I Can Never Do Anything Right
I can never do anything right
"I can never do anything right." Is that how you feel, or, is that what you're always told? Does it seem that every endeavor you attempt, falls far short of it's intended goal? The world today has a tendency to demand so much of us that our best just isn't good enough. So the feeling of not being able to do anything right is more prevalent than ever before. The media uses every little mistake as fodder for jokes, and that fuels the feeling among many that they are unworthy or lacking in so many ways.
Let's examine this subject through the eyes of some of my customary characters.
We begin with Doubtful Dennis. Dennis has no self esteem, and for good reason, he's always been told by all in his family that he can't do anything right. For instance, whenever Dennis is told by his father to mow the lawn, he always miss a few spots. Dennis, being only 12 years old has not perfected his technique, and to be fair his father has only shown him once or twice.
This time Dennis, after finishing knows that his father will not be satisfied, but he hopes against hope that this is the one time his father will say "well done." However his father remains true to form, he says, "give me the lawn mower and go in the house, as usual you can't do anything right." Unfortunately, mother gives him little or no support. Poor Dennis, his lack of self esteem is seen in everything he does, school, the playground with friends,etc.
Now on to Beaten Down Bobby, with his wife Never Satisfied Noreen. When Bobby and Noreen were first dating, Bobby could do no wrong and why not, whatever Noreen wanted she got, often without even asking. Well after the wedding things changed. Because Noreen had become accustomed to being treated like a queen, she expected the treatment to continue. So whenever she didn't get her way Bobby was verbally beaten down. Her constant lament is "you never do anything right." That's in part because after getting used to the best of everything, during their courtship, Noreen was having trouble adjusting to the "real life." Now, with the added expense of running a household, Bobby can't always buy the best. So when Bobby buys Noreen a gift, it never seems to be what she wants. Oh she throws hints and Bobby catches them, but he can't afford what she wants, so he always gets "second best," and Noreen doesn't disappoint, Bobby gets the customary response and guess what, Bobby feels, you're right, "I can never do anything right."
What about Nervous Nelly. Nelly works on a job that she's had since she graduated high school, she's now 40 years old. She's done the same job the entire time she's been there. This is considered an entry level job, and it has been intimated that she can't "cut the mustard," in any other position. In her beginning years at the job, Nelly was told by a spiteful mean spirited supervisor, that due to her "inability to master any new task," that she'll never amount to anything. Whenever Nelly was given a new assignment, instead of asking for help she attempted to do the job without help, and of course, lack of knowledge about the assignment caused Nelly to fail time and time again. This prompts the response, from this very spiteful man, "you can never do anything right. For instance, take, the first time, the office was computerized. All received training, albeit it minimal, Nelly entered the wrong information a few times, as some of the others did. But Nelly was singled out and told, "you'll never move up, because you can't do anything right." This is exactly what she says to herself, "I can never do anything right." She's as hard on herself as everyone else is.
Let's not leave out Dainty Della. Della is not very athletic, and no matter how hard she tries she cannot master anything athletic. She's what is commonly known as the "person with two left feet." On the playground she can't jump rope, or even hopscotch. Poor Della wants so much to fit in with her "friends," so she attempts every athletic feat that her "friends" participates in. No matter what she tries she feel inadequate and her "friends" give her no relief. Their taunt is, "that Della, she can never do anything right." For instance once when the group was performing a simple exercise of jump rope, oh did I mention that this was a competition between two groups. And you must know that no one wanted Della on their team. Well, the team that unfortunately got Della was disappointed. Poor Della didn't disappoint she failed miserably, costing her team the win. The lament of all in attendance, " That Della, can never do anything right." Of course Della feels the same way.
The Possible Solution For Characters One and Two
In the case of Doubtful Dennis, does his father and mother, know what they are doing to Dennis? This can be a lifelong problem and without support, it will be. If his father expects to have a son that he can be proud of, he'll have to begin by allowing Dennis to grow normally with his support. When Bobby does something wrong, instead of finishing it himself, he should patiently show him until he gets it. If Bobby can't seem to master a particular task, find one that he can, and help him to with that one. And mother should support both her husband and her son. Mothers and Fathers Unite and give support to your young ones, to help build self esteem. Dennis could try to have a talk with someone that possible understands him. Of course, he is rather young and maybe he doesn't know who to go to. He could begin with his parents, or maybe a teacher. An observant adult could try approaching Dennis and encouraging him to open up, or maybe approach the parents. Remember the saying, "it takes a village." Well this could be one time that the "village" could step in and lend a helping hand.
What about Beaten Down Bobby. Bobby's big mistake was to begin something that he couldn't keep up. Hindsight, they say, is 20/20, so in hindsight Bobby realizes that he should not have been so free with gifts before their marriage. However, now that he has, he needs to develop a backbone and stand up to Noreen, put his foot down and change his "method of operation." We all know that probably won't happen. But perhaps Noreen could alter her attitude. Nah, never happen either. Let's back up and try to help poor Bobby out. Come on Bobby, "man up," sit Noreen down and let her know what you can and can't afford, and while you have her attention, let her know how you feel when she talks to you the way she does. Noreen dear, a good man is hard to find, so when you find one you should do whatever, within reason, you can to keep him, and this seems like a small thing to ask. Of course these are suggestions that may or may not work, however, there is an old saying, that goes something like this, "nothing beats a failure, but a try." So why not at least try these, who knows they might just work.
The Possible Solution For Characters Three And Four
For Nervous Nelly the solution seems to be simple, however not being in Nelly's position, it could easier said than done. For instance if Nelly's self esteem is so low, she can't get out of the situation without help. However, long before it got to this point Nelly should have taken matters into her own hands and sought employment elsewhere. She could have reported the supervisor, taken time to learn on her own how to do the new jobs that were put before her. Maybe she could have simply asked for more help. Now, all of these things didn't happen. That was then, this is now. Just think of all of the experience that Nelly has from staying in that same position. Now she really does have something to offer another employer. There are computer classes that she could avail herself of. Not only that, but with the experience Nelly has she could start her own business. If all of this seems daunting for Nelly, she could seek counseling, if not face to face, there are always self help books. So we can see that Nelly's situation is not as hopeless as it seems.
Okay, Dainty Della's "problem" is the easiest one to overcome. One way is, simply get new friends. Maybe, find a hobby less physical than sports, or just talk to her parents. Let's face it sports isn't for everyone. Della, being dainty, is probably best suited for inside hobbies or pursuits. Think about it, with friends like Della's, who needs enemies. Parents be observant, if you see your young one having problems in one particular area, be proactive, approach the youngster, and try to ascertain the reason. When the cause is identified, take action, work with them to reach a solution. These actions can go a long way in building their self esteem. Della's lack of self esteem and feeling of not being able to do anything right can be stemmed, as she is still at the age where changes can take place with not much effort.
So in conclusion, for any who find themselves in situations like the above characters, or any similar, my advice might be easier said than done, but why not give it a try. I subscribe to the saying, "Fake It Til You Make It." By that I mean sometimes faking or portraying self confidence will have others believing it, and it just might cause you to believe it yourself. Especially in Nervous Nelly's case. Don't be afraid to ask, letting others know that you don't know and would like help in a given situation. Admitting that you are not cut out for all types of activities, and finding ones that you are good at. Standing up to, or, simply having a conversation with ones that expect more than you can give. And those of you contributing to these feelings, "shame on you, Stop that!" These are real simple steps and I'm sure they will not work for everyone. This is at least a jumping off point. Subsequent to these suggestions, my advice is, get help from professionals, because deep seated problems can only be solved with time and help from qualified professionals.
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