A new study says people who think they have an inferiority complex are actually more likely to engage in negative behaviors than those who think their traits are beneficial.
In fact, people who have a self esteem companion say they’re more likely than those with a self respect partner to report experiencing negative emotions.
It’s part of a growing body of research that shows self esteem is not just about self esteem.
The latest study found that people with self esteem are more likely, even when controlling for other variables, to engage more in negative emotions than people who don’t have a friend with that trait.
The research, led by Dr. Mark Grosvenor, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, also found that, when people with a friend’s trait report being treated unfairly, their own self esteem suffers, but that they don’t feel more likely as a result.
“The findings demonstrate the importance of having a social network of support and confidence with people with high self esteem traits, especially when these traits may be associated with higher rates of depression and anxiety,” Grosvelor said in a statement.
“While there is an increasing amount of research showing the importance to maintaining healthy relationships, these findings suggest that the positive qualities associated with these traits can also benefit others and increase the well-being of individuals.”
The findings have important implications for health care providers who help people with anxiety and depression, including treating them in a way that fosters their self esteem and boosts their sense of self worth.
“It’s not surprising that we would have higher rates [of anxiety] in people who are socially isolated,” said Dr. Andrew Smith, a clinical psychologist at Johns Hopkins University and co-author of the study.
“What’s surprising is that we don’t see any difference in those who have these types of relationships with other people, which is probably due to a cultural component.”
The study included nearly 3,000 adults from the U.S. and the U