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Lecture 20

Lecture 20 Notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Marc A Fournier

Persoanlity Lecture 20 Alfred Adler Inferiority is the hallmark of human condition: all people have this sense of inferiority but people differ in what they feel inferior about and to what extent Organism inferiority --> Masculine Protest --> striving for superiority Neurotic Personality: Tension between inferiority, and the measures we take to overcome it (Superiority). Has to deal with very intense feelings of inferiority They become so self-focused and self-absorbed The neurotic person has this STRONG feeling of inferiority and is preoccupied with it. Has this tendency to try to protect oneself from threat They respond differently to threats Various strategies that are used to protect self Rationalizing strategies using ones own symptoms to explain why they cant face ones life challengesdemand a way of excusing himherself from the challenges of life ex: acne Agressive strategies devaluating oneself to gain sympathy from other blaming others, devaluating others Distancing efforts to restrict ones participation in life you dont have the possibility of failing All of us have inferiorities though and we have to develop some way of coping with it Style of Life characteristic way in which we handle, cope with and try to overcome the inferiorities in life. It is universal to all human beings. The way to figure out ones style of life is to ask about earliest memory. Earliest memory will reveal of this basic life attitude that is required It reveals the style with which we handle our inferiority. The memory itself does not matter in terms of content: it could be true or mostly fictional. What matters is that this is the first thing that comes to mind So Adlers greatest contribution was the inferiority complex - early sense of powerlessness that later in life gives rise to strivings for superiority We all also have an innate social interest a communal aspect to human nature - To have a full understanding we need to understand the ways in which they strive for superiority but also connect with other people
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