10 signs of a deeply insecure person, according to psychology

Mia Zhang by Mia Zhang | June 19, 2024, 12:44 pm

Ever find yourself in a room full of people and notice one person who seems to be constantly seeking validation or assurance from others?

Chances are, you’ve just identified someone grappling with deep-seated insecurities.

While their behavior may appear perplexing or even frustrating, the reality is that these individuals are often wrestling with internal struggles that are not easily visible.

So, let’s dive into the labyrinth of human insecurities. 

1) Constant need for approval

Have you ever noticed someone who can’t seem to make a decision without first seeking validation from those around them?

People who are deeply insecure often crave constant approval. They’re perpetually seeking affirmation from others to reassure themselves and to quell their internal doubts.

It’s not that they’re incapable of making choices on their own; rather, they’re terrified of making the wrong ones and facing potential criticism or rejection.

2) Apologizing excessively

I once knew someone who apologized for everything – and I mean everything.

Whether it was a minor mishap like spilling a drink or something entirely out of their control like a sudden change in weather, they would always say sorry. It was as if they felt personally responsible for all the negative occurrences around them.

This excessive apologizing is often a sign of deep-seated insecurity. People who are insecure might feel that they’re constantly doing something wrong or upsetting others, even when it’s clearly not their fault.

This need to take blame and apologize can stem from their fear of being criticized or rejected. By preemptively apologizing, they attempt to mitigate any possible disapproval they might face.

3) Overcompensating

Ever come across someone who seems to go overboard in their efforts to prove their worth or showcase their abilities?

Some people, in their struggle to feel adequate, may overcompensate by trying to excel in every area or by exaggerating their achievements.

While it’s natural for everyone to want to put their best foot forward, those grappling with insecurity often take it to another level. They might boast about their accomplishments, insist on doing things themselves to prove they can handle it, or constantly seek to outdo others.

Rather, it’s a desperate attempt to cover up perceived inadequacies and to feel valued.

4) Avoiding eye contact

Did you know that our eyes are powerful tools for communication? They can reveal a lot about our emotions and inner state.

That’s why avoiding eye contact can be a significant sign of insecurity. Those who feel insecure often find it difficult to maintain eye contact with others. They might look away, stare at the floor, or constantly check their phone during conversations.

Why? Because eye contact can feel incredibly intimate and exposing. It can give others a glimpse into their vulnerabilities, something that insecure people often go to great lengths to hide.

This isn’t just a social quirk or lack of manners. It’s a subconscious defense mechanism to protect themselves from feeling exposed or judged. They might just be struggling with deep-seated insecurities that make sustained eye contact uncomfortable for them.

5) Difficulty accepting compliments

It’s a wonderful feeling to receive a compliment, isn’t it? It makes us feel seen, appreciated, and valued. But for some people, compliments can be a source of discomfort and anxiety.

People who are deeply insecure often struggle to accept compliments. Instead of acknowledging and appreciating the praise, they might dismiss it, downplay it, or even reject it outright.

This isn’t because they’re humble or modest. Rather, their insecurities make them doubt the sincerity of the compliment.

They might think they don’t deserve the praise or that the person giving the compliment is just being polite. It’s heartbreaking to see someone unable to accept kind words or recognition due to their own self-doubt and insecurity

6) Overthinking and second-guessing

We’ve all had moments of indecision or uncertainty, where we find ourselves overthinking a situation. However, for those with deep-seated insecurities, this can be a constant state of mind.

Insecure individuals often overthink and second-guess their actions or decisions. They might worry excessively about the potential outcomes, consequences, or what others might think. They may replay conversations in their heads, wondering if they said something wrong or could have done something differently.

This isn’t just being cautious or thoughtful. It’s an exhausting cycle of self-doubt and anxiety that stems from their insecurities.

7) Fear of confrontation

Insecure individuals often fear confrontation. They might go to great lengths to avoid upsetting others or creating conflict. They may even suppress their own feelings or needs in order to keep the peace.

This isn’t because they’re inherently non-confrontational or passive. It’s because their insecurities make them fear the potential fallout of a confrontation – rejection, criticism, or loss of relationships.

8) Negative self-talk

Our thoughts have a profound impact on our feelings and actions. 

Insecure individuals often engage in negative self-talk. They might constantly criticize themselves, focus on their flaws, or downplay their abilities. This internal dialogue can be incredibly damaging, reinforcing their insecurities and undermining their self-confidence.

Research suggests that negative self-talk can actually alter the brain’s neural pathways, reinforcing the belief that these negative thoughts are true. This creates a vicious cycle of self-doubt and insecurity.

9) Perfectionism

I remember spending hours on a single task, obsessing over every detail, afraid that any minor flaw would reflect poorly on me. I realized later that this was a manifestation of my own insecurities.

Insecure individuals often strive for perfection. They set incredibly high standards for themselves and feel disappointed or inadequate if they fall short. They might spend excessive time and energy on tasks, trying to ensure everything is perfect.

10) Struggle with self-love

At the heart of deep-seated insecurity is a profound struggle with self-love. Insecure individuals often find it difficult to appreciate and love themselves. They might focus on their flaws, overlook their strengths, and constantly compare themselves to others.

This isn’t about being humble or modest. It’s a painful struggle with self-acceptance and self-esteem. The most important thing to remember is that insecurity is not a permanent state of being but rather a hurdle that can be overcome with time, patience, and compassionate self-care.