Recently, there appears a popular term, namely impostor, because of the game Among US. It is the name of the game, which is the millennial generation popularly played. The role of impostor within the game is a player whose task is to cheat, disrupt the game without getting caught, and kill other players' characters. Then, the question is, can this game trigger impostor syndrome?
Tri Hayuning Tyas, S.Psi., M.A., as the UGM Clinical Psychologist, said the impostor syndrome or impostor phenomenon is a psychological phenomenon where a person cannot accept and internalize the success he has achieved. In other words, people who have impostor syndrome will always doubt themselves for their attainments. They felt that the success he achieved was only a form of luck or chance instead of his intellectual ability.
Nuning, the Faculty of Psychology UGM lecturer, said that someone who has impostor syndrome never stops doubting whether the achievements reflect his abilities. That person worries if his condition is known by others and is considered a fraud.
"He is worried that he will be caught because of cheating. Even though the achievements are real because they are capable or smart," Nuning explained on Sunday (18/10)
Nuning conveyed this condition in contrast to the term impostor, which comes from English, which means someone who pretends to be another self to cheat or commit fraud. This action aims to take advantage of pretense.
Nuning also added that impostor syndrome is not considered in the classification of mental disorders. However, this syndrome is normal in life and is quite disturbing because it can cause anxiety, stress, and even depression if it remains to occur.
The original of this impostor phenomenon was first established by psychologists Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978. Their former study found that this syndrome was discovered in bright women with high achievement. Then, research continued from year to year, showing that impostor syndrome is not only in women but also in men.
"This syndrome can appear to anyone, especially in people who have to confirm their academic achievement performance. It is natural when someone starts a new intellectual or career journey as well as in people with perfectionist characters," said the woman who had studied Clinical Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology and is currently completing her doctoral studies at Universitas Gadjah Mada.
Nuning said several factors could trigger the development of impostor syndrome. One of them is family parenting. When children grow up in a family that prioritizes intellectual achievement, and their parents do not teach children enough about how to respond to success or failure, it will become a former source for Impostor Syndrome development.
"There will be comparisons between children/siblings, and this is the roots for developing Impostor Syndrome where children feel that what they do is never good enough," she explained.
Besides, there is another factor of demand or pressure from society about the meaning of success, which can lead to the mistaken idea that a person will be worthy only if he is successful and worthless when he fails. Someone with Impostor Syndrome also seems constrained by the label that he is an intelligent person, so he must always satisfy these expectations.
So how to prevent impostor syndrome? Nuning said the main key is to understand oneself if perfection is not the main thing. Nevertheless, the most important thing is to do your best.
"This is important to be developed from an early age," he said.
In addition, understand and appreciate one's abilities. Writing down the achievements and giving self-appreciation no matter how simple they are, is one way that people with syndrome impostors can begin to cut the chain of thoughts that doubt their abilities. Another way is to talk about feelings of doubt about progress and inadequacy with a mentor or a trustworthy person.
If someone suspects that they have impostor syndrome, Nuning recommends that they are required to consult with a psychologist or other mental health professional. Therefore, this phenomenon of intellectual self-doubt can extend to other mental function areas and can lead to mental disorders such as anxiety disorders and depression.
"The strength of Impostor Syndrome's false thinking needs structured psychological intervention, for example, using cognitive behavioral therapy that aims to correct mistakes in thinking and reacting to the environment," she said.
Translator: Natasa A