Inferiority complex is a psychological state of mind where a person feels that other people whom he knows are better than him. It is a state of low self esteem. Since humans have all types of feeling, it is not uncommon for a person to feel inferior to someone, may be a friend, a family member, at some point of time. But such feeling is momentary and it does not leave behind lasting impression on our personality or in our mind.
However, there are few people in whom inferiority complex reaches to such level that it leads them to social withdrawal.Psychologist named Alfred Adler was a person to describe inferiority complex as a psychological condition. This complex feeling of inferiority constantly revolves around ego, power, and status of a person in society.
The seed of this peculiar mindset is generally sowed during childhood. If the feeling of inferiority complex is not addressed right from its beginning in early childhood, it may pass on manifesting its more grievous symptoms in adulthood.
Signs And Symptoms Of Inferiority Complex
A person with inferiority complex exhibits several symptoms such as;
- Withdrawal from the surrounding. He may like to stay aloof and avoid talking or mingling with people. He tries to avoid going to social functions and gatherings, especially when there are many people who know the person in the gathering.
- There is constant feeling of worthlessness.
- People with inferiority complex do not like to participate in competitive activities as they doubt their ability. They feel their inability will be exposed to others.
- Person with this mindset is extremely sensitive. He does not take criticism or complement graciously. Instead he will find all excuses to defend himself when criticized or has doubts for a true complement.
- A person with inferiority complex constantly tries ways to prove better than others. In a way he tries to boost his self esteem. As he is not able to compete, he will try to belittle others. Instead of the characteristic withdrawal from social surrounding, he becomes emboldened and sometimes even rude.
- Finds fault with everyone, even if he has failed in doing something. He blames people around him for his mistakes and failure.
Causes Of Inferiority Complex
Inferiority complex usually tends to develop from childhood. Following factors may be responsible for it.
- Improper behavior of parents towards their child. Often authoritarian behavior of parents and comparison with other children brings about inferiority complex in the child. The same behavior from a teacher in school or a classmate or friend can cause immense damage to the personality of the growing child. He begins to think that he is less capable than his subordinates.
- Physical disability and handicap often feel low esteemed as they fear of people making fun of them.
- Those who are socially deprived feel inferior to their peers who have high status in society.
- A child or an adult with limitations of his mental capability will feel inferior to others.
- Social discrimination with regards to casts, skin color etc can become a cause for feeling of inferior complex.
How To Overcome Inferiority Complex?
As the seeds of inferior complex state of mind are sown the tender age of childhood, the condition is often deep seated. It is not easy task for a person to regain the self esteem overnight. With constant encouragement and motivation from friends and relatives the condition is not impossible to overcome. Here are some of the steps to overcome inferiority complex.
Believing in the ability of self is foremost criteria in overcoming inferiority complex. It is upon the person to try and come out from this psychological state of mind. Once he decides so, it becomes easier for the therapist to make him realize of his potential which are no lesser than others whom he knows. The therapist may be his friend or a relative, will then be able to make him understand that the goals in his life can only be achieved with self confidence and persuasion.
Reading inspiring books, having positive attitude, will help to overcome inferiority complex. Since failure in a task is often a cause for inferiority complex, person feeling so should try and focus on the task that he has undertaken. Complete awareness of the task he does and doing it mindfully will bring good results.