Confidence—it’s one of the most important qualities to have. It ranks alongside fairness, moral courage, having a good work ethic, and loving animals in my personal hierarchy of values. However, let’s face facts, confidence doesn’t grow on trees. Nor can you suddenly become confident over the span of a single day. No, it takes time and dedication to move away from a mentality of insecurity to genuine confidence in yourself.
Insecurity can manifest itself in a very wide variety of ways, from humble-bragging to putting others down and more. And Reddit users have been sharing the signs that somebody might be very insecure in a viral thread that delves deep into behaviors that really aren’t okay, no matter how much confidence you lack. Have a read through these signs below, upvote the ones you agree with, and let us know how you determine if someone might be incredibly insecure (and possibly in need of a helping hand).
UK-based psychotherapist Silva Neves answered a few questions that I had about insecurities, how these are expressed through specific behaviors, and why some individuals lash out at others because of them. Scroll down for Bored Panda’s interview with him about how to go from being insecure (‘I’m not enough’) to feeling secure and confident in yourself (‘I’m enough’) with the help of self-compassion.
Bragging about things not even in your control, like your parents’ wealth.
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The more you talk about how good you are in bed and how many women you’ve [slept with] the less I believe you.
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All those people who post on Facebook those quotes that are like: ‘don’t worry about those who talk behind your back, they’re behind you for a reason’
Or they tag themselves into any and EVERY place including the docs/hospital/somewhere personal. Then when someone asks if they’re ok they reply with: ‘don’t ask hun xoxox’
Urgh so basically. People who live their lives through very active social media’s I suppose I’m trying to say.
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Psychotherapist Silva told me that insecure people are sending out very clear signals with their behavior. “Insecurity carries the message: ‘I’m not enough’, ‘I’m not good enough,’ or even ‘I’m worthless.’ These are painful beliefs to have about ourselves but many do have those underlying beliefs,” he told Bored Panda.
According to the expert, insecurity can manifest itself in a variety of ways and sometimes even polar opposite behaviors. “Insecurity can manifest either by making themselves invisible (If I’m not seen, nobody will notice my flaws), or the opposite, by what we call ‘bragging’: shouting at everybody about how wonderful they are. This is usually to try to persuade to themselves that they are good enough.”
Some, however, choose to put down others to make themselves feel better. “Another way to counter the ‘I’m not enough’ is by pushing others down, sabotaging other people’s success, or attacking people as a way to feel powerful so that they can control their inner pain of ‘I’m not enough’. All of these strategies don’t work because what they do is either internalizing or externalizing the belief ‘I’m not enough’ rather than changing it,” Silva highlighted the fact that we must change this belief instead of attempting to cope in the ways he mentioned.
People who feel the need to judge everyone in a negative light and who only want to see the worst in others so they can feel better about themselves. It just shows how unhappy they truly are.
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One-upping people constantly in conversations.
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I used to be very insecure so I’ll go from my own experience. Lying about something to seem cool. It’s very obviously a signal of insecurity because they don’t like who they are now.
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“The key to becoming more secure is to change the underlying belief ‘I’m not enough’ to ‘I’m enough,'” the psychotherapist explained to Bored Panda. The way to do it is with self-compassion.”
According to Silva, we usually learn the ‘I’m not enough’ belief in childhood and it can become entrenched as we grow up. However, as we mature, we also have the means to change this underlying belief.
“Perhaps parents didn’t praise children enough, or they paid more attention to the mistakes rather than the successes. As an adult now, people can give themselves a hug once in a while and tell themselves, gently: ‘you’re doing good,’ ‘well done,’ ‘congratulations.’ Eventually, the brain will listen and slowly change the message ‘I’m not enough’ to ‘I’m enough,'” he noted.
“Rather than shouting your praise at other people, it is about speaking to yourself in a loving way. When people are genuinely aware of their successes, they can become genuinely more confident without the need to impose their power onto others.”
Women that guard their men like a soldier. I was leaving an abusive relationship my friend offered me a place to stay. The hitch was if she wasnt there and just her husband was I had to leave. I got a hotel room not dealing with that.
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Being unnecessarily mean spirited to people
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Insulting random people’s physical appearance.
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Though many of us tend to think of bragging (humble or otherwise) as something that should be avoided, it does have its time and place. Specifically, during job interviews. When done from a position of confidence instead of insecurity, bragging can actually be a very powerful tool in helping you land the job of your dreams.
