Tag Archives: Overcoming An Inferiority Complex

A Closer Look At Overcoming An Inferiority Complex

overcoming an inferiority complex

We have already seen that those of us who suffered significant childhood trauma are at increased risk of developing an inferiority complex as adults. For example, we may be at increased risk because our parents constantly criticized and derided us, making us feel we were of very little worth.

My own inferiority complex was so massive that in the evolutionary hierarchy I rated my place in it as falling somewhere between reptile and rodent.

In my previous article about the causes of an inferiority complex, I looked very briefly at ways we might be able to overcome it ; in this article, however, I want to go into greater depth as to how this may be achieved.

images

1) Stop attaching so much importance to what others think about you :

People often look back on their lives and wish they had not allowed it to be so constrained by concerns about other people’s views and opinions about them. Stopping worrying what others think of us and living an authentic life is extremely liberating. After all, what others think about us is merely their opinion and may well be utterly invalid. Also, it is a fact of life that some people will always be critical of us. The adage that you can’t please all the people all the time is true for everyone.

Furthermore, people may criticize us due to their own feelings of inferiority, projecting their own sense of inadequacy onto us. Arrogant people, for example, tend to act arrogantly as a defense mechanism against underlying feelings of low self-esteem.

Most people, too, are far too preoccupied with concerns about their own failings to focus very much on ours.

It is our view of ourselves that really matters if we are to have good self-esteem, not that of others.

What would the Prime Minister achieve if he became paralyzed with uncertainty and self-doubt every time he was criticized in the media or by the Opposition? Nothing. He wouldn’t get out of bed.

images (2)

2) Concentrate on your qualities:

People with feelings of inferiority tend to over-focus, or even become obsessive, about the ‘failings’ they believe they have whilst ignoring or minimizing their positive qualities and characteristics.

It is known that those who suffered abusive childhoods very frequently have an unrealistic and irrational view of themselves as being of little worth; this is because they were conditioned to develop this inaccurate view of themselves by those who were supposed to be their primary carers when they were young.

People affected in this way may have developed thinking errors or cognitive distortions that can be effectively treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

images (3)

3) Stop comparing yourself to others:

Whatever we do, there will always be people that are better at it than we are (unless we are the best in the world at something, and, even then, we can’t stay in that top position indefinitely).

Just because people are better at some things than we are, that does not diminish our value and importance as a human being. After all, we are all the product of the interaction between our genes and our environment. Some people just have luckier combinations of these two elements than others – this does not make them superior beings. Likewise, it does not make us inferior beings.

4) What we think of as our failings may, in fact, be positive qualities in the eyes of others:

For example, we may dislike our shyness, but someone else may view this shyness as an endearing quality. Or we may dislike being ‘naive’ and ‘inexperienced’ but, again, someone else may view this as touching innocence. Or we may think we’re not ‘clever’ enough, but others may see this as a refreshing  lack of pretentiousness.

RESOURCE :

STOP FEELING INFERIOR – SELF HYPNOSIS DOWNLOADS 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE( FAHE).

Overcoming An Inferiority Complex Caused By Childhood Trauma

There are many ways that during our childhood our risk of developing an inferiority complex as adults can be increased. For example, certain types of parenting can increase this risk, such as over- controlling, over- critical, over-protective, over- demanding and/or emotionally neglectful parenting. Being brought up by such parents, or in a way which is psychologically destructive, can result in the young person developing: feelings of self-hatred, a defeatist thinking style, a generally negative attitude towards life, self-destructiveness, excessive and irrational self-blame, fear of failure, excessive sensitivity to failure and self-doubt in social situations.

Research also shows that any serious traumatic emotional distress experienced during childhood can, potentially, have similar effects.

The psychologist, Gilmor, identified six specific signs that an individual may have developed an inferiority complex. These six signs are as follows:

1- oversensitivity to criticism

2- a propensity to perceive oneself as being criticised, even when this is not the case

3- excessive reaction to flattery/’fishing for compliments’ or the opposite, namely having great difficulty accepting compliments/flattery

4- avoidance of others (due to not feeling good enough/interesting enough/ likeable enough etc to be in their company)

5- an inability to be a ‘gracious’ loser

6- a fondness for/ urges to ‘put others down’

Additionally, the psychologist, Nanka, suggested that that those with an inferiority complex had a tendency to believe/ claim/declare that they are ‘always right’ as well as a habit for always insisting that others agree with them.

Other research shows they may try to mask their feelings of inferiority behind a façade of arrogance, crave and seek high social status, be very materialistic (wanting to impress others by owning expensive cars, jewellery etc), crave and seek power/control/dominance over others, constantly seek approval and behave in a self-righteous manner.

The Compounding Effect Of Depression:

If an individual has developed an inferiority complex as a result of a difficult and traumatic childhood, such a person is also at an elevated risk of developing a depressive illness. Unfortunately, this can intensify feelings of inferiority as it is known that depressed people tend to develop a distorted and unrealistically low opinion of themselves; in a depressed person’s mind his/her shortcomings become exaggerated whilst his/her skills and abilities are minimised, dismissed or ignored.

Due to the above a vicious circle can easily develop: the depression leads to feelings of low self-worth, self-hatred etc which in turn serves to accentuate the depression…and so on…and so on…

Possible Subconscious Reasons For Self -Criticism:

The idea has also been put forward that there can be subconscious reasons or ulterior momotives why we criticise ourselves in ways often associated with having an inferiority complex. These include:

1  – to gain sympathy

2 – to appear humble/modest

3 – because we think self-deprecation is somehow charming or endearing

4 – as an expression of guilt

5 – to avoid responsibility (e.g. by saying: ‘I’d really love to help, but I’m useless at that kind of thing’)

6 – to discourage others from criticising us (‘getting in there first’)

7 – to encourage others to admit their faults too

8 – avoid disappointment (e.g. ‘I’ll never pass that exam’)

9 – to motivate ourselves to do better (think John McEnroe berating himself on the tennis court). Indeed, being highly self-critical and/or having feelings of inferiority drives some people on to achieving great success – such people are driven by an overwhelming need to prove themselves to others.

Possible Remedies For An Inferiority Complex:

1) Stop being a perfectionist and accept weaknesses as part of our humanity

2) Work hard to improve particular areas of weakness

3) Become very good at one particular thing to compensate for weaknesses or feel less bad about having them

4) Understand the source of our feelings of inferiority (eg.  grew up being ridiculed by parents) and seek appropriate therapy (eg. CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy)/ utilize self-help

Resources:

CONFIDENCE ONLINE TRAINER COURSE : Click here for further details.

STOP FEELING INFERIOR PACK :  Click here for further details.

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).