What is the difference between a superiority complex and high self esteem? I could write that if you don't know then you are probably to stupid to understand, and that would indicate that I am probably harboring a superiority complex!
A superiority complex is a condition where one thinks he is better than others and acts upon that assumption. The American Heritage Medical Dictionary gives a double definition, with a possible cause for a superiority complex. It is 1. An exaggerated feeling of being superior to others.2. A psychological defense mechanism in which a person's feelings of superiority counter or conceal his or her feelings of inferiority. Basically the complex means that you think and act as if you are much better or "superior" to others, and you really aren't!
High Self esteem is totally different. Self esteem is defined on the website Answers.com as "an important component of emotional health, self-esteem encompasses both self-confidence and self-acceptance. It is the way individuals perceive themselves and their self-value." The definition goes on for several columns and gets very detailed. What it boils down to is high self esteem means that you have a high level of confidence in yourself and are happy with what you can do. It is considered a positive statement, individuals with high self esteem are successful and happy.
The differences between the two are vast. The superiority complex is often hiding feelings of inferiority and a person suffering from this tends to be belittling and degrading to others. They can often become racists, domineering and bullies, and they don't even realize it! The person with high self esteem canm often do many things, and better than others, but does not try to dominate or put them down. They are just confident in their abilities. They will often help others by sharing their knowledge and abilities.
The superiority complex is something that needs to be dealt with and removed, it is a psychological condition that is harmful to the individual as they will have trouble with relationships. High self esteem is a resault of self confidence and happines with yourself, it is something to be encouraged and promoted!
Can a superiority complex be converted to high self esteem, or will you by breaking down the superiority complex harm the self esteem? Now that is a good question!