The Cost of Hidden Insecurity

I often work with clients who come in because their relationship with a loved one or a coworker is difficult. They have tried to navigate the relationship, but there is little space for them, and they find themselves feeling defeated, criticized or feeling ‘lesser than.’ Upon exploration into the relationship through examples, we begin to identify what appears to be a deeply hidden insecurity in the other. So hidden in fact, it is often protected by what appears to be confidence, intelligence and knowledge.

Hidden insecurities are often found in:

  • The Know-it-All. When a person acts as though they know everything, it can often create inauthenticity.
  • Arrogance. When an ego is too big, that is a sure sign that an overcompensation is occurring.
  • Always having to be right. This isn’t about having an opinion, it is about needing to be right. And anyone who doesn’t agree is ‘stupid.’
  • The Oppressor. When one person needs to feel above someone else, they will often use criticism and control; coming across as the strong one.

All of these personality types have one thing in common – they crave significance. Something in their early childhood has led them to feeling insecure and an overcompensation has occurred in which they must convince themselves of their worth. Unfortunately, it affects those around them by automatically assuming that they are superior in some way.

These can be difficult relationships to manage; the patterns are often quite engrained and therefore rigid. Sometimes, it will lead to a breakdown of the relationship. Other times, it is often through boundary setting and a ‘straightening of the spine’ that clients find some space in the relationship; at the very least to not tolerate being made to feel small.

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