Sometimes, the fact of having been through an abusive relationship can leave a person with a clear feeling of inferiority. They are wounds to self-esteem that must be repaired. We analyze it below.
" I feel inferior to others, I have had better times and worse moments, but today I do not see myself competent for almost anything . This kind of reasoning happens more often than we think. What's more, sometimes we have very well-prepared and apparently self-confident people who show this almost corrosive low self-esteem that limits their lives.
Disregard for oneself, feelings of inadequacy, excessive self-demand ... Despite the fact that most of us instantly identify the features of the classic inferiority complex defined by Alfred Alder in his day, it can be said that we are facing a much more complex dimension. One example, many of these cases can lead to self-injurious behavior.
Furthermore, if I feel less than anyone else, if I compare myself to my siblings, friends or co-workers and I look clumsier, less competent or less attractive, I may end up hating those around me. Each person, however, develops a particular type of behavior and dynamics . We also have those who fall into isolation and even depression.
Let's understand this type of situation a little more.
I feel inferior to others: characteristics and coping strategies
Whoever lives feeling incompetent, fallible and inferior to others lives without knowing it with fierce internal enemies. Your mind, your internal dialogue and a very damaging past experience extinguish any hint of self-esteem, any strength of self-concept. And living with the " I can't", " I don't even try" and "this is not for me because others are better than me " destroys and exhausts.
It is interesting to know that the inferiority complex was coined by the Austrian physician Alfred Adler , a disciple of Freud. According to him, all children were defined by this trait given their inferiority in almost every aspect (size, age, feeling of power). He also commented that this feeling, that of feeling inferior, could act as a stimulus and impulse. As a necessity to overcome each other day by day.
Today we know that not all children accept this idea of being inferior to their parents. There we have, for example, the syndrome of the emperor or the child tyrant. Moreover , it was Gordon Allport who would point out that the feeling of inferiority arises from bad experiences at any moment and the way in which we interpret them .
That experience can penetrate deeply into us, stagnating us, plunging us into a negative and lasting emotional state. Let's take a closer look at the triggers and associated coping strategies in each situation.
Strategies to manage feelings of inferiority originating in childhood
Growing up in a family environment where positive reinforcement was rarely received undermines our self-concept. Furthermore, having a sibling who always gets the compliments or simply having spent the first few years in a demanding or contemptuous environment, deeply hurts self-concept and self-esteem.
What can we do in these cases?
- Reformulate, separate and rewrite. When one lives a childhood defined by lack, one must reformulate and rewrite everything transmitted, felt and instilled by others. It is a work of almost constant restructuring of thoughts. If our mother convinced us that we were not good for this and for that, it is time to change that thought " why can't I be good for what I want? Who says? What if I try?
- Self-efficacy. When a person says that "I feel inferior to others" has a very low sense of self-efficacy. Since they were children they were made to believe that they were clumsy, fallible, lazy, inept ... To strengthen self-esteem, you have to work on self-efficacy and for this, it is necessary to get involved in small objectives and tasks with which to show yourself what you are capable of.
After an abusive injury, I feel inferior to others, what can I do now?
Have an emotional relationship with a narcissist. Having lived for several years with someone who abused us. Finally leaving a relationship based on dependency ... All these experiences can damage the self-concept until we become someone different: someone defined by fear.
What can we do in these cases?
- Blame it off. You are not responsible for what happened, do not load on yourself more negativity and contempt. It is time to heal after everything you've experienced.
- Empower yourself . It is time to lift your face and ask yourself what you want. Make new plans on the horizon, meet new people, lean on those who love you to remember that life is worth it, that you are worth what you want.
- Rebuild your self-esteem day by day . Make a change that makes you feel good and competent, like starting a course, looking for another job, thinking about new projects ...
Feeling of inferiority due to race, physical appearance, disability, specific limitations ...
Another reason why it is common to experience feelings of inferiority has its origin in social, physical, cultural, etc. Being overweight, having a certain skin color, being on the autism spectrum, suffering from a disability... All these facts can make someone feel at a disadvantage in certain cases.
What can we do in these cases?
- Beware of self-fulfilling prophecies . Feelings of insecurity and inadequacy inescapably fuel self-fulfilling prophecies. That is, if I take it for granted that they will not take me in that job for being short, for being of another religion, for being obese, etc ... and I decide not to go for those reasons, I am limiting myself.
People with low self-esteem expect little from themselves and nothing from the environment around them. It is necessary to change this approach and give ourselves opportunities.
- You are worth more than you think and you must prove it to yourself before others. The essence of an inferiority complex is to get caught up in a cycle of negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. He begins to create new thoughts and nurture new emotions: " I don't have to show anyone what I'm worth, I shouldn't compare myself to anyone because from today on I'm my best reference. And I am going to invest in what I want to achieve ".
Feelings of inferiority and mental disorders
There is one last aspect that we cannot ignore. Ideations such as "I feel inferior to others" also appear in multiple psychological disorders. Studies such as those carried out at the University of Hamburg by Dr. Stephen Moritz, for example, show us that feelings of inferiority also tend to appear in patients with schizophrenia.
On the other hand, people with a dependent personality disorder or avoidant personality disorder also manifest it. Likewise, we cannot ignore that behind self-injurious behaviors or even eating disorders it may also be present.
In these cases, it is a priority to receive specialized professional help. Harboring the constant feeling that one is useless and that others surpass us in everything overwhelmingly delimits the quality of life. Let us not hesitate to resort to psychological therapy to redefine ideas, heal self-esteem and strengthen self-concepts.
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