The Ugly Truth of Imposter Syndrome

imposter-syndrome-ugly-truth

I read an article this week that started me off on a tangent tackling workplace harassment and exploring the layers underlying Imposter Syndrome. Here is the article I mention in the episode, Tulane Medical School Professor Says Top Male Doctors Created ‘Hostile’ Workplace For Women.

Highlights include:

7:18 – JM: “Men’s tirades at work take advantage of women’s rape trauma past.”

8:48 – JM: “We (women) are all abused really young or are all aware that we might be and it’s to an extent that we respond differently than someone who is not in our group (for instance, a man). Then, throughout the course of our lives, men poke at this. And we respond with the fear of someone who’s actually being threatened at a very severe level because that is the reality. But then they get to say, “Oh, they’re overreacting, I didn’t do that,” as if it was a little thing. But they are specifically poking at it because they know it isn’t a little thing.”

10:55 – JM: “Sexual victimization teaches us not to believe ourselves. We’re taught that it’s our fault and, most importantly, we’re taught that our perceptions are completely wrong.”

12:25 – JM: “I think the reason women have so much doubt in their capabilities is because on a fundamental, personal level they are told that no matter what happens to them, it doesn’t count.”

12:47 – JM: “So how do you overcome that and believe you’re anything other than an imposter?”

13:12 – JM: “Instead of admitting when they’re blowing up at you in a closed office that they are throwing 2,000 years of rape culture at you and triggering your own personal rape history, they’re saying, ‘Oh well, I might have been a little stressed out and maybe I spoke too loudly.’ But that’s not what really happened in that room. That’s not what’s going on.”

14:44 – JM: “It’s amazing how, if you don’t say it right, that’s turned on you. Except what no one is saying, of course, is that there is no way to ‘say it right’. They don’t want to hear it. There is nothing you can do to say it right because they have already decided not to hear it.”

15:02 – JM: “When we talk about Imposter Syndrome, when we talk about women’s self-confidence, we make it sound like, ‘Oh, we’re just taught to be more deferential’ like it’s a little teeny icing on the cake of patriarchy. But it isn’t.”

15:25 – JM: “What is going on there is that these early traumas are being allowed to be retriggered to keep women quiet in the workplace. And to keep women from even advancing in their own minds, no matter how successful they are.”

Leading with Health is the podcast where women dive into societal change through the lens of healthcare. Host Jennifer Michelle has a Master’s in Public Health and Epidemiology and is a certified EMT. As President of Michelle Marketing Strategies, Jennifer specializes in healthcare marketing. Jennifer is available to speak at conferences and also provides free marketing consultations. Contact her here.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash