The Broader Concern
The world is a looking-glass and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face. Frown at it, and it…will sourly look at you; laugh at it and with it, and it
is a … kind companion. (William Thackeray)
Many are plagued by the way they think of themselves—some with inferiority and others with superiority thoughts. Actions on each side of the cognitive fence are alike: both seek recognition; they speak when they should be silent and remain silent when they should speak; they believe that only their views are correct; both end up losing friends because of their opinions; both live in denial—some for a lifetime; and both blame everybody but themselves for their problems.
Those with a superiority complex have an inflated opinion of themselves. Many psychologists consider that this attitude is a way to hide or compensate for a feeling of inferiority. They are often perceived as arrogant or cocky. Some behaviors related to this mechanism are: exaggerated positive opinion of one’s worth and abilities, projection of their feelings of inferiority onto others, unrealistically high expectations in goals and achievements, the persistent attempt to correct others, vanity, extravagant style in dressing to draw attention, excessive need for competition, snobbishness, a tendency to discredit other’s opinions, forcefulness aimed at dominating those considered as weaker or less important.
Persons with an inferiority complex feel less important than others. These feelings often drive individuals, causing them to overcompensate for it with an obsession for spectacular achievement. It also creates a need for social isolation, odd behavior and thinking, unconventional beliefs, excessive seeking for attention, criticism of others, overly dutiful obedience, fear, worry and an advanced state of discouragement.
The best way to deal with either of these complexes is to face the facts. “You are neither a worm nor a wonder. You are just a bundle of fine possibilities, if developed. You don’t belong either to groveling in the dust or to soaring in the clouds; but you belong to the earth, with your feet on it, and walking straight into tasks that you can do” (Stanley Jones). The Bible uses the human body to illustrate the fact that all persons are equally important and necessary. “God has arranged the people in the church, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be…. The eye cannot say to the hand that I have no need of you; the head cannot say to the feet that I have no need of you—all are equally important” (Apostle Paul). Allow God to help you manage your mind and think of yourself in the way that is best for you to think. “Boasting is the voice of pride in the heart of the strong; self pity is the voice of pride in the heart of the weak” (John Piper).