Having a poor self-image is a leading cause of stress and anxiety

There was this movie shown way back in 1992 called “Single White Female.” The main characters are played by two famous actresses named Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh. The character “Allie” is a successful software designer in the “Big Apple” who always found her climb up the career ladder and her personal life as both less than ideal. After asking her boyfriend to move out of the apartment, Allie opened up some space for a possible roommate. After a succession of possible roommates whom she found to be “weirdos”, she was able to settle on having shy lady named “Hedy” as a companion, albeit a paying companion in the apartment.

Hedy turned out to be another weirdo. Hedy became so obsessed with Allie that she even copied her looks, way of dressing, and literally assumed Allie’s identity. Somehow, Hedy found security in assuming the relatively happier life of Allie.

The character of Hedy actually demonstrates the loneliness and perils of a person suffering from inferiority complex. This inferiority complex is nothing new or rare. In fact, many women especially young girls are experiencing this form of low self-esteem. An inferiority complex is a nagging feeling of never being able to be “good enough.” It is being so “uncomfortable” with how one looks, speaks, or moves. It is a total lack of appreciation for one’s self. Inferiority complex is an extreme lack of self-esteem, self-confidence, and having a constant feeling of inadequacy.


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For some people their concept of self-worth is based on the affirmation of other people. Affirmation, or confirmation, in the form of a friendly smile, a handshake or simple “hello” decides whether a person with an inferiority complex would feel good about himself or herself. The need for social approval is one underlying needs of persons with low self-esteem. When a person lacks social skills, he or she develops a self-pity mode which may eventually lead to stress and anxiety. According to Alfred Adler, a well known Austrian psychologist, “the inferiority complex” is derived from physical disability or from faulty relationships. This complex is a “need” to validate one’s self.

Some of the causes of inferiority complex include:

l Socio-Economic Causes – This is a common cause and mostly felt by people from a lower socio-economic class or people who worked for wealthy families. Seeing other people living in higher standards makes the person from the lower class blame himself for not being successful or for not being able to provide a better life for his family.

l Physical Causes – This results from a physical defect or lack of appreciation for one’s physical appearance. Some people feel inferior for being overweight, being too skinny, or being too short. Because of their physical conditions, these people think of themselves as less important than others.

To defeat the ill-effects of low self-esteem, here are some tips to feel better about yourself:

1. Never compare yourself to others
2. Work along with others, be a team player
3. Participate in worthwhile activities
4. Don’t neglect yourself-you can improve yourself through going to school, attending workshops, seminars
5. Focus on the positive side of your life- be thankful for what you have
6. Read famous people who had overcome their failures and adversities especially people who becomes rich by sheer hard work and determination

If these tips don’t help, your last resort may probably be to get proper counseling or in extreme cases get the advice and services of a psychiatrist.


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