Dealing with someone with an inferiority complex can be exhausting. Whether it is at work, in relationships, or friendships, we will come across people with an inferiority complex and can be difficult to deal with.
I have written about how to deal with difficult people at work and here, I identified that one of the reasons some people are difficult to work with is because they have an inferiority complex.
First, before we look at how to deal with someone who has an inferiority complex, let’s first look at signs that someone has an inferiority complex.
Signs that someone has an inferiority complex
They try to make you feel insecure
People with inferiority complex feel insecure and because they don’t want to be miserable alone, they try to make you feel the same. Remember, misery loves company. This is common in relationships when your partner is insecure and they project the same feelings towards you. They constantly accuse you of things you didn’t do and are inconsistent with their behavior towards you so that you become as insecure as they are.
They seek validation from others
Someone with an inferiority complex will constantly seek validation from others. They will constantly want to be approved of by others and sometimes behave in a certain way to get the approval of those they perceive superior to them. For example, if your partner behaves modestly at home but when you are in public they are all boastful and in a totally different character, this is one sign that they suffer from an inferiority complex.
They are sensitive to criticism
Individuals with an inferiority complex do not take criticism well. They take every correction as an attack on them personally and it hurts their ego. If your partner, for example, does not allow you to criticize them or make a comment on something they should have done differently, they have an inferiority complex. Such partners can turn into emotional manipulators unless you learn how to deal with them.
They constantly compare themselves with others
They have an ideal idea of how they should look like or behave like and hold themselves to these standards. For example, one can have an idea that they want to look like a supermodel and feel inferior because they don’t look so. They have a perfected ideal in their mind of how they should be and because they have not achieved this ideal, they feel inferior.
They complain a lot
Someone with an inferiority complex will always complain about their current situation. Nothing seems good enough for them and they are hardly ever content. Dealing with such a person can be exhausting as you try to enjoy your life with all its imperfections but they can’t even let you have that moment. They seem to want to burst every bubble and throw a wet blanket on your attempts at happiness.
How to deal with someone who has an inferiority complex
Get to the root cause of their inferiority complex
Inferiority complex mostly belongs from our upbringing, the kind of parenting we received, and our life experiences so far. Someone may be feeling inferior due to their humble background, family issues, nature of upbringing, and so on.
When someone has an inferiority complex and they are often trying to make you feel the same, get to the root of why their words and behavior affect you. For example, if you have failed in the past, a person with an inferiority complex can constantly remind you of this such that you feel that you want to achieve what you want. By confronting failures in your past, you can reparent yourself and develop a more confident attitude. Learn how to be more confident using this Building Confidence Course.
Help them reparent themselves
You can also help the person with an inferiority complex understand where it comes from so that they can reparent themselves out of it. For example, if someone had a parent that made them feel that they are not good enough, you can help them reparent themselves and heal their childhood wounds. Their inferiority complex is a sign of an unhealed childhood wound that hurts to date and negatively influences their behavior. I have complied some great books to help us reparent ourselves and heal from our childhood wounds.
Develop your sense of identity and help them develop theirs
As I mentioned earlier, individuals with an inferiority complex tend to compare themselves to others all the time. Rather than tell them “you are better than this person! Or you are as good as they are”, let them know how to appreciate themselves as they are, not as compared to another person.
Through becoming self-aware, you can develop your individual identity separate from everyone else such that you don’t feel the need to compare yourself to others. When you are self-aware, you can help the other person to develop self-awareness as well and appreciate their uniqueness, imperfections, and all, without feeling the need to compare with others. Develop your sense of identity by taking a self-awareness course and improve your self-concept.
Focus on the brighter side
When you live or work with someone with an inferiority complex, they will constantly discourage you and make you only see the negative side of things. They tend to demotivate you often, shoot down your ideas and you find yourself in a constant fight to be heard.
Dealing with a boss that has an inferiority complex is especially terrible as they tend to see your airing of ideas and opinions as a way to belittle them.
To deal with such a person, try to focus on the brighter side for your sake. Being with such people for so long can dim your light and this is the last thing you want. Focus on trying to understand why they behave the way they do and their behavior has nothing to do with you. don’t dim your light and shoot lower your confidence to fit them in. if you can get out of the situation, please do and if not, work on for using on improving yourself and paying little attention to their efforts to bring you down.
Give them compliments
People with an inferiority complex feel inadequate and due to their lack of self-belief, they doubt themselves and those around them. If such a person is your partner, you may have to take it upon yourself to nurture them into feeling better about themselves.
You can do so by helping them challenge their negative beliefs that lead to feelings of inferiority. For example, if they believe they are not good enough, compliment them and point out their strengths. Show them that they are important to you and those around them. Show them how to love themselves more by being supportive and showing them that you appreciate their good qualities.
Conclusively, dealing with someone with an inferiority complex involves protecting yourself not to fall into their kind of thinking, while at the same time supporting them to change their view about themselves. You can help such a person improve their outlook of themselves and their view of life and feel more confident about themselves.