We are all so wise... We find it very easy to catalogue people and to find a cause behind any deed a person makes. When we see a shy, unsure person, we label him/her as suffering from a complex. However, we do not say the same about an authoritative person, even if the same holds true for that person as well, the only thing differing being the complex in itself.
Inferiority or superiority complexes are nothing else but the permanent manifestation of the feelings of inferiority or superiority respectively. They are real and have the same cause, but they differ only in the way they become manifest. They are the result of early lack of social communion. These feelings are not clear from the beginning, but gradually they are expressed in character, gestures, posture and thinking. They betray something of the past of the person, especially the fact that he/she was neglected or spoiled during childhood.
The inferiority complex
It dominates the psychical life and is characterized by the feeling of imperfection and lack of achievement in reaching personal goals. The inferiority feeling is only normal when people face extreme life situations. However, in the case of individuals suffering from the inferiority complex, this feeling manifests itself continuously and constantly along his/her life.
The individual slides by major life issues and narrows his/her vital space excessively, through isolation. This behavior is caused by the lack of self-esteem and belief in his/her own forces. The inferiority complex causes shyness, pessimism, anxiety or lack of communication. Useless to say, these behaviors betray the prolonged lack of social contact.
With all that, there is no precise borderline between the inferiority and superiority complexes. Emotional manifestations like rage, revenge drive, sorrow, enthusiasm, manifested in inadequate situations, the incapacity of listening or looking into the eyes of someone else, changing the topic of conversation towards his/her own person, are all signs of an inferiority complex evolving towards a superiority complex.
The superiority complex
It is visible in the attitude, character and the opinion of a person about himself/herself. This individual has exaggerated pretensions of himself/herself and the others around him/her. The superiority complex is betrayed by haughtiness, arrogance, vanity about personal look (which can be from extremely cared for to willingly negligent), eccentric dressing, exuberance, snobbery, bragging, tyrannical behavior, a proneness for hunting mistakes and faults in others and many more.
These sentiments are triggered by a lack of social communication or mistakes that the parents made, paradoxically or unconsciously, out of love for their kids. Psychologists say that the history of humankind is a history filled with cases of inferiority sentiment and with the attempts to solve it. The human being, so poorly endowed by nature, is dominated by a powerful inferiority feeling that makes him look for security and attempt to outdistance his own capacities.
The sentiments must not be allowed to turn into one of these two complexes. Strange as it might sound, the inferiority sentiment can be used in a positive way, by motivating us to solve problems and issues. The superiority sentiment, as long as it remains a feeling that does not affect those around us, just maintains our high self-esteem, which is good. Learning to not cross over the thing borderline is the main issue here.