Psychological complexes are distorted sensory and thought patterns that lead to unnatural behavior and are typically deep-rooted in a person’s psyche.
Psychological complexes affect how a person sees themselves, how they behave towards others and can have a huge impact on that person’s life.
It is not known how a person acquires a psychological complex, whether it is something we are born with or that our environment helps to shape, but there are some that are more prevalent than others.
Here are ten of the most common psychological complexes:
- Oedipus/Electra Complex
- God Complex
- Persecution Complex
- Martyr Complex
- Inferiority Complex
- Superiority Complex
- Guilt Complex
- Don Juan Complex
- Hero Complex
See if any one of the below psychological complexes resonates with you:
1. Oedipus/Electra Complex
A deep affection for the parent of the opposite sex.
This derives from Greek mythology and is also one of Sigmund Freud’s most controversial ideas. Greek hero Oedipus falls in love with his mother and has to kill his father in order to completely possess her. In the Electra Complex, the daughter briefly desires her father but then blames the mother.
In both cases, an unhealthy attachment to a person’s parents can lead to stunted emotional growth, a lack of responsibly and affect future relationships. For men, they might always be seeking a woman that reminds them of their mother. Otherwise, if the mother-son relationship was not healthy, they may treat women particularly poorly. For women, no man will ever live up to her father and she could spend her life rejecting perfectly suitable candidates for her affections.
2. Madonna/Whore Complex
Men who see women as either as a Madonna or a whore.
Typified by men who are unable to maintain a proper loving and sexual relationship with their partners. This psychological complex develops in men and they can only view women in two extremes, one as a Madonna-type virgin and the other as a whore.
Men who have this complex want a woman that can admire and find sexually attractive. But if he admires a woman, the moment he starts to view her in a sexual way he feels disgusted with her.
3. God Complex
Where a person views themselves as having God-like powers, answerable to no one.
You often hear about top surgeons or consultants at the very peak of their game having a God Complex. This is perfectly illustrated in the film Malice, where Alec Baldwin’s character is about to be charged with misconduct says:
“You ask me if I have a God Complex. I am God.”
This type of individual will believe that the normal rules of society do not apply to him or her and could take risks because of this.
4. Persecution Complex
An irrational fear you are being ill-treated.
This is a kind of delusion whereby the afflicted person believes they are in danger or danger is going to occur as someone is persecuting them. They will feel isolated, think that no one believes them and start to display paranoid behaviors. The person may feel that an individual is targeting them or a whole group.
With this complex, you are going to find it extremely difficult to trust people.
5. Martyr Complex
This person needs sympathy and attention by suffering.
The martyr will always put others first, to the detriment of their own health and wellbeing. This is in order to receive the much-required attention and care they have to have. If they don’t get what they desire, they can resort to self-harming or deep depressions. It can also be a way passive-aggressive behavior.
6. Inferiority Complex
Feeling that you are not good enough in life.
We all have off days where we don’t feel as if we are achieving everything we should be. Those people who continually feel like this, however, suffer from an inferiority complex.
This person will think that they are not successful compared to others and may try to overachieve to compensate for these unhealthy feelings. They cannot accept compliments and tend to not care for their own needs, believing that they are not worth the effort.
7. Superiority Complex
A person that believes they are better than everyone else.
The opposite of an inferiority complex, this person believes that they are superior to everything and everyone. They think they are better than others, in their peer groups and superiors, and if they do deign to spend time with you it will only be for strategic reasons.
8. Guilt Complex
A person that always blames things that go wrong on themselves.
This person is naturally self-critical in the first place, but they will accept blame, even if it is not due, for any given situation or circumstance. They are unable to be unbiased when it comes to judging themselves and will always err on the side that they have made a mistake.
9. Don Juan Complex
A man that views women as a source of pleasure.
The typical womanizer that charms the ladies, beds them and then leaves them is characteristic of this psychological complex. This kind of man will not settle down, until he is in his dotage, and will change partners at the same rate some people change bed sheets. He does not feel anything towards his female conquests and these men typically stay a bachelor for all their lives.
10. Hero Complex
This person wants to be center of attention and will typically create situations where he/she has to rescue someone.
You may have heard of firefighters having this complex, as individuals try and get recognition for doing a dangerous job by starting a fire in the first place and then going into to rescue someone.
Anyone with this complex will typically brag and even exaggerate their performance, in order to get attention. As well as firefighters, civil servants, nurses and doctors can be prone to this psychological complex, and there can be fatal consequences.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to psychological complexes, but these are the most common. If you recognized yourself in any of the descriptions, then perhaps it is time to see a specialist who can help you overcome your complex.