Insecurity is as ordinary as a summer cold. Self-doubt can come from a lifetime of things like abusive childhoods, toxic relationships, and being knocked down a few times. Insecure people often wander through life feeling saddled with all the regrets and hurts of yesterday, and these things damage their psyche.

Your history defines you, whether good or bad. If you were to look deep into your soul, you would see emotional scars from your life. Some folks rise above these problems, while others can’t get beyond them. Then there are the people who try to fake it but go home at night only to rehash everything that has gone so wrong.

When you’ve weathered storms in life, it’s only natural that it alters you. Once the caterpillar becomes a butterfly, there’s no way to go back and change because it wants to be more colorful. You’re stuck with the hand life deals you, and many people become negative and bitter because of it.

Folks with long histories and backstories are often very insecure. They feel inferior in life. The things that have happened to them have turned them into an entirely different person, and you can’t rewrite history. The good news is that you can change your course and alter the future.

Seven Signs of an Insecure Person

Dealing with someone with insecurity can be challenging, especially in a romantic relationship. Insecure people often have a negative attitude and are not always the most pleasant to be around. Here are some red flags that someone is insecure and how you should respond to their overbearing actions.

insecure people

1. Insecurity Shows Arrogance

You probably know someone arrogant. They like to brag about their accomplishments, act like they’re better than everyone else, and make themselves feel superior. Insecure people don’t see their shortcomings, so they come off as cruel and often selfish to others.

What’s going on is that this person had to develop a false sense of pride to get through life. Since they feel like no one else will praise them or their abilities, they make sure they pat themselves on the back. Buddhists describe egotism as one of the mind’s five poisons. They further state that most Abrahamic religions see this behavior as a sin.

How to Respond:

The arrogant person is insecure, but their negative attitude can be challenging to handle. It’s best to call out this childish behavior and put them in their place. Saying something like, “Be careful, as you might put your arm out of socket patting your own back,” can drive the point home.

2. An Insecure Person Has Angry and Rage Issues

Since insecure people have so much negativity inside, it’s no wonder they often have anger and rage issues. Since anger is the easiest emotion to show, you hope you’re not on the receiving end. These people are mad at the world for how their life has gone, and they’re even madder at themselves for not measuring up.

While none of this is true, it’s what they perceive. This person can become abusive in a relationship, as they allow their rage issues to dominate good judgment.

How to Respond:

Living with someone who has anger issues makes you feel like you’re walking on eggshells. If they ever hit you even one time, you let them know that will be the last time. It’s impossible to live with someone who has uncontrolled rage, and you let them know you won’t stand for it.

3. Insecurity Is Very Fearful

This individual seems to have it all together to the outside world. However, insecure people are often full of doubts on the inside. They’re wondering what happens if they fail or what to do if someone doesn’t like them. All the shameful secrets and problems from their past give them these doubts.

How to Respond:

Remind this person that their insecurity is only apparent in their mind. Remind them of all their successes in life, and be sure to tell them that people would like them more if they acted differently. Fear is a negative emotion that’s hard to overcome, but they can do it with love, support, and a good counselor.

4. Insecure People Are Often Defensive

When an individual feels that everyone around them is better, it’s natural to respond by trying to make themselves look better. The easiest way to make yourself feel superior is to point out someone else’s faults. These actions give the insecure person a false sense of dominance, which strokes their ego.

It’s common for this individual to overreact to authoritative figures negatively. They’re often quick to jump to their own defense, even for no reason.


How to Respond:

Never allow a bully to put you down to puff themselves up. You can put them in their place by calling out exactly what they’re doing. Telling them that just because their insecure doesn’t give them a right to be mean is usually all you will need to say.

5. The Negativity Creates a “Quitter” Mentality

When a person suffers from insecurity, they often don’t finish things. They may start an assignment for work but cannot complete it. In most cases, they’re not good at relationships, jobs, or school.

This is because they’re afraid of being judged and not good enough. Social situations that bring scrutiny may cause intense anxiety. The fear of rejection is holding them back from a fulfilling life.

They don’t want anyone to see them as a fraud or an unlovable person. On the flip side, this person will do anything to gain the approval of others. They’re often the people who like to suck up to the boss. The need for validation drives this person, and their negative feelings on the inside are portrayed on the outside.

How to Respond:

If you’re in a relationship with someone with this level of insecurity, it’s challenging to know what to do. Please encourage them to keep going. Suggest counseling to help them work through all the past traumas. By developing a go-getter attitude instead of being a person that runs, they will notice a big difference in their esteem levels.

6. Must Be the Center of Attention

To cope with all the insecurities someone feels inside, they will either isolate themselves or become the center of attention. Some prefer to be alone because they feel safe when there’s nothing to prove. Others desire a social life and want to be around others, but they struggle to escape their thoughts.

The past rejections and hurts play like a record stuck and replaying the same thing repeatedly. When they put themselves in the limelight, it gives them the admiration they desire. This person might try to tell the funniest jokes, dress provocatively, or be the loudest at dinner.

They may try to impress in other ways by paying for everything or offering to do deeds for people they know they can’t possibly deliver.

How to Respond:

When you see someone going out of their way to fit in, you need to tell them it’s unnecessary. Remind this person that they don’t have to do anything special for people to like them. Running up debt and making promises to do things will only buy them the admiration they need for a tiny bit. They need to allow their true personality to develop so that others can like them for who they are in this life.

7. Insecurity Is Very Needy

Insecure people often feel inadequate, so they develop a needy persona to help them get treated the way they desire. This individual is high maintenance and always has more problems than a math book. In a relationship, they need your constant validation, and they’re likely to be jealous of any connections you have, including family.

Someone with a victim mentality often plays the martyr. Nothing is their fault, as they won’t take personal responsibility. The real issue is that they have unhealthy coping mechanisms due to their negative view of life.

The article further states that this person is a challenge to work with because for every positive thing someone suggests to help, they have 100 reasons it won’t work.

How to Respond:

A needy person can be a lot to handle, so give yourself space when you need it. Tell them that they’re acting a bit over-zealous and let them know what you won’t accept. In any relationship, you must tell people how you expect to be treated, especially if someone displays toxic characteristics.

insecure people

Final Thoughts on Insecure People

Two people can come through the same storm, and one can be dramatically impacted while the other comes out nearly unscathed. The one who is affected so dramatically is usually the one who will develop insecurities and fears. Getting to a healthy point is often a challenge.

Maybe you’re the insecure person, or it’s someone very close to you. You need to know that you can get through this with the proper help and learn to rewire your brain to think positively rather than negatively. Self-doubt can impact every facet of your life, but you don’t have to allow these insecurities to dominate anymore.