1. Mercilessly make fun of other people.
Do you remember that story about the man who was body shamed and made fun of for simply having a good time dancing? People who participate in that kind of cruelty are wildly insecure and unhappy with themselves. In some weird attempt to feel better, they lash out at anyone else who seems happy. Remember, it’s never actually about you. It’s always about them.
2. Unapologetically act like they’re better than you.
I remember having a very sobering moment with someone well-respected in my field when I was a brand new pup to digital writing. This person was SOOOO rude and essentially looked me up and down and (paraphrasing!) was like, “How dare a lowly plebeian like you to talk to me?” I was so embarrassed. I immediately internalized it and thought, wow, I do suck. I’m so lowly. Everyone is ahead of me! Nah, fuck that noise. Anyone who fronts that they’re better than you (even if they are) is covering up some insecurity. Again, it’s not you. It’s them. Secure people don’t feel like they need to prove their status.
3. Go on the immediate defense.
Now to be fair, we all get defensive about something. For me, it’s how I’m a little too emotionally connected to Buffy The Vampire Slayer. IT’S FINE AND TOTALLY NORMAL AND MY MOM SHOULD JUST STOP THINKING IT’S CONCERNING, IT’S NOT!!! I mean, uh, anyway. We all have our things. But someone who, when hearing your concerns or questions, gets immediately prickly is probably dealing with some insecurity issues. Defensiveness is just vulnerability in different clothing.
4. Agree to absolutely everything.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, if someone NEVER speaks up about what they want, that’s a pretty good indicator that they have some insecurity issues. Don’t get me wrong, some of us love ~*~going with the flow~*~*. Personally, I’m not a rock the boat kind of gal. I’d prefer to hop in and just ride the tide. But if something is sincerely bothering me? I will speak up. I wasn’t always like that. But I’ve gained enough sense of self to go for it, even when it’s a little uncomfortable. Insecurity often tells you that no one cares. If it’s bad enough, that feeling will loom over everything. So, it’s not surprising that someone might just stay quiet.
5. Try to one up you.
Have you ever told an awesome story and someone immediately stepped in to tell a “better” one? Yeah, those are one-uppers. Pure transparency, I occasionally dabble in this arena. Usually, I’m not aware of what I’m doing, but, let’s be real, it’s always about attention. And, for me, attention is something I’m hungry for because it numbs some of my insecurities. So the co-worker who won’t shut up about vacationing in Italy, as annoying as they may be, might actually be seeking some validation that you don’t realize.
6. Constant complainer.
Nothing is ever good enough! Something is always wrong. Because, NEWSFLASH, life isn’t perfect. Someone finding issues with every little thing is likely trying to divert their insecurities into something else.
7. Always look for fault in other people.
Sort of going back to number 1, someone always finding issues in others might be trying to divert any focus on their own issues. We’re all flawed. We all have shit that we’d rather not have. Being so obsessed with someone else having shit wrong is weird. Sounds like a coping mechanism. Make people focus on someone else. Not you. Never you.