One of the most common psychological conditions is often referred to by the term “complex.” This is joined by other diverse names which are chosen according to the characteristics identified in the behavior of the affected people. That is to say, basically a complex is a set of unconscious behaviors, emotions and feelings that condition the way of behaving and thinking.
Then it can be affirmed that the suffering of a complex influences and shapes the personality. The origin is found in previously lived experiences, mainly those that occurred during childhood. The first time this psychological condition was formally mentioned was from the theory proposed by Carl G. Jung . Later, the integrated zero would gain greater relevance as one of the main concepts used in Freudian psychoanalysis.
There is a wide diversity of complexes that until now have been identified, however only a small part of them are better known. To this group belong to those who have been assigned the name of historical or mythological characters or even names taken from protagonists belonging to literary works . The selection depends on the main characteristics that describe these characters and how they can be associated with a particular complex.
One of them is called Aristotle’s complex, also known as the complex of people who believe they are very intelligent or are always right. In other words, it is about the development of an identifiable behavior due to the need to impose opinions and ideas without taking others into account. Below we will delve more into this topic according to its characteristics and its causes.
What is the Aristotle complex?
The Aristotle Complex is a psychological condition described as a set of unconscious behaviors and feelings, which make the person feel that they are always right. Before any person or situation they will always try to impose their ideas , even when these cannot be verified or are adjusted to the circumstances.
These individuals are generally observed to have extensive and intense confrontations with other people when they try to prove themselves right. In the more developed cases, they could even behave rebelliously when they fail to impose themselves on other people. It can be applied to the educational, scientific or sports plane for example; Any moment or context tube will serve as a sufficient excuse to try to occupy the role of the one who possesses all the wisdom.
What is the origin of its name?
The origin of the name of this complex is found in the historical character of vital importance for science and philosophy who was Aristotle. It was from an eminent Greek philosopher who lived during the 4th century BC. C, was also a disciple of another important philosopher named Plato. Both would create the foundations of most of the sciences and various branches of philosophy that are still influential today. Likewise Aristotle is recognized for having been the tutor of Alexander the Great.
According to the stories that are told about this philosopher, it is stated that he had several and intense discussions with his teacher in an attempt to impose his theories or opinions. He maintained a different vision when compared with the template given by Plato, especially in relation to human nature. Some historical records describe him as a person who always tried to prove that his ideas were correct.
This is how the name with which this psychological condition is known arises, describing exactly how the behavior of diagnosed patients is. These are people who always try to impose their ideals on any person or circumstance. They may even believe that they are always right and sometimes manifest an obsession to outperform others in any area.
What are their characteristics?
The main characteristic of people with this complex is observed in their arrogant behavior. You can hardly get these people to bow down and acknowledge other contributions or good ideas. If a comparison is made with the real historical person, these patients will also be rebellious with their teachers, superiors or equals .
Some psychologists maintain that the behavior can be considered as exaggerated and intense. They always have the irrational need to impose their criteria even when it does not fit reality or the context where it is trying to include. They will try at all costs to demonstrate that they are absolutely right, even if this means confronting people who might have more knowledge or experience.
The reasoning of these individuals in some cases may not have sufficient grounds to support them. But this does not mean that they are aware of it and will continue to believe that they are correct. This obsession to surpass others and believe oneself better is difficult to identify, without the help of third parties. They can be described as people who possess healthy self-esteem, but it really is a behavior that has developed as a self-defense resource.
Other common characteristics that are integrated into his personality are self-centeredness and the belief that he considers himself intellectually superior. Consequently they will always assume that their opinions or ideas are the only ones that should be taken into account. They hardly accept when they make some kind of mistake, instead they will look for excuses to validate it.
Practical examples. How is it identified?
Examples of people with Aristotle complex there is great diversity. In the workplace, they tend to present themselves magnifying their resume , adding information that may not be consistent with their real strengths or achievements. Depending on the circumstances in which they have interfered, they will try to occupy the most important or superior role within the hierarchy of the work group.
In other areas such as academic or social, they tend to identify as people who do not pay attention to others because they consider that their opinions are not relevant. In addition, it is usual that they are constantly rectifying the ideas proposed by others , classifying them as wrong and without any reason. These criticisms have no basis but even so they externalize them. In some cases they maintain a position contrary to that of the majority.
They commonly describe themselves as intellectually superior compared to anyone. They suffer conflicts to empathize and get along with other people , the most usual thing is that they choose to relate to those they consider to be on their side. In addition, they prefer to select high positions as bosses and seek to associate with those who have great university degrees.
The complex is identified when the affected people are excessively critical when it comes to validating the opinion of third parties . They tend to have intense confrontations with other people due to their ideas and points of view, which may be contrary and have no support whatsoever. They will also try to silence the opinions of others by setting limits because their “truth is absolute.”
Some experts believe that this complex can transform into another so-called superiority complex . Both have similar characteristics in terms of behavior and way of thinking, where it is more prevalent to believe oneself better than the others. For this reason, they are perceived as arrogant and arrogant individuals, but latent discomfort is also observed when they receive criticism.
What are your causes?
Most psychologists find experiences lived during childhood as one of the possible causes for the development of this complex. That is, those children who had conflicts with other children or adults due to the need to be taken into account, during adulthood they will adopt a defensive behavior where they will not allow themselves to be overshadowed.
It is also common to observe that the most prone people are those who had tense relationships with their parents. Some parents do not understand what the process to educate their children is like, so they end up applying questionable norms and practices. Consequently, as a result, it is observed that children usually have to face limitations and prohibitions that will significantly affect them on a psychological level.
In the case of other patients, the causes are found in irrational thoughts, which torment them from negative experiences that violated their self-esteem. Consequently, this pattern of distorted ideas causes important changes in the perception of reality. Because these individuals do not have a clear and precise vision of their own identity, the complex conditions their behavior in such a way that they assign themselves a higher importance than they should be.
How is it overcome and what are the most recommended treatments?
The complexity of this condition makes it difficult to apply solutions that help these people to improve their relationships with others. It is a task that must begin with accepting your condition, which may require patience due to its unconscious nature. The important thing is to start by applying tactics that help reduce the effects of this behavior.
It is essential to admit that you have a problem in order to identify the most appropriate steps to overcome it. By assuming the mistakes made, a reflective act was being incurred that offers the possibility of entering a calmer mental state. Putting this situation in perspective is when patients realize their behavior has negatively affected them without their realizing it.
As for the most recommended treatments to treat these cases, one of the most common is cognitive behavioral treatment . The therapist in charge of guiding the consultations will provide the patient with the necessary tools to modify thought and behavior patterns . It is likely that it begins with an analysis to understand the psychological background that has derived in the development of this condition.
It is important to take action in this regard in order to lead a more satisfying life and promote personal growth . Understanding that each case is different, it is likely that some people require more time to overcome it.
Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.