Inferiority Complex: Signs, Facts, and All You Need to Know

Jul 21, 2020 02:30 PM

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SHARE - As a human being, it's normal to feel uneasy sometimes. We all have emotion so it's not strange at all to feel less motivated, tired, confused, and all the negative vibe. It's basically okay to feel down.

One thing to remember, you should not live with it, as there are so many people who love us sincerely. So, you have to get up and rise! This way, you will be cheered up again and spread all the positive vibe to your surroundings.

But, if that negativity seems like won't go away and keep sticking to yourself, there is a possibility you have an inferiority complex. You might be struggling from an inferiority complex because the thoughts of inferiority begin to interrupt your life and you find it impossible to work or achieve your goals.

If you still don't get the idea of this psychological state, you've done great for coming to this page to find the answer to what is an inferiority complex. Now, keep reading to the very end to find out whether or not you are experiencing an inferiority complex. Tripboba has all the things that you're looking for this whole time!

1. Inferiority Complex Definition

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Although the term "inferiority complex" is often playfully used, it's still a real and serious phenomenon. But for now, you have to remember that inferiority complex is not a mental health diagnosis.

According to The American Psychological Association (APA), an inferiority complex is "a basic feeling of inadequacy and insecurity, deriving from actual or imagined physical or psychological deficiency."

It can be compared to a "superiority complex," where an individual has an "exaggerated opinion of one's abilities and accomplishments." Sure, it's a bit of a "chicken and the egg" case when it comes to feelings of inferiority and superiority.

Superiority complex is typically developed in response to inferiority emotions. For example, individuals who show signs of superiority complex generally do something to overreact for their inferiority complex.

2. What are the Signs of Inferiority Complex?

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Martin E. Ford, Ph.D., a professor and senior associate dean at George Mason University College of Education and Human Development in Fairfax, Virginia, said that it is human nature to feel inferior from time to time. The nature of the inferiority complex is having a collection of negative thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and tendencies.

Sometimes, the symptoms are not so obvious, especially if you have developed a superiority overcompensating mindset to counteract your feelings of inferiority. Here are some of the everyday things you may encounter if you have an inferiority complex according to Depression Alliance: 

  • Focus on upsetting thoughts repetitively
  • Avoid co-workers, colleagues, or family members
  • No more being open over shame, guilt, or embarrassment
  • Condemn others as a way of transferring their feelings of failure and isolation
  • Feel guilty for other people‚Äôs failures
  • Seek attention and validation from others by pretending to be sick, depressed, or continually bringing up the same conversation over and over
  • Don't want to be compared with others
  • Become extremely sensitive whether it's about compliments or criticisms
  • Show off personality traits such as perfectionism and neuroticism (a tendency toward anxiety, depression, and other negativity)

3. What is Adler's Inferiority Complex Theory?

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A French psychologist Alfred Adler, a former follower of Sigmund Freud, coined the term "inferiority complex" in the 1920s who become disillusioned with Freud's emphasis on the influence of unconscious factors as motifs of human behavior.

While Adler agreed that the underlying motivations contribute to personality management, he also introduced the concept of "ego psychology" to give equal importance to the role that conscious factors play.

All humans experience inferiority feelings as children and spend the entire lives seeking to cope with those feelings, according to Adler. When people replace childhood dependency with adulthood independence, the feelings of inferiority remain with different severity.

The sense of inferiority acts as a positive driving force for specific individuals. They seek to improve themselves in an attempt to neutralize the negative emotions of incompetence.

Yet they are dominated and disabled by an excessive feeling of incompetence. These individuals are known to have an inferiority complex, whose minds are so dominated by such emotions that they cannot function normally.

Adler argued that superiority complex would emerge from the inevitable early feelings of inferiority. This happens when someone gives excessive compensation and puts too much emphasis on efforts to achieve perfection.


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