THE PATTERN PAGES
The Judging Patterns:
Better Than / Less Than
This is another double sided pattern. Most people with this pattern are primarly comfortable on one side or the other. But if you stop the pattern from playing one side, the person will often flip over into playing the other role.
The primary activity here is judge and compare. Comparing and judging are mental activities, and so we think of this pattern as primarily a spirit or mind pattern. Spirit judged himself first, and set in motion the ladder system for all to follow. When this pattern is dominant, the person can never relax in company with others. Everyone is either better or lesser, more worthy or less worthy. Even when there's nobody else around, the person will find something or someone to compare themselves to: characters in movies, pictures on billboards, neighbors (who may be out of sight but can be judged by their yards or cars), etc., etc.
Comparing one's self to others is the way this pattern keeps the person from feeling how truly unworthy and judged they feel inside. Even when they fall into the less-than side of the pattern, they mostly spin in the self-talk that berates and lambasts, but all that activity keeps the real "I am worthless" feelings from surfacing to be cried.
Both Better-Than and Less-Than patterns have these things in common:
Underlying feelings: I am not good enough. I am dumb, wrong, don't know what to do, am in the wrong place of authority. I am the lowest on the ladder, the least worthy, I deserve to die.
Fear: Others will find out I'm not good enough, am a sham, a fake, have no real personal power.
Illusion: Doing these things (below) will make me better, improve who I am, or just fool others so they don't know how awful I am.
Addiction: Superiority / inferiority.
Survival tactics: Judge others, compare myself to others, make others wrong, reassure myself how right I am, blame others and judge others from my position of rightness, believe that I have the right to judge them, because I "know" and they don't.
Better-than pattern acting out: To get others to worship me and reinforce my "rightness" and "wisdom". Tell others what is wrong with them, for their own good. Discredit all others who don't worship me. Steal other people's wisdom, make it my own and present it as if I thought of it. If they won't worship me, I'll become the best disciple, first in line behind [god/jesus/mohammed/mother/the leader], the best supporter of the "truth".
Survival tactics: Compare myself to others, make some others right, find somebody to make wrong so I'm not on the bottom of the pile, reassure myself of my place on the ladder, blame some and worship others.
Less-than acting out: Be the "good one", teacher's pet, smart one, the best follower, the best supporter of the "truth" (religion, god, mother, whatever), always follow the rules and make sure everybody knows it. If I can't be better than somebody on the ladder, then I will be the very best at being the worst and least. I will be the most down, evil, face in the dust, useless, the very worst.
The important thing to remember here is that the patterns keep the real feelings at bay, and prevent actual healing from taking place. It's necessary to cry the pain underlying every pattern in order to truly stop the spinning and destructive behaviors.
It's important to disrupt the comparing activity, so you can get to the real feelings underneath. It's very difficult being on the receiving end of a better-than pattern. If you disrupt a better-than activity, the first thing that happens is the person attacks you and accuses you of being the one doing the judging. The reason for this is that when you try to interrupt a better-than, the person instantly feels attacked, and thrown into their less-than feelings. They do not understand how their pattern is making you feel attacked in the first place. And if you successfully knock them off their better-than stance, generally they go into high-drama self-hate, playing the less-than side of the pattern. The key here, again, is to get beneath the pattern to be able to cry the real pain underneath. If the person isn't crying their self-hate, they're only spinning in the less-than pattern, and healing isn't happening.
The most successful efforts at crossing this pattern come from within. It's very difficult to cross these patterns from outside, but if the person can recognize it in themselves, they can begin to identify their own behaviors and find clues as to when their pattern is activated. This is generally true for all patterns, though it's difficult for us all to resist telling other people what their patterns are and trying to "help" them "see" the truth. No truth is so greatly impactful as the one we see for ourselves.
The best thing you can do if you're faced with a better-than/less-than pattern in another person is look first at your own feelings and how you may be intertwining with the pattern. Are you hurt by a better-than? Does that activity make you feel less-than? If you can find and heal all your own pain that interacts with the pattern it will be much easier to hold firm against it when it comes at you. Or to just walk away.