A pampered style of life lies at the heart of most neuroses. Pampered people have weak social hiterest but a strong desire to perpetuate the pampered parasitic relationship they originally had with one or both of then parents. They expect others to
Chapter 3 Adler: Individual Psychology 81
look after them, overprotect them, and satisfy their needs. They are characterized by extreme discouragement, indecisiveness, oversensitivity, impatience, and exaggerated emotion, especially anxiety. They see the world with private vision and believe that they are entitled to be first in everything (Adler, 1927, 1964).
Pampered children have not received too much love; rather they feel unloved. Their parents have demonstrated a lack of love by doing too much for them and by treating them as if they were incapable of solving their own problems. Because these children feel pampered and spoiled, they develop a pampered style of life. Pampered children may also feel neglected. Having been protected by a doting parent, they are fearful when separated from that parent. Whenever they must fend for themselves, they feel left out, mistreated, and neglected. These experiences add to the pampered child's stockpile of inferiority feelings.
The third external factor contributing to maladjustment is neglect. Children who feel unloved and unwanted are likely to borrow heavily from these feelings in creating a neglected style of life. Neglect is a relative concept. No one feels totally neglected or completely unwanted. The fact that a child survived infancy is proof that someone cared for that child and that the seed of social interest has been planted (Adler, 1927).
Abused and mistreated children develop little social interest and tend to create a neglected style of life. They have little confidence in themselves and tend to overestimate difficulties connected with life's major problems. They are distrustful of other people and are unable to cooperate for the common welfare. They see society as enemy country, feel alienated from all other people, and experience a strong sense of envy toward the success of others. Neglected children have many of the characteristics of pampered ones, but generally they are more suspicious and more likely to be dangerous to others (Adler, 1927).
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