My superhuman secret: The illusory superiority effect & me

I can’t really find the words to describe this feeling, but apparently I’m not alone.

Have you ever felt like you’re … the star of your own reality tv show? Like the world sort of, revolves around you?

It started with the Truman show

It really stuck with me. I found myself really worried about my perception of people, were they watching me? How did they always know if I was lying? Why didn’t I get to go to Birthday parties, sleepovers or just do normal things that the other kids did? Is it because I was part of an elaborate experiment? Maybe I’m supposed to just watch the world, Maybe I’m some sort of Jesus #2. Well, as a child I thought this…

But if you did too, you’re definitely not alone! Apparently more than 50% of us at some time in our youth either became suspicious of a “Truman show” conspiracy or had a “god complex” where we believed we were here to protect and watch over those around us.

I used to hear it all the time when I was younger “The world doesn’t revolve around you, you know” but, it did. They just didn’t know it did! After all, I was secretly famous with the big guy upstairs. I’d try my best to put myself in other peoples situations, so I could understand how others felt but as a child it felt much harder to really understand other people’s motives and emotions.

How can I possibly try to understand their emotions when I don’t understand what would upset them, what makes them tick? I work with children now so I understand that ‘children understanding emotions’ is an extremely hard comprehension. It’s something that they learn to do as they understand the people around them, what makes people sad or happy and how their actions affect others.

A watcher of the world

I’m a people watcher you see. I know, it’s not an attractive quality, but I can’t help myself. It’s who I am! I love understanding people’s motives and reasoning for things (which is why I get into so many arguments). People always have an alternative motive for saying and doing things and I’d spend entire car journeys watching people..wondering what they were doing or why they were doing it.

Busy-road-london

Where’re they going? What’re they doing?

  • Waiting at the bus stops with their shopping bags; I wonder where she’s going on that bus, why is no-one helping her with the bags, maybe she has no family? What if that’s not her shopping, it could be for a friend.
  • The people in the cars; I wonder where they’re going? Are they in a rush to get there? What do they do for work?

This feeling of watching other people, of feeling like you’re more important then them, or that at least you feel different to them, is explained in so many different terms,

Self Centered

Ego-centric, Self-centred, narcissist or the spot light effect.
Out of these terms, I’d say the closest to what I feel is the illusory superiority effect ( Feeling you’re more important in the world) but all of these sound so negative.

That’s not how I feel, I don’t feel like I’m better than everyone else, I most definitely am not. I’m not particularly smart, I’m definitely not the prettiest and I’m no athlete but perhaps that was the plan? Wouldn’t it be suspicious if the most important person in the world, the one that would save us from destruction was the prettiest, smartest person?
Nah. They’d be an average Joe. I had this sneaky feeling that all of these ‘average’ qualities were the glasses on my Clark Kent face. 

They were hiding my superhero personality from the civilians

Things I believe lead to me being convinced I was some sort of secret superhero;

  • One sided perspective  As human beings we only really see the world from our perspective (how else could we see it?). Colours we perceive are our ideas on what we think is a ‘colour’ and we all have different opinions and thoughts and feelings We just assume that others have similar thoughts to ours. – I am independent, so are you.
  • My strong religious family; We were told that we were in this ‘true’ religion where god would grant us infinite life and we’d be able to fly, breathe under water and spend our ‘after life’ happy with our families.
  • Being alone; I had a big family but I remember a lot of my time feeling a bit pushed out, I’d spend a fair bit of time by myself giving me a chance to really think about things. Convinced they didn’t understand me, but..how could they I was superhuman.
  • My passion for understanding; Like I said, I’d love to watch people when I was younger, I was always interested in psychology even before I knew the word. No one else did, I guess it made me feel like the watcher of people, I was the man in the clouds watching the ants.
  • I was never injured; I had glass in my foot, I stepped on a nail, I sprained my arm but I never really felt hurt, I never went to the doctors or A&E. I just kind of dealt with it, it seemed to be a shocking fact when I entered secondary school and that sort of solidified my superhuman theory.
  • I want to learn everything; I want to learn every language, I want to read every book, visit every country and just be full of knowledge. Don’t we all?MewhenIwas5shrink

So yeah, I spent most of my childhood thinking I’d spend eternity floating around in the sky speaking any language I want and..yeah, I felt like all of the mirrors in my house were actually surveillance cameras because, after all, I was some sort of project X gone awry.

I hope you can tell from the tone of this article that I’m having a bit of fun with you, yeah I did feel like this but I don’t want to be institutionalised over it, I’m normal now *honest*!

Is this..not normal? Have you ever felt like this?

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