Thought Catalog

An Insecure Person's Guide To Interpersonal Interaction

  • 0

Naturally, insecure people have a lot to worry about, but none of it’s really real. Insecure people worry about long, convoluted, mostly-fabricated or assumed self-defeating strings of logic that reinforce the notion that at a fundamental level, they aren’t worthy. As such, the information insecure people deal with when judging the value or quality of their interaction with specific individuals or groups of individuals is quite ‘random,’ if you will. In other words, insecurities tend to become highly tangential, with one insecure, inaccurate assumption leading to another insecure, inaccurate assumption and etc. It doesn’t take long before an insecure person’s entire interpretation of a relationship or situation is just totally off the mark.

Many motors in golf carts will only allow the golf cart to travel at a certain speed. Once the cart hits that speed, something called a governor kicks in – it’s a device that slows the motor down (this is probably a crude conception of what actually takes place; I know nothing about automechanics) to the speed cap the manufacturer so predetermined. Insecure people have their own governor, and it’s called shame. Shame is indeed a highly effective governor. For example, insecure people will prevent themselves from seeing certain people because they’ve interpreted their own behavior during a previous night out with those people as an extremely shameful, egregious exposé of all the embarrassing and negative aspects of their own personality. The insecure person perceives that those people now ‘know’ the shameful truth about her.

Obviously then, it follows that insecure people are at a foundational level basically just ashamed of who they are, ‘not worthy,’ and anti their own natural needs, desires, behavioral tendencies, etc. I haven’t necessarily thought through why this is so, but I suspect it’s directly connected to the insecure person’s parents’ own inhibitions and parental styles as well as the insecure person’s formative experiences during childhood and adolescence. In essence the insecure person feels the component parts that make up her Whole are wrong. And so without further adieu, here is the insecure person’s sarcastic guide to interpersonal interaction. 100% of this guide is to be taken in jest, and 100% of it will help the insecure person completely alienate himself from those who actually think he’s a pretty cool dude.

Maxim #1: Pay extremely close attention to how many times you initiate hanging out with your friends vs. how many times they initiate hanging out with you. If you perceive yourself as initiating interaction much more often than your friend, there is great cause for concern. Nevermind the fact that she might just be one of those absent-minded individuals who simply operates that way, or the fact that she has more friends than you – which can be a value-free aspect of physical reality – and so naturally can reasonably dedicate less of her outgoing resources to you, or the fact that your perception is simply skewed – that you seek out cues that reaffirm your nonworthiness and have so found another here, in your relationship with this girl, or the fact that this girl’s approval, by nature, is in no way close to an objective judgment on your own value. Nevermind all of that stuff.

Maxim #2: Spend a lot of time visualizing get-togethers that your friends had without you. If all your friends went to a party together and didn’t invite you, let this bother you greatly. Wonder why you weren’t invited and decide, of course, that you’re just an outsider, and that it was natural that they didn’t invite you. That they just don’t like you as much as they like each other. Ignore the fact that they went to a reading without you and that you’ve loudly expressed on a number of occasions that you really dislike readings, or the fact that it was really only two of your friends who went and they had already been downtown, all day (while you were working), and that the reading was just an extension of their time together and so to invite you wouldn’t have really been natural or like something they even would have thought about at all and you’re really kind of being a narcissistic asshole, expecting them to have you on their minds every time they’re simply having a good time with someone else.

Maxim #3: Compare yourself to others constantly. Integrate these comparisons into your identity. Trying to be the best at something is essentially fruitless, incredibly egotistical, and dooming-to-a-life-of-frustration-and-self-loathing, but you need to forget all that and pay very close attention to all the ways people are ‘beating’ you. This is indeed a very good way to facilitate your growing insecurity with your personal relationships.

Maxim #4: Experience low-level panic after being logically defeated in conversation. In the case that someone proves you wrong – or your opinion uninformed and having had taken into account facts you actually knew nothing about – in a public setting, feel completely trapped for a moment, like you seriously want to disappear. Or, at least, discontinue eye contact with your conversational partner. Whatever you do, be sure that you don’t take this logical beatdown as evidence that a better argumentative strategy might be to temper your claims with honest qualifications that reflect the amount of uncertainty you feel, and be sure you don’t decide that the fact of the matter is that you were wrong, but that’s totally okay and a normal thing to be. That over the course of a lifetime, ‘normal’ people are probably wrong like over a million times, or something.

Maxim #5: Honestly feel that you aren’t ‘good’ enough to hang out with certain people, and so avoid them. Some people are just really charismatic, or extremely socially intelligent, or like, extremely good artists, or whatever. Let these qualities intimidate the shit out of you, and make sure to feel highly inferior and tons of self-loathing whenever you’re in their presence. Don’t talk much, either, because you shouldn’t feel worthy of speaking around this person. Just make sure that you don’t take into account that if this person who you so idolize judges you on the basis of an arbitrary talent or level of Cool, that person is totally not a person you want to have around anyway. Don’t take into account the subsequent fact that judgment on the basis of such qualities is an incredibly shallow and almost anti-human or anti-connectedness method of choosing with whom to interact, and that whoever’s judging by these standards is more than likely a very lonely person in an objectively undesirable position.

