Whenever I have to deal with insecure people, I notice that overall they can be the nicest people, but their insecurities can really hinder their relationships. So, what to do? How to deal with insecure people?
There are people I know, who simply refuse to deal with insecure people, and that’s a personal choice they made. But what if it’s someone who is close to you, such as a friend or a colleague? In this case, you can’t help but have to deal with them. Here are practical ways to get this done.
It’s advisable to gently attempt addressing the cause of that person’s insecurity. The insecurity may stem from problems associated with their past relationship, or previous employment issues. In either case, it would be beneficial for all involved to discuss the reasons behind their insecurities and have them voice their concerns.
Insecurity is usually caused by low self esteem. First and foremost, you can not force someone to become more secure with themselves. It is for the individual to decide to make the change, if and when they are ready. Here are ways that you can reassure them of their importance to you.
Insecurity can be caused when people feel ignored or unappreciated. People who have a low self esteem, require attention to help them feel valued. Giving them attention, no matter how big or small shows that you care enough to give recognition to them and their achievements. This should help make them feel more secure, and elevate their self worth.
Spend time with this person. If you are already spending time with them, you may consider increasing the time you spend together. By offering them yourself and your time, you will indicate to them that you enjoy their company and they are valuable to you.
I’ve had a coworker who had strong insecurity issues. He was always suspecting that he wasn’t good enough for the job he was doing. He always second guessed himself. Finally, I invited him out to lunch and we had a good talk. Turns out, that he was laid off from his previous position which was almost identical to his current one.
What he wasn’t aware of, is that his previous employer gave him an amazing recommendation. And the reason he was laid off, had in no way related to his performance. It was purely an economical decision. Once I showed him the file, his whole demeanor improved for the better.
Make the person feel important by offering them sincere praise for their accomplishments and achievements. Acknowledge the positive aspects of their deeds and behavior. Praise can go far toward making them feel reassured and elevate their self esteem. Certainly, be fair with your praise, and offer it from the heart.
Maintain Healthy Detachment
If you have noticed that the above points require you to give of yourself, you are right. After all, if this person is important enough to deal with, nothing says it like self offering. Having said that, it’s important to maintain a healthy, courteous detachment from the insecure person.
Why is that? Well, an insecure person may act irrationally or destructively. You should be prepared to deal with this possibility. You have good intentions, and the last thing you want to happen is for you to become emotionally hurt by the other person’s behavior. Certainly keep in mind that whenever you deal with people, emotions can and do get hurt.
This is why it’s important to maintain your distance. It is also important to remain patient if possible. Any interaction requires patience and understanding. Especially when dealing with someone who may have a low self esteem stemming from their past.
Let me finish by emphasizing that people are good by nature. Sadly, over the span of their lives, some of them accumulate problems that affect their lives in negative ways. We can try to avoid dealing with these people, to push them away. But in reality, they are the same as you and I. Learning to deal with them, can help all of us find common ground and expand our understanding of ourselves and of those who share our lives.
Live well. Vlad