What is the God Complex?

When someone is said to have a god complex, it typically means that he or she is extremely arrogant, might consider himself or herself to be infallible and might try to control or manipulate other people. This slang term essentially suggests that the person behaves as though he or she is a god. The term might be used colloquially to refer to people who behave as though they are superior to other people and demonstrate little empathy and compassion for others. Although "god complex" is not a medical term and is not included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), it is sometimes associated with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).


There is no specific definition of the term "god complex," but there are certain characteristics that are common in people who are said to have this. These characteristics include arrogance, bullying or manipulating others, being judgmental and believing that he or she is never wrong. Someone who has a god complex might also be prone to becoming angry when things do not go his or her way, might be poor at interpersonal communication and might not be receptive to criticism. He or she also might try to exert a great deal of influence in various matters or relish having power, authority or control. Many people exhibit some of these characteristics in certain situations, even if they would not be said to have god complexes.

More Common in Some Professions

People in certain professions are often accused of having god complexes. Among the most common are doctors, surgeons, politicians and managers. Many such professions require a great deal of knowledge or skill and involve having influence or authority over other people. In many cases, people will develop god complexes only after obtaining power, perhaps giving credence to the old saying "power corrupts."

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Although narcissistic personality disorder is not the same as a god complex, there are some similarities. Among the characteristics of NPD are an overinflated view of one's self, a lack of empathy toward others and reacting angrily to criticism. A person who has NPD might also become jealous easily and might take advantage of other people.


Despite the ways that people who have god complexes or NPD behave, many psychoanalysts believe that they actually have very fragile and delicate self-esteems, drawing their self-esteems from the approval and attention of others. This sensitivity might be what drives them to behave callously, because when they feel threatened or marginalized, they might lash out. It also might be difficult for people to recognize that they have god complexes, and they might interpret such suggestions as criticisms that are designed to undermine them rather than to help them.

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Discuss this Article

Post 8

Maybe they only think the world exists in their own mind. I mean, after all, that is the truth.

Post 7

My observation is that people with "God complex" always have enough time to express their own views but never have time to listen to the others' views.

Also, they don't like if others talk to them as equals. (You don't talk to God, you can only pray to God.)

Thinking about themselves as "special" and above others, they allow themselves what is not allowed to the others. The environment often re-enforces this behavior by saying "it's just Bob being Bob". They are simply wicked men or women.

Post 6

I would like to point out people with God complexes are not bad people. They just like helping others, and having power goes hand in hand with being able to help people. They don't aim to hurt others; it's just they like knowing they have knowledge. They don't always see the world as an enemy; they just don't like opening up to others because the moment you tell someone something personal, they have power over you.

Post 5

The God complex is due to the fact that we as human beings are born at enmity with God and need a new nature. That nature comes when we are born-again by the incorruptible Word of God. The malignant narcissist is being led by the spirit of Satan who is antichrist. These people have been turned over by God to their own lusts and will end up in hell with their father the devil. Psychology is pseudoscience and a false religion. Call on Christ for salvation; there is no salvation outside of Him. God bless you.

Post 3

This is similar to the Oedipus complex in that it is a strong desire to take the place of someone in power. The Oedipus complex may be more common because it is not as strong: it is the libidinal urge of a child to usurp his father. The God complex is more than that: it is the urge to take the place of God and have supreme power. This kind of arrogance can drive people to do some ridiculous things, and may require psychiatric attention.

Post 2

God complex psychology is often encouraged by user-centered video games in which the user is always made out to be the hero and can control a civilization or a course of events without inhibition. Many violent video games encourage this sort of behavior, since it may appeal to the user's inherent desire for power without boundaries set by the society.

Post 1

It seems that this has a lot in common with Inferiority Complex and Paranoia in that it sees the world as a big enemy to be ignored or challenged. Josef Stalin and Adolf Hitler had major God Complexes and chose to see everyone as a potential enemy or as someone to be controlled and manipulated. I think this was largely because they lacked good fathers, but were both beaten and mocked by their fathers, while being doted upon by their mothers.

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