Take Yourself Off the Pedestal


3 minute read

December 9, 2021

          Have you ever looked at a friend or a significant other or a parent or even a role model and thought “wow they’re so perfect, they could never do anything wrong?” This can be referred to as “putting them on a pedestal” and Merriam Webster defines this idiom as thinking of someone as a perfect person with no faults. When this occurs in a relationship it can result in either the over-idealized partner becoming lazy due to the fact that they realize they don’t need to try as hard to please their partner or it can create undesired expectations of this idealized partner and make them feel as if they are not able to live up to these unrealistic images of themselves (Tomlinson et al., 2013).


           Now I know what you are thinking, “Seagull Strength is not a relationship advice blog, what are you talking about?” Well, you’re right, I don’t usually give relationship advice, but today I want to talk about the most important relationship that we are all in, the relationship we have with ourselves. While it has been shown that putting your romantic partner on a pedestal can be detrimental for your relationship, I believe that it is also true that putting yourself on a pedestal can be negative for your own health and wellbeing.


           It is interesting though because when I began to look into this to write this blog post, it seems as if most of the work on the internet explains how to put yourself on a pedestal. And I agree with this in the context they explain, where you need to put yourself and stop belittling yourself to make others feel good. That is all good and true in that context, but today I want to talk about the constant unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves and always picturing ourselves sitting on top of that pedestal. Thus, I want to suggest that its healthy to take ourselves off the pedestal from time to time.


The following are my own thoughts and opinions based on my own experiences and feelings:


          When we put ourselves on a pedestal, just like in a romantic relationship, we create undesired and unrealistic expectations of ourselves. We think we could never do anything wrong, we could never make a mistake, we could never fail a test. If we believe we are perfect, then we won’t allow ourselves to act human; to make mistakes.


           If we keep ourselves on the pedestal for too long, we put an immense pressure on ourselves. If we can never make a mistake or do badly on a test, we must study and work insanely hard to keep up with those expectations. If we can never do something wrong or disappoint others, we must be a “yes-man” helping everyone with all their problems and always making the right decisions. We spread ourselves thin. We wear ourselves out.


           That is why it is important, from time to time, to take ourselves off the pedestal. To ground ourselves. To humble ourselves. We are not perfect. We are human. We make mistakes. We fail tests. We make the wrong choices sometimes. And guess what? That is perfectly okay. We do not need to be perfect. We do not need to stay on the pedestal because that is how we learn. We learn from failure, from making mistakes, from doing the wrong thing and dealing with the consequences. That is how we become better people, better listeners, and better doers.


           We are all human and we all make mistakes. Nobody is perfect; not me, not your friend, not your significant other, not your parents, not your role model and not you. So, take yourself off that pedestal, make mistakes, fall down, wipe yourself off, and get back up again. This is how we grow and become stronger. How we stay happy and healthy. Take yourself off the pedestal.


Happy Thinking,

           Seagull Strength

Works Cited

Tomlinson, Jennifer M., et al. “The Costs of Being Put on a Pedestal.” Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, vol. 31, no. 3, 2013, pp. 384–409., https://doi.org/10.1177/ 0265407513498656.

"Put/place (someone) on a pedestal." Merriam Webster. 2021. https://www.merriam-webster.com/ dictionary/put%2Fplace%20%28 someone%29%20on%20a%20pedestal

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