How To Deal With Insecure People

You're probably no stranger to office politics, gossip, and the insecure people who perpetuate them. Image consultant Bianca Valerio tells you how to handle them.

Just like the air we breathe, insecure people are all around us, including ourselves. Yes, even the most seemingly superior types are just as insecure as the next person. The only difference is they either don’t realize they’re insecure or they hide their inner demons quite well.

Whether at home, at the workplace, or in an unfamiliar territory, we’re confronted with various situations that make us question our self-worth, better judgment, sanity, and at times, even our own existence.

As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” Very true, but the question is, when is enough enough and what do we do about it?

Though my personal experiences are different from yours, we all share a common thread: successfully hurdling through life with inner strength and courage, without having to hurt others in the process. So here are some situations and types of people we often come across and how to deal with them:

People rain on your parade after you’ve accomplished and were honored for a specific task.

Your Reaction: You start to feel guilty because you’ve gained some popularity while your friends haven’t. You try to subdue your successes so people won’t dislike you too much.

What To Do: Never apologize for your success if you truly worked hard for it. Jealousy will always be on your back. It’s only a sign you’re doing something right that others aren’t. See, before, you were just like everyone else but now, you’ve stepped up from the pack. Just always be low-key and humble so that, instead of others getting infuriated by your success, they will only either stay mum or be supportive once they see that success hasn’t gone to your head.

No matter how much you try to get on a person’s good side, they never seem to make the effort to meet you halfway.

Your Reaction: You start to doubt yourself and ask if you even really deserve to be friends with such a person. You ask what it is you’re doing wrong or not doing. What else do you have to do for this person to treat you better?

What To Do: There can me multiple variables in this situation:

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  • The person is the non-sociable, shy type: Don’t take it personally, as non-sociable types don’t use conversation as a way of expressing or connecting with people. If you must get to know this person, find out their interests through research from friends or merely observing them (without being a stalker, of course). Only then should you spark up a conversation about it to see how that helps them come out of their shell.

  • He/She may be very guarded due to a personal experience: Not everything is about you so rather than make rash assumptions, stop to think that maybe people are the way they are due to a tragic or emotional personal experience and it has nothing to do with you. So rather than forcing yourself on them, which only makes them stay away even more, just be more sensitive to them by letting them know you’re there to support them without always being in their face. These types will make contact in their own time.

  • This person is threatened by you: When you pose a threat to a person or others, they don’t want you to sense this. You may simply be taller, slimmer, smarter, just as talented, more popular, have potential to excel beyond them, etc. Putting you down through avoidance or silent psychological torture and the like is their only way to have some control over you by making you feel bad that despite your popularity, not everyone wants to be your friend. Beware, they may keep their distance from you but are constantly watching every move you make. So rather than showing how affected you are, place your friendly efforts on people who do care to have you in their lives. Why waste it on people who couldn't give a rat’s ass about you?

  • This person is intimidated by you: Then again, there are people who want nothing more than to be your friend but are just too intimidated by you. They’d rather keep their distance to avoid embarrassing themselves. We may not realize that sometimes, malakas ang dating natin to other people. Our personalities can be too overpowering for people. It’s borderline annoying but mostly intimidating. Be aware of your words and actions so you can have a sense of how people react toward you. That way, you’ll know more or less the type of people you’re dealing with.

  • This person has a girlfriend/boyfriend who is the jealous type: Some people avoid specific people out of respect for their partners. Thus, it’s not that they don’t like you per se, it’s merely because talking to you may hurt their partner out of jealousy. Jealousy is healthy up to a certain extent but because you don’t know the history between two people despite how close you are to one of them or more so if you don’t know them, respect must be given, as you would not want to this to be done to you.

  • This person just doesn’t like you, period: Think to yourself, are you loud? Are you a backstabber? Are you a social climber? A lazy officemate? A moocher who always relies on others for free food, cigarettes, drinks, etc.? A copycat? A vicious flirt? We cannot always place blame on people because every action causes a reaction, as laws of science dictate. Whether we do good or bad things, people react to them in different ways, and those reactions can be used as signals to do a reality check on our behavior toward others and ourselves. Think about it, do you find yourself backbiting about other people with a certain group of friends? Are you on your best behavior with another group? Do you resort to vices with a certain group to fit in?
    People or persons who have their principles in check avoid people who only bring negative energy like gossip, drugs, crab mentality, etc. Are you those things? If so, then it’s time to reassess what type of friends you have, as they may only be hindering you from internal growth and maturity. As the other saying goes, “Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.”

There are so many other situations I could delve into, but these are mostly what we encounter on a daily basis.

I understand that what I’ve advised are easier said than done. Granted, however, it doesn’t mean they don’t work or aren’t true. I myself struggle with inner issues but I’ve always believed that “God doesn’t give you a trial He knows you can’t handle.” May it be God, life, or whomever you believe it to be, your life is there for you to cultivate it--not corrupt it.

So always take a look at your own insecurities FIRST before placing blame on others if you truly want to grow past your own demons. Because once you’ve found peace with yourself, your acceptance and understanding of others’ shortcomings will come as a breeze, believe me.

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