is the thief on inner joy' is spot on and I'm going to remember that-a fantastic piece of advice.
I went to a party a while back-lots of successful surgeons and professionals and me not in that sphere. They were all talking about skiing and one of them said to me 'you don't ski do you xxx?' When I said no they had nothing else to say to me! I would rather be able to relate to and include people than make people feel small for not having a particular life style.
OP it's only your perception that there is nothing about you to envy. You sound grounded and lovely smile

Monty27 Tue 27-Aug-13 00:59:12

OP just be you and proud of what you have. I need reminded of that every day. I bet your db and ds love the bones of you. smile

Mimishimi Tue 27-Aug-13 04:37:01

YANBU but do they love and care for you or do they inyend to make you feel diminished? My brother went through a really hard time compared to the other two of us in his twenties and he was really embarrassed about it for a while. Once he realised that we only saw him as our brother, not as competition, did he relax a bit and then he got into a career doing something he really loves( rather than trying to be something he couldn't) and is probably doing better, lifestyle and healthwise, than me now smile

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