How likely are you to think you are above average? Apparently, most likely! I remember learning about this in one of my psychology courses. It is called illusory superiority, or the above-average effect. When asked to rate yourself compared to the public, you would most likely respond that you are better than the average person, i.e. you are above average. This is problematic and illogical because if you think about it not everyone can be above average. It does not add up, literally.
But I am not here to give you a lesson on how you need to recognize your true potential so as not to overestimate your capabilities. Nope! In fact, I want to share with you a moment in my life when I felt like I am above average when in fact I may not be.
To start off I want to introduce a term that I did not know until very recently: basic. I do know the basic definition of the word; what I mean is the ‘urban dictionary’ definition of this word — unsophisticated.
So it went down when my colleague/friend made an impromptu request to watch a movie that evening, and I agreed right away which surprised him a little. When I said, “I am a spontaneous girl” he responded with “That is a such a basic girl thing to say.” And I am not going to lie, but that hurt! Now I know I am better off than to assume that whatever anyone says is true. But it got me thinking — am I basic?
To be honest, I have been under the impression that I am better than average in every aspect, even with knowledge of the above-average effect. So when my colleague pointed out that I am basic, it got me thinking. Why does it bother us when someone assumes we are just average? And all I could think of is that we try to protect our egos on the daily. The past few months have been quite a hit to my self-esteem and maybe my colleague’s comment hit home run although it was minor, in retrospect. We do not like to accept that we are simple, basic and average folks. Normally, we think the best of ourselves and aim to be better. So when someone defies this perspective you will most likely deny the comments and continue on with your beliefs. And to be honest, that is what I will mostly likely do as well. There is absolutely no wrong in being basic or average. Kudos to those who have accepted their average-ness and are happy with that. I someday hope to reach that level of acceptance. Until then…
Keep an open mind. Accept everything with a grain of salt, even this post