"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

What they mean, why they occur and the right way to treat them

Most people experience feelings of inferiority sometimes. When we compare ourselves to highly qualified people, reminiscent of skilled athletes, renowned scientists, celebrities, or people more advanced in our own career, we may feel inadequate compared. This is normal and motivates us to enhance. However, when these feelings of inferiority change into overwhelming or negatively affect our lives, it might be an indication of an inferiority complex.

According to the American Psychological Association, an inferiority complex is characterised by persistent feelings of inadequacy or insecurity in every day life, based on the assumption that one is physically or mentally inferior to others, no matter whether this belief relies on a rational assessment or not.

There are two kinds of reactions to an inferiority complex: either the person withdraws a lot that they barely interact with others, or they overcompensate by becoming overly competitive to prove that they aren’t inferior. The second form can sometimes become a superiority complex.

Feelings of inferiority are sometimes normal in childhood. Children experience inferiority as a natural method to encourage them to grow and become capable adults during their youth. Children who’re properly nurtured to beat challenges can overcome their feelings of inferiority and learn to tackle challenges in life without being ashamed of difficulties. However, sometimes these feelings of inferiority change into overwhelming, whether as a result of trauma, abuse, or a mental or physical disability, and so they are carried into maturity in unhealthy ways.

According to Erikson's model of psychosocial developmental stages, children who’re emotionally or physically abused, especially as punishment for obvious deficits, may internalize these feelings and lose their self-esteem. Children who’re denied affection, whether because someone reminiscent of a parent deems them unworthy or just because the person is physically or emotionally unavailable, may attempt to earn that affection through performance. If it continues to be denied, the kid may feel undeserving of their parents' love or attention and, consequently, experience feelings of inadequacy or inferiority.

Men are particularly susceptible to inferiority complexes, often consequently of what’s referred to as “toxic masculinity,” a social phenomenon wherein men feel they need to suppress normal emotional responses and be physically, mentally, and financially superior to other men with a view to be properly masculine. Men are also more prone to feel inferior in romantic relationships, particularly when comparing themselves to their lovers' previous partners.

A certain degree of inferiority is normal even in maturity, especially once we compare ourselves to people who find themselves highly expert or intelligent. However, any normal behavior can change into abnormal when taken to extremes. This can be true of inferiority complexes. People with this disorder experience a sense of inferiority that overwhelms them or interferes with their on a regular basis functioning.

An individual with an inferiority complex is more prone to take risks, abuse drugs and alcohol, and behave aggressively. Sufferers are also more prone to suffer from other mental health problems reminiscent of depression and anxiety.

However, the principal symptom of an inferiority complex is low self-esteem, so some psychologists use these terms interchangeably. A negative self-image could cause individuals with an inferiority complex to distance themselves socially because they feel like they will't sustain with those around them. It also can result in a sense of frustration or hopelessness on the subject of achieving goals, or a sense that even achieving goals will not be enough.

People with inferiority complexes often come across as either extreme overachievers as a result of an aggressive have to prove their price, or they’re perceived as underachievers because they tend to feel overwhelmed or burned out by failure to attain their unrealistic expectations and as a substitute surrender on their goals altogether.

Superiority complexes are the opposite side of the identical coin. Many people diagnosed with a superiority complex are literally just overcompensating because deep down they feel inferior. They typically change into overachievers to prove their superiority and disprove the assumption that they aren’t ok.

Treating inferiority complexes is best done with the assistance of a professional therapist. The mostly used type of therapy for this disorder known as Adlerian therapy. First, the therapist will make a diagnosis based on aspects reminiscent of how often you’re feeling inferior to others, what goals you will have and the way achievable they’re, and what your relationships are like with other people in your community and private environment.

Next, the therapist may use various mental exercises to show you how to improve your self-esteem, reminiscent of acknowledging past progress or successes or helping you expand your interests and social involvement. In many cases, confronting the unique source of inferiority feelings can assist alleviate these feelings and show you how to move on, especially in cases triggered by childhood trauma or abuse.

From then on, therapy becomes more individualized as you develop latest goals and ways of pondering together together with your therapist. Every person is different and reacts in another way to therapy.

If you'd like to achieve out to a therapist for treatment, there are several options available, including local therapists and online therapy services. If you're undecided where to start out, your doctor may have the option to refer you to advisable therapists in your area. The National Alliance on Mental Illness also offers many resources that may connect individuals with therapists and support groups.