Six Tips on Dealing With Insecure People

“A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.” - Lazurus Long

Feelings of insecurity, we have all experienced them at some point in our lives.  A jealous feeling deep within our being due to an experience we felt was out of our control.  A moment of fear when we believed someone may have been talking negatively about us. A deep-rooted worry that a partner may no longer love us.  Look back, we have all been there and it is never a nice place to be.

Feelings of constant insecurity and doubt about our worth and value, is nothing short of destructive to our peace of mind and ultimate happiness in life.  Being in a relationship of some sort with someone who is very insecure can also be draining and challenging for everyone involved.

In my career as a manager and business owner, I have had the challenge but also pleasure of managing some very insecure people. In my early years I would find peoples insecurities frustrating and even tiresome. Now I try to take pleasure in helping these type of people acknowledge their insecurities and then try to help them to embrace these feelings, with the view of growing and reaching a new-found wisdom.

The need to control. Insecure people can often have an over whelming desire to control the relationships around them and situations that are be presented to them. Insecurities can make a person feel as if they are constantly walking outside of their comfort zone, and we all know how that feels. Because of this, they will often desperately try to control the views, opinions and actions of others.  Try to acknowledge this when you see it happening, and rather than become frustrated with the other person, empathise, but do not let feelings of sympathy allow the controlling action to continue.  What you don’t want to do is encourage controlling behaviour, because if you do, their behaviour will never alter and ultimately you will be helping to feed your friends/partner insecurities even more.

I was once in a relationship with a really insecure partner. He didn’t like me going out on my own with my friends, dressing in a certain way or even meeting new people. It was the most suffocating relationship I have ever been in, and when I realised I was changing who I was to please him, it finally dawned on me that it was time to move on.

The need to always be right and never wrong .  Insecure people will often need to have the last word and will sometimes find it hard to accept others views or opinions, often believing their view is the only ‘right’ view point. They will also often get very frustrated if you express a different opinion or even challenge their own beliefs. Again be mindful if this kind of situation arises, there is no point becoming angry or frustrated. I will gently challenge someone’s opinion if I disagree with it, yes, but would never get into a heated discussion.  If someone really isn’t listening to you and you are finding yourself with feelings of frustration, you can gently divert the conversation in another direction, or even take a moment to be silent.

Finger pointing and fault-finding.  Insecure people will often blame others for their own unhappiness and insecurities. Secure, happy and confident people, may not always be happy with a certain situation but they won’t always be looking to point the blame at everyone else.  This is something I have dealt with on many, many occasions as a manager.  The classic excuse of  “It’s so an so’s fault I’m unhappy because he/she didn’t do this or that”.  Again, I do not tolerate this kind of excuse finding behaviour if it is unwarranted. I will always point out gently and with kindness and compassion, why that clearly isn’t the case and offer a positive solution of how that person can start to take responsibility for their own actions and happiness.

Not wanting to share your happiness or success. This is a common cause for friendships and partnerships to breakdown, when one persons insecurities inhibits their ability to be happy for someone else’s good fortune or success.  You may have been friends with someone for a while, or in a relationship that was ticking along nicely, and then suddenly your situation changes, and your partner or friend begins to find it difficult to share your happiness. You may get a new job, find a new boyfriend, buy your dream home and before you know it your friend, for no ‘obvious’ reasons no longer wants to spend time with you.

This can be hurtful and confusing for all of those involved. Your partner/friend may be struggling with such feelings of worthlessness, unhappiness and jealousy, that she finds it really difficult to see you spending time with your new man, enjoying your new job etc. For you, it can leave you feeling really hurt and confused that your friend, who you valued, suddenly can’t be happy for you.  Insecure people can feel threatened very easily, and will often struggle to keep the upper hand when it comes to their careers, relationships and personal life as this gives them a sense of worth. Insecure people can also often ‘shut down’ and appear to ‘turn on you’ for no real valid reason. Finding it increasingly challenging and difficult to deal with their negative feelings and emotions.

A few years ago,  I had a female colleague that I truly cared for as a friend. I had worked with her on a professional level for some years, and really valued her talents. We worked really well together, until I suddenly noticed that she was beginning to show signs of insecure behaviour. She became almost paranoid about other professional women in our field, and she truly thought that people were ‘against’ her in some way. Everything was becoming a bit of a drama.  The more successful she became the more irrational her behaviour grew, until one day, she actually turned on me. It was unexpected, unnecessary and quite honestly it was unkind.  Her insecurities had caused her to become over analytical and judgemental of people and situations.  This in turn caused her much internal unhappiness and anger.   At the time, it was a situation that caused me a great deal of angst and sadness. Years later, I can see the value of the lesson through much wiser eyes and a more open heart.   Deep inside she was hurting, and was desperate to find a deeper sense of happiness. Her problem was she was looking at recognition from her career path to do this, rather than from deep within her soul.

