You're Not "Too Good" For That

For the past couple of years, my cousins and I have made a ritual out of going to the movies on Christmas Day. After all the presents are opened and all the eggnog is thankfully left unopened, we pile into the car to see an evening movie at the local cinema. However, there is a drastic age range within my group of cousins, and with range in age comes range in opinion. Each year, there is at least one objection to the movie agreed upon by the majority--this year, the objection came from me.

The consensus was to see the latest Star Wars film, and I almost immediately expressed my disapproval toward this choice. The reason I didn’t want to see Star Wars was twofold: One, I hadn’t seen the previous installments and thus had no previous knowledge of the series, and two, I thought I was above the hype of Star Wars. I didn’t express this second notion to my cousins out of fear of being shunned, but eventually one of my cousins saw right through my reasoning, and told me I thought I was “too good for Star Wars.” I quickly denounced my cousin’s accusation--clearly, I didn’t think I was too good for a record-breaking, highly acclaimed, billion dollar franchise. Or did I?

Believing we are too good for--or above--something is oftentimes a feeling we don’t want to admit, and more often something we don’t immediately recognize as a factor in our own decision-making. We may think we are too good for something, but we don’t like to publicly vocalize when we feel such a way, for we don’t want to be pegged as conceited or arrogant. However, suppressing the negative connotation that accompanies feeling an air of superiority only adds fuel to the fire.

When we shrug off opportunities because we feel we are above them, we miss out on more than just being physically present. Most decisions we make are intertwined with another’s emotions and feelings, and we must be aware of the adverse effects of narcissistic decisions. What matters is not only the final decision we make, but also the thought process that goes into doing so. Skipping out on an opportunity is one thing, but doing so for the wrong reasons is an entirely different story.

This feeling of being “too good” may be encountered in a variety of circumstances--with friends and family, in relationships, and with job and internship opportunities. Though this air of superiority may manifest itself in subtle ways, it is nonetheless hurtful. We may turn down an internship opportunity or job offer in search for something that better suits our abilities, only to find that the offer we turned down may have been the greatest and only one. We may fail to connect with old friends when we are home for the holidays because we think we are too good for certain friendships, passing up opportunities to listen and love. Clearly, the punishment is in the act when it comes to making decisions based on feeling superior.

As millennials, we believe ourselves to be very special. And though this might be the case, in no way should it translate to feeling too special to attend an event, pursue an opportunity, or connect with friends. When we deny options based on feeling better than our offeror, we deny ourselves further positive connections and deny our offeror respect.

When we are presented with opportunities, whether foreign or familiar, to love, learn, or even feel a little uncomfortable, we should embrace them. Though life involves decision-making at practically every hour of every day, we should attempt to shy away from ruling out opportunities based on feeling we are too good to pursue them.

There are certainly adverse effects that come along with making decisions based on feeling above a certain activity, endeavor, or person. In my case, the repercussions that came along with initially refusing to go see Star Wars were my family members being disappointed in me for rejecting to spend time with them by providing them with a sorry excuse, my resulting guilt and feeling ignorant for thinking I was above the hype of Star Wars, for I exited the theater raving about the film, matching the excitement of die-hard fans adorned in Chewbacca costumes and equipped with lightsabers.

Though ultimately our decisions may be multi-faceted, we should attempt to rule out any influence that feeling above something may have when we come to a conclusion. Doing so will rule out hard feelings between two parties, lessen negative personal feelings and allow one to come to the realization that we shouldn’t be condescending and conceited by feeling better than something and waving it off without a second glance--especially when it involves Han Solo and Chewbacca.

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Emma Powers