10 subtle signs someone is feeling insecure around you

Have you ever been around someone and thought they might be feeling unsure or insecure, but you weren’t quite sure?

It can be hard to tell. Sometimes, people hide their feelings really well.

To help you figure it out, I’ve put together a list of 10 simple signs to look for that might mean someone is feeling insecure around you.

By the end of this article, you’ll be able to spot these signs and understand them better. 

1. Avoiding eye contact

The first sign to look out for is whether or not they are avoiding eye contact.

Eyes are often referred to as the windows to the soul, and that’s because they can reveal a lot about a person’s feelings.

If someone continuously avoids making eye contact with you, it could be a strong indicator that they’re feeling insecure or uncomfortable around you.

They might be worried about revealing too much or fear that you might see through them.

2. Overly self-deprecating

Next up on the list is an overly self-deprecating attitude.

It’s normal for someone to make fun of themselves once in a while. It shows they’re humble and have a good sense of humor.

However, if someone is constantly putting themselves down and highlighting their flaws or mistakes, it could be a sign of insecurity.

They might be doing this as a defense mechanism, hoping to beat others to the punch before they point out their shortcomings.

It could also be a cry for reassurance or validation.

So, if you notice someone being excessively hard on themselves, they might be feeling insecure around you.

3. Fidgeting

Fidgeting is another subtle sign to watch out for.

I remember a time when I was catching up with an old friend who seemed to be acting a bit different around me. She was constantly playing with her hair, tapping her feet, or fiddling with her clothes.

At first, I thought she was just being her usual, energetic self. However, when I noticed this behavior repeating each time we met, it dawned on me that these were signs of nervous energy, possibly indicating that she felt insecure around me.

Fidgeting can be a way for people to release tension and cope with their nervousness.

4. Excessive apologizing

The fourth sign is excessive apologizing.

When someone is feeling insecure, they might be overly concerned about offending or upsetting you, leading them to apologize for even the smallest things.

In fact,a study found that people with low self-esteem tend to apologize more often and are more likely to take blame for incidents that are not their fault.

So, if you notice someone around you saying ‘sorry’ a bit too much, it could be a subtle sign of their insecurity.

5. Difficulty accepting compliments

The fifth sign is difficulty in accepting compliments.

When someone feels insecure, they might find it hard to believe that they are deserving of praise or positive attention.

Instead of simply saying ‘thank you’, they might downplay the compliment, brush it off, or even argue against it.

It’s a sad reality that those who struggle with insecurity often have a hard time seeing themselves in a positive light, no matter how brightly they shine in the eyes of others. 

6. Overly competitive

Another sign to look out for is if someone is overly competitive with you.

I recall a colleague of mine who always wanted to one-up me on everything, whether it was work-related or just a casual conversation about weekend plans.

At first, I thought he was just really competitive by nature. However, over time, I realized that this consistent need to prove himself better might be stemming from his feelings of insecurity around me.

If someone always feels the need to be ‘better’ or ‘top’ in every situation, it could be because they’re trying to mask their insecurities.

7. Constantly seeking reassurance

The seventh sign hits close to the bone – it’s when someone is constantly seeking reassurance.

This could be them asking if they’re doing a good job, if you’re mad at them, or if you think less of them for making a mistake.

It can be painful to see someone you care about needing constant validation because deep down, they may not believe in their own worth.

Insecurity can make people doubt their own abilities and value, leading them to seek external validation more often. 

8. Over-explaining

The eighth sign of insecurity is over-explaining.

People who feel insecure may feel the need to justify or explain their actions in excessive detail, even when it’s not required. This is often because they fear being misunderstood or criticized.

Research shows that people who feel insecure or less powerful are more likely to provide more information than necessary, often in an attempt to avoid negative judgment.

So, if someone around you seems to be giving more detail than needed, it could be a subtle sign of their insecurity.

9. Avoiding personal topics

The ninth sign is avoiding personal topics.

From my own experiences, I’ve noticed that when people feel insecure around me, they often steer clear of sharing personal details or discussing deeper topics.

I had a friend who would always change the subject whenever our conversations became a bit more personal.

Initially, I thought she was just private, but later realized that she felt insecure about opening up due to fear of judgment or vulnerability. 

10. Hyperaware of others’ opinions

The final sign is being hyperaware of others’ opinions.

Do you know someone who seems overly concerned about what others think of them?

They may hang on to every word you say, worry excessively about making a good impression, or seem crushed by even the slightest criticism.

This constant state of alertness can be exhausting and is often a clear sign of insecurity.

When someone values your opinion so much that it impacts their self-esteem or happiness, they’re likely feeling insecure around you.

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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