Superiority Complex

I discussed inferiority complex in a previous post in which I explained what it is, how it negatively affects us and how to effectively deal with it. However there is another type of complex which is not as well known, yet probably even more common: Superiority complex. 

What Is Superiority Complex?

A person with superiority complex often has an underlying inferiority complex at play, and so usually has feelings of inadequacy and being a failure. However they then try to channel this out by acting superior and overly dominant around others. This makes them feel like they are not only in control, but they are above, and better than others in everything. This superficial power which is actually illusionary, gives them false over confidence. It’s a bitter lie they tell themselves, and believe in too. A lie which eventually wreaks havoc in both their life, and everyone’s lives around them. 

Lets get more into the signs which are displayed by someone with superiority complex. Keep in mind that not all of these signs need to be present as it depends on how long they have had the superiority complex; as well as the varying degrees of anger, resentment and lack of self esteem that they have under gone. 

  • Arrogant.
  • Overly dominant.
  • Aggressive (verbal, physical or both).
  • Bullying others to get their way (verbal, physical or both).
  • Extreme and intense reactions to criticism. 
  • Over defensive and will start an argument over anything which isn’t in agreement with them. 
  • Manipulative. Will play mind games, lie or use intimidation to influence others.
  • Feeds off of attention and flattery from people. This is like energy for them. It keeps them going.

These are the most typical signs they will exhibit and if you notice: all these signs are the same as narcissistic behaviour. That’s because superiority complex and narcissism go hand in hand. A narcissist will do the very same things mentioned above. 


Now lets take a look at the deeper things that are secretly happening within this person: 

Just how inferiority complex leads to other psychological pathologies such as depression and anxiety; superiority complex too brings about negative consequences of its own such as anger management, lacking empathy and therefore not being able to connect with people on a deeper emotional level, which eventually leads to loneliness. They too can suffer from social anxiety because they secretly and constantly worry about what other people think of them. The desperate need to always look and act perfect around other people does eventually take it’s toll. Superiority complex sufferers are prone to self harm and suicidal tendencies as a way of releasing the inner anguish that they experience and endure. Maintaining close relationships and friendships is difficult for our superiority complex sufferer too, as displaying any real emotion is terrifying for them. They hate to show any vulnerability because they think it makes them look weak and not in control of themselves. As you can see, this person is a victim of their own mind because they have no freedom to express their true selves or their real feelings and their identity is a big messy blur. 

Inferiority complex isn’t always the cause..

There can be other reasons such as this person receiving excessive compliments and flattery during their childhood, which instilled arrogance in them as they became older. It could also stem from abuse whether verbal or physical, which has made them choose to ‘rebel’ against everyone with a constant need to overpower them, as a ‘retribution’ for the abuse they underwent. In their mind that gives them satisfaction as they think it demonstrates to the world that they are stronger and better now. 

Unlike inferiority complex, people who have superiority complex either don’t realise they have it, or more commonly, they don’t want to admit they do because it means they have to admit something is wrong with them. Which goes back to the point of not wanting to look vulnerable in any way.

What if you realise you have superiority complex? Or on the other hand, what if you know someone who has it? I will write two seperate posts soon answering both these questions in detail. For now, I hope this post was informative. 

24 thoughts on “Superiority Complex

  1. So glad to find this blog and have appreciated reading your insights. Please check out my blog at searchforbalance.blog, as I post about similar psychology issues. Thanks for these posts!

    1. Thankyou for reading my post and I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂 as for your blog, your posts are very in depth and in detail which is great. Followed!

      1. I wholeheartedly agree! It’s lovely to network with like minded bloggers and readers alike and discover what they have to offer. Very glad we met too!

      2. Do you have any other suggested pages for me to check out? I am new onto the wordpress space and am trying to reach out to others. Any suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated.

  2. This is the issue most of the abusers in my life have had. It was impossible to live with them without constantly having your defenses up because you never knew when they would lash out in anger or even what caused the anger in many cases. Great post!

    1. That is interesting to know because nearly all abusers and criminals have narcissistic/ superiority complex traits. And depending on how lost they are, they’ll either be annoying but not dangerous. Or they’ll be abusive and dangerous to be around. You seemed to have experienced the latter.

      Thank you for not only reading the post, but for sharing your experience!

      1. Yeah, they could tear me down in an instant and many times I wouldn’t understand what I’d said or done to elicit their attacks. I eventually was out of all the relationships and that made for the best protection.

      2. They are extremely manipulative, and do make you feel like you’re walking on eggshells. Well I’m glad that you are far away from it now and you have moved on.

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  4. Such an informative and easy to understand post. I do some work around bullying, harassment & discrimination and domestic abuse/violence in different areas of my life and I’ve seen the correlation to inferiority complex in many of those instances. As you say, some people don’t realise they have this complex. The challenge is highlighting this behaviour without exacerbating some of the signs you listed above, e.g. extreme reaction to criticism, over-defensiveness.

    Thanks for posting. I’m new to WordPress so I’l be tucking into your other posts as the excerpts show they’ll be just as informative and interesting 🙂

    1. Thank you! Welcome to WordPress, you’ll love it here! And that’s really interesting, what kind of work do you do if you don’t mind me asking? 🙂

      1. Thank you, I already feel like I’ve landed into a huge, friendly circle 🙂 The majority of what I do focuses on diversity and inclusion which encompasses a whole range of issues. I also trained as a listening volunteer for a mental health charity and am now heavily involved in grassroots youth football, ensuring that football’s accessible to all. I love raising awareness and helping people understand how they can support others 🙂

      2. Ooh you do so much! That’s very interesting to hear. Clearly you have first experience in mental health. Raising awareness and helping people…snap! That’s precisely why I created this blog. I’m glad you’re enjoying it here 🙂

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