What is an inferiority complex

Overcoming feelings of inferiority: causes, symptoms, treatment

Who at Feelings of inferiority suffers, especially suffers from a distorted self-image. Those affected are convinced that they are inferior and inadequate. Not infrequently, this self-devaluation leads in a way Negative spiralfrom which it is difficult to get out again. The focus is always on the feeling of not being good enough, but of not being able to change anything. How feelings of inferiority arise, how they express themselves and manifest themselves and how themselves Overcome feelings of inferiority let, find out here ...

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Inferiority complex definition

Feelings of inferiority - also Inferiority complex called - are expressed through a sense of imperfection. Affected people generally feel inferior, small and insignificant. Quite a few struggle with depression and are at risk of suicide.

Feelings of inferiority often have their origin in childhood. It is not uncommon for them to open lack of parental love and recognition back, which are then reinforced by and a lack of appreciation and problems in school and among friends. Those affected are repeatedly confronted with their shortcomings and are not aware of the strengths that are also present.

Feelings of inferiority can also arise in children who have received too much attention and too much spoiled were.

The social component of the environment Be: Those who find it difficult to build friendships often look to themselves to blame and develop the attitude that he or she is simply not worthy of being loved.

Such feelings manifest themselves, for example, through thoughts such as: I am worthless i'm worse than everyone else. Of course that's a misconception.

To be different does not mean to be inferior!

To this negative self-image and low self-esteem is usually accompanied by the assumption that it is hardly possible to change anything in this situation: No matter what you do, it will not be significant or valuable, will not meet (your) requirements and, above all, will perform worse than what others do.

The psychologist has the concept of the inferiority complex Alfred Adler transferred from art and literary theory to individual psychology in 1912. At first, Adler used the terms Inferiority complex and Feeling of inferiority still synonymous. Later, however, he differentiated the inferiority complex from it as an "abnormally increased feeling of inferiority".

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Recognizing feelings of inferiority: this is how you express yourself

Feelings of inferiority quickly arise when one's own actions are classified as generally inadequate, i.e. those affected are convinced (their own) Not enough to meet demands.

Emotional reactions to it are permanent bad conscience, feelings of shame and guiltwhich, however, are compensated by an equally permanent striving for reparation - the main thing is that the self-image can be stabilized again.

Feelings of inferiority are just becoming apparent in dealing and contact with other people. For example, those affected can ...

  • don't say “no”. Because you feel that you are otherwise not needed or that you are valuable (useful). Or because they believe a “no” could lead to rejection.
  • Difficult to endure praise. Because they do not believe that it can be meant honestly and justified. Or because they assume that their counterpart only wants to manipulate them.
  • find it difficult to stand by their opinion. Because they are convinced that no one is interested in it anyway or that it is generally unimportant. Or because they fear rejection here too.
  • make new contacts poorly. Because they think that they are unattractive, boring and uninteresting to others anyway.
  • hardly try anything new. Because they are sure that they will fail anyway. As so often.

It is true that we all have phases in which we feel inferior or inadequate. However, these usually pass or are belied by perceived (!) Successes. In a more pronounced form, however, have Feelings of inferiority consequences how…

What is remarkable is that men and women sometimes react quite differently here:

  • Feelings of inferiority in men

    Men often compensate for their low self-esteem - especially at a young age - with outwardly directed aggressiveness, with extreme language of exclusion and demarcation, with excessive alcohol or drug consumption or the flight into status symbols and overpriced valuables that they display accordingly put.

  • Feelings of inferiority in women

    Women, on the other hand, tend to be more aggressive: those affected judge themselves primarily for physical characteristics (crooked nose, flat breasts, big bottom, ...) or even punish themselves by self-mutilation (cracks). Feelings of inferiority in women can also reveal themselves through compensatory exclusion and demarcation to the outside world. This is then often perceived as arrogance by the environment.

In the extreme, inferiority complexes can lead to language inhibitions and poor relationships, too social dependencies (extreme bondage) or sociophobia and the constant fear of doing something wrong.

People with chronic feelings of inferiority give up at some point and flee into a kind Victim role (see also drama triangle after Stephen Karpman.)

That then has different Compensation and obfuscation reactions As a result: While some in passivity almost freeze (motto: The circumstances, everyone else, fate are to blame ...), others adjust their tarnished self-image through autosuggestions and self-delusions. Even valid facts and facts are then simply faded out and replaced by other things that better fit the person concerned or their self-image and worldview.

In such (pathological) extremes, only professional treatment and so-called "Inferiority complex therapy„.

This usually starts with a detailed diagnosis through one or two sessions lasting several hours with a psychologist or in a psychiatric outpatient clinic, with those affected having several interviews and completing standardized questionnaires. The actual therapy then follows according to the result.

Overcoming Feelings of Inferiority: You Can Do That

The longer and deeper feelings of inferiority anchored in one's own thinking are, the more difficult it becomes to break away from them and to overcome feelings of inferiority.

The negative self-image is becoming more and more normal, successes are ignored, setbacks are inflated. Self-devaluation digs deep into them personality - with no prospect of improvement, as it is part of the nature of feelings of inferiority to believe in one's own inability.

It is all the more important to have such feelings early to meet. First, through more honest self-reflection:

  1. Find the causes.

    A difficult but necessary step is asking about the Triggers: When do you feel inferior or rejected and why?

    When you know and understand the causes of feelings of inferiority better, it becomes easier to deal with them properly and to silence the inner critic. Debunk classic Self-deception and corresponding lies.

    Above all: change yours Attitude to oneself. You are NOT worse than others, but at least as lovable - including your quirks and weaknesses. In general, self-love is an essential prerequisite for happiness and success.

  2. Make yourself aware of your strengths.

    Everyone has individual weaknesses, but also Strengths and talents. Both sides are part of your personality.

    Feelings of inferiority, however, ensure that we only perceive the weaknesses as if we were under a magnifying glass - and that too oversized. It is all the more important to rectify this picture: Consciously concentrate on the things that you are good at, the successes to date (no matter how small) and the good achievements that you have achieved.

    It often helps to assess these strengths and successes on a daily (!) to write downto remind yourself regularly.

  3. Be fair to yourself.

    Yourself all the time Print of perfection Exposing yourself only makes the feelings of inferiority even stronger. Nobody can live up to such expectations.

    So don't judge yourself by one exaggerated scale and stop comparing yourself to others. You are not in endless competition with your environment, you are an individual.

    Anyway, it is wiser to learn from the mistakes (which everyone makes) and to learn from them Attention and recognition to be made independent by others. Even if you are not praised, you will remain valuable!

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