People who are confident in public but insecure behind closed doors usually display these 9 behaviors

Everyone has a public and private persona, and sometimes these two faces can be vastly different.

Take, for instance, people who seem confident in public but are insecure behind closed doors. They’re masters at projecting a self-assured image to the world, while privately wrestling with self-doubt and insecurity.

Understanding these individuals isn’t easy. However, they usually display certain behaviors that give away their true feelings.

In this article, we’ll explore 9 behaviors characteristic of people who shine in public, but struggle with insecurity in private. Let’s dive in.

1) Overcompensation in public

Often, those who appear confident in public but are actually insecure in private tend to overcompensate when they’re around others.

This overcompensation can take many forms. Some may excessively self-promote, trying to convince others (and themselves) of their abilities and successes. Others may be overly generous, seeking approval through their acts of kindness.

Many use humor as a defense mechanism, keeping the spotlight on their wit rather than on their true selves. It’s their way of maintaining control over how they are perceived.

In reality, these behaviors are a mask, hiding the insecurities that they grapple with in private. Recognizing this pattern can help us understand the dual nature of such individuals better.

2) Avoidance of personal topics

I remember an old friend of mine who was always the life of the party – always cracking jokes and keeping everyone entertained.

But when the conversation took a personal turn, he’d skillfully steer it away or make a joke to divert attention.

This is another common behavior. People who are confident in public but insecure privately often avoid discussing personal topics. They shy away from revealing their true feelings or opening up about their struggles.

It’s as if they’re afraid that sharing their insecurities will shatter the image of confidence they’ve carefully constructed. In my friend’s case, it took years for him to finally open up and share his inner struggles with me.

3) Perfectionism

People who are outwardly confident but inwardly insecure might often display signs of perfectionism. They strive for flawlessness, setting excessively high performance standards for themselves.

According to researchers, perfectionism can mask a fear of making mistakes, which is often linked to anxiety and depression. It creates a vicious cycle where individuals constantly push themselves to achieve more, yet never feel satisfied with their achievements.

This relentless pursuit of perfection is another way for them to maintain their public image, even though it might be taking a toll on their mental health behind closed doors.

4) Constant need for validation

Those who seem confident in public, but are insecure in private, often exhibit a constant need for validation. They may frequently seek compliments or reassurance to bolster their self-esteem.

You might notice them fishing for compliments or subtly turning conversations towards their achievements. This is their way of seeking external confirmation of their worth, which they struggle to find within themselves.

While it’s completely normal to want recognition, an over-reliance on external validation can indicate deeper insecurities lurking beneath the surface.

5) Avoidance of confrontation

pic2371 People who are confident in public but insecure behind closed doors usually display these 9 behaviors

Ever met someone who’s a walking contradiction?

Outwardly confident but inwardly insecure, they’d rather tap dance around conflict than face it head-on.

They’ll nod along to opinions they don’t buy or keep their thoughts on lockdown to dodge any potential discord. It’s all about keeping up appearances and avoiding any hint of vulnerability.

Recognizing this behavior helps us cut them some slack and create a cozy zone where they can finally let their guard down and spill the beans. 

6) Fear of failure

Imagine setting your heart on something, only to be paralyzed by the fear of failing. This is often the reality for those who appear confident in public but are insecure in private.

They may avoid taking risks or trying new things, worried that failure would shatter their carefully constructed facade. This fear can be incredibly limiting, holding them back from reaching their full potential.

It’s a poignant reminder that even the most confident-looking individuals may be grappling with fears and insecurities that we know nothing about. A little understanding and empathy can go a long way in helping them overcome these fears.

7) Difficulty accepting compliments

I’ve always noticed that taking a compliment graciously can be surprisingly difficult for some. Instead of saying a simple “thank you,” they may downplay their achievements or brush off the praise.

This is another telltale sign of someone who is outwardly confident but inwardly insecure. They struggle to believe in their own worth, so when someone else recognizes it, it doesn’t align with their self-perception.

Learning to accept compliments with grace and gratitude is a small but significant step on the path to overcoming insecurity.

8) Overthinking and rumination

Overthinking is a common trait among those who appear confident in public but are insecure in private. They may replay conversations in their head, dwell on mistakes or worry excessively about future events.

This constant rumination can be mentally exhausting and often fuels their insecurities. Instead of letting go and moving on, they get stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts.

Here’s the thing: if your overthinking revolves around a problem, take practical steps to address it. Break it down into smaller tasks and focus on solutions rather than dwelling on the problem itself. 

9) Highly sensitive to criticism

Picture this: you’re at a party, looking like you’ve got it all together. But behind closed doors, even a harmless comment feels like a punch to the gut.

For those confident on the outside but wrestling insecurity on the inside, criticism hits different. It’s not just feedback; it’s a blow to their sense of self.

Why? It’s because some individuals strive for perfection to mask their insecurities. Criticism threatens this facade of perfection, triggering feelings of failure or unworthiness.

Final thoughts: The importance of understanding

People who radiate confidence in public often grapple with insecurities behind closed doors.

They’re not outliers but rather a testament to the complexity of human emotions. Even the most outwardly self-assured individuals can harbor inner doubts and vulnerabilities.

So, as we engage with others, let’s peel back the layers of outward confidence and embrace the hidden vulnerabilities within.

In doing so, we might just provide solace and companionship to those wrestling with their inner demons.

Picture of Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.