Superiority Complex: Why Do Some People Think They Are Better Than Others?

By Oliver JR Cooper in Abundance, Awareness, Forgiveness, Happiness, Intention, Learning, Prosperity, Success, attitude on March 20th, 2015 / No Comments

If one was to watch athletics on TV or at a stadium, they would soon see that not everyone is on the same level. Within each race, there will be some athletes who are at the front and there will be others who nowhere near the front.

In this instance, it is clear that some of the athletes are better than others. One is not being ‘politically incorrect’ by saying this; they are making a simple observation. Very few athletes break records or win medals and even if they do win a medal at one event, it doesn’t mean they will go on to win anymore.

Human Beings

So although each athlete that participates is a human being, if one only focused on their performance and ignored their appearance, it might be hard for them to see how they are all from the same planet. It could be said that this is because some people are born this way and/or it could be put down to how hard they train.

However, even though some athletes are better than others, it doesn’t mean that they are inherently better. At the end of the day, they are human beings who have come into the world in the same way and who will go out of the world in the same way.

Everyday Life

Yet, one doesn’t need to watch athletics in order to see that human beings are not always the same when it comes to what they can and can’t do. When one has the ability to do something in a way that others can’t, it can cause them to believe they are superior.

Having said that, even if one doesn’t have certain ability or talent, it doesn’t mean they won’t have the same outlook. What they can or can’t do is then irrelevant; as one is above others and that’s all there is to it.


Based on their outlook, they have something that other people don’t have, or what very few people have. The people they associate with could also have the same outlook or they might spend their time around people who are ‘below’ them.

If one was to spend their time people who are think they are better than others, it might support what they think, but there is also the chance that this could make them feel uncomfortable. It could all depend on how convinced they are of their superiority and how they feel in any given moment.


This could cause them to come across as arrogant or they could come across in such a way that people actually believe they are better than others. One reason why people would believe this is because of what they have achieved.

Through other people putting them on a pedestal, it reinforces their sense of superiority. When one has this outlook, they are going to want to block out anything that could invalidate how they see themselves.


One’s sense of superiority may also be something that is supported by the society they live in. This could relate to what they look like, their career, their level of education and/or who their parents are.

If one looks a certain way, they can end up believing they are better than others form a very early age. The reason they would believe this is because they are likely to be treated differently.  As to whether they get caught up in this might all depend on the guidance they receive from their caregivers.

Down To Earth

But while there will be people who think they are better than other people because of these factors and many others, there will also be people who are still in touch with their humanity. In this case, it won’t matter what they look like or what they have achieved.

When someone acts as if they are better than others, it shows that they are out of touch with their emotions. This is because when one is in touch with how they feel, it will be a lot harder for them to act as if they are better than others. One of the emotions that keep human beings in check is shame.

Two Types

Through having the ability to experience shame, one will realise that they are simply human; they are not above others and neither are they below them. When one doesn’t have the ability to experience shame, it can cause them to disconnect from what makes them human.

This is something that can take place when one has experienced what is often called toxic shame. Toxic shame will cause one to feel as though they deeply flawed and as though they are less-than human.


Healthy shame will cause one to feel bad, but they won’t feel as though they are inherently bad and as time passes, the experience they are having is likely to pass. Yet, when it comes to toxic shame, one will believe that there is nothing they can do about what is taking place within them and the experience will stay with them.

It won’t be just a feeling or something they believe, it will be who they are. And due to how unbearable it will be, it will be normal for one to disconnect from the experience and to go from one extreme to another.

Above Others

This will mean that not only will one be out of touch with their toxic shame; they will also be out of touch with their healthy shame. It will then be normal for them to believe that they are better than others.

If they were to let go of this outlook, they would have to face what is within them and this would be overwhelming. When one thinks they are better than others, they are protecting themselves from what is taking place at a deeper level.


Toxic shame can appear as a result of some kind of abuse and while it could relate to what has happened in one’s adult years, it could also be the result of what happened during their childhood. If one wants to come back down to earth and to realise they are only human, it will be important for them to reach out for support.

The external support will provide one with the acceptance that they need in order to let go of their toxic shame. This will allow them to realise that they are not inherently flawed. Another important part will be for one to grieve their unmet childhood needs.

This support can come from a therapist, healer, support group and/or a trusted friend.


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