12 Not So Subtle Things That Scream “I’m Insecure!”

What is something people do or say that signals to those around them that they are insecure? For example, long before I was married, a man was chatting me up at the bar I tended. Then, out of nowhere, he said, “Stop doing that.

It lets me know you’re insecure about your weight and don’t need to be.” What was I doing? Sitting with my arms folded in front of my stomach. That had always stuck out to me as when I acknowledged people watched and realized things like that. After someone asked an online community for examples of things that scream, “I’m insecure!” These were the top discussed suggestions.

1. Mocking Someone Else’s Achievement

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Mocking someone else’s achievement is number one on this list of insecure behaviors. Do you feel the need to diminish someone’s accomplishments? What makes you this way?

Sadly, a young man explains that his father was the epitome of mocking and belittling his achievements instead of recognizing and celebrating them.

He quotes, “Yeah, OK, you graduated, so I guess you want a party or something? I went to the marine’s son do a tour of duty; then we can talk.” The user expressed being very sad that day.

2. You Can Dish It Out, but You Can’t Take It

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Another sign of insecurity is when you’re quick to be “brutally honest” with people but have a total meltdown when someone returns the honesty. For example, people who tear others down masquerade it as a joke but then get mad when they get it returned to them. This is because they either aren’t joking or are too sensitive to dishing out the dirt.

3. Unable to Acknowledge That You Don’t Know Something

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It comes across as annoying and insecure when people refuse to admit they don’t know something. Additionally, when they hold strong opinions and a loud voice about a subject they don’t know anything about but refuse to back down. Finally, they feel superior by regurgitating things from news sites and feeds that harbor their own bias.

4. Belittling Others

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Remember when Donald Trump belittled Ted Cruz and badmouthed his wife, calling her ugly? It is the first thing that popped into my head when I read the comment about belittling others. Having a bully for a president who belittled fellow politicians, reporters, and half of the American population was a nightmare. Please, let’s not do that again. Belittling others to make yourself look better is grossly insecure.

5. One-Upping Everything

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Do you know a one-upper? This person always has to interrupt your story to tell their story, but how much better their story is. Several people confess they have been or are this person and acknowledge their insecurities. Others argue that conditions such as empathy cause people to share their stories to relate to a person and not as an attempt to “one up” anything.

6. Constant Projection and Self-Serving Compliments

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A self-serving compliment is when you’re constantly talking about how great you are. Or when you compliment someone else as a roundabout way to say something about yourself. Someone suggests, “That’s the southern lady’s way of insulting you without technically insulting you.” Well, bless your heart. 

7. Alpha Males and Bad Bishes

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Men who refer to themselves as alphas and women who cling to being a bad or boss bish are primarily insecure. One confesses, “I cringe physically and mentally when I hear this.” Others agreed, adding, “If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best,” is also insecure and not subtle.

8. Never Apologizing

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Never apologizing is an insecure and toxic trait that will damage long-term relationships. Therefore, one emphasizes “Making excuses and even twisting the facts but never apologizing” is an obvious tell.

9. People Who “Tell It Like It Is”

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People who “tell it like it is” or dismiss themselves as “blunt” were called out as being some of the rudest, most insecure, and thoughtless people. Furthermore, some say these people usually spout opinions about things nobody asked them about and are always smug with their meanness.

10. Announcing What Kind of Person You Are

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Do you know someone who likes to define who they are? These people say things like, “I’m a nice guy,” “I’m honest,” “I’m a humble person,” “I’m a people person,” and “I’m an empath.” Oof. That last one hurt. However, I see their point.

11. Putting Others Down for Not Drinking

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People who make fun of others for not drinking were called in the thread as insecure and possibly trying to normalize their own alcoholism. Many users confess they are met with questions regarding religious assumptions and sobriety when they tell people they don’t drink.

Some people do not like to drink, which should be normalized. However, one argued that on the flip side, the non-drinkers they know are the vegans and cross-fit folks of sobriety.

12. Social Media Declarations

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Finally, many agree that when a couple begins declaring their love incessantly on social media platforms, it’s insecure and a sign that the relationship won’t last.

One clarifies, “When it comes out of the blue, I know immediately that this couple is about three months away from breaking up completely, and this is just one last attempt at convincing themselves they are happy.” What do you think?

This thread inspired this post. This article originally appeared on Sober Healing.

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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and spirituality.