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When a person finds it difficult to overcome their challenges in life, they can develop what Adler called an inferiority complex (Adler, 1928, 1929a, 1931a). Although feelings of inferiority are universal, as is the striving for superiority, people are not created equal. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. However, when an individual cannot compensate for their weaknesses, and their feelings of inferiority overwhelm them, the inferiority complex arises. According to Adler, the term complex is not really accurate, because the so-called inferiority complex is complicated, and it permeates the entire personality. And yet, it may not always be obvious. An individual with an inferiority complex may feel comfortable in situations in which they have enough experience to feel self-assured, although they may create those situations by avoiding competition that might expose their weaknesses (Adler, 1929a). The inferiority complex will show itself, however, in tense or difficult situations, and often takes the form of excuses as to why the individual can’t pursue a certain course of action. For psychologists, according to Adler, the presence of an inferiority complex can typically be recognized by contradictions, by certain emotions such as doubt, and by generally hesitant behavior. The proper treatment, therefore, is to encourage people, never to discourage them, and to help them understand that they are capable of solving problems and facing the difficulties of life (Adler, 1929a).

When the intense feelings of inferiority associated with the inferiority complex become too much to bear, they can be transformed into a unique delusion that Adler described as the superiority complex (Adler, 1928, 1929a, 1931a). The superiority complex should not be viewed as an extension of the normal process of striving for superiority. The superiority complex arises out of the inferiority complex, and is actually an extension of the intense feelings of inferiority. Interestingly, such people typically do not present themselves as superior individuals, instead they may be arrogant, snooty, domineering, or they may cling to prominent and important people. In contrast, people who truly are superior often have a sense of modesty (Lundin, 1989; Mosak&Maniacci, 1999). The complexity of the superiority complex, and its origin in feelings of inferiority and the continued striving for superiority that is universal can be seen not only in neurotic symptoms and other forms of mental illness, but also in criminal behavior:

We see children who start stealing suffering from the feeling of superiority. They believe they are deceiving others; that others do not know they are stealing. Thus they are richer with little effort. This same feeling is very pronounced among criminals who have the idea that they are superior heroes…he wants to arrange matters so that he escapes the solution of the problems of life. Criminality is thus, the result of a superiority complex and not the expression of fundamental and original viciousness. (pp. 80-81; Adler, 1929a)

Questions & Answers

how do we prove the quadratic formular
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Opoku
what is math number
Tric Reply
4
Trista
x-2y+3z=-3 2x-y+z=7 -x+3y-z=6
Sidiki Reply
Need help solving this problem (2/7)^-2
Simone Reply
x+2y-z=7
Sidiki
what is the coefficient of -4×
Mehri Reply
-1
Shedrak
the operation * is x * y =x + y/ 1+(x × y) show if the operation is commutative if x × y is not equal to -1
Alfred Reply
An investment account was opened with an initial deposit of $9,600 and earns 7.4% interest, compounded continuously. How much will the account be worth after 15 years?
Kala Reply
lim x to infinity e^1-e^-1/log(1+x)
given eccentricity and a point find the equiation
Moses Reply
12, 17, 22.... 25th term
Alexandra Reply
12, 17, 22.... 25th term
Akash
College algebra is really hard?
Shirleen Reply
Absolutely, for me. My problems with math started in First grade...involving a nun Sister Anastasia, bad vision, talking & getting expelled from Catholic school. When it comes to math I just can't focus and all I can hear is our family silverware banging and clanging on the pink Formica table.
Carole
I'm 13 and I understand it great
AJ
I am 1 year old but I can do it! 1+1=2 proof very hard for me though.
Atone
Not really they are just easy concepts which can be understood if you have great basics. I am 14 I understood them easily.
Vedant
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Solomon
find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
Jerwin Reply
I know this work
salma
The given of f(x=x-2. then what is the value of this f(3) 5f(x+1)
virgelyn Reply
hmm well what is the answer
Abhi
If f(x) = x-2 then, f(3) when 5f(x+1) 5((3-2)+1) 5(1+1) 5(2) 10
Augustine
how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
make 5/4 into a mixed number, make that a decimal, and then multiply 32 by the decimal 5/4 turns out to be
AJ
how
Sheref
A soccer field is a rectangle 130 meters wide and 110 meters long. The coach asks players to run from one corner to the other corner diagonally across. What is that distance, to the nearest tenths place.
Kimberly Reply
Jeannette has $5 and $10 bills in her wallet. The number of fives is three more than six times the number of tens. Let t represent the number of tens. Write an expression for the number of fives.
August Reply
What is the expressiin for seven less than four times the number of nickels
Leonardo Reply
How do i figure this problem out.
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
why surface tension is zero at critical temperature
Shanjida
I think if critical temperature denote high temperature then a liquid stats boils that time the water stats to evaporate so some moles of h2o to up and due to high temp the bonding break they have low density so it can be a reason
s.
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Personality theory in a cultural context. OpenStax CNX. Nov 04, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11901/1.1
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