Inferiority, Success and Compensation

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Inferiority and Compensation

Try carrying something heaving with your right hand and You'll notice that your body involuntary bent to the right side. weird, right?!

This is how your mind always tries to compensate for its perceived weaknesses. If at any point of your life you felt inferior then your mind will try to help you to move in an opposite direction that makes you feel good about yourself once again.

Compensation; behavior wise

Humans compensate for their inferiority in the same manner. Upon discovering that they lack something they try to achieve goals that make them feel superior. These examples will show you how this happens:

  • The Superman: Some people tend to act in a superior way; showing everyone that they are the strongest and greatest at what they do. This does not only include physical strength but its scope includes everyone who acts or behaves in a superior way. Those people are only trying to compensate for their inner weaknesses. The situations they faced in the past made them feel helpless and inferior and that's why they are trying to compensate.( See superiority complex).
  • The Popular Guy: I bet you know at least one person who seems to have good relations with your whole city. Such a person may be compensating for many things such as childhood loneliness, previous social failures or even feeling that he is not loved.
  • The Billionaire: Try finding the history of famous billionaires and you'll find that most of them weren’t raised in rich families. Moreover you will discover that most of them suffered from severe financial problems in their past which was the invisible driving force behind the wealth they've managed to collect.
  • The Attention seeker : Striving for being the center of attention usually means that the person was ignored during a certain period of his life and that he is trying to succeed at what he failed to do before.
  • The Robot: The reason I call this person a robot is because he claims that he never makes mistakes. What is that person trying to compensate for? As you might have already guessed, this person is compensating for feelings of lack of self-confidence.(See Five signs for lack of self-confidence).
  • Miss Best-Appearance: Some girls and guys tend to always wear the latest and the most trendy outfits. You will never see them except when they are perfectly dressed. Those people are usually compensating for their poor self image!!

Ignoring our old wounds and trying to act as if they are not there can only result in one thing, severe depression. If you suffered from a financial insecurity during your childhood then you didn't do your best as a grown up to become rich you will end up depressed.

In my book, The ultimate guide to getting over depression i explained how depression usually stems from ignoring our problems and wounds instead of facing them. Unless you do your best to heal your emotional wounds you will end up depressed.

Success and Compensation

Behind any extreme behavior there is always a feeling of inferiority or lets say a strong desire for achievement in that particular area. Take it as a general rule, if you see some kind of extreme behavior then know that inferiority is the underlying drive.

Inferiority might not be so bad after all. No one succeeds without a sense of inferiority. If you didn’t go through that financial problem few years ago you may not have built up the fortune you have now and if you weren’t rejected as a child you may not have been able to make that enormous number of friends.

Some people mistakenly believe that feelings of inferiority make them inadequate and that's completely wrong because we are all born with some feelings of inferiority.

When we find that we are young children in a world full of adults and when we find ourselves unable to control the biological processes in our bodies then certainly we will get some inferiority feelings.

Use the inferiority you experience as a drive to succeed and not as an excuse to be broken or to feel down. This is how you can turn limitations into possibilities and disabilities into advantages.

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