People who are overly compensating for their insecurity usually display these 15 behaviors

We all get a little insecure at times, and confidence and self-esteem tend to wax and wane. 

But some people are more insecure than others.

How can you tell?

The best way is by observing the behaviors of those around you and how they treat you and talk to you. 

Insecure folks tend to try to overcompensate for their feeling of low self-worth.

Here’s a look at the top insecure compensatory behaviors… 

1) Seeking validation

Insecure people try to overcompensate by seeking validation. 

They think that by showing many people approve of them and find them wonderful it will quiet any criticism or judgment. 

“See, I’m awesome!”

They find hundreds of ways to seek validation and approval in situations, from people and from small interactions. 

2) Name dropping 

This is a validation seeking and bragging behavior. 

By dropping the names of people they know, especially prestigious individuals or celebrities, the insecure individual gets an ego boost. 

They feel like they are proving to themselves and to everyone else that they matter and that they are extra important.

How else would they be followed by someone who’s followed by LeBron James on Twitter? They’re practically on a first-name basis! 

3) Bragging and credentialism

Bragging about credentials is another very insecure behavior. 

But then again, who am I to slag off somebody who went to an Ivy League College?

They also have specialized training in international business and worked on a large international trade deal in the previous government administration?

This person sounds like a certified very big deal! 

4) Showing off

Finding ways to show off is a specialty for those who are overcompensating for insecurity

There are those with a bigger ego who like the lion’s share of attention. It’s not always insecurity, is what I’m saying. 

But in most cases a person seeking out attention and showing how special and great they are have some inner insecurity bubbling to the surface. 

Showing off can seem bizarre and silly to others, but it can become like a reflex to an insecure person. 

5) Irrational self-inflation

Delusions of grandeur are another symptom of the insecure person trying to compensate. 

This isn’t necessarily out in the open as bragging and name dropping but is more on the internal level:

The insecure person has a genuinely distorted view of their own self-importance.

They think they’re a big deal when in reality they’re just an ordinary person. It can be quite bizarre to those who actually know them.

6) Brandishing bling 

One way to show off is with bling:

Watches, jewelry, accessories, gold chains, maybe even some platinum?

Insecure people often try to overcompensate for their doubts and their feeling of being low value by decking themselves in gems and bling. 

It does provide them a temporary high at least, but the expected bump in their social status often doesn’t come and they’re often seen as gauche poseurs instead.

7) Party monster behavior

Those who compensate for their inferiority complex find many ways to cover up their feeling of being low value. 

Being the stereotypical party monster is a typical way they do so:

By dancing it up and hooting and hollering, they hope to drown out those voices of inner doubt telling them they’re a nobody. 

There’s nothing wrong with having fun and being the life of the party, but the kind of individual who takes it over the top into 24/7 party behavior is often overcompensating for something

8) Over-the-top perfectionism

Nobody’s perfect, but those who go over the top in trying to be perfect are usually overcompensating for something. 

Oftentimes they have a feeling of deep inner shame or low worth that originated in childhood and early negligence. 

Now they are trying to make up for that by acting perfect and trying their best to live up to some imaginary ideal. 

9) Hyper-competitiveness 

Being extremely competitive is another way that insecure people make up for feeling low value. 

By being extremely competitive they try their best to reassure those inner doubts that plague them. 

The problem is that it’s a never-ending insecurity inside that’s not truly reassured by any outer accomplishment or victory. 

10) Constant comparison

Those who overcompensate for their insecurity often engage in a lot of comparison, a close cousin to jealousy. 

By comparing themselves to others they hope to have a measurable metric to judge their worth.

Jealousy and resentment of those they perceive as doing better than them is unfortunately an inevitable side effect. 

11) Dread of criticism 

Those who are overcompensating for insecurity have a very hard time taking criticism, in fact they dread it. 

So what do they do when criticism comes their way as it inevitably comes to all of us at times?

The answer, in most cases, is that they project and criticize back twice as hard. 

12) Social masking

All of us are conditioned by society to play certain roles in our personal and professional lives.

Those who are deeply insecure play a social role at an even more committed level, really putting themselves into the role and “wearing their social mask” even more thoroughly. 

By leaning into their role as a lawyer, or wife, or model or whatever their various roles may be, this person hopes to reassure themselves and others of their high value and that they truly belong. 

13) Creating confrontation

In some cases, insecure people will seek out confrontation as a way to “prove their mettle.”

By getting in somebody’s face and proving how tough they are, the insecure person hopes to feel higher value and like a big shot. 

Having this aura of “don’t mess with me” makes the insecure person feel like they’re important and tough, temporarily calming themselves as to any doubts of their own value. 

14) People-pleasing

On the flip-side of being overly confrontational, some insecure folks will go the opposite way by being much too agreeable. 

By being extremely agreeable to others and pleasing them, the insecure person hopes to be well-liked and approved of. 

In such a way they hope that they’ll be validated as more and more important and desired and sought after by other people in a more consistent and enduring way. 

15) Living in denial

Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt, as the saying goes. It’s so true. 

Those who have an insecure streak inside themselves that won’t seem to go away often turn to denial as a coping mechanism. 

By acting like their life is going splendidly when they’re actually struggling, for example, they hope to convince not only others but also themselves that everything is hunky-dory. 

I’m not crying, you are! 

Paul Brian

Paul Brian

Paul R. Brian is a freelance journalist and writer who has reported from around the world, focusing on religion, culture and geopolitics. Follow him on and visit his website at

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