Everyone has their own set of insecurities. Even those people who seem to have it all figured out and can waltz into a room and make everyone think they’re the most confident people in the world, also deal with insecurities about themselves. We all have our hang-ups and our quirks and it’s hard to feel 100 percent secure in everything we do and say as human beings.
But the thing with insecurities is we tend to share them. If we think we’ve done poorly on a test or had a wretched first date, our initial reaction is to tell the people closest to us, as a way to not only express what’s weighing on our mind, but get some sort of reassurance that we weren’t as bad as we think we are. And while that may seem all well and good, according to a new study, sharing such information is just setting us up for even more insecurities.
The theory is simple: If we’re constantly voicing our insecurities, we’ll then become insecure about the fact that those around us think we’re an insecure person in general.
However, contrary to the insecurities that we layer on top of insecurities, it’s usually all for nothing. As the key researchers in the study, Dr. Edward Lemay and Dr. Margaret Clark have found, what we perceive others are thinking about us doesn’t exactly line up with what people actually perceive. Frankly, people don’t pay as much attention to our idiosyncrasies and behavior as we convince ourselves they do. But no matter what those around us are actually NOT thinking, we’re still thinking they’re thinking less of us.
The problem with insecurities is that even giving into them for a moment creates a chain of events. As the study explains: “By expressing your insecurities to a close friend or a romantic partner, you may subsequently worry that this person thinks of you as an insecure person, which could then lead you to doubt the nice things they tell you.” It’s truly a vicious cycle in which we only have ourselves to blame, which I guess, can create even more insecurities! ARGH!
What this means is that, although it’s not our intention, in sharing our insecurities about things we’ve done or said on a regular basis, we could be jeopardizing our relationships because of the perception we assume is being made by others.
Instead of letting this happen, the study suggests taking any positive feedback at “face value,” as opposed to struggling with whether or not that person thinks you’re insecure. If we waste our time trying to decipher the real meaning in the comments of others, we miss out on the good stuff. Insecurities may be a part of life, but once we realize our partner is there to support us and not pass judgment, everyone will be better off.
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