Have you ever tried complimenting another person, and they literally can’t accept it?
You’d say they’re cute, and they’d respond with how they’re really not, along with a laundry list of all the rest of their insecurities.
And then you’d be left trying to figure out what to say, because you don’t really know how to respond to that.
But don’t worry, it’s not your fault if you can’t find the right words to say to a deeply insecure person.
The one thing you need to do, when that happens, is recognize how it’s a glaring sign of deep insecurity—and knowing that simple fact can help you understand them and how to deal with them next time.
Unfortunately, though, some signs aren’t as obvious as this one.
So if you want to know what the other signs are, read more below—in the end, you’ll finally understand the behaviors of someone who’s deeply insecure.
Let’s jump in!
1) They think everything’s a competition they need to win
For insecure people, everything in life is a contest.
Even with insecurities, they’re highly competitive.
You could be telling them about something you’re insecure about and they’d tell you they have more insecurities that are more serious than yours.
And often, it’s not really because they’re arrogant, or that they enjoy it; it’s more about their deep-seated need to prove themselves, because their only source of self-worth is winning these imagined competitions.
So they might compare themselves to others constantly, even over minor matters, as if their lives depend on being superior.
This behavior can be draining for both you and them, because it turns ordinary conversations into petty contests.
This is also partly because of their chronic jealousy.
2) They’re constantly jealous
Jealousy is an insecure person’s best friend.
When someone they know has done something good, no matter how small it might be, it makes them feel jealous.
It makes them think:
Why can’t I have that?
Why do other people get what they want, and I don’t?
It’s sad, I know, but it’s a feeling they can’t help. It comes from a deep fear of being replaced or forgotten, which makes them jealous of everyone all the time.
And this constant jealousy is the reason why they almost always wind up being alone.
3) They don’t have a social life
Deep-seated insecurity can be isolating.
That’s why deeply insecure people avoid social gatherings and struggle to maintain friendships because they don’t want to be judged or rejected.
And while these fears are normal and valid, for a deeply insecure person, it’s so much worse.
They’re paralyzing and isolating, and can cause them to stay away from other people.
So when they do attract someone in their orbit who truly cares for them, they tend to get possessive.
4) They’re possessive
Deeply insecure people believe they don’t have a lot of good things in life.
So when they do get what they want, they never want to let it go to the point where they’d actively control it in fear of it getting away.
That’s why they can be so possessive in relationships.
So if you feel trapped around someone because of how possessive they are of you, whether that’s a friend or a partner, that’s a glaring sign that you’re dealing with someone who’s deeply insecure.
5) They always think they’re the victim
People who are deeply insecure are always convinced they’re the victim, even if they were the ones who caused the pain of other people.
This is because they only feel like they’re being cared for when they get the sympathy of others when they’re hurting.
Think of it like when you’re younger and you enjoyed being sick because you’re spoiled by your family with all your favorite food. When they treated you like a baby because they wanted you to get better.
That’s the everyday life and desires of a person who is deeply insecure.
So when you’re around someone who has a constant thirst for sympathy, that’s an obvious sign that you’re dealing with a person who’s deeply insecure.
6) They refuse to take accountability
Everyone finds it hard to admit when they’ve made a mistake—I know I do.
It involves lowering your pride, which often feels shameful.
But people who are deeply insecure are so focused on avoiding that shame that they’d rather refuse to take accountability than apologize to the people they hurt.
That’s why they choose to deflect blame onto others, become defensive, or even outrightly deny that they’ve made a mistake.
Their refusal to take accountability is also the reason why they can’t handle criticism for the things they do.
7) They can’t handle criticism
If you find it impossible to offer someone feedback without them lashing out on you, you may be dealing with a deeply insecure person.
Because criticism, even when constructive, can feel like a personal attack to them.
They think being criticized means being told they’re not enough, which is probably the worst thing you could say to someone who’s deeply insecure.
It affirms their fear that they are not, and will never be, good enough, and they’ll attack anyone who shows them that.
And for people who are deeply insecure, they seek constant reassurance as much as they avoid criticism.
8) They need constant reassurance
A significant sign of insecurity is the constant need for reassurance.
And deeply insecure people seek validation from others to feel secure about themselves.
While providing support is essential, it can become exhausting, especially when you, alone, is their source of validation.
But even when they do get the validation, they still continue to be hyperaware of how they’re perceived because of their need to be perfect in everyone’s eyes.
9) They’re hyper-aware of how they’re perceived
Deeply insecure people are keenly sensitive to how others see them—their hair, their body, the way they dress and speak, and more.
Their hyper-awareness often leads to crippling self-consciousness, which makes them want to say the right word at the right time every time—which you and I know is impossible.
Because of this, they might end up avoiding certain situations for fear of being judged or rejected, and might even refuse speaking for themselves in fear of saying the wrong thing.
10) They refuse to speak for themselves
The fear of saying the wrong thing is inherent for someone who’s deeply insecure.
They don’t like to speak publicly if they don’t have it all planned out. Even serious conversations that need to be organic—such as a breakup—needs to be carefully planned and written.
And when they don’t have the time to plan, they’d just outrightly refuse to speak for themselves.
11) They’re indecisive
A tell-tale sign of a deeply insecure person is how often they struggle with decision-making.
The fear of making the wrong choice paralyzes them, leaving them stuck in a cycle of indecision.
It makes life joyless for them, because they always end up doing nothing instead of choosing the risk of trying something they’ve never tried before.
12) They think everyone’s out to get them
Deeply insecure people often perceive threats where there are none.
They always believe that everyone around them has ulterior motives, which makes them constantly suspicious of how everyone behaves when they’re around.
And it’s sad, because they’re incapable of believing that not everyone is out to get them—that there are people in their life who truly loves them—because they truly believe they don’t deserve to be loved.
Everyone deserves to be loved, that’s for sure.
That’s why it’s so sad to see a deeply insecure person in our life actively refuse it simply because they don’t think they deserve it.
But you don’t have to save a person who refuses to be saved.
Remember, the best thing you could do for them is be there when they need you—but if it gets too much for you, you should put yourself first.
An insecure person will only find security if they are willing to change, and know that it’s not your personal failure if they don’t.