Confidence—it’s one of the most important qualities to have. It ranks alongside fairness, moral courage, having a good work ethic, and loving animals in my personal hierarchy of values. However, let’s face facts, confidence doesn’t grow on trees. Nor can you suddenly become confident over the span of a single day. No, it takes time and dedication to move away from a mentality of insecurity to genuine confidence in yourself.

Insecurity can manifest itself in a very wide variety of ways, from humble-bragging to putting others down and more. And Reddit users have been sharing the signs that somebody might be very insecure in a viral thread that delves deep into behaviors that really aren’t okay, no matter how much confidence you lack. Have a read through these signs below, upvote the ones you agree with, and let us know how you determine if someone might be incredibly insecure (and possibly in need of a helping hand).

UK-based psychotherapist Silva Neves answered a few questions that I had about insecurities, how these are expressed through specific behaviors, and why some individuals lash out at others because of them. Scroll down for Bored Panda's interview with him about how to go from being insecure ('I'm not enough') to feeling secure and confident in yourself ('I'm enough') with the help of self-compassion.

#1

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" Bragging about things not even in your control, like your parents' wealth.

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Andrew Gibb
Community Member
11 months ago

Bragging. Full stop

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#2

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" All those people who post on Facebook those quotes that are like: ‘don’t worry about those who talk behind your back, they’re behind you for a reason’

Or they tag themselves into any and EVERY place including the docs/hospital/somewhere personal. Then when someone asks if they’re ok they reply with: ‘don’t ask hun xoxox’

Urgh so basically. People who live their lives through very active social media’s I suppose I’m trying to say.

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Sandra
Community Member
11 months ago

I would say that also applies when it comes to people who allways post about their relationships, it would be în the same scenario I think. The more they try to be perfect, the more they are not. All those perfect pictures are not allways what they seem

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#3

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" Insulting random people's physical appearance.

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TmKhr
Community Member
11 months ago

We're all flawed one way or another.

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Psychotherapist Silva told me that insecure people are sending out very clear signals with their behavior. "Insecurity carries the message: 'I'm not enough', 'I'm not good enough,' or even 'I'm worthless.' These are painful beliefs to have about ourselves but many do have those underlying beliefs," he told Bored Panda.

According to the expert, insecurity can manifest itself in a variety of ways and sometimes even polar opposite behaviors. "Insecurity can manifest either by making themselves invisible (If I'm not seen, nobody will notice my flaws), or the opposite, by what we call 'bragging': shouting at everybody about how wonderful they are. This is usually to try to persuade to themselves that they are good enough."

Some, however, choose to put down others to make themselves feel better. "Another way to counter the 'I'm not enough' is by pushing others down, sabotaging other people's success, or attacking people as a way to feel powerful so that they can control their inner pain of 'I'm not enough'. All of these strategies don't work because what they do is either internalizing or externalizing the belief 'I'm not enough' rather than changing it," Silva highlighted the fact that we must change this belief instead of attempting to cope in the ways he mentioned.

#4

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" The more you talk about how good you are in bed and how many women you've [slept with] the less I believe you.

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Miss Cris
Community Member
11 months ago

That's only for men. Women doing the same are highly shamed.

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#5

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" One-upping people constantly in conversations.

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Paul C.
Community Member
11 months ago

My last boss, who I shall name as Steve Taylor, 'cause that's his name, would top everything anyone said. We nicknamed him The Topper. You could say you once met the Queen and he would say, he'd met the Queen while chatting to John F Kennedy.

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#6

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" Joint Facebook profiles

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Roxy Eastland
Community Member
11 months ago

TBH I think some couples do it because they aren't interested in the FB life but sometimes need to access a particular group, so they just set up one account between them. Makes sense to me.

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"The key to becoming more secure is to change the underlying belief 'I'm not enough' to 'I'm enough,'" the psychotherapist explained to Bored Panda. "The way to do it is with self-compassion."

According to Silva, we usually learn the 'I'm not enough' belief in childhood and it can become entrenched as we grow up. However, as we mature, we also have the means to change this underlying belief. 

"Perhaps parents didn't praise children enough, or they paid more attention to the mistakes rather than the successes. As an adult now, people can give themselves a hug once in a while and tell themselves, gently: 'you're doing good,' 'well done,' 'congratulations.' Eventually, the brain will listen and slowly change the message 'I'm not enough' to 'I'm enough,'" he noted.

"Rather than shouting your praise at other people, it is about speaking to yourself in a loving way. When people are genuinely aware of their successes, they can become genuinely more confident without the need to impose their power onto others."

#7

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" Women that guard their men like a soldier. I was leaving an abusive relationship my friend offered me a place to stay. The hitch was if she wasnt there and just her husband was I had to leave. I got a hotel room not dealing with that.