Maxim #6: Let your insecurity govern your behavior. This point is paramount, because allowing your insecurity to govern your behavior will create a self-sustaining loop in which your insecure behavior will actually make you an objectively less desirable individual, thus fostering a mental environment from which more insecurity can be drawn. In other words, behaving as if you’re insecure and not worthy will simply convince others that you’re insecure and not worthy, as people are generally likely to believe what you non-verbally communicate. This in turn will generate negative feedback from them, which you can then use to grow your insecurity. It’s a foolproof plan. TC mark

image – Anna Gutermuth

Read This

More from Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog Videos


    • M909

      All except #5 apply to me.

    • Elyse

      Whoa, whoa, whoa. How did you sum up my entire school career?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Timberman/922794 Steven Timberman

      I almost moved to a different country yesterday because I couldn’t find a properly cheap card table. I am only half-joking.

      And I’d agree with all but #5, similar to M909. Generally the people I DO hang with fall into two categories – those that I think are above me and those that I think are below me. But I’m not actively avoiding any groups so… yay? 

      Still haven’t gotten that damn table.

      I do hope that our self-awareness counts for something, Brandon.

    • Jordan

      Oy vey.  #5 and 6 are the worst behaviors ever, so self-destructive.

      That first paragraph was incredibly insightful too.

    • http://twitter.com/rionharmon rion harmon

      this made me LOL, thx

    • Anonymous

      yikes

    • BlakeKnead

      this is me to a T. wow time to re-evaluate life..

    • holly

      you forgot one more: 

      #7: read this and think it’s about you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

      It’s a great day when you reach the stage of being so tired that you want to be excluded from activies to the point you ignore phone calls from friends.  Many days, I just want to be left alone to continue reading Dandelion Wine.  More enjoyable is  accepting that there are people in this world who are smarter, more motivated, better looking, more social, and more talented than you are…maybe that’s just me…but it’s a good feeling.  (And, yes, every now and then I give myself a pat on the back for a job well done). 

    • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

      It’s a great day when you reach the stage of being so tired that you want to be excluded from activies to the point you ignore phone calls from friends.  Many days, I just want to be left alone to continue reading Dandelion Wine.  More enjoyable is  accepting that there are people in this world who are smarter, more motivated, better looking, more social, and more talented than you are…maybe that’s just me…but it’s a good feeling.  (And, yes, every now and then I give myself a pat on the back for a job well done). 

    • Sarah H

      brandon

      yes

    • http://avantgardebagpipesolos.tumblr.com/ Omar De Col

      this is sweet

    • guest

      Another article by BSG written about my life.

    • aa

      After I read your posts I feel like my mood improves for the next 2-48 hours. This one seems especially good.

    • Anonymous

      shit… way too true.

    • m bell

      this should be in some dsm diagnosis shit for generalized anxiety disorders. too true.

    • http://twitter.com/jennifersussex Jennifer Sussex

      Hm, but insecurity works to help you isolate yourself when you think you need to be alone to work or something.

    • Tiffany

      Wait. Why is the article tagged “sarcastic”? Am I missing something here?

      • Tiffany

        Shit. I meant “Sarcasm”

        • Brandon

          the premise of the article is sarcastic

        • Jujidavis11

          hahahahaha. sorry.

      • Tiffany

        Shit. I meant “Sarcasm”

    • Sophia

      Get out of my head

    • Melissa

      It’s my birthday this weekend and one of my best friends wanted me to do something for it. I basically stated each of the above as reasons why nobody would want to celebrate my birthday with me. Uh.

    • alex

      This is frighteningly accurate

    • http://www.reflectionandreview.com S. Kat Harris

      I’m humbled …

    • Anonymous

      I was gonna type something, but nobody cares what I have to say & they wouldn’t read it & even if they did, they wouldn’t think it was funny…

      • Anonymous

        Its really sad that this was my exact thought when i finished reading this…

    • Elena

      Love it. One more: when people are texting and get antsy while waiting for a response. More time passes (let’s say an hour- pretty normal I think) and they descend into a frenzy of worry. You can tell because they get impatient, demanding, or defensive. I just wanna tell them to freakin’ CHILL.

      • http://www.facebook.com/gregpphoto Greg Petliski

        An hour is a typical response time for a message that takes six seconds to send?

        • Elena

          Not with friends, I guess I was mainly referring to dating/ meeting new people. I recently started dating after a lt relationship and have run into this a couple times. It’s frustrating especially when you really like the person.

    • Elena

      Another one: when you don’t respond to someone’s text right away and you can tell they’re spiraling into a frenzy of concern. They get impatient, snappy or just defensive. UGH.

    blog comments powered by Disqus