The Pathological Truth Journal

» Font Size «

What To Say To The Incompetent

I am not particularly good at anything.  I don’t count myself as smart or emotionally savvy.  I can pick things up and do them fast and dirty but when it comes to real understanding I don’t have a lot.  I’m not really great or even really good at anything.  I usually find after a few months at work that I’m really not cut out for the job but they gave it to me because on appearance it seems as though I should be able to do it.  To me, this isn’t really a problem.  It’s just part of who I am.  The problem comes when I try to tell other people that I am, on the whole, rather incompetent.  There are two reactions.

  1. “Oh, you just want attention!”
  2. “You’re too hard on yourself.”

Neither of these is true.  I’m simply very aware of my flaws and shortcomings.  This has caused me to wonder a couple of different things.

Why is this considered a bad thing? 

I realize that I am archaic.  I believe in forgiveness and mercy.  I believe we are all deeply flawed and broken.  We are not what we should be.  All of us have the same darkness, the same egotism, the same flawed nature.  So, why not admit it?  I have never understood the shame in this. I do recognize that as a citizen of the U.S.A. this culture, being very individualistic and “can do” that saying “I can’t” is considered wrong.  We believe we can do anything with our own power if we just try hard enough.  But that isn’t true.  Speaking Scripturally, that isn’t true.  The people who we’re supposed to look up to in the Bible screwed up more often then they would like us to count.  If we allow ourselves to say maybe we’re not perfect then we can really take a look at ourselves and others.  We could offer the grace to others that we would want ourselves to others.  We could look at others with fresh eyes knowing they have the same fallible nature that we have.  Personally, I think this would be great.  Imagine not needing to make constant excuses or blame others because it’s OK to say that you made a mistake and not need to worry about being fired.

So, what do I want people to say to me?

I want to vent sometimes.  I want to go to people and say “this is how I feel”.  There are so many times I feel like I’m drowning and I want to tell someone but invariably there are the two reactions.  I thought about what I would want to hear for a long time.  I think the only reason it’s bothering me so much now is because I am no longer hearing the words that I found comforting.  So, if you come across someone who also realizes their own incompetence here is what I would suggest.

  1. Life is complicated and messy. – Sometimes bad things just do happen and it’s hard to understand.
  2. We’re all just sort of winging it. – You may not realize it but we all look more put together on the outside than we often feel on the inside.  Most of the time every person is just trying to do the best they can.
  3. Just because you’re mostly incompetent doesn’t mean you aren’t worthwhile – I’ve never heard anyone say this but I would sure like to hear it sometimes.


Comments are closed.