What is inferiority complex? How to deal with it?

What is inferiority complex? How to deal with it?
What is inferiority complex? How to deal with it?

Hola amigos, how are you guys doing? Today with this blog I am going to discuss an important issue “inferiority complex.”  More than half of the population nowadays is dealing with the inferiority complex.  We often don’t consider this problem as a big issue, but for those who are dealing with the inferiority complex, for them, their life is a struggle. We all have faced this complex at some point of time in our life. If we define inferiority complex in simple words, then it is just finding yourself less then someone else. For example, if we don’t get selected in the football team of our college, we may feel inferior from those who got selected. But this issue becomes serious when a person is not able to overcome from such feelings. At this point, he/she needs an expert who can handle the problem expertly. 

Let’s have a look over the sections which you will read in this blog today:

  • What is the Inferiority Complex?
  • Inferiority Complex Definition
  • Inferiority Complex Psychology
  • Classification of inferiority complex
  • Symptoms of inferiority complex
  • How to overcome inferiority complex

What is the Inferiority Complex? Know everything about it

Do you always feel doubts about yourself? Or do you feel a lack of self-esteem? There could be many other doubts that you feel about yourself. If you feel any of the above-mentioned trait, probably you have an inferiority complex. When a person has this condition, it is evident in their behaviors too. Above all, we all feel inferiority at some point in life.

Before I get into the depth of the subject, let me tell you something. Inferiority complex is an important topic in psychology. This complex has its root in psychology. If you are a psychology student, you may need academic help. Assignment help can ease out this burden on you, and you will get to learn various things.

Sometimes, it is common to feel inferior compared to our peers. However, when this starts affecting your life, it’s when you should seek help.

Alfred Adler developed the concept of this complex. A/c to him, the first person suffered from such a condition was Napoleon. Many scholars have been studying this concept since its inception. Even more, they have suggested that its symptoms could affect the entire cultural group. As a result, of which they name it as cultural cringe.


Inferiority Complex Definition

Many of you could be wondering “How to define inferiority complex?”. In this section, we help you to define the inferiority complex. In modern literature, this complex is “a lack of covert self-esteem.”

It is an underlying feeling of inadequacy due to real or imagined defects. Defects include social and physical etc.

A/c to Wiktionary, it is the feeling that one is inferior to others in certain aspects.

A/c to New world encyclopedia, it is an extremely deep feeling that one is inferior to others. This feeling is often unconscious.

Inferiority Complex Psychology

It is a popular topic in psychology. Many among you must be studying psychology at various levels. If you find any complication, you may choose to take online assignment help from the experts.

French psychologist, Alfred Adler coined the term “inferiority complex” in the 1920s. He was once a follower of Sigmund Freud and later disenchanted with Freud’s because Freud emphasized the influence of unconscious factors as motivators in human behavior.

Adler followed the notion that latent motivations play a vital role in directing personality. Consequently, he introduced ego psychology. It is because he wanted to give equal importance to the role of conscious factors in determining behavior.

According to Adler, all human experiences feeling of inferiority as children. Also, they spend the rest of their lives trying to compensate for those feelings. When a person goes from childhood to the adulthood, the inferiority persists. However, the intensity of this feeling varies in different people.

To some people, this feeling serves as a motivating factor. It is because when they are aware of their feelings, they strive to improve themselves. However, some people get crippled by this feeling. As a result, they develop this condition gradually. Though, it may or may not be severe.

Classifications of Inferiority Complex

We can classify inferiority Complex into two feelings. There is a clear distinction between primary and secondary feelings.

Primary inferiority feeling

This is often rooted in the young child’s experience of weakness, helplessness, and dependency. However, these feelings can also be intensified by comparisons to siblings, romantic partners, and adults.

Secondary inferiority feeling

This feeling is related to an adult’s experience of being unable to reach subconscious. The reassuring fictional final goal of subjective security and success to compensate for the inferiority feelings. When you are unable to reach the goal, it may lead to depressed feeling. As a result, these depressed feeling could recall those original inferiority complex feelings.

Symptoms of Inferiority Complex


There could be various symptoms. I have listed the most common of them below:

1. Social Withdrawal

Generally, a person with this complex withdraws himself socially. As a result of which such people feel unworthy of being with others. This happens when they perceive other people to be better in every aspect.

A person with this complex tries to isolate themselves from others. However, this thing doesn’t do any good to them. Rather, isolation worse than situation more.

2. Demeaning Others

A person with this complex feels the constant need to prove themselves. This happens because they want to boost their self-esteem.

However, when such people fail, they seem to belittle others’ efforts. Again, this happens because they feel good about themselves doing this. However, when this happens, instead of being socially withdrawn, they may be outspoken to the extent that is rude.

3. Blaming the Universe

If a person with this complex fails, they tend to blame external factors for such failure. For example, they blame poor luck, bad company, or just their environment in general.

What else such persons do? They cannot digest that the failure may have occurred due to a mistake on their part. They feel like the universe is responsible for what is happening to them.

4. Sour Grapes

One of the symptoms could be a sour grapes attitude.

For example, they could not perform a certain task properly. But if someone did it successfully, they would attribute their success to external factors. To put it simply, they tend to believe they became successful just by luck.

They will never attribute the other person success to personal capabilities.