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Eppe
Community Member
11 months ago

She didn't trust her husband very much

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#8

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" This is a self roast but I think I degrade myself just to hear others deny it, is that insecure?

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Susie Elle
Community Member
11 months ago

As someone who used to do that; I'd say it is.

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#9

Bragging about how controlling their partners are.

I remember shopping with 2 friends and they both kept saying "oh blank would never let me wear that" "blank wouldn't be cool with me doing (normal think with the opposite gender).

My response was "oh I would never let someone tell me how to dress or who to hang out with".

I have been with the same guy for nearly 20 years and they still think it's weird that I do my own thing and don't ask him permission. F that nonsense.

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Miss Cris
Community Member
11 months ago

Controling a partner itself is a type of violence and probably a crime. At that point I don't mind if those people feel insecure or not, just stop and go far away, to prision if it's needed.

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Though many of us tend to think of bragging (humble or otherwise) as something that should be avoided, it does have its time and place. Specifically, during job interviews. When done from a position of confidence instead of insecurity, bragging can actually be a very powerful tool in helping you land the job of your dreams.

I’d spoken about this earlier with career coach Jermaine Murray from Jupiter HR. In his interview with Bored Panda, he explained that not doing enough to highlight our accomplishments is the number one mistake we tend to make when applying for a new job.

"They humble themselves when they need to be boasting. If you understand why the work that you were doing was important and how it impacts your org (project) then you should be explaining that to the interviewer without holding back. How did you go above and beyond to make sure things worked? What creative ways did you come up with?" Jermaine noted that we should be showing off instead of being overly humble.

#10

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" When you tell someone something positive or nice that happened to you, for example, that you purchased a new TV and that you start to notice that the other person always tries to poke holes in your cloud of happiness by saying you instead should have waited, the TV is too big, it consumes to much power, that brand is s***ty and so on. But they do this with everything you share with them that is somewhat positive to your life.

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
11 months ago

Some people can't help but being negative about everything, not only about what you did, but also about "what happens to them." It's not insecurity but a constant mentality that life sucks and that everyone is out to scam or harm everyone else.

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#11

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" People who feel the need to judge everyone in a negative light and who only want to see the worst in others so they can feel better about themselves. It just shows how unhappy they truly are.

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Elisa Radnor
Community Member
11 months ago

Hurt people, hurt people.

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#12

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" I used to be very insecure so I'll go from my own experience. Lying about something to seem cool. It's very obviously a signal of insecurity because they don't like who they are now.

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Kazuki Homare
Community Member
11 months ago

I did this a lot too. But mine became some sort of defense mechanism- I was bullied for being boring and too uptight so I made lies when I transferred to a new school.

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A couple of ways to show others that you’re feeling confident and secure are through your body language and your tone of voice. These two tools can make or break any situation. Career coach Jermaine said that we should want to “always want to be perceived as confident and capable” because the opposite can reduce our achievements, talents, and skills to practically zero in some hiring manager’s eyes.

"If your body language or tone says otherwise, you destroy the perception of your skills. Once that's gone so are your chances of landing the job," Jermaine said.

#13

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" Being unnecessarily mean spirited to people

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
11 months ago

Is it ever necessary to be mean spirited to people?

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#14

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" Automatically assuming negative intent.

eg:

You friend didn't pick your call?

"F her, she's trying to avoid me. I don't care about her anyway."

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Radek Suski
Community Member
11 months ago

This is actually very true but also nothing I'd consider a character flaw rather than a real psychological problem

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#15

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" When people have and insist on constantly checking on their SO via some tracking app on their phone.

It's one thing to have it and use it in case of emergency, but using it while out with your friends to make sure he's actually at work is creepy and super insecure.

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Caro Caro
Community Member
11 months ago

This gives me the heebie-jeebies

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"You can teach someone to be a better coder but it's near impossible to teach them how to be a better person. Recruiters will always value personality first, but technical skills are a very close second," the career coach said.

"Hiring managers keep that in mind and try to make sure candidates they like can perform competently. Different things contribute to this bar that aren't based on the candidate but the organization's internal ability to support and develop someone. Once those two elements are present a hire will happen.”

#16

Using the words Alpha or Beta in any [freaking] sentence when talking about people.

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Johnny Rodriguez
Community Member
11 months ago

I'm more like an Alfalfa-male..

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#17

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" Constantly wedging "humble bragging" into conversations.

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Chaos&Roses
Community Member
11 months ago (edited)

Or simply acknowledging your own achievement that you wanted to share. " I got promoted at work today!" "Ugh, that bitch be bragging again, we don't need that!" Can't share anything good that you do in life because the respondent is a failure and sees your achievement as an insult.

