Feelings of inadequacy and insecurity are completely normal, and most people experience it at least a few times in their lives. It can be feeling like you’re not as good looking as you wish, or as well read and intelligent as you think you should be, or settled in life the way you had imagined yourself years ago. And these feelings, of course, worsen when comparing yourself and your situation to others around you. But why do people get insecure and how can we either avoid the feeling of insecurity or get rid of it?
Why Exactly Do People Get Insecure in General?
Having Low Self Esteem
Having low self-esteem is a huge trigger for insecurity. Not liking what you see when you look in the mirror can make you feel like the ugliest person in the world. And if you’re in a relationship, you’ll start feeling like every girl who walks by is prettier than you, and you feel like you’ll lose your man to a girl who is more attractive than you.
SOLUTION: Recognize that the feelings of insecurity come from within your own self. Stop yourself before speaking negatively out loud, acknowledge your problem and move on from it.
The Projection Phenomenon
Why do people get insecure? Sigmund Freud’s theory of the phenomenon of psychological projection is another reason for insecurity. It’s basically a defense mechanism where you place the bad feelings you have about yourself on another person. The negative traits in others that bother you are the exact things you don’t like about yourself.
SOLUTION: Understand what you’re doing and cut it out. If you carry on projecting your insecurities on to others, your feelings of inadequacy will only worsen. Instead, work on fixing the things about yourself that you don’t like, or accept what you cannot change rather than throwing blame and shame around.
Issues from the past or experiences you’ve endured can affect your state of mind and emotional well-being way into adulthood. Whether it was an abusive childhood, a bad romantic relationship, or situations that have made you feel rejected, abandoned, or betrayed, any of these and more can contribute to insecure feelings later on in life.
SOLUTION: Unlike the previous two, the past is something that you cannot change, so instead you need to harbor acceptance over these feelings. You can and should dig them up from that locked away box in your mind and deal with the feelings that make you so insecure today.
Disputes Between Loved Ones
Having an argument with someone you love always hurts, especially if you said something that you didn't meant it, like shouting “I hate you!” at the person you can’t imagine your life without. If someone you love has made you insecure by saying things that really hurt your feelings, it can really damage your psyche overall.
SOLUTION: Try to figure out the role you played in the argument or fight, and apologize for your wrongdoings. Discuss what happened with your loved one sincerely, and try to reach a mutual understanding and forgiveness.
A Threat to Your Livelihood
Why do people get insecure? A very real and scary feeling of insecurity can come on when your livelihood is threatened. It can be that your job is on the line and your company is doing major cuts to the staffing, or the economy is flailing which makes you feel concerned about you and your family’s future. Of course, it depends on the situation, but just because you’re insecure about your job’s permanence doesn’t necessarily mean you’re on the way out.
SOLUTION: If it’s your job that you’re worried about, then do your best to make yourself an indispensable employee. When your bosses recognize that you are vital to their success, they’ll do anything to keep you on board.
The Bad Influence
Sometimes those people around you can make you feel insecure. Then you should try to avoid them strategically although it may be not an easy thing to do. What's more, creating a loving and supportive circle of people around you can also make you feel better. Friends and family members who understand who you are and love you unconditionally are the best kinds of people to surround yourself with. You need a group of people to rely on and trust with the delicate and fragile parts of your heart.
What Can You Do About That Insecurity?
Stop Letting Your Imagination Run Wild
Don’t torment yourself with hypothetical situations that don’t even exist. Being over imaginative in a relationship can lead to a certain doom, because what you imagine may start feeling like a reality. When you’re feeling insecure about your relationship, figure out what you’re making up in your mind and compare to the cold, hard facts of your relationship.
Let Go of Control
Why do people get insecure? Controlling is the culprit. While it’s okay to have certain standards for your relationship, don’t go overboard with controlling every aspect of it. No one is perfect, not even you. The uncertain part of a relationship can be a fun place to grow and learn together. Letting go of control or the desire for total control is a big step towards relaxing your insecurities about the uncertain things.
Don’t Smother Your Relationship
Or your partner. Like planting a seed, you have to nurture it, love it and take good care of it, but you also need to give it room to grow and flourish. Your relationship is the seed you planted, and you should take good care of it, but remember that if your over-water it, you’ll drown it. It’s okay to have time apart from one another; it’s actually healthy in a relationship.
Stop Trying to Read Their Mind
If you constantly try to read your partners' minds, or are obsessed with knowing what they’re thinking all of the time, you’re going to drive yourself crazy. Assuming you know what your partners are thinking is even worse, because it’s a form of invading their privacy. Instead, respect their thoughts and quiet time, and let them come to you with what’s on their minds.
Don’t Compare Your Relationship to the Past Ones
Comparing your current relationship to a shitty relationship from your past is destructive. Saying things like “all men are liars” or “all men are cheaters” will add to your own insecurity and contribute to your partner’s insecurity, which is a recipe for disaster. Quit making assumptions about your new relationship that are unfairly based on old ones.
Find Your Own Self-Assurance
Since you have known the answers to "Why do people get insecure?" and known how bad it is for your relationship, you have to find ways to improve your self-esteem. Instead of looking to your partner to make you feel good about yourself, make it a habit to reassure yourself on your own. Even if you have to look at yourself in the mirror every day and tell yourself that you’re beautiful, just do it and believe it. If you start saying something enough times, it will become your truth. Train yourself to love yourself before you can let someone else love you properly.
Focus On the Good Parts of Your Relationship
Don’t focus on the negative things, unless you want your relationship to fail. Focus on the good things in your relationship and your partner if you want your relationship to thrive. Positive feelings beget positive feelings. Insecure people will constantly look at the things that aren’t working in their relationship and dwell on them, like picking a scab or constantly reopening a wound. Just shift your focus to the good things.