Superiority Complex: Do Some People's Childhoods Set Them Up To Believe That They Are Better Than Others?
If someone had first started playing a certain sport when they were a child, there is the chance that they would end up being fairly competent as an adult. During their adult years, they could then go onto become a professional sportsman, or it may mean that they teach what they have learned to others.
Through having this ability, it would be normal for one to believe that they are better than a lot of people when it comes to this sport. Along with this, there are likely to be a number of other people who also have the same outlook.
The primary reason it would be normal for them to have this outlook is because what they believe reflects reality. And as to how many people have the same outlook can depend on a number of different factors.
If they were a professional in their chosen sport, there is the chance that thousands or even millions of people will know how good they are. Whereas if they were in a position where they only taught others during their spare time, they are unlikely to have the same amount of exposure.
Down To Earth
When people meet them, they could say that they are down to earth and just like anyone else. In this case, it is going to show that they haven’t let their talent go to their, so to speak.
One way of looking at this would be to say that that they haven’t lost touch with their humanity. No matter how good they, they are still human and this means that they are no better or worse than anyone else.
However, at the same time, they could also come across as though they are better than other people. They could believe that the reason they can do things that other people can’t do is because they are inherently superior.
It could then be said that they have lost touch with their own humanity and it could be normal for them to see themselves as perfect. But due to what they can do, it may mean that some people are able to overlook their behaviour.
They appreciate what they do, so it is then possible for them to tolerate them; they may also end up justifying their behaviour. Through being caught up with how good they are, they could end up being oblivious to the fact that the other person has lost touch with reality.
So if they were to come across people who were able to see what the other person was like, one might end up defending them. This could be a sign that they have idealised the other person.
However, while someone can believe that they are better than others through being good at a certain sport; they can also have this outlook without having any kind of sporting ability. As opposed to having this ability, they could be good at dancing, singing and/or acting, or they could be seen as physically attractive, among other things.
Through having one of these aspects or a number of them, they could act as though they are superior to others. Their outlook could also be validated by the society they live in, and one way this takes place is via the mainstream media.
In today’s world, the media gives a lot of exposure to so-called celebrities, and while some of these people have achieved something significant, a lot of them haven’t. Yet regardless of this, these people are often put on a pedestal.
It can be normal for people to believe that actors and singers, for instance, are better than other people and along with this, they can also have the same outlook when it comes to people who are described as being ‘physically attractive’. And while some of these celebrities are not going to be caught up in all this; there are going to be some who are.
So through being exposed to what the mainstream media covers, one can end up having their sense of superiority validated. For example, if one believes that their appearance makes them better than others, the only need to read a magazine or to read a paper online.
Yet it would be inaccurate to say that the media is to blame here, as there is often far more to it. For one thing, it is often what takes place during one’s childhood years that has the biggest impact on them.
In The Beginning
How they are treated during this time is going to have a big effect on how they see themselves. If one was abused as a child, they can end up feeling completely worthless and as a way to deal with this pain; they can end up going to the other extreme.
What can also create a sense of superiority is when one was treated as though they were better than others during their early years. This is not to say that they won’t have had moments where they were treated badly; what it means is that this may have been the exception as opposed to the rule.
Although this would mean that they one wouldn’t have ended up feeling worthless, it is still going to set them up to experience problems as time goes by. Through being treated in this way, they are going to be falsely empowered.
The first person who is primarily abused will lose touch with their healthy shame in order to feel good about themselves and the second person will also lose touch with their healthy shame as a result of being treated as though they are more-than human. Therefore, even though each person can have a radically different experience during their formative years, they can both end up developing the same outlook.
In order for one to come back down to earth and to realise they are no better or worse than others, it will be important for them to get back in touch with their healthy shame. This could be a time where they will need to process toxic shame, as well as other emotions.
The assistance of a therapist and/or a support group may be needed here.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.