Dealing with Insecure People

October 1, 2015

It is hard to live, work, or establish a healthy friendship with extremely insecure people. How can you? In one moment, they are accessible and forgiving, but the next thing you know they put up insurmountable walls and you can’t communicate.

What is behind this type of personality? Is it a clear personal insecurity? Envy? Or do they just want to complicate the lives of those around them? We know, it is not easy to live with them, and they sometimes even bring the worst of us out. However, we need to accept them and treat them as they are: insecure people.

We should add here that relationships with this kind of person get even more complicated when it is our significant other acting this way. What can we do? What strategies can we use in these cases?


Yes, but…no

Today what you’re doing and saying seems fine, but I don’t know how I’ll feel about it tomorrow because I’m not ready to make that decision.” We have all felt this way: our confidence and our hope crumble like a paper boat heading downstream.

Personal insecurity appears in many forms; however, we will consider some of the more common cases:

Insecurity stemming from childhood

Mothers and fathers that base their education on shaky standards and constant changes of approach end up projecting their insecurity on their children. An example? Parents who promise their children that they will do certain things –they can go on that date, on that trip, to that party. But later, they change their mind and say no.

Romantic insecurity

We can explain this case with a hundred situations that you may know well. These people they may appear completely accessible one day and open to long-term commitments. The next day they could radically change their mind and offer only vague excuses. Furthermore, it is very common to find couples who have broken up when at least one of them wanted to, and yet they never really leave. They never “break” their connection, which creates even more suffering.

Insecure friends

Who doesn’t have that friend who always needs our opinion or advice to do something? Usually, they seem close and caring, but when things do not go their way, they blame us. They show dependence and detachment at the same time, a mixture that sometimes seems to blend in with love, and later, envy.


How do you defend yourself?

How should we treat the people who “trap” us with their personal insecurity? We cannot break off our relationships with them because they are part of our lives. The best approach is to learn how to best deal with them.

  1. Understand that you cannot change someone overnight. Instead of trying to solve “their problem,” start first by protecting yourself by avoiding their manipulation. Make sure you are clear on your own values, limits, and what you are willing to allow as well as what you are not.
  2. Clearly express how you feel every time they change their mind or when they are not clear about their feelings. In this way, let them see how their actions and words have consequences.
  3. Understand that insecure people tend to generate “negative emotions.” The last thing you should do in these cases is take responsibility for their actions. If you’re in a romantic relationship with this type of person, do not attribute their ups and down to yourself, do not let yourself get carried away by this “emotional carousel” of “I love you today, but not tomorrow.” The problem is the other person, not you, so you need to objectively assess how far you are willing to go, and what you will allow.
  4. A confident person does not doubt, let alone drag others into their channels of insecurity and personal dilemmas. If you think that you are wasting your time, get out of there. Now, if you appreciate that person, make them see what consequences their behavior begets, but always in a constructive, open, and firm way.