When people you encounter tell you that

No, you will never be successful.
You suck at everything.
You're a failure to society. etc.

And you are terrified of the fact that they may be right, so you try to stay away from them, so that it doesn't affect your psychological thinking of being great. That may lead you to feeling belittled. And every other weak preconceptions you may have relating to it.


  1. “Hey don't drink that, you'll fail your test tomorrow if you do.” — and they believe it because they are so insecure about themselves.

  2. “Hey don't tell your boss you live by yourself or he'll fire you.” — and you believe it.

  3. “Taking these exams is all about luck; it's never about hard work.” — and you believe it.

But in reality, you're in control of everything. You know anyone in your path is an obstruction to your greatness, and you shouldn't be so "weak-willed" and "weak-minded" in permitting other people's opinions to control and belittle you. This is actually something that you can definitely just dust off your shoulder; it is you who has just made a big deal of it.

It's not weak willed is it? Weak-willed means "lacking the ability to resist influence or to restrain one's own impulses; irresolute." Per Google.

Much help needed and appreciated. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

  • It makes sense except for being in control of everything and anyone in my path being an obstruction to my greatness. I am glad that is not so :)
    – Daniel
    May 20, 2015 at 1:25
  • 1
    Sounds like the Law of Jante on steroids. May 20, 2015 at 10:47
  • 2
    "Browbeaten" comes to mind.
    – Hot Licks
    May 20, 2015 at 11:58
  • Wear-down, naive, and over-sensitive. Looking for a word pertaining to this qualities. Everyone has great answers. May 23, 2015 at 22:03

6 Answers 6


This is a condition called learned helplessness which began as psychological jargon but has become a subject of study in education and sociology.


Believing what others say without ample criticism is called being naive. Naiveté is not characterized by insecurity, however: it's more of a failure to pay attention to or assign importance to crucial affairs.

Believing what others say because you are insecure is called just that: insecure. Insecurity is characterized by consuming self-criticism and self-doubt and indiscriminate acceptance of others' criticism.


I think you may be looking for the word impressionable. It means to be easily influenced by others.

If you are impressionable,you may be over-cautious of the company you keep - so that their influence does not affect you negatively.


It sounds like you may be describing a feeling of being "worn down."

wear down

transitive verb

to weary and overcome by persistent resistance or pressure



singular noun

Confidence in yourself and a belief in your qualities and abilities


You are referring to the power of words, especially those which are negative or critical, on an individual who has ' low self-esteem'.


I think "Credulous" is appropriate

  • Welcome to the ELU :-). Can you please provide a definition and/or evidence of usage with references, so this answer would be even more useful to both the OP and future users of the website? Thanks!
    – Lucky
    May 24, 2015 at 11:42

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