Inferiority complex is also termed as low self-esteem. Many of us had this feeling of dissatisfaction in our childhood when our parents compared us with our siblings and favored them indiscriminately. You may have experienced the same feeling soon after a break up. We come across such a situation in certain phases of life and move out of it after some time. However, some people may suffer from it throughout their lives. The worst part is that it can make life miserable and one stops enjoying life.
Inferiority is a psychological condition when a person starts feeling that he or she is inferior to others. In other words, they believe that they are not as good as their peers in terms of merits and skills. Some people are conscious about it, while others are not. The theoretical explanation of inferiority complex was first given by Alfred Adler in 1920s. According to him, the sense of inferiority is more prominent during childhood when the child is emotionally dependent on others. As they grow up into adults, most of them outgrow it but those who cannot, develop an inferiority complex.
The sense of inadequacy mostly arises when there is an emotional conflict between the desire of recognition and a fear of humiliation. People who have faced social discrimination due to their economic status, skin color, religion, etc. are at a higher risk of suffering from this problem. Upbringing is another factor responsible for this problem. Those who were treated unequally by their parents in their formative years are prone to suffer from it. Repeated disappointments and rejections give them an inferiority complex.
In some people, the sense of inadequacy is simply imaginary and is created by their mind. In others, the problem could be actually existing. Whatever be the case, recognizing the problem is very important. Some common identifiable symptoms are as follows:
- They yearn to get praises and recognition from other people all the time. If they do not get nice compliments, they feel sad.
- They are always busy in pointing out other people’s mistakes. This happens just because they do not like themselves as a person and are not confident about themselves, they find it hard to have positive feelings about others.
- They are afraid of criticism. They are fully aware of their shortcomings but if someone else points that out then they feel humiliated.
- Some people may turn aggressive and try to dominate others. They may get involved in some unhealthy competition. It is an attempt on their part to get over their psychological distress.
- Some people, on the other hand, may become extremely shy and timid. They avoid social gatherings and isolate themselves from the society.
Ways to Cope with Inferiority Complex
If you have an inferiority complex, you create a negative self image for yourself. You need to get rid of that in order to lead a productive life. Here are a few suggestions that will help in self improvement.
When your approach towards life is positive, you will no longer be afraid of setbacks. Moreover, positive thinking can help you a lot to boost up your confidence and self-esteem, which helps you to overcome the challenges posed in every spheres of life more efficiently.
Recognize your Strengths
Every individual has his or her own share of strengths and weaknesses. You should be aware of your weaknesses but do not put all your attention on them. Then you will feel that you are worthless. Rather, focus on the positives that you have. This will make you feel much better.
None of us are born perfect. However, we have this ability to improve ourselves and be a better human being. Figure out those areas in your life that need some changes to make your life better. It could be your career, education, personal relationships, etc. Invest some time and effort to bring about some improvement in those spheres of life. This kind of small positive changes in life help in getting rid of inferiority complex.
Grooming is important for building up your personality. When you look at the mirror, if you see a shabby looking you, you are bound to feel bad about yourself. On the other hand, a smart look makes quite a positive impression. Grooming does not mean that you have to wear fashionable and expensive clothes. Rather, maintaining a good personal hygiene, wearing well-fitted clothes and keeping a good body posture makes a lot of difference. When you feel good from within, trust me the world around you seems more beautiful.
Stay Away from Bad Company
No matter how much you try to stay positive, you cannot succeed unless and until you have a good set of friends and acquaintances around you. You will come across a few such people who will try to make you feel inferior. These people are always depressed and are absolutely unenthusiastic about life. You should either learn to handle these people tactfully or avoid them altogether. Interact with positive people who will motivate you and provide you support as and when required.
If you feel that the problem is quite serious, then do not hesitate to consult a professional for the necessary help that will help you overcome the complex. It can be treated with the help of psychotherapy.