5. Lack of Sportsmanship

Apparently, such a person doesn’t take part in any type of competition.  It is because competitions will test their abilities against others. Even when they do, the “sour grapes” attitude is most likely to come to the fore.

Mostly, such persons think they could not win or compete with others. As a result, they avoid any sort of competition.

6. Extreme Sensitivity

Such persons show extreme sensitivity to compliments and criticism.

If someone compliments them, they question its truthfulness, and if it is criticism, they go on the defense. Also, they do not respond to light humor too well. Such a person cannot digest any comment which others may pass in a funny tone.

Such persons tend to take everything personally.

7. Seeking attention

Persons with this complex tend to seek attention, esp. when they are around others. They often resort to many attention-seeking tactics. For example, aggression, pretending to be ill, appearing depressed/unhappy, and other such tactics.

For example, they may fish for compliments from others. Even more, in spite of fishing for compliments, they may not accept them. Moreover, they believe that the person giving them is doing so outwardly only.

8. Fear of Making Mistakes

Such persons fear to attempt something new. It could be because they have a deep fear of making mistakes. As a result, they fear if someone will rebuke them. They keep on doing the monotonous activities. New things often haunt them. But one should remember that making mistakes is important. Perfection is realistic. When you make mistakes, we learn where we are going wrong.

However, not all obvious signs can be genuine. If you notice someone exhibiting such symptoms, it is time to dig deeper and get the root of the problem. As a result, you can help them in overcoming the problem.

How to overcome an Inferiority Complex

How to overcome an inferiority complex
How to overcome an inferiority complex

It’s quite an uphill task to overcome such deep-seated mental condition. We can trace a person’s past for the roots of this problem. Any past event or a series of events and situations that could have left a deep scar on a person’s mind. A person who goes through such conditions often suffer.

Moreover, such a person finds it very difficult to accept that they are suffering. It is because acceptance of suffering is very painful for them. However, this complex cannot be overcome overnight.

It takes a lot of time to regain that self-esteem that one used to have. But once you achieve this, you begin to see the world in a different light.

However, you can take certain steps to start off the healing process:

1. Positive thinking

Probably, we heard to be positive almost every day. This has become very common these days. However, being positive is not an easy task. For this, we have to prepare our mind in the right direction.

Many persons are conditioned to think negatively. Such a person finds all the talks of positive thinking nonsense. When a person is ill, he needs a dose of injection. Likewise, a dose of positive thinking is required for a person with such complex.

To bring out a difference, a person can read books on positive thinking. Or you can just be with positive people on a daily basis. Always, you can try to look positive in every situation.

2. Differentiate the good from the bad

Any person who is suffering from this complex should learn to differentiate. Many times, you compare yourself with others. This is where the problem starts. Rather, comparing yourself to others, you should start by comparing yourself to oneself.

If you see any person who has this condition, start encouraging them to enlist positive. You may support them by saying they are not as bad as they think.

3. Acceptance

Acceptance is the first step in overcoming any problem. But we often choose to remain in denial. We don’t even accept that we have any problem.

Likewise, the case of this complex is the same. To overcome it, we must first accept that we have it in ourselves. Overcoming it begins when we start accepting the situation as it is. Or we should accept the person as he/she is.

Acceptance marks the beginning of change, and this will gradually help to eliminate the problem. You should think that everyone in the world is unique so as you. Start accepting yourself and you will see a positive change.

However, you should remember change requires time and patience. But once it starts, it will definitely change your mindset and bring a positive change.

If you or a person you know is suffering from such conditions, treat them with compassion. Also, love and support from dear ones are essential to overcome such problems. Once you implement these humane measures, there is no looking back.

4. Avoidance

Avoidance means avoiding any external stimulus that could evoke a feeling of inferiority. The external stimulus includes any person or a particular situation.

However, this doesn’t mean avoiding those who are possible threats. But avoiding such person who flagrantly put a person down. If you have this complex, try to avoid negative situations as much as possible.

There is perceptible harm in this but if any negativity triggers painful emotions.

You should follow this until you regain some self-confidence. Until you start feeling you become capable enough to deal with any kind of people, you should avoid those as mentioned above.

However, if you have a serious problem, you may seek professional help. As a result of which, you may have to undergo therapy to overcome this complex.


I hope this blog is a helpful one for all those who are doing a degree course in psychology. Let’s have a recall of all the sections we have discussed in this blog.

The blog started with the description of the inferiority complex, and right after that, I have explained the topic further with the help of the definition of inferiority complex. Then you could see a section where I have discussed the ideas of Alfred Adler and Freud about inferiority complex, how they explained the topic according to their perception. The fourth section of this blog deals with the classification of the inferiority complex. There are two types first one is primary inferiority feeling, and other is secondary inferiority feeling. Then after this you I have discussed the symptoms of inferiority complex. Those symptoms were the most common, and one could easily find in oneself. Then right after that, you can see how to overcome an inferiority complex.

The blog was written with the purpose of helping students and all those who are suffering from inferiority complex. I hope my blog will help you all in fighting inferiority complex. Please provide feedback. This will help me to grow as a writer.

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Inferiority complex has its roots in the psychoanalytic branch of psychology. The founder of this branch of psychology was Sigmund Freud. Psychology is very vast in itself. There are many topics which could trouble you.

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