A certain degree of inferiority is considered normal
A certain degree of inferiority feelings are considered normal. A typical person would feel inferior to others when he finds that they have better resources than him. The feelings of inferiority in such a case have the goal of motivating the person to achieve more in life.
People experience inferiority in their childhood (Primary inferiority)
According to Alfred Adler, the father of individual psychology, all children feel inferior as they find themselves surrounded by more capable adults. According to Adler, the failure of a child to compensate for his inferiority correctly leads to an inferiority complex.
Being different than others
Not every child who is different than others develops an inferiority complex; however, if the child was made to believe that his difference makes him less worthy, he might develop inferiority feelings. For example, a child from a different race in a foreign school.
Cultural cringe can cause inferiority feelings
According to Wikipedia, cultural cringe is an internalized inferiority complex that causes people in a country to dismiss their own culture as inferior to the cultures of other countries. A person who belongs to a certain country or race may feel inferior to other people as a result.
Colonial mentality can cause inferiority
When a powerful nation colonizes another nation, the colonized nation might start feeling inferior to the colonizing nation. If the colonizing nation had white skin, for example, the colonized nation might start to believe that their dark color is inferior.
Constant criticism can promote inferiority feelings
If a child is always criticized or humiliated, he might grow up feeling less worthy than others. The wrong beliefs the child develops about himself are usually the result of the inferiority feelings he experiences as an adult.
Neglect can lead to inferiority feelings
A child who was neglected, abused or always ignored by his parents might believe that he is not worthy. The primary caregivers the child interacts with, usually the mother and the father, determine to a great extent how a child thinks of his self-worth.
Pampered children might feel inferior
According to Alfred Adler, pampered children usually never develop the life skills needed to reach their important goals in life as a result of being overly cared for by their parents. According to Adler, pampered children are at a higher risk of developing inferiority feelings.
Low socioeconomic status can cause inferiority feelings
Not every poor person feels inferior, but if a poor child was made to believe that rich people are more worthy then he might develop feelings of inferiority.
Being unable to reach important unconscious goals (secondary inferiority)
According to Adler, secondary feelings of inferiority are feelings of inferiority that arise when an adult finds that there is a big gap between his unconscious goals and his progress in life. This inferiority is usually an extension to the primary inferiority experienced in childhood. (See Why should goals be measurable?)
A person’s beliefs
A person’s beliefs can be responsible for his feelings of inferiority. For example, if a man believes that being short makes him undesirable or less attractive than tall men, he might feel inferior as a result.
Helplessness can cause inferiority feelings
Not every person who finds himself far from reaching his goals feels inferior. It’s the person who finds himself helpless and unable to reach that goal that feels inferior the most. This is why pampered children, who usually have less skills, feel inferior.
Not being up to the masculinity standards the society sets
The very high masculinity standards societies set can affect both men and women. Many men feel inferior because of believing that they are not as masculine as they should have been. Women also can feel inferior when believing that they are weak and less worthy than men. (See Study: How Human Society Think?)
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