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A guide to recognising and managing highly insecure people

Representational image from Unsplash. 

Ever wondered how to spot and effectively deal with toxic individuals in your life?

In the complex tapestry of our relationships, we often encounter people who can bring negativity and turbulence. 


Among the most challenging personalities to handle are those who exhibit high levels of insecurity. These individuals tend to thrive in predictable, unchanging environments and often resist growth and progress. 

But, how can you identify them? 

And more importantly, what’s the strategy to navigate these tricky relationships with grace and empathy?

These questions have been answered by Stefan Falk, an internationally-recognized executive coach and workplace psychology expert. 

With a wealth of experience spanning over three decades, he has assisted thousands of individuals in navigating the intricacies of human relationships. He says you can identify the toxicity in people with these seven phrases.

Seven phrases to spot highly insecure people

Here are the seven telltale phrases that highly insecure individuals often use when confronted with change or uncertainty:

1. I don’t have time for this. My other priorities are more important. 

Often, they struggle with effective time management and prioritisation.

2. I’ve already tried this [or something similar], but it didn’t work.”

 Insecurity can lead to avoidance of new experiences rather than genuine attempts at growth.

3. This is just another way for management to cut jobs.

Deep-seated insecurity can breed unwarranted suspicions and paranoia about workplace changes.

4. This is a stupid idea. Everything is working fine as it is.

Resistance to change may stem from a fear of increased workload or discomfort with new tasks.

5. This might work for others, but it’s not for me.

Insecurity can manifest as an inflated sense of uniqueness and special circumstances.

6. Can’t we think of something else? I’m not feeling this.

Such responses may indicate a reluctance to embrace change and a desire to maintain the status quo.

7. It’s obvious that whoever came up with this idea is clueless about the complexity of my work.

Statements like this may suggest a lack of transparency or a hidden agenda.

Strategy to deal with highly insecure people

Now, let’s address how you can effectively deal with highly insecure individuals in your life:

1. Cultivate Compassion:

Your first step is to develop compassion for these individuals. Avoid harbouring negative thoughts and try to understand their perspective, recognising that their behaviour often stems from deep-seated insecurities.

2. Balance Support and Tough Love:

Strive to maintain a balance between being supportive and employing tough love. While it’s crucial to remain positive and composed, avoid showing excessive sympathy that might reinforce their fears.

3. Challenge Excuses:

Highly insecure individuals are adept at making excuses. Instead of accepting these at face value, gently challenge their claims. 

Encourage them to confront their fears and insecurities head-on.

4. Ask Thoughtful Questions:

When faced with resistance or negativity, ask probing questions that help them reconsider their stance. This approach can lead them to realise that their excuses might be holding them back from their full potential.

By following these steps, you can better navigate relationships with highly insecure individuals, fostering positive change not only in their lives but also in your own. 

Remember, it’s about helping them unlock their potential while safeguarding your well-being.

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