It is easy to develop a specific mindset that makes you think you are better than everyone else.
That kind of competitiveness can start from an early age, developing through education and later at work and in your career. The need to be better than others and to beat the competition in every sense has never been more pronounced than today.
However, this also negatively affects relationships with others and the overall well-being of a person with such a way of thinking, such as you.
Why do you want to be better than everyone? Because you are too competitive, you fall under the influence of today’s comparative culture; you fear failure and constantly need validation from others.
What all these reasons have in common is that they are all driven by inner insecurities.
You realize that this way of thinking makes you more distant from people because no one wants to have such a person around, and it also creates additional anxiety and pressure for you.
Continue reading this article because we will explain in more detail the superiority complex, the reasons that cause it, and how to deal with it.
What is a Superiority Complex?
To continue further, we need to explain this term better.
What is behind your need to be better than others and your belief that you are better than others?
Must you have heard of the term superiority complex, right?
Superiority complex is a term first introduced by psychiatrist Alfred Adler and represents a psychological defense mechanism.
What is that person defending against in this case? From own inferiority, insecurity, and fear that others will notice that.
Therefore, such a person will be arrogant, critical, and controlling toward others.
Superiority complex and inferiority are the different manifestations of the same issues.
Did you notice that? People who present themselves as always the best at everything usually turn out to be the most unconfident.
So, people who need to talk and brag constantly are often the most insecure.
4 Reasons Why You Want To Be Better Than Others
Have you asked yourself, “Why do I always need to be superior?”
Where does this need to be better than others come from? Here are the potential reasons:
1. You Are Too Competitive
Were you that kid who always cried when you lost a sports game? Or did you feel like tearing up your test results at school because you didn’t have a perfect score?
That natural competitiveness in us is not necessarily a bad thing. Well, that is the essence of the success of all athletes.
But this significant competitiveness can lead to various problems in life.
You know what they say, “He did everything to win.” Where is the line drawn between effort and healthy competitive spirit and toxic competitiveness?
That line gets drawn when you start using all sorts of dirty tricks to win and adopt the mentality of “stepping over everyone just to get to success.”
Two reasons you need to fight that attitude is that even when you get that success, you’ve done everything for, it won’t taste as sweet in the end as you’d hoped.
As for the second reason, imagine how huge your disappointment will be if you fail.
2. You Need Validation From Others
Why are you obsessed with what others think about you?
It would help if you didn’t depend on other people’s opinions, but you can’t get out of that circle of thinking.
We can safely say that you are addicted to the compliments and praises of others. It is your primary motivation to be better than everyone.
You always need to impress others.
This need for validation can also create a certain revenge mentality. If others have disappointed you in the past because they didn’t believe in you, and now you deliberately want to prove to them that you are better than them.
Because you haven’t left that need to impress your parents, who were too controlling towards you. You haven’t left the past behind, and it’s all about proving to your parents that you’re better than them.
You can also get lost in your quest for validation and start bragging too much. Nobody likes egotistical show-offs.
People will quickly discover you lying and presenting yourself in a better light than you are.
3. You Have a Fear of Failure
A perfectionist mindset may be the reason for this fear.
We can find the root of this in your parents, who forced you too much to be the best in everything, and your growing up was like one big competition with other kids.
Because of this, you believe that anything less than perfect is a failure, and you are never satisfied with your accomplishments.
Another reason for developing this mentality is the taste of defeat in the past.
What if you didn’t have the support of your parents in the past, and you had to struggle for everything in your life? You were the lowest, did the most challenging jobs, and worked hard to get where you are today.
Such “from zero to hero” stories are inspiring, and it’s great if you manage to improve your life.
But the problem is if that paralyzing fear that everything you’ve achieved might fail constantly makes you want to be better than others more and more.
Isn’t it the point to enjoy your accomplishments sometimes instead of constantly wanting new ones, driven by the fear of losing everything?
4. You Fell Under Comparison Culture
The general impression is that this toxic comparison with others is more pronounced than ever today.
And that is true because people are too focused on others instead of themselves.
Social networks, television, and commercials in which we see people who seem to have it all contributed a lot to that.
Everyone sends us motivational messages and tells us to be a better version of ourselves while bragging about their expensive cars and enjoying luxury travels.
And let’s not talk about how many followers they have on Instagram and the likes under each photo. Does that trigger instant jealousy in you?
If you are too much on the materialistic side, things like this will trigger you even more.
Before, people only compared themselves to neighbors, friends, and relatives, and now they also have some people from social networks who present themselves as perfect in everything.
Unfortunately, all this also affects you because you fall under the general narrative that reigns in society. Instead of focusing on your development, you obsessively want to present yourself as better than others.
How to Overcome The Need to be Better Than Everyone?
The fact that you have identified the root cause and realized that your superiority is causing problems in your life is already the first step because you have accepted that you need to change your behavior.
Here are the next steps:
1. Recognize the Negative Impact on Others
If you have the mentality that you aggressively want to be better than others, others will not enjoy your company too much.
You must have noticed that your friends started to avoid you and that all your friendships usually end quickly.
Have you noticed that maintaining a long-term relationship is also hard for you? This is nothing strange because no one feels comfortable next to a partner who always thinks they are better than them.
How to change the negative impact on others:
- Don’t use lies and mind games;
- Don’t see everything around you as competition;
- Treat people with respect and help them;
- Don’t use people as a tool to reach your goal;
- Don’t judge other people;
- Don’t minimize the successes of others to increase your own.
2. Recognize The Negative Impact on Yourself
How much is your obsessive desire to be better than all the stress and anxiety? And just how many disappointments did some of your failures bring you?
Do you sometimes feel that you can never relax but constantly have to set new goals to prove that you are better than others?
All this is a serious blow to your well-being and mental health.
How to change the negative impact on yourself:
- Practice gratitude;
- Set practical goals instead of unrealistic ones;
- Don’t compare yourself to others;
- Don’t confuse confidence with superiority;
- Learn to accept defeat and learn from it.
Most Importantly – Overcome Superior Tendency
“Superiority has an inferiority complex.”
Change is not easy, but it starts with you.
Instead of being superior, you should aim to be confident.
Confident people don’t need to be better than others. When confident people get criticized, they get curious, while a superior person feels offended.
Remember that you are in charge of your train of thought. You cannot change public opinion, but you can change your way of thinking.
We should indeed be the best version of ourselves, but believe us; it is not the version that wants to be better than everyone in every way.
“Whenever you feel superior or inferior to anyone, that’s the ego in you”– Eckhart Tolle