We’re going through a series of insecurity signals and the easy fixes for them. This post will wrap up the discussion.

Overcompensation / bragging

Offering unnecessary details to try to raise your status is an insecurity-masking technique.

How to correct it: Before you go off on a tangent ask yourself, “Is what I’m about to say actually relevant to the conversation at hand, or am I just trying to get people to like me?” If it’s the latter, keep it to yourself. Confident people believe they’re liked and they give others the opportunity to brag instead.

Defensiveness

If you react defensively to jokes or small slights, it signals you’re not comfortable with yourself.

How to correct it: Remind yourself not to be too serious. Most jokes are not made to hurt others; they’re just meant to lighten the mood and even show friendship. If someone says something that’s actually hurtful, remind yourself that they may be the insecure one.

Asserting membership in a group

The more insecure you are in your relationships, especially with a group, the more you’ll try to assert your inclusion or remind others in the group that you belong.

How to correct it: Remind yourself that if you’re participating with the group, you’re part of it. There’s no need to prove yourself or remind them. They’ve already accepted you.

Overuse of self-focused pronouns

This is particular to people who are speaking for a group. Overusing the words I / me / mine comes off as trying to raise your own status, especially when it is more appropriate to use the words we/us/ours.

How to correct it: You can make yourself look good by making others look good. Give out praise whenever possible. Make it a rule to attribute success to everyone who played a part in it because there’s no need to steal the spotlight when you’re already in it.

Speaking softly

Speaking softly when it’s not socially required comes off as a disbelief in your own words—like you’re trying to make sure not too many people hear them, afraid you’ll be called out for voicing your opinions.

How to correct it: Speak assertively, especially when you’re addressing a group. If you’re not used to speaking up, try not to schedule conversations that would happen in an environment that would require it. Test your volume level often by watching to see if others are straining to hear what you’re saying.

Hyper-correcting your speech

It’s normal to use the wrong word or grammar when you’re trying to communicate. When you stop and correct each of these mistakes, it comes across like you don’t believe you can properly communicate without using perfect speech.

How to correct it: Keep going when you fumble over a word or use the wrong grammar. Remember that the majority of successful communication depends on body language and that most mistakes in what you say will be glossed over for the big picture anyway.

Hopefully you now feel equipped to tackle the insecurity signals you have a tendency to show, and will be able to handle more situations with grace. Good luck out there.

Footnotes

Much of this list was derived from these sources:

Does This Make Me Sound Insecure? The linguistic tics that reveal self-doubt.

Signs Of Insecurity: Behavior That Reveals A Lack Of Confidence

What Every Body Is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed Reading People

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