Feeling Inferior In A Relationship (9 Ways To Overcome It)

by April Maccario

What is inferiority complex by definition?

It is “an unrealistic feeling of general inadequacy caused by actual or supposed inferiority in one sphere, sometimes marked by aggressive behavior in compensation” according to the Oxford dictionary. 

Usually, people who suffer from the feeling of chronic inferiority have low self-esteem, suffer from a lot of self-doubt, feel very little to no self-worth, and compare themselves to negative things and others in their life on a daily basis, with a lot of damaging thoughts about themselves. 

Usually what causes inferiority complexes is a person or people who make damaging criticisms, judgment, and remarks to someone while they are young, and it haunts and plagues their mind into adulthood. However, if someone suffers an abusive relationship of any sort, they can develop into a problem in adulthood. 

To constantly feel inferior, can cause problems at your place of work, with all of the people in your life, especially your partner, and cause behavior that will push someone away. Constantly feeling inferior will disrupt your way of life, and the people around you.

How Do You Overcome Feelings Of Inferiority? 

The fact is, this feeling is one of the hardest feelings to get over. A lot of it is mental work, and if you are having a hard time doing the following steps, I always encourage you to go see a professional, one who will be able to help you find self-love and get to the root of your problems

You don’t have to live this way, and I hope the things on this list will help you get to a better place. 

1. Work on your self-esteem

Things can go sour in a relationship if one person chooses to think of their partner in a certain way, and does not actively begin to heal themself. When a person has low self-esteem they are unable to take compliments, unable to fathom why someone would want to be their partner or lover, get possessive and jealous, and are unable to cope with the difficulties of the life of a person in a serious relationship. 

This can cause the person you love to distance themselves from you, or resent you, or feel confused about their own actions. Most of the time, if you have an inferiority complex you are toxic and sometimes even a little abusive to your partner. You don’t mean to be, but you absolutely are. And it all boils down to one thing: your lack of self-love.

But you can absolutely rectify this wrong way of thinking, and save your relationship and maybe even build a stronger one. If you find that none of these self-love techniques work, we advise you to seek help from a trained professional counselor, to help you get to the root of your self-loathing. 

Find one new thing that you like about yourself each day, whether it be physical attributes, skills, intelligence, or pride in what you think you’re good at. To do this you’ll need to work on bad habits like avoiding looking at yourself in the mirror and reversing negative self-talk. Write these things down, start with one a day for a week, then another, and another, until you have 30 or more things written down that you like about yourself. 

Every time you think of a trait worth putting down, write letters to yourself, explaining why you’re so proud of this trait, what it is, and how it is important to you. 

Don’t go with the generic responses such as “I'm funny.” Why are you funny? How are you funny? Are you a comedian who just wants to make the whole world laugh, or is there a certain person that you want to make laugh, specifically? Are you satiristic or comical? Stand-up or radio host funny? 

Tell yourself why being funny makes you feel better, and use it as an outlet to self-heal - regardless of the reason you truthfully know. Write the letters and the list, and put it somewhere you will be forced to see it or read it at least once a day. This helps cement positive self-affirmation. 

2. Correct damaging and negative self-talk habits

correct damaging and negative self-talk habits

What is self-talk? It is any time you refer to yourself in your thoughts. Negative self-talk is when you degrade yourself, besmudge your own name or reputation in your inner voice and mind. Try to consciously work on correcting yourself every time you think badly about yourself.

Replace it with reminding yourself what you are good at, or what you have accomplished, and how far you can go in life if you stay positive and work for it. Have your partner if you have one reinforce your confidence by making a list of what they love most about you and your relationship, re-read your list every day about what you like about your own self, and for every negative self-talk moment, reverse it with a moment of positive self-talk. 

3. Improve your communication

One of the biggest issues for people with inferiority complexes is that they have a hard time expressing their true thoughts or feelings. They are too busy feeling inferior and intimidated to express the way they really feel. So they go through life feeling unheard and are most definitely misunderstood. 

A lot of times it is negative self-talk that prevents them from expressing their feelings. They feel that no one will care about how they feel, or nothing will be done about it anyway. Many times, it will take a lot of urging and coaxing from their lovers or friends to get the truth of their feelings out. 

As self-esteem and confidence improves, they will become better at expressing themselves, but it never hurts to have a good support network willing to listen to your feelings and encourage you to tell the truth

This is a habit that needs to stop as soon as possible. The hardest part is breaking the silence - but only for the first few attempts. Once you manage to begin to express your words and communicate better, you’ll find it gets easier over time. 

4. Stop being afraid to tell others ‘no’

The lack of communication skills and confidence often makes people who often feel inferior unable to say ‘no’ to even the smallest of favors. Oftentimes, a person with an inferiority issue will hurt themselves helping others, and most commonly it’s because they feel obligated or guilty when they say no. 

