At some point during our lives, we all have felt inferior to everyone else. We must have thought we are not good, not pretty, or smart enough. Usually, these comments are not based on facts, but we continue to feel inferior. Fortunately, we can take several simple steps to get rid of the inferiority complex. Categorizing these steps into three groups sums up confronting feelings, changing thoughts, and making positive steps.
Identify the source of your inferiority complex
People learn inferiority complexes in childhood or adulthood. In childhood, the factors can be neglect, overly critical or harsh parenting, bullying by peers, exposure to negative messages in media, and not experiencing positive social experiences. On the other hand, the adult inferiority complex is formed when you feel that you cannot accomplish things you set out to do or when you feel harassed by your family, partner or coworkers. Both types of inferiority vary in severity and are associated with low self-esteem, resulting in unfavourable comparisons of oneself with others.
Look out for the signs of an inferiority complex
Sometimes your behaviour results from your inferiority complex, and you may not be aware of it. Inferiority complexes certainly affect how a person thinks and acts. Some of the behaviours include expecting other persons to fill a void in you, putting up a false fact to convince others that you are better than you think you are, isolating yourself from others, developing compulsive behaviours like overeating, drinking, collecting or shopping, trying to control, blame or harm others, inability to accept compliments and experience feeling of anxiety, low self-esteem and fear of rejection.
Try to find the cause of your feelings
Inferiority complexes may come from something in your past. They develop from feelings related to a bad childhood experience, a traumatic event, or a combination of people putting you down over the years. Some of these feelings might be painful and are buried deep in your mind.
Determine whom you feel inferior to
If you have an inferiority complex, you feel inferior to someone else. Identify who it is. Is it somebody more attractive, richer, smarter or more successful than you? Then identify how those people are not superior to you. It could be activities like playing, singing, dancing or values and attitudes.
Break down your complex
Start dealing with your inferiority complex by breaking it done and listing the characteristics that you feel inferior about. Look at them logically, not emotionally. Do you have a flaw? Is it that bad? The over-exaggeration of your flaw and the self-consciousness you develop because of it causes feelings of inferiority. The inferiority develops in your head. Everybody has flaws that need to be improved.
Further, what you consider a flaw might not seem so to others. Your large chin, overweight or baldness does not define you. People may give more importance to other aspects of your personality.
Everyone on the earth is inferior in some way
Some people may be beautiful, and some may be rich. But there will be some others who are more intelligent and compassionate. On the flip side, everyone is superior to others in some way. Everyone is a different combination of positive attributes and flaws. Understanding this concept can help you start to view yourself more realistically.
CHANGING THE WAY YOU THINK
Stop wanting to be like others
Inferiority complexes develop because of a strong desire to be like someone or someone you are not. If you try to be someone else, you aren’t being true to yourself. You can get inspired by people. If you can look up to them, take some of their traits, and put them into yourself. This way, you are using them as a positive guide while remaining true to yourself.
Try not to worry about what others think
Constant concern about what others are thinking about us is not healthy thinking. At times the judgments of others are real, but most often, they are imaginary. You have no way of knowing what someone is thinking or what is happening in their life. Stop worrying so much about what others think about you. Focus on your strengths and successes, not on what others might think of you. Make yourself happy without worrying about what others think.
Focus on your positive attributes
When you feel inferior, you emphasize what you don’t have more than what you do have. Everyone has positive qualities. Take an honest look at yourself and your life. Make a list of good things; a good job, nice teeth, good hair, a happy family etc. Include things from all facets of your life. Then think about how many good things you have going for you. There are a lot of things that make us up. Try to find the positive things and focus on that.
Stop comparing yourself to everyone else
If you do this often, you will come up with a never-ending list of ways people are better than you. You can’t compare yourself to someone else because everything about your life and circumstances is different – from the family you were born in to your genetics and opportunities.
Don’t think in absolutes
Inferiority complexes make us think that our lives would be great if one thing could change. “If only I weighed lesser, my life would be great”, or “If only I had a better job, I’d be happier.” If these changes have occurred, you would still be insecure deep down. Material and superficial things will not magically fix the problem. “If only … then I’d be happy” thinking can lead to more disappointment. Instead, focus on your strengths, values, and positive assets. It would be much more fulfilling and help you live a happier life.
Stop negative talk
Negative talk reinforces the inferiority complex. This would result in bringing yourself down and writing more negative, untrue beliefs onto your brain. Stop saying negative thinking and say something positive instead. In this process, do not lie to yourself. Be positive and realistic. I am a kind, generous person with whom people want to be friends. If you cannot do five kilometers, say to yourself, “I have just started running and have completed three kilometers”. You can build your confidence and self-esteem by noticing and changing your negative self-talk.
As you work through your inferiority complex, you need to start building self-confidence by fixing your mental image of yourself. Inferiority complexes develop on the grounds of false ideas about ourselves. Remember that this image is false and doesn’t portray reality. Remove the labels you have attached to yourself. Don’t think of yourself as stupid, ugly, unsuccessful, a failure, or anything else. Refuse to use them when you think about yourself.
Making positive steps
Don’t limit your social interactions
Inferiority complexes can result in you becoming withdrawn, anti-social, and shy. People with these complexes sometimes fear exposing themselves and opening up. You need to push yourself to interact with people. These feelings of inferiority are in your mind. The more you socialize with others, the more you’ll understand that people aren’t judging you, making fun of you, or putting you down. You can learn to be comfortable and confident around people.
Surround yourself with positive people
The people we associate with can have a significant impact on our self-esteem. Spend your time with negative people constantly criticizing, analyzing, and judging others. It will start to affect you. Instead, spend your time with positive people. Look for people who accept and like people without judgment. Surrounding yourself with people who don’t judge you can help you accept yourself.
Although your confidence should come from yourself, being friends with people who accept you is helpful. This helps break down the false notion that everyone judges and criticizes you.
Continue working on yourself
One way to beat the feelings of inferiority is to continuously improve yourself. This can include anything. Work on developing work-related skills, try a new hobby, improve a current hobby, set an exercise goal, or start saving for that dream vacation. Work on making your life better and worthwhile. This will help lessen your feelings of inferiority because it’s hard to feel inferior when you accomplish your goals.
One way to help you get a reality check is to get out and help other people and your community. Whether you are helping at a soup kitchen or an animal hospital, this can help you see the reality of your situation. You don’t have it as bad as you think you do. Volunteering can help give you a sense of accomplishment and pride. This can help you feel less inferior because you are giving back to your community. It also helps you stop feeling low and feel like a burden.
Confront your biggest fears
Do you think people will stare at you or make comments? These are all valid worries, but remember that everyone is different. Any comments you receive are invalid and must be ignored at all costs. It’s certain they think something is wrong with them, too.