10 secret signs you’re actually insecure

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People say you’re confident, and you can’t blame them—you’re well-poised, optimistic, and articulate, after all.

But it’s all superficial and you can’t help but feel that you’re actually quite insecure deep down inside.

To know if you’re actually an insecure person, check out how many of these signs you can relate to.

1) You just can’t relax

Not all anxious people are necessarily insecure, but insecure people are definitely anxious one way or another.

Insecurity leads to anxiety, and for that same reason insecure people are always tense and worried about whether what they’ve done is good enough or if they could be misunderstood.

Genuinely confident and self-assured people, on the other hand, can relax knowing that they’ve done their best and that if they could have done better then they can always try to do better next time.

They’re also confident in themselves that no matter what happens, they are well able to handle the consequences gracefully.

Insecure people are always worried about something—even if they’re the best in what they do—because they don’t trust themselves enough.

2) You always have the NEED to prove something

Insecure people have this innate need to prove something, not just to others but also to themselves.

They might see someone do something impressive and they would think “Well, I can do that too” or “I should learn how to do that and show them just how good I am.”

It seems like you just can’t relax in your own lane.

You need to be the best at what you do or bust. And not only that, you also need to keep up with everyone else or else you’ll feel worthless.

It goes beyond that too—this can even ruin small talk for you. You might be discussing random nonsensical things with someone—like how to know when garlic is fresh—and take it way too seriously.

You hate being made to feel like you’re wrong, ever, so you would talk as if your very own self-worth is on the line. And so, you do your best to stand your ground and try to prove that you’re right.

3) You enjoy being needed

Insecure people like taking opportunities to help others in need. But unlike those who are genuinely kind, they do this not because they actually love to help, but because it makes them feel needed.

This is something that is generally called the savior complex.

If you’re someone who’s been freely helping others and want to know your motivations, you can figure it out by thinking deep and hard about what you find more fulfilling—helping others, or getting praise for helping.

There’s no shame in admitting that the praise is the one thing driving you forward.

A good deed is still a good deed, so don’t think the good you do is invalid or ‘fake’ simply because you’re motivated by a desire to feel important and needed.

Of course, you could still do better, and for that you need to sort through your motivations first.

4) You give backhanded compliments

A sign that you’re insecure is that you find it difficult to genuinely praise someone, especially if you are in the same league.

You can’t help but feel a little annoyed when a close friend talks about their recent successes in love and at work, for example. You might feel like they’re trying to rub it in your face!

They’re your friend, so you feel like you have to say something good. But at the same time, that inner bitterness doesn’t want to be shut away.

So you end up slipping tiny barbs into the compliments you give whether you realize it or not.

You might say things like “Wow, I’m so happy you’re doing great in your career. I guess that’s what good connections can do.” or “You inspire me to use my charms more. It goes a long way to achieve success.”

5) You feel good about others’ misfortunes

It’s human nature to feel relieved on some level that at least you’re not suffering misfortune that other people are experiencing.

But yours goes a bit beyond that—you actually feel GOOD about their misery.

When a friend gets rejected, you might show them your sympathy but deep inside you can’t help but feel good that they got rejected.

But why is this the case?

It’s because misery loves company, and knowing that someone is as miserable as you are makes it easier to bear.

This doesn’t apply just to good friends, of course. ANY misfortune of others gives you a quick shot of euphoria and catharsis.

Does it make you a bad person? Maybe.

But it’s something that can definitely be remedied once you sort out your insecurities.

6) You don’t give a damn

Or at least you’re pretending not to.

People generally assume that if you’re insecure you must be clingy and sensitive. But while this is usually the case, there are plenty who are actually the opposite.

That is to say, they try to appear cool and aloof. But in the end, it’s just a facade to mask their insecurities.

Do you find yourself sitting in the corner and not talking to anyone even if you really want to mingle with people?

It’s probably because you’re insecure of yourself and you’d rather not try than get rejected. So you try to project a “I don’t need anyone” vibe.

7) You think everyone else is insecure and jealous

Insecure people often do this thing called projection. That is to say, they often think that people are actually insecure and jealous towards them.

You might think that people are just trying to bring you down when they share their criticisms of your work, for example.

Or perhaps you might think that a friend of yours is simply jealous of your “success” in love when they warn you about your new date.

You simply have this strong feeling that people don’t like seeing you happy!

While it’s a possibility that your assumption about others is correct, if it happens to you often, then YOU are probably the problem…and the problem is that you’re actually insecure.

See, if you’re more sure about yourself, you would not be bothered by what others think of you. In fact, you’re totally fine with negative feedback because it makes you feel others truly care about you.

Take a look at how you handle negative feedback.

Why do you think people always have to praise you and validate your choices? Why do you take honest feedback as an attack?

8) You self-reject

Insecure people are cursed by copious amounts of self-doubt and self-rejection despite how they might try to present themselves to others.

They don’t think they’re really as good as they present themselves to be, and might even perceive their victories as undeserved. Because of this, they would self-sabotage and self-reject.

For example, they’d work hard on a job application but then fail to show up. Or perhaps they would freak out once a relationship gets a bit too serious and try to make the other person break up with them.

So try to think long and hard about the times when you have denied or even sabotaged yourself because you felt inadequate or because you were afraid of being hurt.

This is not necessarily something that you would knowingly do, and will be more something you end up doing by reflex.

Now, Imagine the good life you could have had if you only dealt with your insecurities. But again, the best time to start is today.

9) You have intimacy issues

And when I say issues, I truly do mean real issues.

You simply have difficulties opening up and sharing intimate moments with people you hold dear, be they friends or romantic partners.

This is because intimacy—both platonic and romantic—demands vulnerability and trust, and insecure people don’t have much of either.

Your friends might get tired trying to help you through your battles because you simply won’t let yourself be vulnerable in their presence.

And your relationships don’t last that long because you simply don’t open up to your partners that well.

Seems like you really can’t trust anyone to get closer or else they’ll know the REAL YOU—someone who’s not good enough.

10) You think other people are just lucky

Is someone happily in love? You’re sure they simply got lucky finding someone who cares for them.

Is someone making strides at work and getting promoted left and right? They’re probably just lucky that they knew someone on top.

Or at least, these are the things you tell yourself when you’re forced to confront people around you having it good in life.

You do not want to acknowledge that perhaps they’re doing something right, because then that means that YOU aren’t doing something right. So you chalk their successes up to luck to protect your ego.

Last words

Anyone can pretend to act bold and confident, and sometimes you can get so caught up in the act that you end up believing it yourself.

But confidence is something that comes from within, and one way or another people can eventually tell that your confidence is entirely false.

If you really are someone who is actually quite insecure deep down inside, your best course of action is to think long and hard, and then try to address your insecurities one by one. And of course, a good therapist can help every step of the way.

It won’t be easy, but you can’t win at life if you’re forever insecure.

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Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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