When renowned psychologist and author, Dr. Brene Brown, was conducting research for her new book last year, she discovered a profound truth about herself. If there was one thing that her journey into the human psyche had revealed, it was an aversion to certain conversations – a clear indication of unresolved insecurities from her past.
Working in the field of psychology can be fascinating with its continuous exploration of the human mind and behavior. However, Dr. Brown realized it can also be deeply unsettling when it forces you to confront your own past.
During her research, Dr. Brown found herself skirting around certain topics and avoiding specific types of conversation. She realized that these were topics linked to moments of vulnerability in her life. She had spent countless hours talking to others about their fears and insecurities but had shied away from her own.
This revelation led her to pen her latest book, “Hidden Shadows,” which delves into the eight conversations most avoided by people who harbor insecurities about their past. The book encourages its readers to face these conversations head-on as a stepping stone to healing and growth.
Dr. Brown believes that avoiding these conversations hinders personal growth and prevents us from confronting our insecurities. Her introspection allowed her to address her hidden fears and insecurities, fostering growth and resilience.
Do you find yourself dodging certain conversations? Have you ever wondered if these avoided discussions might be revealing insecurities about your past?
Or perhaps, you’ve always been someone who bravely faces uncomfortable conversations head-on. If you find yourself avoiding these eight specific conversations, you might be hiding insecurities about your past, just like Dr. Brown.
This article aims to help its readers understand the significance of these often-avoided dialogues and how they can be a window into our hidden insecurities.
1) They steer clear of discussing personal failures or setbacks
People who tend to avoid conversations about their past failures or setbacks may be inadvertently revealing their insecurities.
They understand that everyone experiences failure at some point, but the thought of openly discussing these instances can be overwhelmingly distressing for them.
This is usually because such individuals are still grappling with these setbacks internally. The unresolved feelings associated with these experiences often stir up discomfort and anxiety, making them a topic best avoided in their view.
By not addressing these past failures, they’re attempting to protect themselves from the emotional turmoil associated with those memories. However, this avoidance can prevent them from fully processing and learning from these experiences.
Experts suggest that discussing personal failures can be a therapeutic process, allowing individuals to confront their insecurities and potentially find closure.
However, those harboring insecurities about their past often find this process daunting and may require professional help to navigate through it.
Avoiding discussions about personal failures doesn’t just shield them from potential judgment or criticism from others, but it’s also a way for them to evade facing their own self-judgment.
Without confronting these insecurities, they may experience lingering self-doubt, low self-esteem, and in some cases, even anxiety or depression.
2) They shy away from talking about their childhood
Individuals who consistently avoid discussing their childhood or become noticeably uncomfortable when the topic is broached might be harboring insecurities about their past.
Childhood forms the foundation of our character and shapes our perception of the world. It’s during these formative years that we learn about relationships, trust, and develop our sense of self.
For some, however, the journey through childhood may not have been as smooth. It could be dotted with painful memories, dysfunctional family dynamics, or even traumatic experiences. These individuals might associate their childhood with feelings of fear, shame, or guilt.
Discussing these experiences can trigger a flood of emotions that they’d rather keep suppressed. They might fear the judgment or pity of others if they were to reveal these aspects of their life.
But experts suggest that acknowledging and discussing these painful memories can be a crucial step towards healing and overcoming these insecurities.
By avoiding conversations about their childhood, they’re essentially putting a band-aid over deep wounds that need to be addressed and healed. This avoidance might provide temporary relief but doesn’t facilitate long-term emotional health.
Without confronting these insecurities, individuals may carry unresolved emotions into their adult life, potentially affecting their relationships and overall wellbeing.
3) They evade discussions about past relationships
People who habitually dodge discussions about their romantic history might be indicating insecurities tied to their past.
Past relationships, particularly those that ended on a sour note, can leave emotional scars. For some, these experiences might have resulted in feelings of inadequacy, betrayal, or abandonment.
Talking about these past relationships can mean revisiting painful memories and emotions they’d rather leave in the past. They might also worry that sharing these experiences may lead others to view them negatively or judge their ability to maintain a relationship.
However, experts believe that discussing past relationships can provide valuable insights into patterns of behavior, enabling individuals to reflect and grow from these experiences.
By avoiding these conversations, they’re missing an opportunity for self-reflection and growth. This avoidance could potentially lead to repeating the same patterns in future relationships.
Without addressing these insecurities, they may carry the emotional baggage from their past relationships into their present ones, affecting their ability to form healthy and fulfilling connections.
4) They avoid discussing personal fears or anxieties
Individuals who consistently sidestep conversations about their personal fears or anxieties may be concealing insecurities linked to their past.
Fears and anxieties can be deeply personal and revealing them requires vulnerability. For some, admitting to these fears means exposing a perceived weakness that they would rather keep hidden.
This could stem from past experiences where expressing fear or anxiety was met with dismissal or ridicule. As a result, they avoid these discussions as a defence mechanism against potential rejection or judgment.
