It is very reasonable for anyone to feel down when going through interpersonal conflict or after being disappointed. Occasionally feeling inadequate is unpleasant yet a normal experience. But, if you are the one who constantly doubts your abilities and believe yourself a failure or you always find other people around you better, you are suffering from inferiority complex.
What Is Inferiority Complex?
Inferiority complex is defined as perceiving yourself weak in comparison to others and not finding yourself up to the par with them on an absolute scale. Inferiority complex is being overwhelmed by imagined or real inadequacy in terms of physical, social, psychological or intellectual attributes that makes you less confident and you become overly critical about yourself.
It is very normal to feel inferior in comparison to others in certain ways. It is a healthy and normal development process. But, when the feeling of inadequacy starts dominating individual up to the level that he/she constantly feel low about themselves, feels depressed and become incapable of progressing towards the desired goal it is termed as an inferiority complex.
In most of the cases, inferiority complex stems during childhood. The feeling of inadequacy is long-lasting, that affects almost every aspect of an individual. Such people, most of the time, do not feel good about themselves and expresses extreme sensitivity.
Signs of Inferiority Complex
There is a range of symptoms commonly experienced by sufferers of inferiority complex. The symptoms include the following:
1. Feeling of worthlessness. Mostly, it is present with a comparatively positive assessment of other people. Instead of noticing that even others can make a mistake, we focus on their best qualities, compare ourselves, and end up falling short in the comparison.
2. Considering imperfection as a failure.
3. Assuming that people around you do not value you and think negative about you.
4. Feeling lonely and jealous of seeing other people around you or on social media happy.
5. Rarely stand for yourself and finds it challenging to assert your needs.
6. Crave for love and attention.
7. These people may pretend to be unhappy to be cheered or to get attention from others. They are dependent on flattery by others for their happiness.
8. Such people are highly sensitive to what others think about them. They do not take criticism very well and get overly aggressive and overly emotional, that ultimately leads to shame and self-loathing.
9. People suffering from an inferiority complex to get praised and liked by others neglect their own emotions and needs.
10. Finds fault or points out wrong about others to make to themselves feel better.
11. Blaming others for failures and not taking responsibility for their mistakes.
12. Social withdrawal. Trouble making or maintaining new friends. They feel uncomfortable in a crowded place. Embarrassed believing that they do not fit into a group because they think others may not like them, as they are not good enough.
Cause of inferiority complex
According to psychologist Alfred Adler, there are two types of inferiority complex. First Primary inferiority complex that develops during childhood and persists until adulthood. It develops due to childhood stress such as poor academic performance, bullying, inadequate emotional support, parental neglect or parental abuse. It is intense when the adults compare the child with friends or siblings. Social discrimination based on sex, race, social-economic status, religion, family, looks, educational level and sexual orientation may be a cause. For example, skin diseases, weight issue, the visual defect may lead to low self-esteem and self-doubt.
Secondary inferiority, on the other hand, develops during adulthood when an adult is unable to achieve his/ her goal that is set to compensate feelings of inadequacy that develop initially during childhood.
Inferiority Complex and Low self-esteem
Many times the term inferiority complex is interchanged with low self-esteem. However, there is a little difference. Low esteem doubts self-worth and ability to do something. Low self-esteem when leads to constant thoughts of self-doubt and starts affecting relationships, interaction, emotions and developments it is termed as inferiority complex.
Tips To Overcome Inferiority Complex
Inferiority complex is deep-rooted. It may take lots of effort to get rid of it, but this is not impossible.
The very first thing you need to do is to set yourself free of any guilt. Stop blaming yourself for developing inferiority complex because it was not in your hands. Secondly, follow the steps discussed below in this article to overcome the inferiority complex.
Ways to Get Rid Of Inferiority Complex
1. Dealing with emotional memories of past– Look deep inside yourself to understand the root of the problem. Try to recall instances that have traumatized you or made you feel inferior in a certain situation, to something or in front of someone. By understanding this, you will be able to take the necessary steps to deal with them.
2. Treat yourself with kind kindness – You need to treat yourself with compassion. Stop bad talk thinking about yourself and practice self-care. Do not berate yourself. Negative self-talking affects the way you communicate with the outside world. Instead, practice positive thoughts about self to firm your strength and encourage your worth. Eat healthy, exercise daily, practice yoga and meditation. Step out of your comfort zone and enjoy your hobbies. Give yourself priority and take care of your needs.
3. The art of silence – There is no need to share everything with everyone. You do not need validation on everything from others to make you feel better. Focus on yourself and learn the art of being silent.
4. Learn to say no – You do not need to please everybody around you to prove your worth or to make others like you. Learn to say no for anything that you don’t enjoy.
5. Be Assertive – If you are among those who are afraid of trying new things because of the hidden fear to fail, you need to work on this. You are no less then a failure if you haven’t given a trial. You are the only one who is stopping yourself to become successful and happy. Remember if you overthink over an opportunity, you will be left without the possibility. Be brave and strong to take decisions, stick to them, give your 100 percent and enjoy or responsibly face the outcome.
6. Have reasonable expectations with yourself – Admire what you are. There is a difference between what you want to be what you need to be and what you like to be. Understand this difference. Find a comfortable you. Do not try to be someone you are not, or you will end up feeling unnatural, and this will make your condition worse. If society makes you think that, you are different except the difference and embrace yourself.
6. Move on – You cannot control everything. There are certain goals, capabilities and relationships that you may find out of your control. Except this fact and move on. Admire what you have and focus on what you can achieve.
7. Recognise your strengths– Do not focus on the ability you do not possess. A duck cannot fly high like an eagle but can swim. On the other hand, eagle can fly but cannot swim. Catch up with good thing that define you. Write about your qualities on a piece of paper, read it every day, and believe in yourself.
8. Watch your company – The most important is to get rid of the toxic relationships. Toxic people do not respond to your caring behaviour or acts and may try to you bring you down. Distance yourself from such people or simply ignore them. Make friends who are kind and responsible. If you feel that there is a lack of positive people around you, try to connect to new people by joining clubs, or join some classes. With little effort, you will be able to find people around you who will help you to give a better version of you. Surround yourself with people who uplift you, encourages you and makes you feel good and enough.
9. Stop worrying what others think of you – Judging what others think of you will only destroy you. You do not need to imagine what others think of you. The only person whose opinion matters in your life is you. When we feel good about yourself, we get the same from others.
Remember, most of the people around you are devoted to their own life and happiness, and they do not have time to evaluate you. Those who assess you negatively are insecure because of what you are. Again this means that you have qualities that they do not possess, so be proud of what you are.
Instead of worrying other’s view, focus on what do you think of yourself. The only expectation you have from yourself is to be happy. Focus on things that bring fulfilment and joy in your life. Spend energy on keeping your passion alive and yourself comfortable rather than spending energy on what others think.
You do not need to live your whole life with inferiority complex when you have a better option to become a happy person. Practice the steps discussed above to overcome inferiority complex. Give yourself time, and you will find a drastic change in your symptoms.