The Inferiority/Superiority Dance: What It Really Is and How to Stop It

There’s a dance that often goes on in relationships that is REALLY destructive to the love that exists between two people if you don’t get wise to it.

We’re talking about a “one-up/one down” relationship drama or an Inferiority/Superiority dance.

Here’s an example of how this inferiority/superiority dance often plays out in real life…

Pat didn’t realize how superior she felt to her husband when it came to getting chores done around the house until she was forced to lay on the couch for over a week after minor surgery (which wasn’t so minor to her).

She also hadn’t realized how her micromanaging actions had been building resentment and disconnection in her marriage until she couldn’t do what she normally had done.

It wasn’t that she thought of her husband as inferior to her…

She really loved his gifts, contributions and genius, especially when it came to remodeling or fixing around the house.

She see this clearly and she always appreciated him.

But she could see how her feelings of superiority shined through because she’d always been the “project manager” in not only remodeling project but in everyday chores that had to be done “her way” and in her timeframe.

It all changed after her surgery.

She had to consciously let go of the need for when and how these chores were done because she couldn’t get off the couch.

Pat’s husband had cleaned the toilets at her request and kept the kitchen clean…

The way HE does it, which isn’t the same as how she would do it.

She had to be ok with all of that.

When Pat asked him to work outside and cut back some bushes, he didn’t respond and didn’t do it.

When she asked why he didn’t, he said that it didn’t need to be done yet.

A different perspective for Pat to re-consider someone else’s timeframe.

When her daughter was making food the day she had surgery, Pat didn’t go into the kitchen with her to make sure she knew where things were as would have been her habit…

Even though her daughter had worked in her kitchen many, many times.

Pat realized it was actually freeing for her to receive help, allowing others to do things the way they were called to do them.

Often it does take a health crisis or another kind of life changing event to cause us to pause and see unhealthy patterns that we’ve been perpetuating for maybe many years.

But you don’t have to go through a life altering event to see our patterns that keep you from the closeness and connection you want, desire and in some cases crave.

The truth is that creating yourself as superior or even inferior is just a habit that started showing up in your relationships and life when you saw that this little dance could help you get what you thought you wanted

But if you’re willing, you can see that making yourself superior or inferior to anyone else no longer serves you and interferes with connection.

And you realize that this “one up/one down” or “inferiority/superiority” dance is something that never ultimately brings you true love or happiness.

When you see the patterns in front of you, if you’re open to looking at the truth looking back at you…

–You can change the dance.

–You can recognize the feelings of inferiority and superiority, however satisfying or disturbing they are.

–You can refuse to buy into the thoughts and stories that created those feelings.

–You can see the payoff for keeping the dance alive…

–And you can also see what’s not only possible but inevitable if you let it go.

Anytime you make yourself inferior or superior, it’s just a mask for your fears of not getting your needs met.

Love and relationships don’t have to be so hard.

The two of us are relationship and life coaches who help people increase the love and end the struggle.


If you’d like help stopping your inferiority/superiority dance or in creating the love you really want,
contact us here for a free conversation…

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