It’s a psychological condition many of us suffer from, though admittedly by no fault of our own. As part of the education we receive we’re told things like we can be anything we want to be and that we’re special just for being ourselves. We’re also taught that as long as we “try” then it’s okay and all of this builds up to what can be a very detrimental Special Case Syndrome.
The reinforcement of Special Case Syndrome is especially strong when one jumps on a plane and heads to a faraway land. From the moment you get into the aircraft you’re being tended to in many ways, addressed as “Ma’am” or “Sir” and served with whatever it is they have on offer by way of food and drinks.
You may have paid for all of those extra services as nothing more than part of your ticket fare, but still, you cannot help but feel a little more special than usual.
Special Case Syndrome becomes dangerous when it begins to go to your head and you truly believe that the rules that generally apply to others don’t apply to you. Again, this is most evident when one is far away from home and perhaps all the street vendors are trying to get your attention, or when you know that you can just press a button on the telephone in your hotel room and have someone come rushing to be at your personal service.
Special Case Syndrome is perhaps the major reason behind travellers landing in some serious trouble abroad as they not only already believe that they’re a special case, but because they probably have more money than the locals, look different and perhaps even enjoy a better standard of living back home, they also believe that the local law somehow doesn’t fully apply to them. In many instances this may be true to a certain extent, but it’s a very dangerous game to play if you’re going to try and push the boundaries.
In the Emirates of the U.A.E. for example, in order to further boost tourism some of the local laws which are based on religious constructs are relaxed a bit to accommodate tourists. The strict no alcohol rule is not enforced beyond the boundaries of private spaces like hotels, for example and this can often lead to tourists who are under the influence pushing those boundaries and finding themselves in some serious trouble.
Over in the United States and specifically in the state of Ohio, car accident attorneys Groth & Associates report shocking rates of having to litigate car accident instigators who turn out to be foreigners that show some disregard for the local rules of the road, making for one of the saddest cases of the consequences of Special Case Syndrome showing its ugly face.
As far as addressing this problem goes, it’s a simple matter of reprogramming yourself not to think of yourself as a special case because you’re not. You may be a special case with regards to some or other talent you have, but that’s as far as it goes.