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#18

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" A constant need for affirmation.

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
11 months ago

That's what insecurity is. So a sign of insecurity is being insecure.

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#19

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" Incapable of self reflection

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WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
11 months ago

That's not insecurity, that's arrogance or even narcissism. "I don't need self reflection because I do nothing wrong, it's always the other party that screws up."

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#20

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" Bf:"Alright im going to work babe"

Gf:" you better not be f***ing with b***hes at work"

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Rissie
Community Member
11 months ago

Well that escalated quickly.

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#21

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" Can't handle being told they're wrong or ignorant about something.

[deleted] , OSPAN ALI Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
11 months ago

Again not an exclusive sign of insecurity. Narcissists do this all the time. Don the Con was very secure about how he was right all the time and about his expertise in just about everything. Hence his changing a weather map to prove that he was right about a hurricane hitting Alabama and his medical advice that ingestion of chlorine and sticking a lightbulb up your rear would cure Covid.

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#22

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" People whose self-esteem is so low that they can't stand the sight of people with high self-esteem, so they will try to break down anyone they perceive as more successful than them. When a group of this type of people comes together, a major crab bucket mentality arises and they will target people perceived as highly competent or successful for bullying, gossip, false rumors, and other things that should have been wiped out after elementary school.

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Troux
Community Member
11 months ago

Isn't this what we do constantly with celebrities?

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#23

I mostly see this at work.

- People who are in upper management and treat people like garbage just because they can.

- Being unnecessarily mean, rude or bitter to people.

- Treating new employees like garbage just because you're threatened they might take your job some day.

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Abhinc
Community Member
11 months ago

kinda the same : the way people treat waiters/waitresses and cashiers ... says a lot about who they are deep inside

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#24

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" Trying to dominate conversations (not to be confused with just being a charismatic person).

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Mazer
Community Member
11 months ago

Pffffft. I won’t hold the conversation, so go right ahead, get it out.

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#25

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" “I only get along with guys. Other girls hate me.”

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El muerto
Community Member
11 months ago

ok...so women that hung about with guys are necessarily doing it because they are insecure about themselves? because it impossible that they just like that better....so are guys than hung out mostly with girls the same?....what are they? traitors to their gender? or what?

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#26

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" People who constantly tell stories to make themselves seem real tough or badass. Yeah, dad, that's really awesome that you kicked some guy's ass when you were in the marines 40 years ago.

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DDmaybeandor
Community Member
11 months ago

If you can't enjoy a 60+ year olds stories from when he was younger, it may be that YTA.

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#27

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" being unable to sit in silence with others without talking, even if there’s nothing to talk about

-making small gestures and then constantly seeking validation and reassurance that you are appreciated, even if there’s no reason to think you aren’t appreciated

-constantly asking if someone is mad at you, even when they have told you several times that they are not mad at you

-trying overly hard to be funny/likeable/smart around people who already know you well just to seek attention and validation

Sp4ceh0rse , Elevate Report

Kristal
Community Member
11 months ago

Careful, some of these behaviors are exhibited by people that have been emotionally abused for a good part of their life

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#28

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" They argue against your grammar, semantics, or micro-details, rather than the point you were obviously trying to make.

"You showed up to work an hour late!"

"No I didn't, I was an hour and four minutes late, don't you know the difference between 8:00 and 9:04!?"

"OH S**T YOU SURE PUT ME IN MY PLACE, JOSH!"

[deleted] , JESHOOTS.COM Report

Keerthi Vardhan
Community Member
11 months ago

I know someone who is cool and way up in the management who corrects grammer on any content sent. This person likes it but doesn't argue on the grammatical errors. Doesn't make him insecure..he just likes them to be proper. I don't see that as wrong or being insecure.

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#29

Being overly nice and being a yes man to make other people happy. Also having no opinions

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Alexia
Community Member
11 months ago

They do these things, because they believe they have to make extra efforts to be loved or liked. Somewhere in their past (childhood in most cases) there was a trauma, or an adult that constantly criticized, belittled or hurt them - so they learned they did not deserved be loved, and that it was not ok to express opinions. I hope all these people find their way to healing and learn to love themselves for who they are. I was one of them.

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#30

30 Things People Do That Just Screams "I'm Very Insecure" Socially aware individuals understand that the other people have a life to run and might need a day or seven for them only.

Insecure people are going to have a fit and from the first lapse of communication, they expect that they have been abandoned for some really abstract reason, regardless if it has any merit or not.

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Abhinc
Community Member
11 months ago

lack of self esteem. thinking they're not valuable. huge insecurity.

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