17 Characteristics of an Insecure Person

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By Darryl Henderson

An insecure person is difficult to be around, especially if you are secure and confident in yourself. They bring down the mood in a room, making everyone uncomfortable with their behavior. So, if you want to spot this type of person, here are 17 characteristics of every insecure person.

Constant Need for Validation

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While it is normal to seek validation once in a while, insecure people will look for validation constantly from other people to compensate for their lack of self-worth. They will need constant reassurance about their worth and abilities and may even feel inadequate or useless without external validation.


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Having unrealistic standards is common for self-conscious individuals. As Business Insider notes, people who are insecure may be perfectionists and strive for flawlessness in order to make them feel more secure. They will live in fear of making mistakes because of these high expectations.

Fear of Rejection

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Being rejected is a major fear for insecure individuals. They will avoid situations where rejection is possible and may internalize constructive criticism, perceiving it as an attack. This makes it difficult to be around insecure people as they will beat themselves up when you suggest something to them.

Comparison to Others

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Staying in their lane is a strange concept to unconfident people. Comparing themselves to other people is a common practice for these individuals who will measure their self-worth based on other’s achievements. Instead of being happy for other people, they will feel envious or threatened by their success.


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Insecure individuals will fixate on the past, dwelling on mistakes they have made or embarrassing moments. Rather than being sure of themselves, they will analyze situations excessively, leading to anxiety. According to CNBC, they suffer from a chronic inability to make decisions, even when the choices have little consequence.

Difficulty Accepting Compliments

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Compliments are nice to receive, but not when you are insecure. These people will brush off compliments or deflect them as they don’t feel worthy of praise or admiration. Instead of thanking the person who is complimenting them, they will shut it down, believing compliments are insincere or exaggerated.


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In order to avoid criticism and conflict, self-doubting individuals will prioritize the needs of others over their own to maintain harmony. They will not stand up for themselves or set boundaries as they fear offending other people who they believe may challenge them.

Social Media Users

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According to Psychology Today, insecure people will be on a constant search to boost their self-esteem. One way they will do this is through social media where they will rely on likes and comments for validation and show odd behavior such as uploading too many photos for attention.

Negative Self-Talk

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Lack of confidence leads to a habit of self-criticism. Being kind to themselves isn’t high on their agenda as they will internalize negative beliefs about themselves. They underestimate their abilities and worth, believing that they don’t deserve positive words from anyone else or themselves.

Risk Avoidance

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Because they are fearful of trying new things or taking risks, these people will prefer to stay within their comfort zone, never veering out of it. They cannot deal with the possibility of potential failure, as they worry about the consequences of making a mistake.

Excessive Self-Doubt

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As these people have excessive self-doubt, they will second-guess their decisions frequently. Because they lack confidence in their abilities, they will seem unsure about any task they try to complete. They may even seek reassurance and guidance from others to validate their choices.

Difficulty Trusting Others

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Feeling suspicious of others’ intentions is familiar territory for insecure people. As they are embarrassed of their insecurities, they will feel hesitant to confide in others due to a fear of betrayal. They may also struggle to develop deep, meaningful relationships with others because of this.

Need for Control

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Anxious feelings often bubble to the surface with insecure people which manifests in attempts to control situations or outcomes. Psych Central notes that these types of people are obsessed with bad things that haven’t even happened and will act to prevent, plan, and control potential future pain.

Hiding Their Feelings

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It is typical for insecure individuals to hide their emotions and vulnerabilities from others as they struggle to open up. These emotional conversations do not go down well with unconfident people who have a strong fear of being judged or rejected for showing weakness.

Sensitivity to Criticism

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Criticism directed towards an insecure person will not be received well, even if it is constructive. They may feel attacked or defensive when receiving feedback as they will struggle to separate helpful criticism from personal worth, believing that their character is being put down.

Comparing Their Friendships or Relationships

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Our relationships with others are unique which is something that people who aren’t self-assured don’t realize. They will constantly compare their relationships to others and feel insecure if their relationship doesn’t meet societal standards. Their partner may become frustrated as they seek validation through their partner’s actions or words.

Needing Others to Feel Happy

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Instead of realizing their worth on their own, these people will turn to others for emotional fulfillment. They have a tendency to be dependent on other people to make them happy or complete and will struggle to find joy when they are by themselves.