How Your Lack Of Self-Worth Has Turned Into A Case Of 'Urkel Syndrome'

by Grant Miller

Have you ever really liked someone? Have you ever been head-over-heels in love, so much so that you’ll do anything to be with her? How many times would you ask her out? Once, twice, three times? Are you willing to pretend to like what she likes just to impress her?

Are you willing to use whatever pick-up line or technique you learned from the Internet to woo her? Are you willing to be anyone but yourself to get the girl? Is she all you think about to the point of distraction, regardless of how much she may (or may not) be thinking about you?

If you answered yes to these questions, you are suffering from Urkel Syndrome. For those of you who have never watched “Family Matters,” Steven Q. Urkel is a nerd and a geek (yes, you can be both).

He is a geek because he fails to conform to societal norms of how a man should look and behave. He is skinny and frail-looking. His voice is whiny. He wears high-water pants and suspenders that hike his pants up past his belly button. At first glance, Steve Urkel is different, to say the least.

However, Steve is also a nerd. Ask any of the high achievers thriving in the Chicago business world, and they will tell you. Nerds are always cool. Why do you ask? Well, nerds are smart.

They suck up information and use it better than anyone else around them. Nerds become successful business owners, inventors, writers, law professors and presidents. I’m a nerd, and I’m damn proud of it! I am who I am, and I have nothing to hide.

All of Steve’s positive qualities are derived from his nerdiness. He’s an inventor who concocts contraptions that no one else can ideate. Are they always useful? No, but they’re original, and he had the courage and creativity to experiment.

Due to his ability to consume all information around him, Steve is also a whiz at basketball. Despite his slight frame and lack of height, he schools his opponents with his knowledge of the game.

If you think that’s unrealistic, look up Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and John Stockton. None of these players were highlight reel athletes in their primes, but they are all Hall of Famers and clear basketball nerds.

Despite his teammates ridiculing him, Steve Urkel’s nerdiness made him an indispensable part of his team, which is usually how nerdiness works: They mock you until they realize how much they need you.

So, Steve Urkel, the inventor and star basketball player, has a lot going for him. He has a bright future and will most likely become a great scientist, star athlete or anything else he puts his mind to.

He has the potential to make his family proud, earn a good living and even be world famous, all because of his brilliant mind. Still, Steve Urkel has one obsession that he just can’t let go: He holds an undying love for Laura Winslow, and she doesn’t love him back.

For the bulk of the television series’ duration, Laura wants nothing to do with Steve. While he chases her around and confesses his undying love to her, Laura dates the popular guys in school.

She is usually mean to Steve and though he sometimes stands up for himself, he never leaves her side. He even goes so far as using his intellect to create a serum of his DNA that he dubs “Cool Juice” to transform himself into his alter ego, Stefan Urquelle.

Though Stefan is smooth and socially adept, he lacks Steve’s intellect. They are complete opposites and Laura falls head-over-heels for Stefan until she realizes that Steve cares a lot more for her.

Throughout the rest of the series, Steve’s undying love for Laura never wavers. At first, she continues to reject him. Later, she slowly turns and returns her feelings for him. This takes many, many years.

What frustrates me most about guys like Steve is that they don’t think that they are good enough. They don’t think that what they have is good enough and if it truly isn’t, they don’t try to improve themselves. They try to become someone else for the sake of impressing women who have made zero effort to impress them.

There’s nothing wrong with Stefan Urquelle, but Steve Urkel doesn't have to suppress his brains with the “Cool Juice” and hide an important part of himself for the sake of impressing a girl. He is fine the way he is. If Laura isn’t attracted to Steve, then so be it; she isn’t the only girl in Chicago.

If you still buy into the whole “alpha male” theory (aka nonsense), guys like Steve Urkel are considered the beta males — not because they’re actually inferior, but because somebody simply decided that they were beta. Stefan Urquelle is considered alpha, not because he’s superior, but because someone said he’s alpha.

These designations of social status are arbitrary. If you step back and look at Steve and Stefan, they are complete opposites but they are also equals; one has the charisma and the other has the brains.

Still, because Steve Urkel behaves in a way that others may not understand, he is often told that he’s not good enough. He is willing to change himself to win over Laura because society told him that he is inadequate. For someone so smart, he’s so naïve for buying into the lies.

Steve does something else that frustrates me: He loses a woman who loves him for who he is. Myra loves everything about Steve, even down to his snorting laugh. She isn’t perfect, but a lot of her issues stem from her confusion over Steve’s infatuation with Laura.

She has no idea why he’s so fixated on a woman who spends her time dating everyone but him. Meanwhile, while Myra’s sitting right in front of Steve, all he can think about is somebody else. Instead of sticking with the woman who likes him for who he is, he chases the woman who will never be satisfied with the real him.

If you’ve been through this, you know how infuriating it is. On television, Steve eventually gets the woman he wants, after years of thankless effort. In real life, this situation rarely ends in happily ever after.

Have you ever watched a woman run from you into another man’s arms? I have never had to chase any woman for a date. The women I asked out twice, or even three times, were always busy until they had a boyfriend.

Those situations can make you feel like you have to change something about yourself; that maybe if you did this or that differently, you could’ve gotten the girl. Maybe if you were more like the other guy, you would have more success. Maybe if you changed into someone else, she would have wanted you.

Meanwhile, there is a woman right next to you who doesn’t require you to change a thing. She doesn’t require you to chase her and doesn’t look down on you. This woman wonders why you are wasting your time chasing someone else.

She will eventually move on because she is tired of you taking her for granted and who can blame her? I’ve made this mistake more times than I would like to admit. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else.

Don’t pursue anything with a woman just because she happens to like you. That’s not fair to you or her. Unlike with Steve Urkel, it is high time that you accept and value yourself and act accordingly. Be that nerd, geek, inventor or basketball player and have the balls to ask out Laura for once.

If she doesn’t make herself available to you, have the balls to keep it moving. You have nothing to prove to anyone, including this girl. Rather than fixating on the one who never has time for you, focus your efforts on people who do make the time.

Like a wise man once told me, don’t try to fit in with anyone. Instead, find people who fit in with you. Your romantic relationships should be no different.

You are enough. You are more than how society tries to make you feel. Cure Urkel Syndrome by thinking for yourself, loving yourself and only hanging with people who appreciate the real you. The reaction I get from women doesn’t really change whether I’m wearing jeans, sweatpants, a shirt and tie or a suit.

I wear whatever makes me feel comfortable because the right people will be drawn to the man under the clothes, not the clothes themselves. I’m often wary of anyone who actually thinks that the clothes make the man. Such superficiality usually doesn’t lend itself to anything positive and if it’s not positive, I don’t want it. There’s really no reason to settle for less.

Ultimately, there is no substitute for being yourself and accepting yourself for your strengths and improving your weaknesses. You are enough and if there is anything about you that doesn’t satisfy you, work at it. Improve yourself.

Don’t try to be someone else and don’t try to impress the people around you by subscribing to a load of nonsense that makes you feel inadequate.

Learn to be yourself and have no apologies. Unless you do that, you will never be happy. When you do, you won’t be able to see yourself living any other way. You are who you are. Accept yourself and don’t bother with anyone who won’t accept you.

You are enough, my friends.

No Apologies,

G. Miller

Photo Courtesy: Tumblr