Updated: Jun 25
All of us feel inferior sometimes, especially when we start comparing ourselves to others. We may even feel down and despondent for a few days as a result. However, some people feel inferior and inadequate almost all the time. These individuals can be suffering from a serious inferiority complex.
What is an Inferiority Complex?
An inferiority complex is the feeling of inadequacy brought about by various factors, including real and imagined ones. Human emotions can greatly influence a person's actions and behaviors, often not in their best interest. Our subconscious thoughts and emotions can often cause our responsive behaviors to circumstances to be disproportionate, either downplaying or overcompensating them.
An individual who is suffering from an excess of unrealistic inadequacies can develop a dangerous mental and emotional state if left unaddressed.
An inferiority complex has negative impacts on the sufferer and those they come in contact with, especially those close to them.
Here are the common signs of an inferiority complex.
Signs of Having an Inferiority Complex
Continually Finding Fault in Others
It is very easy for a person with an inferiority complex to find fault in what others do. Instead of focusing on positive results, these individuals can quickly spot, point out, and amplify others' mistakes.
Treating Feedback as Criticism
There is a lack of broadmindedness and openness to well-meant, constructive feedback. Any pointed-out differences may be perceived as an attack and responded to with spite.
Overly Sensitive About What Others Think
Image matters a lot to those with an inferiority complex. It may not be their fault, but inferior people are very sensitive to what others think. They want everything to be perfect, and as this is all but impossible, they are often given to displays of anger.
See Compliments Differently
They can struggle with accepting compliments in the spirit they are given. Even if praised, a person suffering from an inferiority complex feels that he or she is being condescended to, or that the other person is not sincere.
Sees Others as Threats
Due to a lack of open-mindedness and trust in others' intentions, victims of an inferiority complex are easily threatened by new people in the team, internal organizational changes, or developments.
Displays False Sense of Superiority
This is a common trait for those with an inferiority complex. Due to an inability to admit to a lack of experience and knowledge, and to hide the feeling of inferiority, individuals suffering from an inferiority complex can be boastful, wilful, and inconsiderate.
Withdraws From Social Events
These sufferers show 'avoidance' behavior. They feel more comfortable if they are absent from social gatherings and situations.
Always Comparing to Others
To an inferior person, there is always someone out there who is better than he or she is. Self-esteem is very low.
Does not Accept Failure
They cannot accept failure as a feedback mechanism for self-improvement. They are perfectionists and believe they will be judged for all they do and say. There is always a need to prove themselves.
Here are a few ways to help overcome an inferiority complex.
Do not compare yourself to other people around you. Instead, focus on your dreams, priorities, or goals.
Understand the cause of your depression (usually past experiences). Let go of them and move on. Get professional help if necessary, it often is.
Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Be mindful and choose to be happy at all times. Learn that happiness is a choice.
Expose yourself to more people, learn from their experiences, and practice open-mindedness. You may find it's fun!
Let go of your personal baggage. Instead, surround yourself with positive, caring, and loving people who will always be there for you. Let them into your life. Accept that they want the best for you and accept their assistance with gratitude.
Love yourself. Learn to take care of yourself by being self-compassionate.
Accept failure. No one is perfect, after all.
An inferiority complex can be very difficult to overcome. The roots of this condition lie deep into the subconscious and have a tremendous effect on behavior and outlook.
An inferiority complex is a serious condition. People suffering from this state need attention and help. The symptoms from one person to another may vary, but distinct levels of inadequacy and insecurity will always show. If not attended to, victims of an inferiority complex may experience anxiety and depression, and exhibit violence.