We all have that one friend who won’t stop bragging about her Paris trip two summers ago, defending his relationship with his hot toxic girlfriend that you thought ended yesterday, or refusing to believe the fact that the world is round. Sometimes we just couldn’t get enough of a load of crap anymore and confront that person, only to get more frustrated at how defensive the conversation has become.
It’s not that your friend is a bad person; he or she might just be suffering from a classic case of wanting to prove something while doing anything and everything in their power to hide what makes them insecure. This attitude creeps into all areas of an insecure person’s life including in work, romance, and friendship.
Here are signs that your officemate, friend, or yourself might just be too insecure that you fall trap to these---quite honestly---annoying defense mechanisms.
An insecure person can’t take it when someone criticizes anything he or she does or the way he or she acts. Basically, any criticism is not welcome and will automatically be taken as a sign that the critic has personal grudges to have come up with an opposing opinion.
In the workplace: Your insecure teammate in a work project may never take the blame even if he is clearly at fault. He won’t be open to any suggestions because, in his mind, he can’t do any wrong.
Tip: To keep it professional, always keep receipts. Show your officemate where he got it wrong through cold hard proof. Always take notes with the Flexispot Magnetic Dry Erase Board or write it in a post-it to stick in Flexispot’s corkboard. Both boards are spacious and can be wall-mounted in your workstation.
2. Assume the worst in people.
Insecure people think that a person’s unfavorable behavior towards them is a personal attack. If Annie bails on Jenna for valid reasons, Jenna will already assume that Annie is avoiding her without hearing out why.
In the workplace: Choosing someone else to send for an overseas trip or a promotion over you will automatically make you think that your boss is playing favorites or has taken bribes. You won’t even consider that your workmate might have a better performance than you.
3. Talk too much.
Those who are insecure will unconsciously dominate a conversation. They doze off when the topic is not about them and once they get the spotlight, they don’t let anyone take it away from them without their stories being finished first. Another telltale sign is when they could inject themselves in every possible scenario that would come up in the conversation.
In the workplace: An insecure person will have the tendency to take credit for a team project, always putting himself in the spotlight and magnifying the impact of his part in the project.
4. Trust issues.
An insecure person will have difficulty in trusting other people’s opinions and actions. They will have the tendency to control another person for them to gain the upper hand in the relationship.
In the workplace: A boss who tends to micromanage or a workmate who’s nosy may be secretly insecure. They like to be in control and won’t be open to criticisms or suggestions.
Tip: Show your boss that you can be trusted with light and heavy tasks by working efficiently and constantly reminding him or her of the status of your task. Your recently upgraded workstation may partially be the reason for this. The Comhar All-in-one Standing desk from Flexispot has helped improve your workflow by allowing you to easily shift from sitting to standing.
5. Always think you’re right.
Insecure people will always find flaws in the opinion of others. No matter how you prove them wrong, they will refuse to see the light. They find worth by putting other people down so that they would feel their superiority.
In the workplace: An insecure officemate will probably be the loudest in a meeting, always disagreeing with what anyone has to say.
6. A people pleaser.
The insecure person will always seek the approval of other people. He or she won’t do anything to displease others or for them to form a negative view of him or her.
In the workplace: The insecure workmate won’t be able to say no to favors or to additional work. Never mind if he or she is personally swamped with work, if it will get the approval of a friend, the people-pleaser will grab at any opportunity.
7. Always have to be better than others.
The insecure will always want to one-up somebody. If Dexter bought a new iPhone, Paolo will point out that he can’t buy one because he just bought a MacBook.
In the workplace: An insecure employee will always feel in competition with others in the workplace. Instead of helping one another to reach a common goal, say meet the sales quota, the insecure will want to be above everyone else because it validates his or her excellence.
8. Always end conversations first.
Conversations tend to make the insecure anxious or uneasy. He or she will be the first to end a conversation, especially if the topic is not about him or her anymore.
In the workplace: At work, there might be a powerplay in action when you get to end the conversation. The insecure will want to be on the superior side so he will end the conversation himself.
It’s important to note that no one can change another person’s personality, especially if the person is not asking for it. Most often than not, these types of insecure people don’t have a good level of self-awareness. Overcompensating to mask their insecurities has just helped to not deal with the real problem.
Beware of insecure people in the workplace and always stand your ground when dealing with them. You don’t want to be manipulated to act a certain way in favor of them or gaslighted that you’ll feel at fault even if it wasn’t your wrongdoing.