Living With Our Feelings of Inadequacy


The strategies we develop to succeed as children help us in the workplace, especially if we understand our strengths and abilities.
Yet, people with dyslexia still run into on-the-job situations where they have to rely on others to help them. 

Relying on others for occasional assistance or using an assistive device to help us at work and home is nothing unusual. People everywhere need assistance at any given moment, on and off the job. But for people with dyslexia, these situations often conjure up those feelings of inadequacy and “dumbness” they felt in grammar school.

Many people with dyslexia say they wish they lived in clam shells that they could slam shut to avoid the pain of the memories and rush of embarrassment and humiliation that engulfs them at times.

Why are people with dyslexia so reluctant to ask for or accept help with written materials? Because no matter what the research says about their dyslexia and the strengths they possess, they continue to believe they are inferior to anyone who can read fluently.

Dyslexia doesn’t go away as we get older.  It is a lifelong condition that presents problems at home, work and play. It doesn’t matter that a person with dyslexia has an extensive vocabulary.

It doesn’t matter that they can out-think some friends and colleagues. It doesn’t matter that they come up with unique ideas, graduated from high school and went to college. Many continue to think they are as “stupid” and “dumb” as they felt when they couldn’t master reading and writing in first, second and third grade.

I have thought long and hard on this topic and have come to the realization that some of these feelings will always be with us. No matter how hard we try to bury them, they keep rising to the surface. So talk about how you feel.  Let it out!
If you talk about those feelings often enough, they do gradually lose some of their potency.

Keith Matthew
Keith lives with his family in the Chicago area.


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