Why Am I Not Getting the Respect I Deserve?

05 August, 2020
Q I have a problem in life which is causing me a huge depression and affecting my daily life.

ALHAMDULILLAH I am very close to Allah. I read the Quran, make my prayers on time, listen to naats and watch islamic videos.

However I always feel that I am always ignored by people. Now I don’t know what the problem is that makes me think about this. Every new person I meet I feel that he ignores me and does not give me importance.

To be honest I have this bad habit which I know is very bad. That is that I always want to be the center of attraction for everything.

Whenever someone else gets more importance than me, I start feeling jealous of that person and my heart gets filled with hatred towards that person. My problem is so deep that if someone does not give me a proper reply on message or in a group then I am not able to sleep at night due to that.

Now please help me so that I can get rid of this filthy addiction of getting importance and stuff. Please support your answer from the Quran and hadith. Secondly, whenever I go to a ceremony or any place I always feel that I am being ignored, I feel that people don’t want to listen to me.

To be very honest this is not true like I just think like this. Becz ALHAMDULILLAH I have a great family and good friends but I only think like this and I am not able to stop this habit. I need a complete Resurrection of my mind and thinking.

I have one more issue. I am too afraid to speak in front of people. I feel that I will be judged. I think soooooo much before I speak and then when I do not get a response from people I again get depressed.

I think then someone may say something to me. And if someone says something to me, I will mind that to such an extent that I won’t be able to sleep at night. I only feel that everyone gets respect and importance except me.

Answer


In this counseling answer:

Brother I kindly suggest that you find a counselor in your area who can assess you and develop a plan of action for your treatment. It may include stress reduction, cognitive behavioral therapy, learning self-love and acceptance, and other techniques.

Participate in some free classes online for self-confidence and self-esteem, learn how to reduce your stress levels which would include possibly breathing techniques, progressive body relaxation, journaling, and so forth.

In sha Allah by engaging in therapy and increasing your self-confidence and self-esteem you will be able to overcome these thoughts and behaviors that appear to be affecting your life in a negative way.

Please do make duaa to Allah for guidance, mercy, and help as you begin your healing Journey.


As salamu alaykum dear brother,

Shokran for writing to us.  I am sorry to hear about the issues you are going through emotionally and socially. From what you have written it appears that you feel ignored by others. You feel that others do not think you are important.

Also you want to be the center of attention wherever you go and if someone else gets more attention or appears more important than you, you start feeling jealous and hateful. You do state that you have great family and friends and that is a blessing. 

Conflicting Issues

You stated you seek attention and admiration from others. On the other hand, you also stated that you are afraid to speak in front of people. You feel that you will be judged and when you do not get responses you become depressed. 

Why Am I Not Getting the Respect I Deserve? - About Islam

Affects 

These issues not only interfere with your sleep at night but they are causing you to feel depressed. You also appear to be “overthinking” on these issues of attention and self-importance. These thoughts seem to “run” your life.

Possible Social Anxiety

Brother first of all based on what you have written, it sounds like you may have social anxiety. Social anxiety can evoke feelings of fear, self-consciousness, humiliation, feelings of inadequacy, and inferiority when in social situations (1).

Social anxiety is a common condition which millions of people suffer from. Please see (1) for a complete description of social anxiety and its symptoms so you can better determine if this may apply to you. 

Self-Importance and Attention Seeking

The second aspect of your issue is that you always want to feel important. You want to feel as though you are the best.  You get jealous and feel hatred when others may get more attention or are looked at with more importance than you.

This is not healthy emotionally nor spiritually because as Muslims we should want for others what we want for ourselves.  Also, feeling jealous and hateful are not Muslim qualities that we want to incorporate into our character. These are haram traits. 


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Excessive Attention Seeking Behavior

It is possible that you have excessive attention-seeking behaviors which are interfering with your emotions, your self-concept, and your life in general. It appears that you may go to unhealthy lengths to fulfill your need for feeling important and having the attention on you. This is a kind of emotional desperation (2). 

According to psychology, seeking attention and acceptance as well as importance may go back to early childhood development and is related to safety and survival (2).

According to Psychology Today (2) if you are suffering from excessive attention-seeking it does involve how the brain is wired. There are different neurohormones that interplay with this desire for excessive attention (2). To learn more about this please see Psychology Today (2). 

Compensating Emotions

The aspect of your question has two parts. You seek excessive attention and want to feel very important yet you appear to have social anxiety and do not want to speak in front of other people because you are afraid. These two feelings: 1) desire for attention, recognition, and importance, and 2) fear of speaking in front of others- may seem to be separate but they may be feelings that compensate each other.

In other words, while you seek attention, acceptance, and admiration, you are afraid to speak in front of people perhaps because you may feel inadequate or lack self-esteem. This lack of feeling confident, important, and good about yourself may produce a driving desire to attain these self-concepts via an excessive need for external validation. 

Assessment and Counseling

Brother I kindly suggest that you find a counselor in your area who can assess you and develop a plan of action for your treatment. It may include stress reduction, cognitive behavioral therapy, learning self-love and acceptance, and other techniques.

You may find ongoing counseling to be very helpful with not only symptom relief, but in developing a healthier self-concept, improved social behaviors, as well as a long term peace within yourself. 

Moving Forward

Brother it does seem as if you have some issues going on with your mental health in terms of anxiety and self-esteem. Only a counselor who assesses you can determine. Insha’Allah you will seek counseling. As stated earlier, you are not alone. 

There are many people who suffer from various forms of anxiety and the need for self-importance. The good thing is that you are young and you do not have to live the rest of your life in this state of fluxing emotions.

There is treatment depending on your diagnosis if any, and things you can do to help heal yourself from this dichotomy.

I kindly suggest that you do engage in ongoing counseling, participate in some free classes online for self-confidence and self-esteem, learn how to reduce your stress levels which would include possibly breathing techniques, progressive body relaxation, journaling, and so forth. Please see (3) for a list of possible stress reduction techniques. 

Conclusion

In sha Allah by engaging in therapy and increasing your self-confidence and self-esteem you will be able to overcome these thoughts and behaviors that appear to be affecting your life in a negative way.

Please do make duaa to Allah for guidance, mercy, and help as you begin your healing Journey. We wish you the best.

1. https://socialanxietyinstitute.org/what-is-social-anxiety

2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/obesely-speaking/201411/excessive-attention-seeking-and-drama-addiction

3https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/16-ways-relieve-stress-anxiety#16.-Spend-time-with-your-pet

Salam,

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Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.