Monitor your response to conflict.
In times of emotional upheaval, you may notice your responses are inflamed and you feel defensive. You might also cower and feel ashamed and humiliated. Your actions may differ from one situation to another or in the presence of certain people. Conflict brings out the worst in us many times.
- For example, you might feel insecure about your education because you had trouble reading when you were in elementary school. Then, as an adult someone makes a joke about you missing what was said on a memo. You respond with anger toward the person because his joke triggered an insecurity you have about your reading ability.
- Think about some of the major conflicts you have had. Try to identify what triggered your response. Your response may have seemed out of proportion to what was said. The underlying feelings that were triggered can usually be tied to an insecurity.
Observe yourself in private circumstances. People generally behave differently in private than they do in public. You may seem more open, and honest in a private situation. Perhaps you feel more comfortable in private situations due to temperament. It is helpful to spot signs of insecurity because it will lead to making better choices when aware.
- Look for traits and behaviors such as: jealousy, (wary of others and suspecting others of wrong-doing); selfishness (overly focused on own needs with little regard for others); sulking (gains control via fits of moodiness).
- If you choose to discuss insecurities, be mindful that it is a sensitive subject. Because you may feel safer in a private situation, you may unload an uncomfortable amount of information, and lose discernment, and then feel bad that you opened up too much later.
- It’s wise to share your heart with people you have developed some degree of relationship with and are confident in their knowledge of you and their own maturity and emotional and spiritual health. If not you may find that you feel worse for opening up.
Decipher attachment insecurities. A person’s ability to emotionally attach to another person in a relationship is heavily influenced by the relationship she or he had as a child with their primary caregiver, (parent). If the caregiver relationship was afflicted with insecurities, it is likely the person’s adult relationships will suffer the same or similar struggles. Precise terms can vary, but generally, adult attachment issues fall into four categories. Determine which ones you might fall into:
- Secure: the person easily attaches to others. (Sanguine/Choleric)
- Anxious-preoccupied: the person wants to be emotionally connected with others, but the person believes others don’t want to return the favor. (Melancholy/Supine)
- Counter-dependent: the person is independent and does not want to rely upon anyone or have anyone depend on them. (Choleric/Phlegmatic)
- Fearful-avoidant: the person desires closeness but is insecure about the possibility of getting hurt. (Supine)
- If you recognize your propensities in any of the above, there are things you can do to manage: educate yourself on attachment issues; find a counselor or mentor with understanding in these areas. Once you identify what types of emotional issues you are wrestling with, it’s easier to begin to recognize them in situations, and then start responding in healthier ways. Also equally important is understanding your own temperament – many times these behaviors are revealed instantly when temperament is revealed, making it easier to navigate towards healthy change.
Tips on How to Begin to Effectively Deal with Insecurities
- Insecurities can be reversed by taking action to face your fear and participate in activities that will help build new more confident behaviors.
- It is okay to express your insecurities to trusted friends or family that are more emotionally safe and mature. It helps to reduce the secrecy of the issue, which is one step closer to changing your behavior for the better.
- Be sensitive to others who have insecurities. In certain cases, we may feel better about ourselves if we make someone else feel worse than us.
- Practice empathy toward others and treat them as you would like to be treated. It takes the focus off of you.
- Many insecurities can be recognized and dealt with with Temperament understanding and cognitive help, (taking thoughts captive.)
- It is never too late to get the help you need if your insecurities are preventing you from living the life God intends for you.
- Change is not easy, but it is possible if you are willing to put in the effort and find ways of not merely coping with your issues, but receiving help to bring transformative change.
- “As a man thinks/believes in his heart, so is he.” Begin to understand your value assigned by God and apply it in practical ways so be transformed by renewing your mind.
BH/ P.Chernyak, LPC