How Developing A Superiority Complex Keeps You From Staying Stuck In The Past

 Oh I know… we’re taught the opposite.

You’re not better than anyone.

Treat everyone as equals.

Level the playing field.

We’re all supposed to be the same.

And we are.

As far as rights and freedoms, humanity and decency.

But we aren’t as far as how we treat each other always.

I’m not advocating that you go out and run around with a juiced up ego that seeks to crush and destroy.

I don’t want you to treat people like garbage or think you are a better human than anyone else.

But I do want you to recognize your strengths more.

I do want you to have realistic expectations of others so you’re not so disappointed all the time.

I do want you to find a way to reframe your history so you can let it go and move forward with confidence.

In my practice we play with the idea of being a superior being.

In all the good ways.

And never the bad ways.

In ways that infuse both confidence and compassion.

Let’s toss in another cliche’ just for kicks.

Take the high road.

That’s what this is about.

Seriously – we’ve all been there.

We treat others how we want to be treated.

And then we’re disappointed.

Disappointed because we treated them well and they didn’t reciprocate.

Of disappointed because we treated them poorly and they did.

Our relationships with other people often exist as repetitive patterns in our lives and can cause deep wounds.

I get it.

I’ve been there.

I pour a lot into my friendships and relationships.

I am loyal to a fault, I am reliable, consistent, and solid.

I’m the best person to have in your corner during a crisis and equally the best to have being silly with you in a victory.

So when friendships end or relationships dissolve in sudden or negative ways…I can feel hurt and confused.

Abandoned and discarded.

It sucks.

I can allow that to slice through my confidence and fester like a wound or I can reframe the experience and move on.

The former is more natural, the latter takes more effort.

But it’s worth it.

One of the ways people can rise above disappointment in their relationships is by developing a healthy superiority complex.

Because you can’t change or control other people and having expectations they can’t meet is a recipe for frustration and defeat. 

It doesn’t change the reality of your situation but it does change your perception of it.

It makes it easier to move on – it prevents you from staying stuck.

Here are 3 ways you can develop a healthy superiority complex…

1. Lean in heavy on insight.

First of all – this won’t be possible if you haven’t got any.

I’m not kidding.

Some people have not done their own work and personal growth and have zero insight.

In this case, and until you do, it’s a lost cause.

You’ll never be able to see your part in any distress in your life.

You’ll be stuck in perma-victim land.

And it’ll always be everyone else’s fault or ALL your fault or some other modification of those extremes.

Do your work first and know who you are and what you’re made of.

Then, you can have a clearer perspective on yourself and how you are with others.

Accept your contribution in actions, thoughts, patterns of behaviour, that might have contributed to whatever difficulty you’re experiencing right now.

Look at your current relationships and do an inventory of your past ones so that you can see where you continue to make errors in judgment at the very least.

Be humble enough to own that (because you get to feel superior later).

Bookmark it and address it going forward.

Know yourself first before you even begin to assess other people and your relationships with them.

If you haven’t embraced your darkness as well as your light, you’re living in a half delusional state and are bound to repeat patterns indefinitely.

Be responsible for your own development, adjust your perceptions and balance them with wisdom to get a more accurate read – own what’s yours but refuse what is not.

2. Don’t personalize.

In this insight, if you have done your own work, you might realize that you actually didn’t deserve the treatment you got.

In your self analysis you might feel even more confused because it came out of nowhere, or came without provocation.

These are the worst because you can’t even blame yourself.

These can hit the deepest because you wonder if it’s not what you did, but who you are!

And then what?

You’re left feeling like a piece of shit that no one really accepts but leaves behind as defective merchandise or thrown out trash?

Gross.

Trust me, I’ve been there too.

Sometimes, most times, it’s not you….it’s them.

And I’m not just saying that to make you feel better.

People are self serving, self focused and focused on personal gain in so many areas of their lives.

Sometimes you’re just going to be collateral damage.

They’ve taken what they need and are now moving on.

This can be subtle in cases where we just outgrow people over time, but it can be drastic and dramatic and feel like a shock to the system, or a smack in the face.

Either way… stop taking it so personally.

People live in patterns and you’re not the first person they’ve done this to. You won’t be the last either.

How people treat you has nothing to do with you.

If you’ve been treated badly it’s a reflection of the person that did that, not you.

Stop allowing what other people do act like an infection that gets into your sense of self and starts to make it sick.

Reject false opinions of you.

Reject bad behaviour towards you.

Stop owning what other people project onto you as your problem.

Start seeing it for what it is – their problem. Their issues. Their unworked baggage.

And then disengage entirely.

3. Own that you’re superior.

Guess what?

You’re better than them.

If you’ve checked yourself and your insight and if you’ve depersonalized, to move forward you need to know that you’re better than them.

Be honest with this truth and get rid of false humility that doesn’t allow you to embrace this piece for you.

You are better than anyone who treats you poorly because you are better than their emotional deficiencies that allow them to do so.

You’re better than their sub-standard conscience and ethical derangement that would allow them to bully you, deceive you, and disrespect you.

They are a bullet you didn’t dodge but their absence will benefit you in the long run.

Allow the hurt, with a short lifespan.

Ditto on the confusion.

But don’t internalize this for a second.

You are better than them – at least in this way.

Where are you strong? Where are you successful? Where are you kind, generous, accepting, supportive?

Know what you bring to the table and own those strengths.

Let that permeate and internalize.

Take this to the next level.

Not just in this moment, look into your history.

What grudges or pain are you holding on to?

This is common with bullies in relationships and in friendships, in workplace and in some organized political or religious entities.

