As a child at school, I’d get laughed at for things I said or did. At first, it was probably no more than any child would get from other children. But for some reason – maybe because I wasn’t used to the way children treat each other – I took it personally. And for some reason, because they all laughed at me – or so it seemed – I thought they must be right, that there must be something wrong with me. For some reason, I started saying or doing things I knew they’d laugh at, just because they expected it from me.

Now, an exceedingly large number of years later, I’m still doing it. No, I don’t get laughed at any more, but people think I’m incapable of doing things and I perpetuate that notion. This came to the foreground recently, when people – nice people – clearly felt that I couldn’t cook, or clear up, or ask a stranger a question, or drive. And instead of showing them that I could do these things, I let them carry on thinking what they thought and even said and did things to make them more sure of their view of me. (Except when it came to driving; I didn’t want to cause an accident!) Why? Because if that’s what they think, they must be right. That’s how my mind works. That’s how I’ve always reacted. Unintentionally.

It’s hard to change the habits of a lifetime, but I’m going to try, because I’ve had enough. Because they’re wrong and I need to show them that.

So how do you react when people think you’re incapable? Or doesn’t that happen to you?

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