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Do men suffer from imposter syndrome?

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 Do men suffer from imposter syndrome? (Photo: iStock)

They are overly confident with themselves and they often exaggerate their achievements and they usually think they are better at their job than they actually are. They negotiate for higher salaries than women and it is often said that they never take the first offer on the table, a mistake that women usually make. A mistake that is partly responsible for the pay disparities between men and women.

Studies show that women doubt themselves too much and that we generally tend to undersell our values and skills in the job market. We are often unsure and uncertain in a way men aren’t. Even with external validation and career success, a woman must somehow always wonder if she is good enough. That contrast isn’t surprising. It exists in our programming. The one that has been instilled in both genders since the beginning of time.

Men have been told by society and biblical scriptures that they are leaders. And we have been told by society and biblical scriptures that we ought to be submissive to them. They were supposedly created first and we supposedly came from their ribs. I use supposedly because I have to see things to believe them. Bible stories are just stories to me.

By the time a boy is age 5, he already knows he is superior to girls, a notion that is taught in Sunday School the moment someone reads the story of creation to them. It is ingrained to them that they came first and it is ingrained to girls that they exist as a result of Adam - the representation of male existence and to whom Eve was created to be a helper.

What this has done is that it has made men very delusional. They tend to overestimate themselves in the market without factoring in things like race, social status and where they stand in the economic pyramid. They say they are the prize and they never doubt it even when facts show otherwise.

You will find a 30-plus man who has no investments, no money, or prospects thinking he is more of a prize as compared to a 30-plus woman who is successful in her career and who has built a tangible future for herself.

Women often grapple with their self-esteem when they get to that age without a solid family of their own. They could be successful in all spheres of their life but they will still feel that they failed somehow for not having sealed love and commitment in holy matrimony.

This feeling of unworthiness is not part of a woman’s DNA or brain chemistry. It is a result of programming. Society has been engineered to make women feel like they ought to live for marriage and children. Those two are basically presented as a woman’s only reason for living and anyone who does not live up to that duty is regarded as a failure.

The average man does not grapple with self-esteem issues or feelings of unworthiness. He believes his value increases with age. He could be seeing 40 on the horizon while dealing with the mid-life crisis of coming to terms with the fact that he will never be rich or as successful as he thought he would be in his early 20s but he will still feel more worthy than a woman who is 30, rich, and successful in her chosen career path. That is delusional. 

Carrying XY chromosomes does not make someone automatically valuable and we need to start telling men that being born male does not make them superior to women who have tangible accomplishments. The inability to be truthful with them is why most women are unable to see their true value and why most of them usually end up with very subpar partners when they could have always been better alone.

Being unmarried at 30 is not an illness. It does not take away the worthiness of a human being and neither should it be used against anyone. That aspect is often used against women to give them imposter syndrome and is a tactic used by men who need a reason to feel better about themselves.

It is the altar upon which their delusions are built. And women let them win each time they fail to look at who men are with logical eyes. The ones that can look at data and determine whether someone is a prize or not, or whether it is just hot air being spit out by a person who was programmed to always think he is superior.

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