I’d spoken about this earlier with career coach Jermaine Murray from Jupiter HR. In his interview with Bored Panda, he explained that not doing enough to highlight our accomplishments is the number one mistake we tend to make when applying for a new job.
“They humble themselves when they need to be boasting. If you understand why the work that you were doing was important and how it impacts your org (project) then you should be explaining that to the interviewer without holding back. How did you go above and beyond to make sure things worked? What creative ways did you come up with?” Jermaine noted that we should be showing off instead of being overly humble.
Bf:”Alright im going to work babe”
Gf:” you better not be f***ing with b***hes at work”
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This is a self roast but I think I degrade myself just to hear others deny it, is that insecure?
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being unable to sit in silence with others without talking, even if there’s nothing to talk about
-making small gestures and then constantly seeking validation and reassurance that you are appreciated, even if there’s no reason to think you aren’t appreciated
-constantly asking if someone is mad at you, even when they have told you several times that they are not mad at you
-trying overly hard to be funny/likeable/smart around people who already know you well just to seek attention and validation
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A couple of ways to show others that you’re feeling confident and secure are through your body language and your tone of voice. These two tools can make or break any situation. Career coach Jermaine said that we should want to “always want to be perceived as confident and capable” because the opposite can reduce our achievements, talents, and skills to practically zero in some hiring manager’s eyes.
“If your body language or tone says otherwise, you destroy the perception of your skills. Once that’s gone so are your chances of landing the job,” Jermaine said.
Automatically assuming negative intent.
You friend didn’t pick your call?
“F her, she’s trying to avoid me. I don’t care about her anyway.”
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When you tell someone something positive or nice that happened to you, for example, that you purchased a new TV and that you start to notice that the other person always tries to poke holes in your cloud of happiness by saying you instead should have waited, the TV is too big, it consumes to much power, that brand is s***ty and so on. But they do this with everything you share with them that is somewhat positive to your life.
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Constantly wedging “humble bragging” into conversations.
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“You can teach someone to be a better coder but it’s near impossible to teach them how to be a better person. Recruiters will always value personality first, but technical skills are a very close second,” the career coach said.
“Hiring managers keep that in mind and try to make sure candidates they like can perform competently. Different things contribute to this bar that aren’t based on the candidate but the organization’s internal ability to support and develop someone. Once those two elements are present a hire will happen.”
A constant need for affirmation.
Image credits: LearningLifeAsIGo
When people have and insist on constantly checking on their SO via some tracking app on their phone.
It’s one thing to have it and use it in case of emergency, but using it while out with your friends to make sure he’s actually at work is creepy and super insecure.
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People whose self-esteem is so low that they can’t stand the sight of people with high self-esteem, so they will try to break down anyone they perceive as more successful than them. When a group of this type of people comes together, a major crab bucket mentality arises and they will target people perceived as highly competent or successful for bullying, gossip, false rumors, and other things that should have been wiped out after elementary school.
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Joint Facebook profiles
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Incapable of self reflection
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Socially aware individuals understand that the other people have a life to run and might need a day or seven for them only.
Insecure people are going to have a fit and from the first lapse of communication, they expect that they have been abandoned for some really abstract reason, regardless if it has any merit or not.
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I’ve found that a lot of people on Twitter that feel the need to post about how great of a person they are and they have nothing but good intentions are usually the most toxic people I’ve seen
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Can’t handle being told they’re wrong or ignorant about something.
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They argue against your grammar, semantics, or micro-details, rather than the point you were obviously trying to make.
“You showed up to work an hour late!”
“No I didn’t, I was an hour and four minutes late, don’t you know the difference between 8:00 and 9:04!?”
“OH S**T YOU SURE PUT ME IN MY PLACE, JOSH!”
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People who constantly tell stories to make themselves seem real tough or badass. Yeah, dad, that’s really awesome that you kicked some guy’s ass when you were in the marines 40 years ago.
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Oftentimes, people don’t know the difference between “telling it like it is” and just being flat-out mean. People who tell it like it only give their opinion when it is warranted because they would want someone to tell them the truth instead of dancing around it. however, some can cross this line and just be straight-up rude, while using this same reasoning. those who “tell it like it is” are secure, those who are unnecessarily mean are insecure. not exactly a direct answer to your question, but I’ve always thought this and wanted to share.
