Feeling inferior to others can be a temporary feeling or a permanent condition.. In either case, it is a situation that must be combated, as living with this constant feeling holds back the possibilities for personal growth.
Although it is something that happens to many people, it is usually a topic that is rarely and less openly talked about. This is because it is difficult to accept that we have this feeling of inferiority, so it is important to know what happens to us psychologically and how to solve it.
- Related article: “The 15 advantages of being an empathic person”.
Why do I feel inferior?
The feeling of inferiority has several causes. To understand the possible origin gives us an accurate picture to be able to take action on the way to solve it. The first step is to recognize oneself in this situation and to have the determination to want to change it.
A self-examination of conscience, a journey through our own history, an open and willing attitude, can help us to find the answer to the feeling of being inferior to others, to know what is happening and how to solve it.
1. A past with traumatic experiences
The feeling of inferiority can date back to childhood.. Make a small analysis and remember if during childhood there was this feeling of being inferior to others. It could have happened that in the family environment itself, greater emphasis was placed on the defects or that there were many comparisons with siblings or children of the same age.
This may have undermined, from an early age, self-confidence and self-assurance, normalizing an attitude of continual comparison with other people with the feeling of “never measuring up”. An episode of bullying or some kind of abuse, whether short or pronounced, may also have generated this feeling of insecurity.
2. Being in a period of intense pressure
During an episode of intense pressure, self-confidence may be undermined.. Whether due to physical and mental exhaustion or the stress of achieving goals, being under a lot of pressure can make a person feel in a state of inferiority from which it is difficult to escape.
This is because the mind begins to become exhausted and to perceive everything with a certain negativity. However, it may have more to do with the fact that what we want to achieve requires all our effort, and the anguish of not being able to achieve it absorbs us. A promotion at work, a professional exam or being in competition with other people to obtain something are common examples of this negative environment.
3. Living in a toxic relationship
Spending a long time living in a toxic relationship leads to insecurities. Living closely and continuously with a person who hurts us begins to take its toll on our personality. It is common that, in this type of relationship, one or both people involved make continuous attacks highlighting the flaws and mistakes in the other.
This can be in an aggressive and very obvious way, or it can be with “disguised” comments, i.e., passive-aggressive. Comments such as “don’t be silly, you can’t do something like that” or “you’d better not try, it’s clear that you won’t succeed” generate a feeling of inferiority that ends up taking over the person who receives these comments continuously.
4. Negative environment and lack of recognition
There are environments in which it is not customary to celebrate achievements, and this affects its members.. A workplace where bosses are ruled by sanctions and little or no recognition can generate in its members a feeling of dissatisfaction and even inferiority. The same happens in family systems where there is so much rigidity that only demands are made, but no one is rewarded or recognized for any achievement.
After spending prolonged time in environments with these characteristics, people may begin to feel inferior to the rest. Especially, if there are members who are recognized for their efforts and there is a real grievance with the affected person. Working for a raise, promotion or recognition and not achieving it after several attempts causes a feeling of inferiority that can be profound.
5. Extreme competition
Developing in situations of extreme competition has repercussions in feeling inferior to the rest.. It may be that, after losing a job, the search for a new opportunity becomes difficult due to the economic situation of the country. This turns it into an extreme competition that in many occasions makes it difficult to find a job.
On the other hand, a sports or recreational environment can become a highly competitive environment where its members have forgotten that the important thing is the journey and not the goal. This results in a great pressure to achieve excellence, but at the same time can generate feelings of inferiority by being continually exposed to criticism, competition and the possibility of not achieving the goal.
How can I stop feeling inferior to others?
It is possible to stop feeling inferior to others. There are tools and alternatives that can help us face situations that diminish our self-confidence and lead us to feel inferior to others.
It is important to take action and find in different alternatives the strength to achieve it. It is not enough just to want to stop feeling this way. We must get down to work to stop feeling inferior to others.
1. Leave the past behind
It is important to understand that what made us feel inferior is in the past.. If your family history or going back to your childhood made you understand that the origin of your insecurity is there, it is time to solve it and leave that feeling in the past. There are many alternatives to heal that history and prevent it from continuing to affect you.
It may be a good time to choose some kind of psychological therapy that can help you in this. The past must be left behind, although I may have defined who you are today, it is also true that what is important is what you do now with yourself and your situations. Therefore, erasing from your mind what was recorded at that time will be of great help to remove that feeling that does not do justice to who you really are.
2. Become aware of perfection
Neither we nor anyone around us is perfect in everything or all the time.. When we feel inferior it is because we tend to lose perspective on things. Those who apparently do things better than us seem to be perfect. Or it also happens that we feel that what we do well could be done better and we feel dissatisfied.
Although there are always opportunities to improve, we must maintain a healthy balance at this point. We must understand that we are not always going to be the best at what we like and what we do. We must carry out and live these capabilities, for the pleasure of doing them and not for the irrational need to achieve perfection. Making mistakes of all kinds is absolutely normal and we must accept that this makes us human.
3. Objectively visualize your defects and virtues.
Making a list of our faults and virtues helps us to put things in perspective.. As long as we feel inferior to others, we will surely find it difficult to make a long list of virtues and we will be faced with an endless list of defects. However, this is a necessary exercise that requires objectivity beyond the emotion that dominates us at the moment.
As an objective, we must set ourselves the goal of being able to list the same number of virtues as defects. After this, we must continue until the qualities outnumber the defects. This will help us to have a perspective that we have a lot to offer but we are having a hard time being aware of it because the feeling of inferiority is flooding us. We must continually remind ourselves of these virtues, and keep them in good esteem.
4. Identify the people or environments that harm you.
Sometimes we do not realize that those around us we do not realize that those around us are hurting us.. As mentioned above, it may be our environment or the people we live with who may be reinforcing our feeling of inferiority without us realizing it. That is why it is so important to identify if there is an external source that is leading us to this feeling.
Once you have identified this, it is time to strengthen yourself and act to prevent this from continuing to undermine your security. There are several strategies you can use. You can either take physical distance as far as possible or you can strengthen yourself emotionally to face people and situations without getting hurt and with your insecurity diminished.
5. Stop making comparisons
One of the most damaging things to self-esteem are comparisons. Although it seems a very natural behavior in human beings, it is something that we can and should do without. From a very early age we are exposed to comparisons, and this is something that marks our behavior and our being.
That is why we must stop doing it. To achieve this, we must understand that our strengths and weaknesses make us unique, it is necessary to understand that our strengths and weaknesses make us unique beingsWe all have fears and anxieties, dreams and desires, and that makes it impossible to make comparisons or establish who is better or worse, so there is no point in continuing to do so, because it ends up hurting us.