My Irrational Inadequacy Complex

I have an irrational fear of trendy cafes. Shall I elaborate?

Every time I go into an epic cafe I feel like I am somehow undermining its trendiness, just by existing. I don’t know why I am so put off by these cafes. I’m certainly not lacking in confidence and I at least like to think I have enough style about me to be able to enjoy a caffeinated beverage without offending the next guy. So surely I should have no problem. But I do. With no reasonable explanation for my issue, I have dubbed this fear as an ‘irrational inadequacy complex’.

Irrational Inadequacy Complex:
The belief, with no justification, that one is unsuited to a particular experience due to perceived social inadequacy.

Let me help you get the full picture of this problem, by telling you a story.

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For the last three months, I have been walking past this same epic cafe, twice a week, to and from uni. It’s called Bean and is buried deep within the bowels of a very artistically decorated laneway, with a cute little banner inviting us in to ‘escape the city’. So of course the hipster inside me leapt with excitement at the thought of a new city hideaway. On multiple occasions, I thought to myself ‘I can do this. It’s just coffee. I’m a uni student. I belong darn it.’ With this little burst of courage I would turn slightly in the direction of the alley, see the paintings on the walls, be reminded of the trendiness I was about to be drowned in, and once again, my irrational inadequacy complex would kick in and I would continue on my way through the city, as if I’d never intended to indiscreetly enjoy a coffee in Bean cafe.

However, I was determined to conquer this irrational inadequacy complex and on a drizzly April day, I finally did it, with no regrets. I wandered down the cute little alley, turned a corner, ventured under scaffolding and climbed down a staircase to the fabulous little hollow of the city, known as Bean. Upon entering, I was welcomed by the warm glow of the gentle lighting, a casual and comfortable atmosphere with lounge chairs and boardgames everywhere. I was greeted by a very enthusiastic barista and I enjoyed a perfectly brewed cold drip coffee.

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I was also pleased to be reminded of the extent of the irrationality in my complex. Bean was full of regular people; a family, some hard working uni goers and at one point – to my delight – a couple of men in their 70s, who’d come for a casual gossip amongst the youths. It was brilliant. I had a great time, I had great coffee, and it was warm and inviting.

So what have we determined?

That my complex is, indeed, wildly irrational. That Bean definitely exudes a touch of brilliance. That this is most certainly my new favourite city jaunt.

So if you have this complex, don’t let it hold you back from a good beverage in a good place, because the fear is, indeed, irrational.

Stay happy and keep exploring,
– Alice



  1. Prateek Kohli · April 23, 2015

    Ah that was so relatable and such a sweet read. Even I used to feel a little uncomfortable at places which seemed just too trendy for me. But I couldn’t agree more with you that this fear is very irrational. Probably it’s just the fear of the unknown. As we start facing our fears and transforming them to cherished memories, they indeed become the best of experiences. 🙂


    • Alice Maisie · April 23, 2015

      Thankyou so much, Prateek! I agree, it probably is the unknown. But I look forward to the adventures it brings 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  3. Pistachios · May 4, 2015

    I’ve walked past this place before …and experienced the same irrational inadequacy complex thought processes that you described. Next time, I’ll take your advice and just walk in 🙂


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