People that abuse power and try to keep you under their thumb.

Depressed and depleted.

Living under your potential.

Held hostage by events and altercations that happened in the past.

Being stuck in those moments will keep feelings of inadequacy over your head indefinitely.

Instead, own that you are superior.

Own that you are better than, because you’d never treat someone the way that you were treated.

Think of them as deficient, diseased, immature, un-evolved, pathological, or just weak and incapable.

Right now – think of people that have hurt you and how you’ve held onto that and think of them as small, incapable, weaklings that are deficient and lack the capacity to be at your level.

Think of the bullies in your life as sick and diseased.

What would you expect in terms of treatment or apology from someone that had a deteriorating brain disease, or that was psychotic or severely mentally ill?

What would your expectations be of their ability to have insight and make amends?

They’d be nothing.

You would feel sorry for them because they are unwell.

You would feel pity for them because they just haven’t grown up yet.

Aw poor thing…. tutt tutt… head pat… just like babies.

What happens when you reframe these people in your mind this way?

What do you notice change in your body, in your thoughts and emotions?

This can be a powerful exercise in imagination.

It can help you move beyond the hold these people and events have had over your life.

Think like, act like, feel like a superior being.

Set your standards high for your life, your values, and your circle of friends, coworkers, and influencers.

Believe that you deserve the best as you give out the best.

Seek people that are superior beings (not egomaniacs) to be part of your life.

Elevate your standards.

Release the deficient and incapable from your past – they don’t deserve to hold you back a second longer.

Allow hurt feelings to appear and pass through without denting your self esteem and what you know to be true about yourself.

I’ll tell you a truth.

You deserve to have people in your life that are reciprocal, respectful, and consistent in their character, their words and their actions.

You deserve to have people like that – like you – where you get to be imperfect, without judgment  or rejection who treat you as well as you treat them.

Your job is to be the best person you can be – your most superior self and then fill in the blanks around you with people like you in this way.

You’re bound to find a few duds along the way.

Let. Them. Go.

Let them make space for the worthy.

In your mind let them go with compassion that they are not able to exist any differently right now.

This is their way and it doesn’t have to be yours.

Walk through fire as a superior being that you balance with compassion and focus on what you do well and you’re own work.

Sometimes we’re not all the same. Sometimes we choose to be better.

by Tara Miller

Psychotherapist & writer. Helping you live your fullest life using neuroscience based SRT (Self Regulation Therapy). Specializing in general and trauma therapy.

12 thoughts on “How Developing A Superiority Complex Keeps You From Staying Stuck In The Past

  1. Tanya says:

    Great insight here – I agree that developing a superiority complex is essential to making healthy change in your life.f I relate this article greatly to an old circle of friends I recently broke away from. I went through so many emotional processes and dramas for a long time before I could work out my own stuff, elevate my standards and move forward.

  2. David Fitzpatrick says:

    Insightful piece on the value of developing a health superiority complex… To me, the key piece is that we have to have done the necessary work on ourselves to enable us to see events/relationships/circumstances in the proper light and perspective. Without that foundation we are a rudderless ship, AKA HMS Victim.

  3. Gary says:

    Thanks for the post, Tara Miller! you’ve made some excellent points! I know from my own personal experience (leaning in on my own insight :-)) how important it is to to our well being and self esteem to “do your own work” and personal development. This alone makes is so much easier not personalize things. And this of course, leads to greater resilience!

  4. Michael Ferrarella says:

    Nothing wrong with a superiority complex, as long as it doesn’t prevent you from seeking guidance and help when needed. Each of us is working hard in our respective field and we have to believe we are awesome in order to achieve our personal awesome. Be superior!

  5. Nichole Grow says:

    I really slowed down while reading this. I felt everyone of the words and you’re damn right !!! Those of us that do size ourselves up and make an effort to correct defective behaviors ARE BETTER!!! I need to share this with a few people. You are truly a great therapist Tara. I’m glad to know you. You make this world a better place. I don’t always say nice things, I simply know ow to articulate my heart from a place of adoration and appreciation. It’s sincere. You’re one tough cookie and yet so feminine. I wish you success. Most of all I wish everyone who needs this article gets the chance to. Amen!!

  6. John says:

    Very powerfully and positively written. Comfirmation for me, and no doubt many others. I’m glad for writers like you. To be able to have such clarity is rare and needed.

  7. Yogi Wonders {Mary Ann MP} says:

    Great article! Goodness it is only recently that I stopped expecting from others. “Set your standards high for your life, your values, and your circle of friends, coworkers, and influencers.” Surrounding yourself with like-minded people and you’ll never be disappointed. I created my own mantra – When I do not expect, I am in Grace. Thank you!!

  8. Donnie says:

    Awesome! I really like taking the responsibility of self insight before judging others. Also developing the superiority complex out of love for yourself and others literally jusifies it. This helps a lot!

  9. Franco says:

    My take away from the article is ‘rise above’. Rise above our own emotions, and keep them in check. Rise above critics and what others may or may not think about us. The point about reframing your viewpoint Is a great technique. Let our emotions wash over us, and then step outside of our selves and see things as they really are. Which is usually not as bad as we originally thought. Great read.

  10. Jamie says:

    Amazing.

    All too often we are surrounded by people, whether in relationships, family or the workplace who catastrophize and play the victim always expecting others to make the difference for them, never taking ownership of their own shit.

    You should have a superiority complex, look and deal with these people as though they have a mental illness…because they do. It’s not easy, but dealing with them becomes easier once you look at it this way.

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