Do you have a friend who would still brag about her Maldives trip for three years? Or defend his hot girlfriend who he said he broke up with just the other day? Or a friend, despite irrefutable facts, still refuse to believe that the world is round? When we interact with these people on a regular basis, we can’t help reaching the point of confrontation, only to be gaslighted or hear a whole defensive speech on why they’re right.
We’re not saying that this friend in question is a bad person. He or she is just showing telltale signs of insecurity, a situation where they try everything to mask what makes them insecure. This persona they created creeps in all aspects of their lives that may include work, romance, and friendship.
If you’re unsure whether your officemate, friend, or yourself is like this, we listed down some signs to be aware of them that could hopefully lead to healing these defense mechanisms.
1. You are most likely insecure if you are hypersensitive.
When someone throws a joke about you or criticizes what you do to help you improve, you immediately dodge it or take it personally. Any criticism or differing opinion is considered as a personal attack.
In the workplace: For instance, you are working on a project with others coming from different departments. There’s that one officemate who won’t ever take the blame or responsibility even though a situation was a result of his or her wrongdoing. He or she is automatically closed to any suggestions because, in his mind, he can’t do any wrong.
Tip: In a workplace, you have to keep things professional so make you always have receipts. Everything should be on written correspondence. Even though you initially had a verbal agreement, make sure to have written proof of the interaction. In this way, you could present cold hard proof when it comes in handy.
2. You are most likely insecure if you assume the worst in people all the time.
Insecure people have an idea in their heads how they want other people to behave towards them. Anything unfavorable is taken personally. If for instance, Tiffany can’t make it last-minute on a scheduled date with Nick because of a sudden work commitment, Nick will already assume that Tiffany is avoiding him while all the valid excuses fall on deaf ears.
In the workplace: When your boss chooses someone else to send for an overseas trip or give a promotion, you automatically think that the favored candidate gave bribes or is simply a favorite for some reason. You don’t even think that it might just be because your workmate performs better than you in the office.
3. You are most likely insecure if you talk about yourself way too much.
Those who are insecure will unconsciously dominate or take over a whole conversation. You lose their attention when the topic is not about them and once they get the spotlight, they hoard all airtime and don’t let anyone take it away from them. Another telltale sign is when they could insert themselves in every possible scenario that would come up in the conversation or make every story about them.
In the workplace: Someone insecure will tend to take credit for a team project, regardless of their contribution to it. They always put themselves in the spotlight and exaggerate their role in the project.
4. You are most likely insecure if you have trust issues.
An insecure person finds it difficult to trust other people’s behavior including their opinions and actions. They want the upper hand in the relationship so they have the tendency to be controlling.
In the workplace: You might have a boss who always micromanages the team or is always nosy about what you’re doing, even if it’s a break. They might secretly be insecure and would most likely not be open to any criticism or suggestion.
Tip: Gain your boss’ trust by working efficiently and constantly updating him or her on the status of your task. Your recently upgraded workstation could help you achieve this. The Comhar All-in-one Standing desk from Flexispot has helped improve your workflow by allowing you to easily shift from sitting to standing.
5. You are most likely insecure if you think you are always right.
As a fault finder, those who are insecure tend to always look for flaws in the opinion of others. No matter how you prove them wrong, they will refuse to see the light. They want to feel superior so they put other people down, consciously or unconsciously.
In the workplace: An insecure officemate will probably be the loudest in a meeting, always disagreeing with what anyone has to say.
6. You are most likely insecure if you’re a people pleaser.
The insecure will always seek the approval of others. They would definitely not do anything that might displease others or build a negative image of them.
In the workplace: Everyone runs to that one insecure employee who can’t say no to favors or additional work. Never mind if he or she is personally swamped with work enclosed in the job description, if it will get the friend’s approval, then the people-pleaser will grab any opportunity.
7. You are most likely insecure if you feel that you always have to be better than others.
The insecure will always want to one-up somebody. If Lander bought a new iPhone, Paulo will point out that he can’t buy one because he just bought a MacBook.
In the workplace: An insecure employee will always feel in competition with others in the workplace, even though they’re supposed to work as a team. Instead of helping one another to reach a common goal, say meet the sales quota for the department, the insecure will go ahead and do his or her thing to be above everyone else.
8. You are most likely insecure if you always end conversations first.
Conversations make the insecure anxious or uneasy. He or she will be the first to end a conversation, especially if the topic is not about him or her anymore.
In the workplace: At work, the one who ends the conversation holds more power. The insecure will want to be on the superior side so he will end the conversation himself.
Most often than not, these types of insecure people don’t have a good level of self-awareness. Overcompensating to mask their insecurities has become a defense mechanism that they rarely talk about.
It’s still important to note that no one can change another person’s personality, especially if the person is not asking for it.
Beware of insecure people in the workplace and always stand your ground when dealing with them. You don’t want to be manipulated to act a certain way in favor of them or gaslighted that you’ll feel at fault even if it wasn’t your wrongdoing.