Many people have a superiority complex but just don’t recognize the signs. Now’s the time to see these imperfections as truth and improve.
Did you know that all of us have a certain amount of superiority? It’s just the few that let this part of us get out of hand. It’s called the superiority complex, a name penned by a man named Alfred Adler.
And here’s an interesting tidbit, Adler believed that the superior complex may be a way to deny the inferiority of an individual. You see, they are different sides of the same coin, but yet being superior may actually hide inferiority.
Recognizing the dysfunction
So, you can see how this becomes a balancing act. Feeling inferior and suffering superiority can be exhausting, but it must be done in order to live a productive life. Now, to start improvements in this area, you must understand the signs of this complex of superiority. Let’s examine these indicators:
1. Feelings of entitlement
The feeling of entitlement is hard to recognize in adults. This is because it came from a complicated childhood. For instance, a grandmother may give her grandchild all the material things he craves, but yet, may not give him the emotional and mental upbringing he needs.
Because of this, the child will grow to feel entitled to everything he wants. He wasn’t taught morals and standards, but yet, he was given everything. Do you see where this can lead to a spoiled brat with a lack of responsibilities?
2. “I” and “me”
Those with a superior type of complex will think in terms of themselves. When it comes to discussing events, situations, or relationships, they will center on self. I think another word for this condition is “self-centered”.
These individuals will always try to do better than others, and when they hear of someone’s accomplishments, they will try to do better and put themselves into the spotlight instead. If you see someone like this, realize, it’s more common than you think.
3. Making comparisons
Do you remember what I said about superiority being the denial of the inferiority complex? Well, this is true, and it shows when people make comparisons. When a person suffers from being too superior, they will often compare themselves to others. When others seem to be making more accomplishments, they will feel defeated. And, of course, this means, they must do something to change that.
Here’s an example: When someone has this complex, and they notice an achievement, they will often take up the same sport, hobby, or pastime in order to eventually do even better.
I’ve seen it happen first hand, and if you tell them that you notice, they will get angry and remain in denial. They like to say, “I’m just bettering myself”, which is good. But usually, you can make the connection and differentiate between the two.
4. Defy authorities
Many times, those who suffer from problems with superiority, will defy authority. They actually think they are above the law and can do whatever they please. Some of them think they will never be caught doing the wrong things. They are also secretive in friendships, with family, and in relationships.
All the social laws and constructs have no bearing on them. Some even think they could possibly be immortal. I know this is a bit far-fetched, but you would be surprised just how far their superiority will go.
Being able to manipulate is a common advantage for those who feel superior. They can use anger and threats to get what they want. It’s what those who feel entitled use as one of their greatest weapons. But manipulation isn’t just used during entitlement, oh no.
Manipulation can be used in connection with narcissism and unhealthy relationship issues. One of the worst areas of manipulation is when they use the guilt trip to make you feel bad for standing up for yourself.
6. Lack of empathy
People with a superior complex usually have no empathy for others. They don’t care for others or try to understand the situations of others. Their lack of empathy creates a cold and calculating individual who clearly feels better than others around them.
Their feelings and concerns are the only things that matter, and so, they will always come before others. For those whose intuition is strong, they will blatantly deny any truths targeted toward their superiority dysfunction.
7. Condescending behavior
An unhealthy amount of superiority may be the reason why your friend or loved one speaks or acts in a condescending manner. They may assume they are smarter in conversations and offer definitions for words they feel are too complicated for their group to understand.
They may gossip about others they feel are beneath them or refuse to associate with certain people – sometimes it’s low-income individuals which they avoid. There are many ways the condescending manner works for them.
8. Mood swings
Considering superiority is sometimes a cover up for inferiority, it would stand to reason that these feelings collide and conflict with each other. This struggle creates great mood swings. In one moment, they may feel better than others, and the other moment, they may feel far below other individuals. These mood swings can lead to depression.
9. Controlling behavior
Most of the time, those with a superior type of complex will want to be in control. Feeling out of control of any given situation is uncomfortable and sometimes even devastating. If they’ve lost control, they feel that they’ve lost their superior status. No longer can they call all the shots, and no longer are they the most important issue or person.
Turning things around
While it’s not easy to beat this complex of superiority, it is possible. Like I said before, it’s generally a balancing act. When you feel any of these characteristics with you, stop and ask why. Then work on reducing them as much as possible.
As for those you know someone with this complex, you can tell them what they’re doing and offer help and support. Then it’s up to them to decide to make that change. Take a little time and understand these points so you and your friends and family can benefit and even help others as well.
Copyright © 2012-2019 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.