"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt
This quote was a long-time favorite, particularly because it seemed to stem from a space of encouragement and empowerment. While well-intentioned, this quote is unhelpful because...
Feeling inferior, whether self-induced or not, is not a conscious decision.
No one consents to feeling poorly about themselves, and believing they have a say in it only serves to make them feel worse.
It does not appreciate that an inferiority complex emanates from a limited identity stemming from subconscious attachments to painful experiences.
While good-spirited, there's a hint of defensiveness to this quote, suggested it's rooted in fear emanating from the author's pain. This is not bad, it just IS, but due to it, it doesn't allow others to recognize their wholeness.
Here's a reframe to get the authors points across and validate the reader: "No one can make you feel inferior unless that's how you already see yourself." This reframe may not appear to be a constructive alternative; however, it places the consumer on a self-discovery path to embrace their emotional reality, rather than tell them how they should or should not feel.
More often than not, we feel inferior when someone validates what we already believe about ourselves.
"You either walk inside your story and own it, or you stand outside your story, hustling for your worthiness." Brene Brown