Feeling of inferiority

A feeling of inferiority or an inferiority complex is something that gives an unpleasant feeling. The person in question has the feeling of being able to perform less than others, and actually expects that others regard him as inferior. When there is a feeling of inferiority, there are a number of characteristics that clearly indicate the presence of this problem.

The feeling of inferiority

The feeling of always falling short and of being worth less than others is called the feeling of inferiority. This is also called the inferiority complex. An inferiority complex is actually an outdated term for the feeling of inferiority. The feeling of inferiority is the opposite of high self-esteem. It falls under psychology and also occurs in people with neurotic problems.

What is that, feeling inferior?

Everyone sometimes feels like he or she has failed. For example, when your own child falls and another adult comforts your child: you may feel that you have not done enough for your child. While at work you may have the feeling that your colleague deals with customers much better than you do. These feelings are often temporary: everyone has them sometimes.

With a feeling of inferiority, someone has the feeling of being inadequate at all times. It is also thought that others can do everything much better than themselves. Someone with a feeling of inferiority also expects others to find him or her inferior. He or she suffers from this realization, and also feels shame and guilt about daily failures.

Often people who feel inferior are not inferior at all. So it’s really a feeling, not a fixed fact. However, someone with a feeling of inferiority can develop fear of failure to such an extent that he or she is no longer able to function normally and can ultimately be seen as inferior by others. This only compounds the problems even more.

People who feel inferior also often suffer from palpitations, sweating, anxious feelings , dry mouth and clammy hands. A long-term feeling of inferiority can cause depression.

How does the feeling of inferiority arise?

The feeling of inferiority, or, when it occurs often and it is also called the outdated inferiority complex, often arises in childhood. Children sometimes have fantasies of grandeur. If these have not been processed sufficiently, a feeling of inferiority may arise.

Parents or educators can also sometimes have too high expectations of their child, creating an ideal image that the child cannot live up to. This quickly gives the child the feeling of being worthless to the parents. This feeling can develop into real problems.

Adults can also set very high standards for themselves or have an ideal image in mind that is not achievable. This may be due to ideal images from the media or because the employer places too high demands on the employer. It may also happen that the person in question simply wants too much, which is not possible. All these incidents can lead to feelings of inferiority.

Children who are bullied a lot at school also often develop an inferiority complex. These children become insecure and develop feelings of inferiority . It is not so much what other children think of the bullied child, but more what the bullied child does with it and adjusts his expectations and demands too much.


Feelings of inferiority can only be tackled when the cause is removed. When someone is bullied or when others in the environment place too high demands on this person, feelings of inferiority will persist, even after therapy. The cause must therefore first be sought and it must be seen whether anything can be done about it. In some cases, the cause can no longer be addressed because it concerns something that happened in the past. It is not necessary to dig deeply into the cause: it often does not help to get rid of the feeling of inferiority. It is useful to know whether a cause can be removed, for example, if a child is being bullied, you can talk to the other children who are bullying. Some parents also do not realize that they are setting their standards too high for the child.

Psychotherapy can help get rid of the feeling of inferiority. With help, the negative self-image is turned into a positive self-image. One must learn to realize that one is not inferior at all and that the bar should not be set too high for oneself. Sometimes medications can help with this. It should be noted that medications often dull negative feelings, but they can also dull positive feelings. If this is the case too much, one will have to stop or reduce the medication. It is important that people learn to look at themselves positively. The expectation that others see the person as inferior must also be adjusted. Usually someone is not easily seen as inferior, even though some people are harsh in their judgment of others. These are often the people who are insecure about themselves and therefore make harsh judgments about others. In this way they can drag people with a feeling of inferiority into the abyss. Psychotherapy helps to arm oneself against this.

Leave a Comment