Do you have an inferiority complex?
Everyone feels down about themselves from time to time, especially if you feel like others are doing better in life than you are. It’s common to feel that way. But if this is a constant feeling and you’re acting out in ways that are harmful to you or others, it is believed that, you may have an inferiority complex. “The term inferiority complex comes from founder and father of Individual Psychology, Alfred Adler. It’s basically a term used to denote an intense feeling of not belonging, or a feeling of being less than.” This is not just common among children or teenagers but has been found to be quite pervasive in adulthood as well.
Research has shown that an inferiority complex can come from a person’s experiences. For instance, a person may develop it by growing up in an “invalidating environment,” in which parents, siblings, and others around them say things that make a child feel inferior or less than. Undoubtedly, these types of childhood experiences can affect your thoughts and behavior as an adult. Because it’s a “subconscious experience,” it typically presents itself differently based on the individual.
The following are some signs to consider, if you may have an inferiority complex: 1. You’re A Perfectionist- An inferiority complex usually manifests in two opposite ways. Some may overcompensate to make up for whatever it is that’s making them feel less than. “An individual may attempt perfection and achievement in everything they do,” while on the other hand, you can be cocky in their presentation, almost to the point where you find yourself questioning how real it can be.”
2. You feel most comfortable fading into the background-
The second way an inferiority complex usually shows is through avoidant behavior. For instance, you may feel more comfortable fading into the background, or you may avoid putting yourself out there in social situations because you fear rejection.
3. You’re very sensitive to criticism-
“People with an inferiority complex are highly sensitive to what others think and often take offense even when no offense is intended. Any kind of critique or criticism will stay with you for a long time. You don’t respond kindly to teasing or jokes made
at your expense. If you ever feel disrespected, you may act out with aggression in order intimidate others and decrease your feelings of being “attacked.” 4. You have a tendency to find faults in others
When you have an inferiority complex, you may have a habit of finding faults on other people. For instance, you may have a friend who you feel is more successful than you. If you have feelings of inferiority, you might tell yourself that their career path isn’t as great as they make it out to be rather than feeling happy for them. I believe this is something we have all seen quite often. The research also shows that some may even take it a step further and will bully others or constantly put them down.
5. You only feel good about yourself when you think you’re doing better than other people-
It’s human nature to compare yourself to those around you, but there are healthy and unhealthy ways to handle it. If you’re handling it in a healthy way, your focus will be on bettering yourself. But when you have an inferiority complex, your main focus may be on becoming better than other people.
6. You don’t believe it when people compliment you-
When you have self-esteem issues that stem all the way back to childhood, it can affect the way you see compliments. Typically, People with an inferiority complex are not comforted by positive feedback, or if they are, it is often shortlived. (to be continued next week)