At times, it is natural for us to lack self-worth, doubt our abilities, and feel inferior in comparison to others. It can sometimes be a blessing in disguise to feel inferior because in a way it can help to move forward in life. The striving for superiority causes inferiority as well as helps in overcoming it. It is alright if there is some control over the feeling of inferiority and it occurs within a certain limit. When the feeling of inferiority occurs too often and becomes persistent, then it may lead the person to develop an inferiority complex.
Inferiority complex makes an individual feel worthless and instills within him/her a sense of hopelessness. The person begins to feel that he/she lacks certain qualities and is inferior to others with respect to those qualities. Due to an inferiority complex, the normal feelings of incompetence get exaggerated, and the individual feel that it is impossible to achieve goals and/or have certain abilities.If inferiority complex becomes too overwhelming and lasts for a longer period of time, there is a possibility that it may engulf the person in such a strong way that it changes into superiority complex. In superiority complex, the individual feels that a good way to overcome inferiority is to make others feel inferior and thus become superior.
To overcome inferiority complex, one must develop a level of self-awareness. It enables the person to know himself/herself in a much better way. Recognize one's strengths and weaknesses and working accordingly helps us overcome with these feelings and achieve what we aim for.
Inferiority complex makes an individual feel worthless and instills within a sense of inadequacy. The person begins to feel that he/she lacks certain qualities and is beneath others with respect to those qualities. Due to an inferiority complex, the normal feelings of incompetence get exaggerated, and the individual feels that it is impossible to achieve goals and/or have certain accomplishments. If the inferiority complex becomes too overwhelming and lasts for a longer period of time, there is a possibility that it may engulf the person and start impacting their work life and relationships. In order to counteract the feelings of inferiority, some individuals may put on a mask of superiority.
It's human nature to compare yourself to those around you. That being said, there are healthy and unhealthy ways through which it may impact us. Comparison can help if it inspires us to become a better version of ourselves and invest in our personal growth and development. It can lead to our downfall if we constantly focus on our flaws and magnify other's strengths.
People with an inferiority complex are highly sensitive to what others think and often take offense at a harmless comment or non-verbal cues. Any kind of critique will stay with them for a long time. They are quick to assume that others are perceiving them in a negative light.
People who criticize others have the highest criticism reserved for themselves. When you have an inferiority complex, you may have a habit of finding faults in other people. For instance, you may have a friend who you feel is more successful than you. If you have feelings of inferiority, you might tell yourself that their career path isn't as great as they make it out to be rather than feeling happy for them.
One of the most famous defense mechanisms people use to hide their inferiority feelings is to act superior. Not only will those people act as if they are superior to others, but they will also devalue anybody who doesn't treat them as if they were superior. It is a form of self-protection for their vulnerable, fragile ego.
Without being aware, the subconscious mind of the person becomes anxious whenever he or she encounters social situations. By doing so the subconscious mind makes sure that the person will avoid those who make them feel inferior. So, fear of public speaking, fear of approaching the opposite sex and stage fright are some of the common manifestations of inferiority complex.
People that give up quickly over the smallest infractions are typically those with inferiority complexes. They want to be the one to leave for "ego's sake" and usually expect negative results with anyone they meet. For instance, if a date cancels for a good reason, they refuse to set up another date assuming they're probably not attractive enough.
At times, it is natural for us to doubt our abilities and feel inferior in comparison to others. The striving for superiority causes inferiority as well as helps in overcoming it. When the feeling of inferiority occurs too often and becomes persistent, then it may lead the person to develop an inferiority complex.
What can you expect from counseling sessions?
The number of sessions required in each stage of the therapy is subjective to the client and their needs. The counseling structure is divided into stages that may overlap, whereas some sessions may go back and forth depending on the triggers and intensity of the concern and healing time. The aim of the therapy is always to empower individuals and equip them with tools to handle and manage any future challenges. There is no fixed course of therapy, each person has their own pace of healing and learning in the process of therapy. However, a general approach of counseling in dealing with the inferiority complex is as given below.
In the first counseling session, the counselor will provide a safe and non-judgmental space to share personal experiences. The counselor will undertake the essential details about you and a therapeutic relationship will be established.
Exploring the concern
The counselor will explore the concern by asking and understanding the root cause of the challenges including childhood experiences, negative incidents, exposure to belittling, demeaning behavior by others which might be leading to current beliefs about self.
Work on Overcoming Inferiority Complex
The counselor helps the client to challenge the inner critic by using a blend of techniques and let the individual change his or her negative perceptions towards their own self. Compassionate, positive self-talk is developed in this stage.
The follow-ups are required to see how the individual is doing post-therapy. It allows us to keep a tab on the progress and prevent relapse in any difficult situation.
"She had become so cold overnight, I couldn't believe she wasn't coming back this time. I didn't know what to do, what to say to make things okay anymore. If only I could say the right things maybe Preeti would have stayed."
With this book, we bring you several real stories. Few are a reflection of first-hand or vicarious experiences, others are inspired by break up cases helped by the counsellors at BetterLYF.
Disclaimer: Please note that we are not a crisis intervention helpline. Should you have severe symptoms or have thought about harming yourself, please seek immediate medical help or call suicide prevention helplines such as
Aasra 24x7 Helpline: 91-22-27546669