Insecurity often has roots in early childhood. Those who don’t face their inner insecurities end up being influenced by them in many ways that hold them back from empowerment and success.
We all have some insecurities, but most are minor. However, people who are deeply insecure are weighted down with serious baggage that affects every area of their life.
They tend to repress their doubts, insecurities and past traumas in order to try to move on. But the result of not facing their insecurities head-on is that they manifest in other ways.
Let’s take a look at the behaviors insecure people do, usually without even realizing it.
1) They doubt their ability to handle responsibility
Training and education are important, however there comes a point at which you either do something or decline.
Those who suffer from insecurity tend to doubt their own abilities even when, objectively speaking, they are more than able to live up to the task.
However something inside them says they cannot handle this type of responsibility and they tend to remain at a more subservient level for that reason in their work and in their relationships.
2) They feel unable to take the lead or guide others
When it comes to sharing their knowledge and guiding people around them, those who suffer from hidden insecurities usually doubt themselves.
They simply do not value their own abilities and expertise and may hesitate to give the final word on a project, piece of advice or item of knowledge.
It is not that they truly are not sure about what is correct or not but more so that they do not feel confident enough about themselves to stand behind it or take ownership of it.
3) They refrain from presenting their ideas and opinions
This relates to the previous two points and is something that is very noticeable in people who have hidden in their insecurities.
They simply do not give their opinion very much and tend to downplay their own ideas and insights.
They usually smile and nod at what others say or maintain a neutral facade, however they have a difficulty in asserting themselves into the world and into social spaces.
It is as if they are waiting for approval or a go ahead to present what they are supposed to say or what they are permitted to believe.
4) They feel ashamed to ask for help or assistance
Those with deeply buried insecurities find it very different to ask for help.
They already have some part of themselves that feels deficient or not good enough, and having to admit that they need help even in the most basic of ways, is very hard for them.
They feel like if they admit that they need advice or help or information, it is only reinforcing a perception others have of them as being lesser, uninformed or useless.
Keep in mind that these emotions and feelings on the part of the insecure person may be at the subconscious level and they may not notice any link between their desire not to ask for help and their own poor self-image at the deeper, subconscious level.
5) They have an instinctive fear of being watched, judged or disliked
We have all met the kind of person who repeatedly checks whether what they have done is okay.
They are terrified of committing the smallest faux pas and they are convinced that people are paying a lot of attention to them and looking at whether they are doing things okay.
In their job, in their life and in their beliefs and daily lifestyle, this kind of person feels that they have to live up to a certain standard or ideal that exists.
However they remain insecure about exactly what that standard is and whether they are being judged to have fallen short of it.
This can approach the level of paranoia and is almost always rooted in a deep inner insecurity, whether conscious or not.
6) They dread criticism or disapproval even if it’s constructive
Tying into the previous point is a strong fear of criticism.
Even constructive criticism is very scary to a person who has insecurity issues. The confirmation that there is something about them or about what they do that could be improved is taken in the worst possible way, even when it is meant in the best possible way.
Needless to say, this leads to all sorts of problems both professionally and personally, because insecure people often tend to spiral out internally or externally when they receive criticism about something that another more secure individual would simply take in stride or try their best to learn from.
7) They seek validation in a thousand small ways throughout the day
Those who seek constant validation are almost always trying to make up for something.
Even the most confident individual enjoys being told that they have done something effective or worthy. However they do not depend on it.
A person who has deeply buried inner insecurities either has some feeling that they are not good enough or some feeling that they at least need to be better. For this reason, even if they are not aware of it, they go around seeking out validation that they are worthy and wanted.
This ironically has the effect of often leading to them feeling excluded and unwanted, because people get tired of being their supply source of validation.
8) They allow themselves to be undervalued and used by others
It is sad to see, but insecure people often let themselves be undervalued by others. In their workplace and in their personal life, they often play second fiddle.
What this means depends on the situation but it could be something like being friendzoned over and over by a woman they want to be more than friends with, or being passed over for a promotion because they simply refuse to highlight their own strengths in a job.
Whatever form it takes it’s certainly a noticeable pattern in those with low self-esteem.
9) They have great difficulty in saying no when asked to do something
This is known as people pleasing.
The kind of individual who has a lot of difficulties saying no is often somebody who grew up feeling that they had to earn the approval of their parents.
They did not feel worthy of love for their own sake, but felt they had to prove they were worthy by what they accomplished or did. They therefore have a lot of difficulty saying no to anybody and find it almost intolerable that somebody would be unhappy with them or would want something from them that they cannot give.
On the other hand, some insecure people go down the opposite route. Instead of people pleasing they actually start to complain and let other people down.
10) They criticize others all the time, but rarely to their face
Those who are plagued by insecurity often find fault in others as well as in themselves. They differ from more confident people, however, in that they’re noticing of problems usually lead to indirect confrontation.
Rather than actually telling somebody they have a problem with them or are upset, the insecure person will complain to other people about their issue with somebody else.
In addition to the element of gossip and backbiting that this engenders, it also worsens the insecure person’s insecurity.
That’s because it makes them have the further impression that they are too weak or unworthy to really be able to stand up to someone and talk to them to their face.
11) They complain and engage in passive aggressive behaviors
It would be nice to say that insecure people are always very pleasant and agreeable.
However the reality is that insecurity can cause some fairly aggressive tendencies as well. That includes acting passive alternating with acting quite aggressive and interspersing it with quite a lot of complaining.
Those who are insecure at a deeper level may not even realize it, however it can definitely manifest in the way they point the finger at others and alternate between a passive and aggressive approach to life.
12) They feel jealous but don’t take active steps to try to deal with it
Whether it is well-founded or not, those who are insecure often feel jealous.
They wish they had something or were experiencing something that they have not. However the resentment and inner feeling of lack that they experience generally does not spur them to actually take steps to correct their dissatisfaction.
They often tend to focus on a feeling of being victimized rather than on what they can do about it, partly because their internalized feelings of lower self-worth lead them to believe that anything they actually do to address their feelings of exclusion, lack, and deficiency, will not be successful.
This is the sad trap of the insecure person is that they end up engaging in various self-defeating behaviors, even when they may have enormous potential day can’t quite see.
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