People With An 'Inferiority Complex' Share 10 Sad Traits

It's all in your head.

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Having low self-esteem is detrimental to your progress in life. When you fail to see the value in yourself, you miss out on beneficial opportunities.

People who believe in their own worth tend to do better in school and their careers. They have good, healthy relationships, are less anti-social, and maintain good mental and physical health.

Chronic low self-esteem can easily become a full-fledged inferiority complex, sabotaging everything you do in life.


What is an inferiority complex?

An inferiority complex is feelings of inadequacy, real or imagined. These feelings can result from a physical impairment or a mental health condition that makes you feel less intelligent than others.

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It is normal to have negative thoughts about what you are capable of from time to time, but those emotions should lead to growth and development instead of imagined physical or psychological deficiencies.

The sense of inferiority can cause people to block their own blessings by counting themselves out in instances where they are fully capable of achieving their goals.

The notion of an inferiority complex is that you are less than or more undeserving of something or everything than other people.

What causes a person to have an inferiority complex?

There are several ways people with an inferiority complex may have gotten that way.

Most often, these feelings are developed in childhood. Perhaps you were invalidated or taught that you were just not good enough.


Though it sounds counterintuitive, a person with an inferiority complex may appear to have a superiority complex. The latter is sometimes used as a reaction to a feeling that you are less than.

When considering an inferiority complex vs. superiority complex, think of them as two sides of the same coin. One is an overcompensation to those deep, dark feelings of inferiority.

Australian psychologist Alfred Adler coined the term "inferiority complex" out of his curiosity to understand why some of us lack the motivation and faith in ourselves to reach our ambitions.

Mental health professionals have also linked the condition to adult experiences, personality traits, and cultural messages that seemingly confirm our inadequacies.


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10 Signs You Have An Inferiority Complex

1. You expect the worst.

One of the signs of an inferiority complex is catastrophic thinking. You assume the worst of every situation and automatically decide that people have ill intent.

2. You're anti-social.

People who feel inferior tend to avoid social situations. They are uncomfortable getting to know people out of fear their shortcomings will come to light.

3. You give up easily.

If you already believe you can’t do something, you won’t. People who feel incapable see no point in trying their best, so they give up after investing little effort.


4. You have negative self-talk.

An inferiority complex truly starts in your own mind. You enforce negative thoughts about who you are and your worth and manifest them into your life.

5. You're often depressed.

When you have negative feelings and thoughts, your energy is impacted, so it is no surprise that those emotions lead to depression.

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6. You're overly competitive.

If you have an inferiority complex, you will always try to convince yourself or others that you are worthy. That leads to excessive competitiveness.

When you compete with others and perceive that you have lost, your value will decrease in your eyes.


7. You're super judgmental.

You tend to judge other people harshly, pointing out their flaws and faults to distract from those you believe you have.

8. You can’t take criticism.

In your eyes, criticism toward you could never be constructive. You can dish it out, but you can’t take it. Every negative word of feedback is taken personally and internalized.

9. You fail to take accountability.

Feeling bad about yourself is enough. You absolutely refuse to take accountability for any of your actions. Adding more negativity about yourself would be too much to bear.


10. You like to see others fail.

You love it when someone is doing worse than you are. It makes you feel like you might be better than you thought you were. Now there is someone beneath you to make you feel good about yourself.

How to Deal with an Inferiority Complex

One of the best ways to treat an inferiority complex is to find a therapist that can help you overcome your low self-esteem and trauma.

Meditation and journaling are good additions to getting help from a mental health professional. These can help you to get your thoughts on paper and identify thought patterns and triggers.

Practicing self-love and self-care can go a long way in realizing the value you bring. Treat yourself in the same way you expect others to treat you.


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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.