I’ve been so busy putting people on pedestals my whole life that I’m honestly impressed I’ve had time to do anything else. I don’t think you and I need a pHd in psychology to state that it’s a pretty bad habit.
It happens to the best of us. When you admire someone with so intense emotion that you believe they have zero flaws. You perceive them as better than you simply because of their resumé, financial situation, social status.. things that have nothing to do with who they are as people.
Especially in cities like Los Angeles, where everyone is some sort of “someone” according to IMDB, LinkedIn and Instagram, you run into plenty of opportunities to think others are worth more than you.
When I moved to L.A, I felt smaller than a fingernail and almost felt like I needed to ask for permission to breathe the air around me. Here’s a list of people I put on pedestals :
- That-guy next to me
- Beautiful people
- Americans in general
- Rich people
- Sucessful people
- Smart people
- Men I was interested in (because why not bring your insecurities into your dating life?)
The list wasn’t really that exclusive, let’s be honest, almost everyone was on it. I would hit it off with a guy in a bar, everything would be normal for 30 min, but then he would say something about himself and *PLING*: Pedestal. It was all normal two seconds ago, but now it’s awkward and forced. Why?
What happens when you put people on pedestals?
When you put someone above you, you automatically shrink yourself and make yourself less important than them.
If you put people on pedestals it completely shifts the dynamic between the two of you. You create separation by disempowering youself: “He is in that league and I’m in this leauge. He has something to offer and I don’t”.
And you wonder why you get nervous and can’t connect?
Well, that’s why.
You’re trying to communicate with someone you’ve sent to Planet Awesome, 9000 lightyears away, while you’re sitting here all normal and human-y on Planet Earth.
“I’m just lucky if he talks to me“
You think this person is unreachable, and you’re just lucky if he or she talks to you. What often happened – at least to me – was that I started seeking validation. If I can make this perfect and cool person like me, that means that I am good enough. And if they don’t like me, I must be a loser. So you waste all this energy and time on trying to come across as perfect as possible. Exhausting. (If you’re anything like me, you might wanna go an read the post “Applause and Approval”)
That’s self-destruction at its FINEST, ladies and gentlemen.
He’s a Super Hero and I’m a zero on a bicycle
I was seeing this singer-dude in LA for a couple of months – I actually believe it was on/off for almost a year since he was touring. Because I pedestaled him, I tolerated a-n-y behavior. Literally, I didn’t even question it for a second. I was just so surprised and flattered that he wanted to talk to me… you gotta remember, I’m just a normal human on a bicycle, while he’s this rockstar-superhero-Avenger from Planet Success.
It took me exactly too many days to take a step back and say: “Hold on – do I even f*cking like this guy? Like… at all?”
The answer was no, no and no. Absolutely not.
How you avoid putting people on pedestals
To decide: “You’re not a normal person” is not a good way to create connection. No matter how accomplished or attractive someone is, they’re still just human beings going through the same human experience as you are. Sure, maybe their job, financial situation or social stauts is different from yours, but their emotions are the same. They have fears, anxiety, good days, bad days, hopes and dreams – just like you. Let’s focus on that.
Don’t think that you need to understand every bit of someones life to connect with him or her. You probably can’t anyway if someone for instance is living a wild world-tour celeb life. But you can connect to the emotional context of what they’re saying, like:
“I could only imagine how terrifying that was, I tried once when I was at this job interview that….” and then tell how you had a similar experience in your life.
Realize that people are just people. They might be remarkable in one particular aspect in some people’s opinions, but if you can relate to them as human beings, you have a better chance to bond with someone.
Focus on yourself
If you’re truly happy and confident in who you are and what you do, you won’t have to purchase as many pedestals at Home Depot.
I don’t care if it’s work, socially or in your dating life… you have something to offer, you’re as remarkable and special and unique like everyone else – and the second you start recognizing your own worth – people around you will too.
Don’t devalue your own journey or shrink yourself for anyone. Period.
People who seek pedestals
… Are not your people. Wanting to be idolized and seen as being more worth than others is called narcissism. There’s lots of narcisissm in cities like LA. It’s honestly super sad. Let’s keep it short like that. Next.
You’re being disrespectful
It sounds harsh, but hear me out. Seeing someone as perfect is a lot to put on them. It’s not fair, that people don’t see or love you for who you are including all your flaws, but for who they assume you are and for your trophies and accomplishments.
No one wants to be on a pedestal. You want to be on the same level. Equality 2020, sister. We’re all incredible, important and special. Not because of what we do, but because of who we are.
We’re all doing the best we can
We have to remind ourselves that we’re all just doing the best we can while we try to navigate in this crazy life. We all have things that are working for us, and we all have the opposite.
Dance is my biggest passion, but instead of our resumé’s, let’s talk about opinions, beliefs and values. The discomfort of an audition, how to deal with pressure, the mental blocks, the joy of really fighting for something and getting it, homesickness.. it’s ten times more interesting than money, credits, instagram photos and trophies will ever be.