7 ways insecure people try to feel important

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Robert Maurer
@robertmaurer
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You probably know more than one person like that, individuals who need to feel important at the cost of making you feel inferior. When you are next to them they often look down on you and you end up feeling sick and wondering what is true about their contemptuous gaze and condescending tone of voice. They make you doubt yourself.

The Viennese psychoanalyst Alfred Adler was one of the first to address this phenomenon by referring to the "struggle for superiority" in interpersonal relationships. In fact, he was the one who coined the term "inferiority complex" to refer to people who have difficulty integrating their weaknesses and mistakes into a balanced picture of their "self".



Inferiority complex and compensatory strategies

The inferiority complex is the feeling of not being up to the situation or the people we compare ourselves to. The person constantly has doubts about himself and his abilities, he feels inferior because he believes he does not meet the standards.

The problem, according to Adler, is that "instead of motivating to improve, the inferiority complex paralyzes". This tendency to constantly compare oneself to others creates anxiety and distress, so that the person usually tries, unconsciously, to compensate for these unpleasant sensations.

These compensatory strategies have two goals. On the one hand, they are a defense mechanism that makes them feel superior to others, so they can protect a fragile "me". On the other hand, it helps them defend themselves, so that others don't discover what they consider to be their "weaknesses".

The problem is that by building this "outer shell" with which they intend to present themselves in a more favorable light, they end up isolating themselves. The person suffering from an inferiority complex will find it difficult to trust others because they do not want them to discover their weaknesses, so instead of letting them help, they will raise a barrier and will not connect emotionally. Therefore, it is not surprising that a study conducted at the University of Anatolia showed that those who feel inferior and insecure also feel more alone.



Of course, also contributing to this social isolation are the bad compensatory strategies they can use, which often consist of undermining the self-esteem of others and making them feel inferior. Basically, these people will not try to grow and push their limits, but they will try to climb onto the shoulders of others to see further and look taller. They will not try to shine brighter, but they will do anything to put out the light of others.

Obviously, it is very difficult to maintain a relationship of any kind with a person who is constantly competing with us and trying to "crush" us. Ultimately, breaking up is a kind of psychological survival mechanism.

The most common strategies of people who need to feel important

1. They are always in a hurry

They made us believe that a busy person is an important person. Therefore, those who feel inferior always seem to be in a hurry. When you are in the company of this person you can even get anxious because they will constantly look at the clock, walk faster or always say they are short on time. His goal is to make it seem like he's doing you a big favor by giving you his time, to the point where you may end up feeling uncomfortable.

2. They categorize ordinary events to make them seem more important

People who need to feel important often resort to "special" language to name the events of daily life in such a way that they seem more important. For example, they may refer to a simple call from a customer as a "conference call". These people never do normal things, their life is always full of important commitments and activities.


3. They are constantly worried

Busy people are worried people and therefore, to give themselves importance, these people avoid appearing relaxed. Therefore, they will always tell you about their worries and problems, amplifying their repercussions to the maximum. In fact, they are true specialists in presenting situations that would almost be blessings for others, such as big problems or worries.


4. They make others wait

Important people don't have a free minute, so they will never be the first to arrive. They calculate the time to make you wait a bit, and then they'll come in apologizing and say they had an "important and urgent" commitment. This way they try to point out that they are more important than you. It is usually very difficult to meet with them because they say they always have a full agenda and they have to jump through hoops to find a "hole" for you.

5. They exaggerate their results

People suffering from an inferiority complex will try to compensate for their "flaws" or "weaknesses" by exaggerating their results. It is common for them to look for elaborate words to describe their work, so that it seems like a position of greater importance and responsibility. At the same time, they will try to downplay your successes, stating that they aren't all that great or they'll point out your past mistakes and failures.

6. They believe they are more intelligent and capable

When insecure people feel threatened, they activate their compensatory protection mechanisms. If they think you might be obscuring their intelligence and skill, they will focus on discrediting you by pointing out your mistakes and weaknesses. As a group, it is normal for them to try to bring the topic of the conversation to their own ground, to return to being the center of attention.


7. They are hypercritical

Insecure people constantly confront others, but since they can't stand feeling inferior, they try to denigrate them. Because of this, they often develop an over-critical attitude that can end up making you feel bad because nothing you say or do will ever be praiseworthy. Sometimes you feel like you are part of a rigged competition since you can never win.

The solution?

Arianna Huffington, American writer and journalist, said: “I don't try to dance better than others, I just try to dance better than myself”. Life is not a competition, even if society has instilled this idea in us. The goal is not to outdo others but to improve yourself more every day. When we understand this, we not only get rid of a great burden, but life also becomes, surprisingly, a lot easier.



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