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“I only get along with guys. Other girls hate me.”
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Using your internal fear as a reason not to do something.
Hate your job? You don’t apply for any others because you’re scared of being rejected, or that you don’t deserve a better job.
In a terrible relationship? You stay because you’re scared of being alone.
That kind of insecurity is the worst imo because it affects nearly everyone.
I mostly see this at work.
– People who are in upper management and treat people like garbage just because they can.
– Being unnecessarily mean, rude or bitter to people.
– Treating new employees like garbage just because you’re threatened they might take your job some day.
Using the words Alpha or Beta in any [freaking] sentence when talking about people.
Clinging to your boyfriend/girlfriend in public whenever you’re near an attractive person.
I used to do this and now notice it in others. I’ll get complimented and instantly find a way to criticize my self. Say i cooked, and it was good. Oh but it’s to salty or over done, i could do it better….or i could take the compliment and walk away. In a group setting I’ve also learned to pass the compliment along. Oh it was this persons idea we make this or something like that. ” the project is finished and everything went well” instead of saying oh it was no big deal i say everything was organized and where it needed to be when i started. I’m passing the complement to whoever organized without sounding insecure about my abilities.
Trying to dominate conversations (not to be confused with just being a charismatic person).
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Grabbing your girl tighter as you walk into public places. Followed by awful looks to anyone who makes eye contact.
Dismissing people before they dismiss you.
Bragging about how controlling their partners are.
I remember shopping with 2 friends and they both kept saying “oh blank would never let me wear that” “blank wouldn’t be cool with me doing (normal think with the opposite gender).
My response was “oh I would never let someone tell me how to dress or who to hang out with”.
I have been with the same guy for nearly 20 years and they still think it’s weird that I do my own thing and don’t ask him permission. Fuck that nonsense.
Being overly nice and being a yes man to make other people happy. Also having no opinions
Girls who say ‘she’s probably not that pretty without make up on’
When you question yourself “do they actually like me or are they pretending to?” or when you think you’re gonna bother other people if you talk to them
Scene: Gets a notification on phone..
ex gf: Who’s chatting to you now?
me: Its a game notification
me: Goes to shower
me: Comes back to find gf going through every message , email and whatsapp…
Does that scream I’m insecure?
Immediately getting defensive whenever you try to help them.
People who gossip all the time. I knew a small group of people who would constantly gossip at work. The usual stuff like putting people down, trying to create drama where there wasn’t any. If you talked to them separately they were nice enough. They even seemed a little timid, but when they were together their attitude would do a complete 180. They seemed to feel powerful when they could be asshats together and felt sheepish when they had to mingle with the people that they spent 90% of their time talking shit about. They just looked small from the outside.
People who can’t accept or admit they are in the wrong.
Any kind of feeling of need to punish a significant other. If you think of your s/o as out of your control or needing to be controlled you’re insecure, sorry bud.
Making up very obvious fake stories about their lives to try to impress people who don’t even care about you or know you. And then blowing up and getting defensive when someone calls you on them.
Constant fishing for compliments when around people (eg, “I’m so chunky” as a direct way to get someone to tell you that you look great).
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Constant social media posts about how you were at the grocery store, gas station, hospital, ball game, wherever…..and a random man tells you how beautiful you are and he can’t believe you’re single. I legit have a friend who does this at least once a week. Sweet girl otherwise, but that shit is soooo annoying
Just not shutting up about yourself. Constantly lifting yourself up and comparing yourself to others, while pushing them down.
Constantly having problems with people. Look, I hate humanity more than most people. But I knew a contractor who literally had a problem with someone new every day. One day it was me because i made a joke about how I hope my boss doesn’t sell this type of tile anymore, because it’s a particularly heavy and awkwardly shaped tile. He laughed at this, and threw a few wise cracks in himself.
Next thing I know he’s telling my human resources lady that I refused to help him, and that I’m a disgruntled employee and he couldn’t care if I dropped dead, along with everyone else in my department. This guy literally goes from tile store to tile store burning bridges and taking names.
Saying “I’m so random” or “I’m so funny” on a regular basis.
A huge lifted truck without any discernible work purpose being extremely aggressive in traffic.