The Psychology of Insecurity

Written on May 28, 2009. Written by .

Feelings of insecurity arise from a lack of control and confidence. When you have control of a situation, you aren’t so likely to get upset. If someone is giving you a hard time, you can just utilize your power to deal with it. But if you are relying on the cooperation of others in a way that you cannot effectively enforce, it can be very frustrating.

In a relationship, you can never guarantee that your partner won’t leave you, so there is a lack of control that can often lead to insecurity. This is why jealousy in relationships is so often a source of troubles. Even when the concern is rationally justified, the jealous partner often responds in an irrational way due to their insecurity.

When you have a large degree of confidence in something, it is less upsetting when someone disagrees with you. Even if you do get into an argument about something you are confident in, it probably won’t make you feel too disturbed and upset. Instead, you will probably just laugh when you hear something that you confidently know to be wrong. On the other hand, when you have a belief, but you are very unsure about it, you will more easily get agitated and defensive when people challenge you on that belief.

Once during a philosophical conversation, I told a religious believer that I did not respect her beliefs as much as my own because I thought hers were irrational. Logically, this should have been obvious already because it was already established that I was an atheist and of course I am not going to respect what I view as psychological distortion as much as what I view as the truth. However, my statement made her cry. This was strong evidence that she had some insecurity with regard to her faith. If she was absolutely convinced, she just would have thought that I was foolish and it wouldn’t have created an emotional response.

Insecurity induces irrational behavior that can threaten your life quality maximization. Insecure people also have a tendency to avoid situations that challenge their beliefs. Blocking things out like this can leave you in a fragile state that can be dangerous if you are accidentally exposed to these challenging situations.

It is possible to use philosophy to establish principles that you are confident in. Many insecurities stem from philosophical issues such as how to live. If you aren’t sure of your principles in life, you will always run the risk of thinking you’ve been doing things wrong and that someone else is doing it better. If you can decide on a solid set of principles to live by, you can relieve yourself of the problems that come with insecurity.

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