Website owner:  James Miller

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Attacking an inferiority complex by rational argument

   Q. Can one hope to help a person with an inferiority complex by 
      rational argument, by the use of reason?  Can one hope to 
      convince the person, by argument, that his general mental 
      powers are as great as those of anyone, and thus replace his 
      general self-doubts and feelings of lack of confidence with 
      a general, stable, buoyant spirit of confidence?  How would 
      one attempt it?

   A. Whether one could hope to be successful or not in removing 
      an inferiority complex through rational argument is a good 
      question.  I don't know, but have my doubts.  One could 
      attempt to do it through the use of the following types of 

      - Stress that every person is very complicated with many 
         facets and abilities and everyone has a variety of 
         strengths and weaknesses. 

      - List different kinds of abilities and help the person 
         analyze himself and find out in which ones he is strong 
         and in which he is weak.

      - Cite examples of important, successful people who had 
         definite strengths and point out some of their 

      - Cite examples of important people who had inferiority 
         complexes to show that inferiority feelings do not imply 
         a lack of ability.

      - Get the person to re-examine his personal values and 
         priorities as to what is important in life.  Show him 
         that goodness, honesty, simplicity and truth are more 
         important than any mental ability and that a good, 
         honest, moral person is much to be preferred to a highly 
         gifted one;  that we ought not worry about the opinions 
         of society and people --- only of God.

   Aug 1977

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