Originally Posted by Thome23
Compensation is a strategy whereby one covers up, consciously or unconsciously, weaknesses, frustrations, desires, or feelings of inadequacy or incompetence in one life area through the gratification or (drive towards) excellence in another area. Compensation can cover up either real or imagined deficiencies and personal or physical inferiority. Positive compensations may help one to overcome one's difficulties. On the other hand, negative compensations do not, which results in a reinforced feeling of inferiority. Compensation is how we use it and grab it as our opportunity to deal with a certain situation in our lives. There are two kinds of negative compensation:
Overcompensation, characterized by a superiority goal, leads to striving for power, dominance, self-esteem, and self-devaluation.
Undercompensation, which includes a demand for help, leads to a lack of courage and a fear for life.
An inferiority complex is a lack of self-worth, a doubt and uncertainty, and feelings of not measuring up to standards. It is often subconscious, and is thought to drive afflicted individuals to overcompensate, resulting either in spectacular achievement or extreme asocial behavior. In modern literature, the preferred terminology is "lack of covert self-esteem". For many, it is developed through a combination of genetic personality characteristics and personal experiences.