Is there any word that describes a particular personality of people who in the past have been subject to subordination or inferiority and when later they go up the ladder and become slightly powerful treat their subordinates the same way.

Like, who has been micromanaged in their early career and when they become a manager they try to micromanage their team. Even Marilyn Manson has song about this called Slave Only Dreams To Be King:

Slave never dreams to be free
Slave only dreams to be King

I found Doormat but that doesn't cut it since it focuses on still being an inferior and it's a little informal. I'm ESL so I might be wrong.

  • There is an expression we use-
    – Karlomanio
    Dec 11, 2019 at 22:48

2 Answers 2


I believe the word you want is envy.

Envy stems from a sense of inferiority and desire to be what it is NOT capable of being in the moment. Its goal manifests itself in attempting to be what it is denied.

For example someone in the workplace is praised and talented. Envy manifests itself (from a sense of inferiority) by trying to destroy that person and take his/her place.

This seems to describe what you are talking about.


Some options:

The person in question

  • projects their feelings of vulnerability/inferiority onto others
  • has an inferiority complex
  • is vindictive
  • is a compensatory narcissist
  • compensates for their past inferiority

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