Bouts of Anger or Frustration: In all my years as a manager I have seen that many insecure people carry a lot of anger and frustration. Ultimately insecurities are formed from our childhood experiences and situations that we have faced in our younger years, experiences that we are still holding onto which are affecting how we interact in the world as adults. Because of our insecurities we may find it difficult to extend love, and instead we choose to extend anger and frustration.  We return to child mode.  In these types of situations,  ensure you don’t return the persons behaviour with your own anger, instead you should act with compassion and an open heart. Of course this may be a challenge to you, especially if someone has been rude or hurtful towards you. The fact is, you can still be firm and get your view-point across but you can do it in a way that diffuses the situation completely and actually deflects the anger away from both of you.  More often than not, when you respond in such a way, the other person involved can start to see that their own angry outburst was wrong and totally unnecessary.

Encrypted Social Media Rants.  I suppose I am not surprised at the amount of people who turn to their social media sites to post encrypted rants about things they are unhappy with, but I really don’t see how it benefits anyone.  Other than getting a few things off of your chest in a public forum, for the world to see, how does that serve anyone well?  I personally feel, if you have a friend or partner that feels the need to do this, do not get into a conversation with them about it online, or comment on their post. Encouraging such negativity in fact just feeds their negativity, and in turn empowers it even more.  Secure, confident people, who value your friendship, will have the decency to talk to you face to face about something you may or may not done that has caused them upset.  Not feel the need to write some random coded status update on Facebook or such like.  Random ranty posts are just screaming for attention. Ignore them.

Secure, confident and happy people will generally be unfazed by others insecurities, approaching them with an open heart and a wise mind.  Secure people also rarely experience feelings of jealously or anger due to someone else’s good fortune. Instead they will wholeheartedly embrace the happiness of others and look within to be grateful for their own.

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10 thoughts on “Six Tips on Dealing With Insecure People

  1. Oh dear… this is so scary, as I just had a very heated conversation with an incredibly insecure person (as I now find out…). I can now see how my escalated emotions didn’t help when he just wouldn’t listen, nor accept his faults. Thank you for the post, I feel I may be referring to it in the future.

  2. Good information. It reminds me of someone I am currently having to deal with the negativity and wrath of her insecurities. I understand the “finger pointing”, “always finding fault with others”, and now the “social media rants”. It seems as if this person spends more time blaming others for her life issues instead of looking within herself and her toxic relationships. Ignoring is the best option, but I will tell you that it is hard to do at times, especially when it has continued intermittently yet consistently for over a year. Just let it go, look to yourself for your problems and solutions, and move on.

  3. An insecure person is not responsible. Judgmental as she is always right and the whole world is wrong. Not able to face confrontation as being confront means the person has to own up to his/her fault and that is no no to him/her.

  4. Boy “Nailed it” as I am left trying to figure out why people behave the way they do, and how to deal with them. Still trying to be loving, but not get hurt. I am a very secure person, and this person is close to me.

  5. Unfortunately, I have had not one but two such people in my life! One was just an acquaintance and it was easy to move on, The other was a close friend. That was tough to deal with. Everything I did seemed to be an issue. She was mean, controlling and manipulative to such an extent, I had no choice but to completely sever all ties with this person. The final straw was when she called me insecure! We moved in the same circles and I knew there would be a lot of discomfort, but it got too toxic for me to handle. She has promptly gone around maligning me and my family. I call it high school behavior! And thankfully, I am secure in knowing that if someone can think for themselves, they know who I am. If not, well, not my loss then! I think it must be tough living with themselves for people like my “friend”. But am I ready to give up my peace of mind? Not to that extent!

  6. Well, this is so true and so sad when you find out that you are married to this kind of person. The whole attitude can be very confusing for someone who never had this kind of overwhelming insecurities, especially when the other person insists everything is OK with them and you are the one who is insecure and crazy!
    Hopefully, one can help them get over their problems but it’s a lot of hard and continuous work.

  7. My best friend fits almost perfectly with these descriptions. I’ve been dealing with him for almost four years, and now that his insecure behaviour is combined with depression, we’ve been having heated conversations constantly, as I find very hard to ignore and act with compassion in such situations, although I know I shouldn’t. Thanks for the text, I think it will help me to find ways to deal with people like this.

  8. Oh man, I really needed to read this today. I’m a very confident and understanding person, but dealing with a relationship with someone who’s described by every sentence I just read, can be really exhausting, and quite damaging to your own confidence if you’re not careful.

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