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

What they mean, why they occur and tips on how to treat them

Most people experience feelings of inferiority occasionally. When we compare ourselves to highly qualified people, reminiscent of skilled athletes, renowned scientists, celebrities, or people more advanced in our own occupation, we may feel inadequate compared. This is normal and motivates us to enhance. However, when these feelings of inferiority turn into overwhelming or negatively affect our lives, it could 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 idea that one is physically or mentally inferior to others, no matter whether this belief is predicated 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 usually are not inferior. The second form can sometimes grow to be a superiority complex.

Feelings of inferiority are sometimes normal in childhood. Children experience inferiority as a natural strategy to encourage them to grow and grow to be capable adults during their childhood. 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 turn into overwhelming, whether on account 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 liable to inferiority complexes, often consequently of what’s often called “toxic masculinity,” a social phenomenon wherein men feel they have to suppress normal emotional responses and be physically, mentally, and financially superior to other men with the intention 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 after we compare ourselves to people who find themselves highly expert or intelligent. However, any normal behavior can turn into abnormal when taken to extremes. This can also 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 major 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’ll't sustain with those around them. It may also result in a sense of frustration or hopelessness in the case of achieving goals, or a sense that even achieving goals is just not enough.

People with inferiority complexes often come across as either extreme overachievers on account 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 realize their unrealistic expectations and as an alternative 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 turn into overachievers to prove their superiority and disprove the idea that they usually are not ok.

Treating inferiority complexes is best done with the assistance of a certified therapist. The mostly used type of therapy for this disorder is known as Adlerian therapy. First, the therapist will make a diagnosis based on aspects reminiscent of how often you are feeling inferior to others, what goals you’ve 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 assist you 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 might help alleviate these feelings and assist you move on, especially in cases triggered by childhood trauma or abuse.

From then on, therapy becomes more individualized as you develop recent goals and ways of pondering together along with your therapist. Every person is different and reacts otherwise to therapy.

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