Being comfortable in our own skin can be one of the greatest challenges that we ever face, particularly when it comes to body image. Social media also has a huge influence on us as we are always looking at how the other side live and often leave ourselves feeling deflated and insecure.
And yet, when you look at those who are truly happy, it is often those who take pride in who they are because they accept themselves for who they are and feel comfortable in their own skin. These people are more likely to experience a fuller life and enjoy more success, meaningful relationships, better health and wellbeing.
If however, you’re battling insecurity, not only is it impacting on your self-worth, it may also be preventing you from achieving your goals and dreams, as well as your peace of mind and happiness. So how can you tell? Here are some signs that may indicate insecurity.
- Defensiveness. People with a lack of self-confidence can be sensitive to criticism, and they may often react with defensiveness. If you feel uncomfortable with yourself, it can be more challenging to accept your flaws, so you tend to become defensive.
A secure person, however, is generally more than capable of handling criticism. In fact, they often view criticism as feedback, and are more open to learning from it in order to improve. Similarly, a secure person probably won’t feel the need to argue if they disagree with a criticism levelled at them because they’re happy with the way they are.
- Inability to enjoy silence. Some people who feel insecure are often unable to deal with any sort of silence as they find it awkward and intimidating. As a result, they often find themselves wanting to fill every moment with chatter. The problem with this is that it can prevent you from the golden opportunity to reflect inwardly which opens the door to personal growth and peace.
Secure individuals on the other hand generally enjoy silence. They are sure of themselves and their worth and can allow others to talk without ever having to interject with their own opinions.
- Joking excessively. An insecure person tends to use excessive joking as a coping mechanism. Whilst having a sense of humor is good for emotional health, if you feel insecure, joking excessively often reveals a lack of inner security.
The best joke tellers are often confident individuals. They are much funnier, and their jokes better received because they are delivered with confidence. In addition, inwardly secure individuals tend to have a better sense of when joking is acceptable, are aware of boundaries, and when a joke may be hurtful instead of being funny.
- Self-promotion. Although this may seem contradictory, sometimes those who suffer from low self-esteem talk about themselves constantly, as if trying to prove themselves to others. Its often seen as a mechanism to hide insecurity and a lack of confidence.
Confident people generally don’t have the need to promote themselves in this manner because when you’re confident, you know that how you live your life is a testament to your positive traits.Of course, even a confident person needs some validation from others, but they’ll find appropriate ways to ask for it, and won’t need it constantly, nor need it to validate their own sense of self-worth.
- Bullying. Because self-esteem challenged individuals often feel threatened by other people, a coping mechanism that sometimes develops is the need to bully or intimidate others to feel significant. This is often done because the insecure person feels threatened, often irrationally, by a more confident person. Further, insecure people feel that the only way they can feel good about themselves is at the expense of others. This is a telltale sign that the individual is plagued by self-doubt and poor self-worth.
- Overly competitive. Although competitiveness is natural, when taken to extremes, it can be indicative of a deeper problem within an individual. This can be evident when an insecure person isn’t able to handle losing in a mature manner, or when they go to extreme lengths to prove themselves to others. These individuals also tend to act irrationally or immaturely when things don’t work out for them because what they see as failure is a sign that they are a failure. This is a sign of their inner insecurity which they haven’t addressed as they have matured.
On the contrary, a person who is secure will win and lose with grace. They don’t take it too seriously and view a loss as a valuable learning experience from which they can grow and improve. In addition, they also respect their competitors rather than see them as a threat because they understand that the real competition is with themselves. Such a person will win and lose with poise. The good news is that nothing dictates that an insecure individual must feel that way forever. So, if you recognize these characteristics in yourself, know that you can take positive steps to overcome your insecurity and build a better self-image. Improving your confidence, self-worth, and your abilities will improve every aspect of your life. And as you change how you see yourself the world will respond in kind