Practice saying no to things you don’t want to do. Once again, the hardest part is saying no for the first time. Once you begin to say no, you’ll find your life is less stressful, you’ll have less anxiety when people talk to you, and you will feel like you have more control and freedom over your life. 

5. Stand up for yourself

When learning how to communicate and tell people to know, you will begin to be able to stand up for yourself. Often when you feel inferior, you keep silent when you feel like you are being disregarded or disrespected or ignored. And the truth of the matter is, most people who feel inferior about themselves are in toxic and abusive relationships. 

A lot of the reason is because inferiority makes you feel like you can’t do any better, or that you deserve to be treated the way you’re being treated when the truth is you’re just not. It’s time to start standing up for yourself when you are in one of those situations. Don’t let people treat you badly, and soon you’ll find people will have more respect for you. 

6. Find the root of the way you feel

Oftentimes our emotions flood our logic, and we forget the root of the problem of why we feel the way we feel. Then we walk around in life harboring resentment and negative toxic feelings that are damaging to mostly ourselves. We blame ourselves, and yet we aren’t the ones that this feeling originated from.

Usually, this feeling develops because someone you admire or love has repeatedly said critical or degrading things to you, things that cut deep and hurt. Eventually, if just one person (and oftentimes there is more than one person) treats you in a degrading manner long enough, you will eventually begin to believe it. 

7. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else

stop comparing yourself to everyone else

Another bad habit a person who feels inferior to others or in their relationship has is comparing themselves and their weaknesses against everybody else’s strengths in a negative light. It leads to opening the door for negative self-talk. That is a habit that needs to stop as soon as possible. 

The way to reverse this habit is to treat it like negative self-talk, if you catch yourself comparing yourself negatively to other people, then remind yourself of something you can do well, and remember that everyone is superior to someone else in some way, and everyone is inferior to someone else in some way. There is always room for improvement in everyone and negative comparisons and hateful self-judgment only cause you more pain than you need to have. 

8. Change your mindset

Overall what needs to happen for people who have inferiority complexes is to work on changing their negative mindset. It’s an extremely hard thing to do, and most of it is tedious hard mental work. You may need to seek a life coach or counselor to help you figure out the best ways to change the way you think about yourself, other people, and maybe even life itself. 

Self-help books are a great and cheap source of information on how to change your mindset. Working on yourself is the hardest thing a person can do, so the information is valuable 

9. Understand that we are all human and we are unique in all things

Every person on this planet has a skill, a niche, a group, a reason for existing. We are all strong in our own unique ways and weak in others. The difference is finding your strengths, improving on your weaknesses, and not judging yourself too harshly. For someone who feels inferior, a fragile ego is just one wrong sentence away from feeling rejected, or having hurt feelings. 

FAQs

How do I stop being inferior in a relationship?

Remember that you control your mindset, and therefore you are in control of your own life and feelings. You have to be yourself, you have to work on your own feelings, get to the root of the problem, and find your strength, and stand up for yourself when things get tough. 

What does it mean to feel inferior?

To feel inferior means you feel as if you are worthless or less valuable or not as good as other people. Usually, this feeling develops in children, and it's a condition that haunts them throughout their entire lives. It's usually very hard for these individuals to find happiness, or accept anything that is like a compliment. 

They are usually living in fear that they are going to be left, or that they are in competition for affection with everyone around them. It can stem from someone important providing a toxic or negative upbringing where they over discipline or always have a cruel word for them. 

What are the signs of inferiority complex?

Usually, someone who experiences inferiority fears that they are easily replaced has wild ideas that their role in everybody's life and hearts are just temporary. Efforts to comfort or give any kind of affirmations of love or peace causes them shame, and feel guilty for feeling the way they are feeling. They usually don’t stand up for themselves, or say no to people they care about even if the situation hurts them. They also often lash out and have excuses for their doubts, instead of facing their own mental weakness and don’t acknowledge their thoughts.

What does it mean to feel trapped in a relationship?

Feeling trapped in a relationship means that you feel as if you don’t have the ability to leave a relationship that you are in or end it. The reality is that you absolutely do have the ability to end relationships that are harmful and toxic, you just have to have the heart to do so. 
Mostly it is the feelings of guilt, or the feeling of obligation will keep a woman or a man in a relationship that they don’t want to be in.

How do you tell if you're toxic?

A good way to tell if you are toxic is having the wisdom to be able to realize if you are making mistakes in important areas of your relationships with others. Do you lash out, push other people away for no real good reason? Nobody can get through your walls, and you tend to be bitter in conversations, blame the other person, find fault in everything they do and have suspicions and doubts for every story they tell you? 

Chances are, if you have been abused, feel inferior to other people, you are probably toxic even though you don’t mean to be. You feel as if you just have to protect your heart against everyone.

In Conclusion

I hope this article helps people who are feeling confused about why they feel inferior and can guide you to a path of self-healing and finding true happiness. 

Tell us about your concerns in the comments, and if you feel like this article may help a friend, go ahead and share. Thank you, everyone! 

April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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