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Inferiority Complex

Inferiority Complex (IC) is a complex & contradictory condition based upon the need for unconscious recognition.

People exhibiting IC have usually experienced major pain or hurt in their life. Experiences of failure, lack of recognition, abandonment, rejection or abuse have built up to the point where they now cause so much pain that their only defense left is to control their immediate environment, often manipulating people and situations closest to them to establish self worth.

When this happens in childhood – it only needs to be a perception that is then stored away as an experience. A parent suffering from depression and who is consequently emotionally withdrawn can be interpreted by the child as lack of recognition or rejection.

An IC’s behaviour can often be an absolute contradiction – one minute loving and the next angry … and as a consequence cause total confusion in their partner, leaving them feeling that they are walking on eggshells … that they can never do anything right

An IC will be controlling, manipulative, indirect, guilt producing, difficult to communicate with, and hostile to those people closest to them resulting in a bad relationship.

At the same time they are often there to help everyone else. This is to gain unconscious approval and will give of themselves until they are exhausted or angry, and then blame others.

Although they speak with great insight about other people’s problems, they have no awareness of their own actions, or are in denial and refuse to take responsibility for their behaviours.

Because they are not in a healthy relationship with themselves, they are unable to establish a loving and stable relationship with their partner, leaving their partner confused & angry. Over a period this may then trigger negative responses in their partner, resulting in a co-dependent relationship where a cycle of conflict is initiated to which there seems no way out.

They may also be experiencing some form of addiction such as alcohol or cigarettes, or be unfit or overweight, which further heightens the pain they are experiencing. Consequently this may then trigger anxiety or depression.

A major problem is that outside their relationship friends often see them as bright, caring, intelligent, optimistic or humorous. The result of this positive recognition is that it builds and reinforces their belief that all fault for their relationship and unhappy home life lies with their partner because it is their partner who is the thoughtless and uncaring one.

Common Characteristics (note: not all will apply)
• Have low levels of self esteem and as a result are overly sensitive to any criticism.
• Are unable to set functional boundaries with others so consequently feel ‘used’.
• Have difficulty identifying or addressing their own needs and wants including self care.
• Try to control others, some times in very irrational ways.
• Subconsciously blame others for their own inability to feel comfortable with themselves.
• Use anger to protect themselves, regain self esteem & achieve a sense of power.
• Immerse themselves fully in a cause or a religion at the expense of family or partner.
• Use drugs or alcohol or other addictive behaviours to mask their pain.
• Use confusing techniques to create negative responses enabling blame to be laid.
• Are obsessive and anxious over things that are not of major consequence.
• Focus their energy on other people and problems – become caretakers.
• Are often involved in chaotic relationships.
• Are in total denial regards their own inappropriate behaviour.