9 things you don’t realize you’re doing because you’re insecure

Insecurities suck!

They makes us act in fear, and leaves us feeling lonely because it’s not like we want to self-sabotage.

We’re all a little guilty of it, and unfortunately, overcoming it means confronting it.

If you’re here, that means you’re at least a little bit ready to change. So buckle up!

Here are 9 things you don’t realize you’re doing because you’re insecure.

1) Only focusing on the negatives.

This can make receiving feedback extremely difficult. You might only focus on the negative comments and completely ignore the good ones.

This is because when you’re insecure, you tend to feel poorly about yourself. So your mind isn’t interested in believing in the existence of your positive qualities.

So it will hardwire itself to notice and cling onto negative “confirmations” that show up in your reality.

This reinforces the idea that you’re in control of how people see you because that is how you can stay in control of how you view yourself.

And you can project this toxic perfectionism onto others because it’s the only way you know how to perceive!

Which can result in you not pursuing something because you lack self-belief. And also sabotage good relationships because you weren’t able to see them in a compassionate way.

2) Black and white thinking.

It’s hard to catch all-or-nothing thinking because it’s your brain’s way of protecting you from being hurt.

It can start with a lack of self-acceptance where you have a distorted view of yourself like we mentioned.

However, when you avoid the bad to avoid discomfort, you’re actually affecting the way you experience good things accurately as well.

Because only focusing on the good can cause you to have unrealistic expectations and feel hurt when you or others don’t live up to them.

It’s also a way to avoid complex emotions or concepts because they can be exhausting if you’ve endured something traumatic.

But in the long run, it can be more exhausting to constantly feel disappointed by people or feel like everyone is out to get you.

Ultimately, this requires you to get more comfortable being alone and how you can better accept yourself without breaking down.

3) Taking things personally.

Do you ever feel like life is unreasonably bleak? Like you can’t catch a break?

Like it’s singling you out and using you as a punching bag?

Constantly feeling like a victim in your own life can be a sign that you’re overgeneralizing your experiences. It’s hard to catch this because it’s emotion-based.

And sometimes, it can be that life was extra hard for you during certain chapters.

But for you to take those events personally can cause you to equate how others treat you, to your worth!

When the actions of others and the world are out of your control, and not about you at all.

What you can do is control how you react. 

Remove yourself from negative environments if possible, and try to visualize what it would be like to exist for yourself. 

Make room for your side of the story.

4) Assuming the worst in others.

If someone displays these behaviors theyre really self obsessed 1 9 things you don't realize you're doing because you're insecure

This one creeps up on you.

It happens when you stop giving people a chance. Because deep down you don’t feel ready or worthy of new beginnings.

But what you’re really affirming to yourself is that you prefer to stay safe than experience the possibility of something amazing.

Like looking in your closet at night and thinking you saw a face – so there must be a monster in there.

Assuming the worst can also lead you to make harsh judgements that are rooted in harmful social biases. 

Which quickly turns your mild fear or judgment into hate.

5) Pushing people away.

You won’t realize that you’re doing this until you realize that you fear pretty much every single opportunity you come across.

There can’t be something wrong with all of them – right?

I’ll be honest with you, only you can answer that. And to do that, you need to prioritize yourself.

Don’t pressure yourself to trust anyone when you aren’t ready. Instead, turn your gaze within. 

Start by writing down what your deal breakers are and what you need in a relationship. Or anything for that matter!

Take your time with it. This is the foundation that you can lean on when you decide if you pushed someone away because of your insecurities or not.

Doing this can help you connect with people with good intentions. And having around people that value your well-being will help you navigate difficult people.

6) Poor communication.

As we mentioned, people aren’t strictly good or bad.

Sometimes, they’re a bit of both and the only way you can properly discern where they fit on the scale of safe or not is in the communication.

When you feel insecure about your ability to stay in control of a relationship, talking about the difficult things can feel intimidating.

It can be awkward and the probability of things going sour can keep you from even trying.

And if the importance of talking about your feelings and thoughts wasn’t demonstrated for you as a kid, that can make it that much difficult.

You may not even see it as a problem because you’re so used to being silenced.

Where you don’t speak, assumptions take over. Which again, makes more room for your reality to be dictated by your fears.

7) Gravitating toward negative situations.

As the negative habits above fester in the back of your mind, something else is brewing.

An unconscious (or sometimes conscious) attraction to negative people.

These are the people that also don’t like to communicate and don’t have a healthy relationship with themselves.

So they might look like the physical manifestations of all your fears about yourself.

They might be overly critical of you, be intimidated by your empowerment, and have bad intentions towards you.

But to you, they might feel safer because they aren’t challenging your inner monologue. They’re validating them which makes you feel like you’re in control.

This could apply to other aspects of your life like your career! 

Where you stay at a job that mistreats you because you don’t believe that you deserve anything better – or think that’s possible.

All in all, it’s not always clear when something is bad for you because you have yet to know what it feels like to truly thrive.

8) Always blaming others.

If someone displays these behaviors theyre really self obsessed 9 things you don't realize you're doing because you're insecure

Especially if you aren’t aware of your part in your own suffering, you might blame everyone else for the state of your life.

This one is tricky too. Because on the surface, it feels like you’re doing the right thing by not taking misfortunes personally. 

That it isn’t your fault – so it must be everyone else’s.

But the difference between not taking things personally and playing the blame game is all in where you’re putting your spare energy.

Sure, it might not always be your fault, but your life is still your responsibility to make positive change. No one can do that for you.

The insecurity being highlighted here is fear of failure. That if the state of your life is in everyone’s hands but your own, you can’t fail.

But success and independent thinking go hand in hand – you have to take initiative to truly take control of your life.

It takes time to break out of this because it will require healing all the other insecurities that keep your perception of yourself tied to other people. So be patient with yourself.

9) Being a rigid thinker.

Beyond the spectrum of good and bad, is a world of labels and rules that our society is built on.

While they help us understand one another by creating a common ground, they can also be used to place unrealistic expectations.

Some that are even harmful!

For example, before mental health became more mainstream, it was a very oppressive industry. Where people were mistreated for having neurodivergence.

We even see people being victims of hate crime today for being a gender beyond the binary.

Why do people hate people who are different?

Because it triggers their stability by telling them that the world is a lot more complex than they had thought.

But instead of reacting emotionally with hate, you can take it as a sign that you should think for yourself more.

To not allow others to tell you who you are just because it makes you feel powerful in relation to other people’s disempowerment.

You can start by educating yourself to soothe the grizzling unknown.

These are all examples of how cognitive distortions can affect the way you perceive yourself and reality.

They can happen when you’ve endured something painful and your self-esteem has taken a hit. 

But it can also happen when you stop thinking for yourself and allow other people’s experiences to influence you. 

Fortunately, if you’ve made it this far, that means you’re aware now. Which is like 55% of the solution.

Now it’s up to you to notice every time you act in ways that are a reflection of your negative experiences and detach from them.

With the help of a professional as well as a healthy support system, you can learn to live alongside your insecurities.

Instead of being dragged on the ground and trailing behind them.

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Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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