However, psychologists suggest that openly discussing fears and anxieties can be an important step towards understanding and managing them effectively.
By avoiding these conversations, they’re not only suppressing their fears but also missing out on potential support and understanding from others.
Without addressing these insecurities, they may continue to struggle with unmanaged fear or anxiety, impacting their mental health and overall quality of life.
5) They hesitate to talk about their personal achievements
People who are consistently reluctant to discuss their personal achievements might be revealing insecurities connected to their past.
Achievements, big or small, are a reflection of one’s hard work and perseverance. Yet, for some individuals, discussing these accomplishments becomes a challenge. They may fear coming across as boastful or arrogant.
In other cases, they might struggle with imposter syndrome—a psychological pattern where individuals doubt their accomplishments and fear being exposed as a “fraud”. These feelings can often be traced back to past experiences where their efforts were dismissed or belittled.
Experts suggest that confidently discussing one’s achievements can actually boost self-esteem and validate the hard work that went into attaining them.
By avoiding these conversations, they’re inadvertently downplaying their success and dismissing their own worth. This avoidance can further fuel self-doubt and hinder their self-esteem.
Without addressing these insecurities, they might continue to undervalue their accomplishments and struggle with self-confidence in various aspects of life.
6) They tend to avoid conversations about their dreams and aspirations
Individuals who consistently dodge discussions about their dreams and aspirations might be unconsciously signaling insecurities rooted in their past.
Aspirations reflect our hopes for the future. However, for some, these dreams might have been met with discouragement or disbelief in the past, leading them to guard these desires closely. They may fear vulnerability and the potential disappointment that could follow if these dreams aren’t realized.
Experts suggest that sharing one’s dreams and aspirations can be both empowering and inspiring, providing a sense of direction and purpose.
By avoiding these conversations, they’re not only concealing their true desires but also potentially missing out on support and encouragement from others. This avoidance can keep them stuck, preventing them from pursuing their dreams wholeheartedly.
Without addressing these insecurities, they may continue to harbor self-doubt, limiting their potential and hindering their personal growth.
7) They shy away from discussions about their physical appearance
People who habitually evade conversations about their physical appearance might be indicating insecurities tied to their past.
Our society places a significant emphasis on physical appearance, and past experiences of body-shaming or criticism can leave lasting marks. These individuals might struggle with body image issues or low self-esteem, preferring to avoid any conversation that draws attention to their physical self.
Psychologists assert that discussing body image issues can be a critical step towards acceptance and self-love, fostering a healthier relationship with one’s body.
By avoiding these conversations, they’re essentially suppressing their feelings towards their bodies, which can reinforce negative self-perceptions. This avoidance can perpetuate low self-esteem and inhibit them from embracing their unique beauty.
Without confronting these insecurities, they may continue to struggle with body image issues, impacting their self-confidence and overall mental health.
8) They dodge conversations about their emotions or feelings
Individuals who consistently sidestep discussions about their emotions or feelings might be revealing insecurities from their past.
Our emotions are intricately tied to our experiences, and discussing them requires a level of openness and vulnerability. For some, expressing emotions might have been discouraged in the past, or met with dismissal or invalidation. This could lead to the development of a defense mechanism where they avoid discussing their feelings to prevent feeling exposed or misunderstood.
Experts believe that expressing and discussing emotions is essential for emotional well-being. It allows for the processing of experiences and promotes healthy coping mechanisms.
By avoiding these conversations, they’re essentially bottling up their feelings, which can lead to emotional stagnation and increased stress. This avoidance can also prevent them from forming deep and meaningful connections with others.
Without addressing these insecurities, they may continue to suppress their emotions, potentially leading to emotional distress and impacting their overall mental health.
Bottom line: It’s a journey towards healing
The complexities of human behavior and the conversations we avoid are often indicative of our past experiences and the insecurities we harbor.
One such connection is the relationship between avoidance and the psychological concept known as defense mechanisms.
These mechanisms, first proposed by Sigmund Freud, act as a psychological shield against anxiety or uncomfortable feelings. Avoidance is one such mechanism that individuals use to protect themselves from painful memories or insecurities related to their past.
For those who habitually avoid certain conversations, this defense mechanism might be at play, serving as a protective bubble from the discomfort associated with these topics.
Whether it’s sidestepping discussions about personal failures, shying away from childhood memories, or evading conversations about personal feelings, the underlying psychology might be a reflection of their attempt to guard against emotional pain.
However, as renowned psychologist Carl Rogers once said, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” It’s through facing these uncomfortable conversations and confronting our insecurities that we truly begin our journey towards healing and personal growth.
The path might be challenging and filled with emotional hurdles, but the destination holds the promise of self-acceptance, resilience, and an enriched understanding of oneself. As we navigate this journey, let’s remember it’s not just about moving forward but also about growing in depth, becoming more attuned to our feelings, and fostering healthier relationships with ourselves and others.