Why superiority isn't our biggest problem, but our inferiority is
Have you ever considered that our sense of inferiority is what really creates supremacy and those seemingly superior to us are simply driven by their lack of content with self. Not convinced? Read on...
I’m a Person Centred Counsellor and passionate worker, pro-human rights, inclusion and acceptance of diversity in human beings, when I say acceptance, I mean it in all forms and areas of our lives. It is the lack of acceptance from others I experienced myself for how I looked, spoke, thought and behaved that led me to struggle for years with my own existence. I did find peace and then became fascinated with the why of the inexplicable rejection we all at some point experience in our lives.
The last five years of clinical practice as a Counsellor and my own experiences of rejection for 'being less than', have led me to an important realisation: supremacy or sense of superiority doesn't really exist, what exists instead is a deep sense of inferiority in all those trying to make themselves seem fitter and better than us.
Superior / Inferior concept
Let me start by explaining that this is not just about race superiority, this theory applies to all areas of our lives, wherever and with whomever you can recognise feeling less of yourself or where you sense you have little or simply less power.
Now, I can’t tell when exactly in time society started to divide people into class categories, place worthiness according to wealth or even developed its meaning, but at some point in life, humans formed a set of rules of what was acceptable and rewarding in life, we created goals to what it meant to be not just happy, but happily accepted in society.
For some, this brought order in society and celestial rewards so we went on to making it our creed to live by these concepts, why? because if we did, it would mean we would be good humans and that is an ultimate badge of honour one seeks.
Now, these goals, or good areas of human life as I like to call them, have transcended in modern times and have left and continue to leave huge scars along the way, unfortunately, being a good human who lives a good life is still related to having achieved in these set of goals: health, money, housing, friendships, romantic relationships, sexuality, gender, procreation, parenthood, marriage, wisdom, education, fitness, class status, race, faith, beliefs, sanity, humility, community life.
When we are perceived to have achieved in these areas, we are the superior, when we don't, we are the inferiors.
Superior= Important/Powerful/Rational Inferior=Unimportant/Weak/Irrational
But what happens when you don't want to, can't, or choose not to achieve in such areas?
Rejection comes to mind.. but here is the trick, rejection from whom?
You might think those who project rejection to you feel better or fitter than you, all the contrary, they do this because they want to be a socially accepted good human being, they reject you to protect themselves.
In my view, the intrinsic need to not be inferior to others or in society, in general, is a deeply rooted willingness, almost fear, that drives us to lead our lives and make decisions the way we do, it sets the beginning of the existential pain and anguish we experience- and sadly often inflict on others- at different stages of our lives, let me explain with a few examples below:
It is a sad reality many parents or relatives put pressure for their children to get married, my view is that this is not based on their genuine wish for the ‘good it will bring’ to their son/daughter but for their deep-rooted fear of not feeling inferior as parents, why inferiority? Because socially, unmarried kids might mean that as parents they have not raised their son/daughter well. They might be inferior to other parents whose children do get married.
In other words, putting pressure on you to get married is simply them fighting their sense of inferiority in society. They are protecting themselves.
Many choose levels of wealth we want to live by, many inherit poverty or riches, but many dedicate their lives to earn more using wealth as a powerful tool to feel and live better than others, being superior becomes a purchasable concept.
The troubling truth with the pursuit of rising wealth is that for many it never ends- some might regard it as superior seeking more power, or superiority.
The Paradise papers or tax havens (people avoiding paying the right amount of tax) are an excellent example of how inferiority drives the ever seeking pursuit for more wealth and power, but why? , well my view is that at some point, we humans, stop comparing ourselves to those below us but compare ourselves to those above us, meaning that we do not look back and see how much we have achieved, but instead we look ahead to see what is yet to be achieved, essentially meaning that what we have is never enough because someone else has more- therefore our sense of inferiority prevails.
Eugenics, the fitter and better, the lighter skin, the taller, the prettier, the intelligent, the well spoken, the privileged, you name it, but what is really behind the motives of those looking down or trying to disappear certain groups of humans is really their own fear of disappearance themselves.
Let me explain, as a migrant looking Latin American woman, I have experienced countless discriminative comments and actions against my race but after a client explained why he hated people like me coming to his country, is that I understood that we, the perceived inferior, represent a threat to those who feel superior to us.
It is for this reason, that we the 'inferior in race' are put limits to what we can achieve, what we can access and prosper, why? simply because our successes mean losing a place of identity and worthiness in society for those seemingly superior to us.
Why identifying your levels of inferiority can be a life changer for you and society as a whole
You don’t have to identify anything if you don’t wish to, my only aim as therapist is bringing greater understanding of this concept because I believe it deeply affects how you lead your life and how you let others lead it for you, my invitation for you is to consider these two ideas:
superiority doesn’t really exist, what exists instead is a deep sense of inferiority in those seemingly willing to be superior to you
the levels of inferiority you feel are the foundations of your decision-making process in life and the power you give to others
How can you identify or manage these levels of inferiority?
Having levels of inferiority is not all bad news, for example many who believe in a God or creed will feel inferior to the God or beliefs they profess, that type of inferiority for example can bring us a sense of humility, the recommendation, however, is to be aware of these levels of inferiority in self and the relationship you have with them... a good starting point is to ask yourself the following:
*Who/What do you consider superior to you?
i.e. parents, partners, authorities, systems, other races and cultures, etc
*How much or how little do you do for those you feel superior to you?
i.e. how much or little do you do so not be punished by those superior roles, punishment might involve someone not talking to you, abandonment, systems setting penalties
*How much power do you give to those you feel superior to you?
i.e. how often do you follow or challenge those you perceived superior to you
*Do you live, feel, and behave in a way you feel content about, or are you pleasing others (perhaps those identified as the superior) in the process?
i.e. are your decisions genuinely meeting your needs, how content you feel with them
These questions can be very powerful, make a list if it helps, consider it from time to time, notice how much you overdo or underdo for the seemingly superior to you and most importantly how content are you with the answers you find.
Some level of inferiority might need to stay in your life as part of your identity and how you move about in life and that's fine if it's what you want to have in your life, do know however, that in exploring these, you can start to become comfortable with challenging the oppression and levels of discontent you might have in your life, it is almost as if it was an emotional revolution, you start to gain the power back, liberating yourself to feel free to create the balance only you know is the right one for your life.