PureInsight | November 14, 2005
[PureInsight.org] An inferiority complex (or self-despising) is not the same as humbleness. As surprising as it might sound, but it is actually closely related to conceitedness. It is hard to say which of the two comes first, but they are indeed very closely related. A conceited person thinks highly of himself, always wants to gain the upper hand and shows himself off, and is unrealistic and impractical. Such a person seems arrogant and full of himself; but in reality, he is emotionally weak and easily frustrated. As a result of being unable to satisfy his arrogant mentality, he can easily move to the other end of the scale – being self-despising or feeling inferior.
Compared with the wisdom of a humble person who dislikes showing off, a person with inferiority complex eagerly shows off his small achievements in order to satisfy his ego. This is the time when his inferiority complex rapidly turns into conceitedness.
Because a person with inferiority complex always thinks of himself and pays too much attention to others' opinions of him, he is easily influenced and can therefore easily make irrational and drastic decisions. This person is easily frustrated and at times of difficulty, unable to break away from the vicious cycles of feeling more and more self-despising and inferior. His world becomes smaller and smaller and, in the end, there is only he himself in the world. To put it directly, inferior complex is caused by thinking too much about oneself.
So, does it mean that we don't have to care about ourselves? No, we do need to care about ourselves, but not excessively. I know an elderly woman. One day she and her grown-up son were going to attend a function. She tried her dresses on one by one and asked for her son's opinion repeatedly. Initially, the son gave his opinion half-heartedly; in the end, he was a bit fed-up and said: "Mum, to tell you the truth, it doesn't matter which dress you wear. People won't pay any attention to it anyway." It was rightly said. Let's think about it, nowadays, do people really mind what you wear? Unless your behaviour is affecting others, doing good or evil or being sympathetic or harmful to others, no one really cares.
No matter whether one has conceited or an inferiority complex, it is harmful to our character; and if we want to get rid of these attributes, we must care less about ourselves and think more of others. When you are really there for others, you will be respected and loved by others; at which point, you won't be so concerned about what others say about you. That's because you've come out of your own little world and are able to rationally do things according to your own principles.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2005/10/25/34352.html