Low self-confidence makes life an uphill battle.
Those who struggle with a poor image of themselves or feel like they are low-value often find ways to compensate. On the surface they may look like they’re doing great, but the roiling turmoil under the surface isn’t visible.
However if you look more closely you will be able to spot behaviors that show low self-confidence.
Here’s what to watch out for if you’re looking for classic signs of low self-confidence:
1) Somebody who’s extremely shy
People who lack confidence are often very shy.
They are hesitant to express their opinion, mumble, look down and often self-isolate.
They prefer to be away from crowded public places and find even the most innocuous social interaction a bit anxiety-producing.
The individual with low self-confidence prefers to hide what they feel, think and believe.
They’d rather just be agreeable and try to fade into the background.
2) Somebody who’s terrified of rejection
The person who has a confidence deficit is scared stiff of rejection.
This is part of why they hide away, as mentioned in the previous point.
The insecure individual will also go to great lengths to avoid rejection or criticism. They won’t take chances and will try their best to do whatever seems to make others happy.
Rather than take the chance to say an unpopular opinion or blaze their own trail, the insecure person will try to follow whatever seems trendiest and least likely to upset anyone.
This ties into the next point…
3) Somebody who always looks for validation and praise
In every area of life there are people who seem obsessed about being validated and praised.
No matter what the situation is, they want to be told how good of a job they’re doing.
They want work awards, compliments from their spouse and kids, friends who shower them with praise and constant validation.
We all like recognition and validation, but for an insecure person it’s almost a kind of addiction they need to feel (temporarily) satisfied.
4) Somebody who has trouble believing that compliments are sincerely meant
The ironic thing about those who are insecure is that they seek praise but they also never fully believe it.
That’s why they want more and more:
Because they seek to squelch that instinctive feeling of doubt deep inside themselves that tells them “you know it’s not true.”
Those with low self-confidence doubt the sincerity of compliments they get.
They always see an ulterior agenda behind praise or wonder if somebody’s only being kind out of pity or flattery.
5) Somebody who avoids taking risks or new ventures
Those with low self-confidence take the safest route.
This means they avoid taking risks or taking on new projects and ventures.
The more they seek out a safe job, a 9 to 5 routine and a predictable partner and life, the more they hope to never get nasty surprises that hurt their already fragile sense of self.
This is a sad thing to see, because even when a promising opportunity comes up, the insecure person will usually pass it by (even when they’re fully capable of taking it on).
6) Somebody who procrastinates and puts off projects
A close cousin of those who avoid taking risks are those who take on new opportunities, jobs or relationships but then they slow walk it.
They procrastinate and waffle around so much that they end up wasting their own time and everybody else’s and running out the clock.
The result is that they hand the reins to somebody else and get away from really taking a chance on something that could go wrong.
7) Somebody who often compares themselves to others
The insecure person will often compare themselves to others, but only when others are doing better than them (or are perceived to be doing better).
The feeling of inadequacy deep inside does something unfortunate:
It filters out the many who are struggling and doing far worse and only leaves those visible who seem to be doing better.
Life becomes a competition of who’s happier or seems to be, and bitterness begins to set in, worsening the cycle of envy and feelings of inadequacy.
8) Somebody who feels inadequate even when they’re doing a great job
Even when they’re doing a great job, the insecure person doubts it’s good enough.
They not only ask for the ongoing validation, but also doubt official recognition and praise they receive.
They wonder if their predecessor in a job was actually better than them…
They wonder if their boyfriend’s ex was actually prettier than them, funnier than them, and so on…
The common denominator is a clear and ongoing lack of belief in their own worth.
9) Somebody who looks for the faults in everything they do and is their own worst enemy
Insecure people are their own worst enemy.
No matter what they do (or don’t do) they are so intensely self-critical.
They over-analyze in their mind and stay up at night thinking about how they could have done something better or shouldn’t have done something else.
Work, love, their daily life and everything else in between becomes a constant process of second-guessing and blaming themselves.
This can often manifest as a process of this insecure person venting to their friends and colleagues and basically criticizing themselves.
10) Somebody who doesn’t celebrate their own victories and wins
When they have a big win, what does somebody do?
If they’re insecure they tend to be very self-deprecating and downplay their win, these are both signs that not all is well with their self-esteem.
The confident individual is able to accept a compliment, celebrate a win and recognize a good job even when it’s them who did it.
If somebody is trying to duck out of the spotlight every time they do a good job , there’s some sense of inadequacy they’re trying to hide.
11) Somebody who puts others down in order to feel better about themselves
The kind of person who puts others down a lot is not a happy individual:
That’s just a fact, with few exceptions.
When a person is focused on what others aren’t doing well enough and rubbing it in their faces, it’s because that person feels an inner inadequacy.
The odd mean comment or judgmental remark is one thing, but when it gets to constant criticism and put downs, you’re looking at somebody who is insecure on a deep level.