When a person is treated as inferior, the person will most probably adopt the attitude of inferiority. Treated as inferior on a continuous basis by a significant person in your life, you will act like it. One child in a family may receive all the attention of the parents, while another will be neglected. The message the neglected child get is, I am inferior. Favouritism in a household usually leads to inferiority with the child who is not the favourite. Repeated times of rejection are the building blocks of an inferiority complex. Someone with such low self-worth could easily think …“Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors; I am a dread to my friends – those who see me on the street flee from me. I am forgotten by them as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.” (Psalm 31:11–12)
An inferiority complex is a painful, debilitating feeling of being less valuable than others.
The word “Inferior” means less valued than others. A “complex” is a group of beliefs based on the past that has a powerful influence on present behaviour. An “inferiority complex” is an acute sense of low self-worth, which has two very different results:
- Fearfully timid attitudes and actions as a result of giving in to others or feeling rejected by others – “I’m nothing.… I know I don’t matter.”
- Overly aggressive attitudes and actions to compensate for the feeling of being rejected – “Since people hate me, I’ll give them something to hate!” The bullies in school or in the workplace are usually those who experienced inferiority because of circumstances like favouritism in their home, being bullied earlier in life themselves, etc. These people usually use fear tactics to get their way. Although some of the inferior people may be young, their lives mirror Psalm 73:21–22 “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.”