A self-help guide to deal with an inferiority complex; A mindful Practise
Opposite my house, there is a playground, after school hours kids come and play there till 6.30 pm or 7 pm. They have lots of fun and enjoy it thoroughly. It is nice to watch kids playing, they play with full energy; They giggle, they shout, they fight, and reconcile quickly, laugh, and roll on the ground. It is so refreshing to watch them in action!! I love to join and have fun with the kids whenever I find the time or happened to pass through the ground.
Shyam is a 5th standard boy and he comes to the ground every day but never participates in any of the games. He sits in the corner and keeps looking at the other kids and never utters a word to anybody. At sharp 6.30 pm, he rushes back home. He looks fragile, hesitant, and timid.
Out of curiosity, I observed Shyam (a very cute kid) for a couple of days and I asked his friends, “why is he not joining you guys” or “are you guys bullying him? not allowing him to play with you” ( Kids politics).
Kids told me “no….. no …no… we invited him several times but refuse to talk to us and doesn’t want to play”.
One day I stopped Shyam and asked him, why he is not playing with his friends. Asked him if anybody is bullying you? Teasing you? Asked many questions……., but he never looked at my face and with his head down he muttered something in a stammering voice and ran off.
Later I found out, he has an inferiority complex due to his stammering problem and he avoids mingling with friends and relatives since they tease and mock him for not being able to speak normally. Even in school, teachers and classmates make fun of him.
He sits quietly never mingles nor talks to anyone in the school. He scores well in academics, never socializes, shies away, and wouldn’t open up easily.
Definition of Inferiority complex;
Inferiority complex is a set of belief we hold about us, where we value ourselves less in comparison with the other person.
Consciously or unconsciously we have the habit of comparing ourselves with others and feel low self-esteem for not measuring up to their standards. In the process, psychologically we amplify our weakness and regret than focusing on the strengths.
Kids are very sensitive and emotionally fragile, they develop an inferiority complex very fast. They are vulnerable and shy, even a small incident can trigger a feeling of unworthiness.
Why do people develop the Inferiority Complex?
- Highly critical parents admonishing the kids and saying “you are stupid” “you can’t do, “ you are a waste” etc induce the kids to internalize these affirmations which they’re likely to carry for the rest of their lives.
This gets lodged in the psyche and they become timid and introverts and most of them shirk responsibilities.
- Poverty is a strong reason for kids to develop low self-esteem, withdraw from society, and remain aloof.
- Childhood abuse, bullying by friends constant reminders about the limitations, and comparison with others.
- Stress at school to get the grade, and comparison with other students by teachers creates fear in the kids for being “looked down upon”.
- Physical conditions: Stammering, skin color, being thin or fat, and physical challenges push them to the pit of inferiority complex.
Signs of Inferiority complex:
- Lack of confidence.
2. Staying aloof.
3. Feeling of worthless
4. Anxiety, Jealousy
5. Always critical about others
6. Negative thinking.
7. Sometimes you strive heavily to compensate and overstrain yourself.
All of us have indeed gone through the bout of inferiority complex at some point in life followed by an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy and social withdrawal.
Adults are a little less complex, they develop an inferiority complex when they can’t reach their goal, it may be financial or career-related..etc
Family issues are a major cause; an unsupportive spouse, nagging by in-laws, wayward kids, stressful siblings, financial constraints, etc can push you towards an inferiority complex.
Dumping by loved ones and repeatedly going through troubled relationships are the other likely triggers
How to overcome Inferiority complex:
Inferiority complex if left unattended or adequate care is not given to treat, it will have a deep impact on one’s personality development. They struggle with inadequacy feeling in the later stages of life or sometimes they carry the feeling throughout life and they become a puzzle to themselves and as well for others.
Let’s look at it holistically. To overcome the problem we have to have a 360-degree approach; which includes a good support system from parents, teachers, and friends, and the WILL of the person.
As parents, they need to be cautious and stop being critical. Understand no two individuals are born with the same ability and they are unique in their potential. A child may not have the ability in one field, but he can certainly score a brownie point in some other area.
We should not focus on the weaknesses, instead, focus on strengths and make him aware of them while subtly reminding him to correct the areas of inadequacy.
Mukesh Ambani once said “our father trained us to focus on the target, not on the obstacles”
Focusing on obstacles would mean focusing on our weaknesses.
Physical challenges may cripple a person for a lifetime, we should support him and make him concentrate on the other healthy faculties of his body.
Following 5 tips helps to overcome the problems
- We are all inferior in some ways.
Ø The basic funda; Everyone is inferior to someone in some ways.
Ø Contrary; everyone is superior to someone in some ways
Ø No one is complete, everyone has flaws.
Ø Don’t become self-conscious about your flaws and magnify them.
Ø Everyone is a combination of positive attributes and flaws.
2. Do root cause analysis:
Dive deep into it to the root of the problem to find the solution. Surprisingly, the study reveals that more than 60% of the time inferiority complex due to prejudices. Less than 40% have a genuine cause. Unfortunately, we don’t take corrective action but just gloss over the problem, thereby creating a more complex situation.
Reflect on why you feel inferior.
Ø Is it childhood trauma?
Ø Do you feel inferior to smart people?
Ø Do you feel inferior to people who have more money?
Ø Do you feel inferior in front of successful people?
Start writing down all the points and zero down on the cause, and you weigh the cause( flaws) against your strengths. I bet It is going to be a moment of epiphany
3. Stop comparing with others;
Consciously or unconsciously we try to compare ourselves with someone whom society considers as good, but when we are unable to meet the expectations we start feeling inferior. Follow simple rules
Ø You take them as role models
Ø Look for the right attributes
Ø Do not imitate
Ø Inculcate the attributes
4. Build Self Confidence:
Self-Confidence is the key to get over the problem. Developing self-confidence requires you to think positively and not to compare with others. However, try to become a better version of yourself. Work to create success milestones for building self-confidence. Develop the metrics to measure your self-confidence and strive towards achieving it. This requires a lot of patience and discipline.
Example: You lack confidence in speaking to a group of people. You have the skill but lack confidence due to the inferiority complex you’ve developed for some reason.
The first steps in building Self-Confidence are;
- Believe you can do.
- Observe how people talk; body language, accent, communication level
- Identify what you lack.
Ø Talk to a few individuals and improve your confidence level.
Ø Check your communication skill and clarity
Ø Slowly address little larger gathering ( 3 to 4 people)
Ø Check your progress ( version-2)
Ø Keep repeating it for the next 21 days. You’ll find amazing results.
Similarly, you can work on other problem areas.
5. Sub-conscious programming and Hypnotherapy:
In chronic cases, when the person is stuck in an emotional trauma feeling low and depressed. When well-being and overall development are at stake, in such cases, sub-conscious mind programming and Hypnotherapy helps to overcome the problem. You have to take the professional’s help.
Subconscious mind reprogramming is very effective to boost self-confidence and transition to a strong personality.
Life is a journey from imperfection to perfection, the roads are bumpy and full of impediment, don’t sulk, move on with tenacity and embrace the life of confidence, success, and serenity