0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

In This Article

Understanding inferiority complex
24

Understanding inferiority complex

A deep dive into understanding what inferiority complex is, and how to cope with it
Inferiority complex
Representational image | Canva

‘Inferiority complex’ is a term used in everyday conversations, often with a hint of disdain. But, what is inferiority complex? What does it look like? Where does it come from, and how do we cope?

Happiest health speaks to experts to gain answers to some of these questions.

Feelings of inferiority vs inferiority complex

In our day-to-day life, we might often experience feeling less than someone else. For instance, when someone else gets the promotion we were vying for, when our close friend is earning more than us, or when we see someone take the dream vacation that we have been fantasising about. But occasionally, this can just be a typical human reaction to a certain circumstance.

According to Apurva Bardia, a Hyderabad-based psychologist, the key distinction lies in the intensity and duration of the feeling. Feeling inferior in a situation is normal and situational, she says, while an inferiority complex involves a constant, pervasive sense of inadequacy not solely dependent on circumstances.

“It is natural for all of us to feel jealous and for all of us to feel like we may not have performed our best or done our best in any particular situation,” says Bardia. But usually, the feeling surfaces like a wave, peaks and then it fades away with that situation, or you are able to cope with it over time.

However, inferiority complex a pattern of thought and there is a constant feeling of insufficiency and inadequacy, says Bardia. It is not necessarily dependent on the situation, but might get triggered in specific situations.

What is the emotional experience?

Bardia acknowledges that the emotional experience of inferiority complex, like any psychological phenomenon, will vary from individual to individual. “It depends on various things such as the intensity of the complex, the pressures placed on the individual, their environmental factors, how they grew up, and what kind of ideologies they picked up when they were growing up,” she says.

However, it is often accompanied by feelings of sadness, guilt, and shame.

She adds that someone experiencing this might often get stuck in the process of trying to measure up to something else that is outside of us.  This can be an isolating and lonely experience.

Signs of inferiority complex

According to Bardia, some signs of experiencing inferiority complex are –

  • Low self-esteem
  • Constant analysis and over-analysis of one’s actions and how they are perceived
  • Frequent self-comparison and self-criticism
  • Continuous seeking of validation and measuring oneself against others’ expectations
  • Tendency to be reserved and withdrawn or, alternatively, attempting to make others feel inferior (projection)
  • Reluctance to put oneself out there or seek attention to avoid comparisons and self-consciousness

Where do these feelings come from?

According to Kolkata-based counselling psychologist, Prerna Singh, these feelings can arise from an array of experiences such as:

  • Critical or overbearing parents
  • Constant comparison to siblings or peers
  • Lack of emotional support or encouragement
  • Teasing, bullying, or exclusion during formative years
  • Negative social experiences that affect self-perception
  • Abuse, neglect, or other traumatic experiences
  • Events that undermine one’s sense of self-worth
  • Repeated experiences of failure or setbacks
  • Difficulty coping with disappointments
  • Predisposition to anxiety or depression
  • Perfectionism or fear of failure
  • Sensitivity to external judgments

However, these factors may vary from person to person, adds Singh. Their own experiences, ways of coping, how much support they receive, and the intensity of the triggers will affect individuals.

How to cope?

Coping with an inferiority complex involves a multifaceted approach that addresses both emotional and cognitive aspects. Bardia highlights the significance of self-awareness and reframing negative thoughts.

She suggests focusing on the importance of recognising and understanding one’s feelings of inferiority. She also advocates for challenging negative thoughts.  “Question the evidence that your mind is presenting to you about your worth,” says Bardia. This involves critically evaluating the validity of self-critical beliefs. Therapy can often be a useful tool in navigating this and understanding the origin of these feelings.

Bardia also suggests asking yourself, “If I look at it objectively, what were the aspects of this situation that I was able to conquer and what are the aspects that I wasn’t able to conquer?”. This allows you to separate your feelings about yourself and the situation from the truth.

“Writing down honest reflections on your self-perception and identifying the triggers that evoke such thoughts can serve as a tool in your journey in being more compassionate to yourself,” Singh adds. Documenting the aspects that genuinely deserve respect and love can help to improve one’s self concept, she says.

Moreover, a combination of self-awareness, reframing the thoughts, and a proactive effort to acknowledge and celebrate personal achievements can be helpful. Through these strategies, individuals can gradually work towards overcoming an inferiority complex and fostering a more positive self-perception.

Share Your Experience/Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Summit Registration

NOTE: The summit will be held at NIMHANS Convention Centre, Bengaluru.

Wellness Registration Form

-
-
-
Total Amount INR 3000
Trending

Articles

Article
Some couples consciously decide not to have children despite familial and social expectations, wanting to make the best of their relationship. Children should be had for their own sake, says psychotherapist Tasneem Nakhoda
Article
Insufficient consumption of heart-healthy foods can affect cardiovascular health. Experts discuss beneficial dietary choices
Article
Cycling and walking are both great cardiovascular activities that aid weight loss and keep various health conditions away. Pick one that suits your fitness goals and physical condition, say experts
Article
Summer drinks, though hydrating, can have excess sugar. Nutritionists suggest a few alternatives to keep the body temperature and sugar levels down
Article
Packed with protein, this recipe will help in weight management by keeping you full for a long time
Article
Researchers have found that a quick snooze can improve the retention of information by strengthening memories, leading to better recollection over an extended period
Trending

Articles

Article
Some couples consciously decide not to have children despite familial and social expectations, wanting to make the best of their relationship. Children should be had for their own sake, says psychotherapist Tasneem Nakhoda
Article
Insufficient consumption of heart-healthy foods can affect cardiovascular health. Experts discuss beneficial dietary choices
Article
Cycling and walking are both great cardiovascular activities that aid weight loss and keep various health conditions away. Pick one that suits your fitness goals and physical condition, say experts

0

0

0

Web Stories 

0

0

0

0

0

0

Opt-in To Our Daily Newsletter

* Please check your Spam folder for the Opt-in confirmation mail

Opt-in To Our
Daily Newsletter

We use cookies to customize your user experience, view our policy here

Your feedback has been submitted successfully.

The Happiest Health team will reach out to you at the earliest