Skip to Content

The 5 toxic behaviors of highly insecure people and the best response you can give

In our lifetime, it’s only natural that we get to interact with different people, with varying backgrounds, attitudes, and from all walks of life.

Invariably, some of these relationships will be challenging. Experts, though, agree that highly insecure people are the most difficult personalities to deal with.

Insecurity can come from a feeling of inadequacy, low self-esteem, or self-confidence—and difficulty coping with those feelings in a healthy way.

Everyone can feel insecure at some point – about one’s looks, relationship, performance at school or work, and others – but problematic behaviors can develop when people become consumed by self-doubt.

Insecurity can drive negative self-talk and self-criticism, and toxic behavior such as jealousy, clinginess, approval-seeking actions, avoidance, bragging, competitiveness, guilt-tripping, bullying, and aggression.

Dealing with these behaviors in highly insecure people can hamper our capability to think with clarity and make sound decisions. Highly insecure people are extremely risk averse and unproductive. They can even be exceptionally mean or abusive.

Here are some of the most toxic behaviors that may indicate that you might be dealing with highly insecure people:

[1] They are overly concerned about what others think of them. Highly insecure people feel a constant need to seek validation from others. They will often build a facade where they may seem happy, rich, successful, and better than everyone else. In many cases they are also jealous of other people’s accomplishments.

They constantly talk about how busy they are (when they are actually not) to show that they are in demand. They try to get close to the people at the top so they can feel important as well.

[2] They never express a firm opinion. They cannot make decisions, even when the choices have little consequence. They keep doubting their abilities since they are too afraid of criticism and judgment.

[3] They are very sensitive. They take critiques seriously and become very emotional when others criticize them.  

[4] They have trouble trusting others. They fear rejection and are very scared of being hurt so they choose to stay guarded and do not trust people easily.

[5] They put other people down to make themselves look more important. Highly insecure people tend to judge everyone. They actively make fun of others and talk behind their backs. They are paranoid meddlers who make you question your every move.

In the workplace, they frequently try to change the direction of projects and meetings. They push their presence in groups as a “leader” by talking loudly, making irrelevant remarks, and diminishing others. They also never admit mistakes and shift the blame on others.

It’s important to know how to deal with highly insecure people since they are all around us – at work or at home! It’s quite easy to just think of cutting out toxic people from your life but in some cases, they may be a loved one, a family member, or a colleague at the workplace. Learning to manage such relationships may be necessary so it is important to know how to deal with them efficiently.

The best response to insecurity will depend on the situation, but here are some steps to consider managing highly insecure people:

Wait for the right time. Consider waiting for emotions to subside before discussing issues. Set aside enough time for an in-depth conversation.

 Assess the problem. Evaluate your interactions. How many have been bad? If they are not mostly bad, then perhaps the person you are dealing with is not that difficult. Hear them out and acknowledge how they feel.

Identify the root of the problem. In your relationship with highly insecure people, which topics tend to bring out negative interactions? Also determine the good interactions and compare. This might help determine reasons for insecurity.

Exhibit genuine compassion. When trying to work out your relationship with highly insecure people, think positively and have their best interest in mind.

Aim for a positive outcome. Focus on ensuring that this interaction will help the other person.

Be transparent in how you communicate. Highly insecure people tend to see gaps in arguments, so ensure clarity and transparency in communication.

Work in increments. When making decisions, provide options for trial periods and clear metrics for evaluating the decision and moving forward.

Show that you are not a threat. Show them that you are an ally, and not a rival.

Insecurity can strain relationships, heighten sensitivity, and drive frequent arguments. Learning to recognize the signs of highly insecure people can provide an atmosphere where you may be able to help them regain self-confidence as well as reduce the unnecessary strain in your life. Show that you can be supportive and help others recognize the effects and address the roots of their insecurity.

It is also important to consider your own mental health when dealing with highly insecure people. Create healthy boundaries and limits. Work on your own self-esteem and counter your own insecurities. More importantly, recognize when you might have to end a toxic relationship.

Disclaimer: This article is provided solely for informational purposes and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or opinion. It is strongly recommended to consult with qualified professionals for any mental health concerns or issues.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Friday 10th of November 2023


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.