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According to Lu, Zhang, and Liu (2018), insecurity refers to a situation where people tend to worry about issues such as hurt and rejection. Insecurity breeds issues such as anxiety and uncertainty amongst people and causes them to question their self-worth and their relevance. Insecurity is a major problem in society, and thus, it is vital to understand the causes of insecurity, its effects as well as measures which can be undertaken to help eliminate or overcome it.
Human interactions are inevitable. Social interactions are an integral part of the day to day operations. The social interactions are experienced through friendship, business, religion, families, social media, as well as other areas that encourage or facilitate the interaction between one individual and another. Consequentially, it is difficult to carry out social interactions without the possibility of the occurrence of insecurity. In most social setups, there is a likelihood that one or more persons will suffer from insecurity issues that expose them to feel that question their ability to be cared for, protected, or loved. Such feelings, which are associated with insecurities, causing them to develop several behavioral consequences.
Causes of Insecurity
Different factors can lead to the occurrence of feelings of insecurity among people. In most cases, insecurity arises as a result of a combination of several factors. One of the causes of insecurity is the effects of a traumatic experience. Traumatic events such as the loss of a family member, issues such as bankruptcy and divorce can lead to the rise of insecurity among people. Traumatic events tend to create an environment that is characterized by uncertainty. The unpredictable environment, in turn, leads to issues such as anxiety. Traumatic experiences can significantly affect the lives of people. Their impact can last for long periods and cause issues such as lack of self-direction, low self-esteem, and in other instances, make people feel like other people are ignoring them.
Childhood experiences are another cause of insecurity. The parent-child relationship is one of the most critical relations which play a significant role in shaping the future of a child. However, if the relationship between the child and the parent is not established in the right manner, it can cause negative consequences that spill from childhood into adulthood. An example of a childhood experience that can lead to insecurity is one where a parent fails to adequately cater or respond adequately to the needs of a child. In such instances, the child grows into adulthood, lacking crucial assurances in life, which then leads to insecurity. Also, in instances where the child a parent constantly abuses as a child, the child may tend to develop insecurities that stem from mistrust. Therefore, poor parenting can cause insecurity attachments among children, which may develop into adulthood.
Family relations are another cause of insecurity among people. Children are the most impacted in family relations. An example of family relation which breeds insecurity among children is where parents are inconsistent in their relationship with their children. Inconsistent relationships or family relations where parents are self-absorbed lead to everlasting implications that cause the children to lack emotional connections with other people. Domestic violence also affects children during and after their growth process. A study by Pingley (2017), reveals that children who witness domestic violence in their families tend to be burdened by the act throughout their developmental stages, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds.
Another source of insecurity stems from intimate relationships among people. Solid intimate relationships are built on virtues such as love, trust, and respect. However, in instances where the virtues are not cultivated in the relationship, insecurity emerges. Insecurity in intimate relationships can also emerge from past relationships. If a party to a relationship had experienced a situation that hurt their emotions or feelings, they might translate the effects of the relationship to the new relationship. As a result, they are more likely to interpret their partner’s course of actions with negative attitudes. Also, in situations where a partner in an intimate relationship hurts the other partner through activities such as cheating, insecurity is likely to arise. Insecurity in relationships is dangerous as it can quickly escalate into conflict and, in other instances, cause a partner to eliminate trust between couples.
Effects of Insecurity
If not handled at an early stage, insecurity can lead to negative consequences, which may affect people who suffer from it and other innocent people. One of the effects of insecurity is it negatively affects the ability to establish sound relationships. People who suffer from insecurity tend to lack trust and often focus on the negative side of events and life—relationships with insecure people are more likely to become toxic and mentally taxing.
Another effect of insecurity is that it limits the progress of a person. People with insecurity tendencies tend to develop a negative perception of things. For example, insecure people lack the confidence to express themselves in workplaces, and as such, they miss out on opportunities such as job promotion. Also, insecurity limits the self-esteem of a person, thus limiting their capabilities. Another effect of insecurity is that it can lead to the development of mental illnesses. Insecurity tends to create a social barrier among people due to anxiety and mistrust. As such, people who are faced with insecurity are likely to avoid social gatherings and reject people’s company. The impact of social distancing is that it escalates anxiety and causes mental complications such as dementia, dependent personality, borderline personality, narcissism, and depression. Eating disorders are particularly common among teenagers and children who suffer from insecurity. Insecurity causes teenagers to develop body image issues. They counter their problems through stress eating, a factor that ultimately leads to
Young people, especially children, and teenagers are more likely to suffer the most from the effects of insecurity. One of the areas in their lives, which is adversely affected by insecurities is their education. Young people’s minds, especially school-going children and students, are still at the developmental stage. As a result, they are unable to fully handle the effects of issues such as domestic violence and body shaming. The development of insecurities leads to mistrust and a lack of confidence. They are unable to fully express themselves among teachers, friends, or guardians. Their performance in school is the most affected due to the loss of concentration and the limitation of their learning abilities, which is affected by their lack of confidence.
Ways to Overcome Insecurity
The effects of insecurity can be devastating. However, one of the positive things about insecurity is that it can be handled. One of the ways one can utilize to deal with insecurity is through seeking professional help such as therapy. Therapy is an efficient approach that can help individuals with insecurities to deal with their problems and seek alternative solutions. The therapy utilizes cognitive-behavioral techniques, which help an individual to express themselves about the issues they are facing. Therapy helps people to realize that they are facing insecurities and also acknowledge the fact that the insecurities can affect them and the people within their environment. Therapy also helps people to regain their self-belief, confidence, and self-esteem. Therapy not only helps people to address and solve their insecurities but also aids in avoiding the negative impact of insecurities.
Weber and Petriglieri (2018) suggest that the key to overcoming insecurities in places of work is through shunning individualism at the workplace and encouraging better, sustainable, and caring relationships among employees. Weber and Petriglieri assert that insecurities at the workplace do not arise as a result of drive or flaw. Instead, the authors agree that insecurity at the workplace is manufactured through the creation of workplace environments, which encourage negative competition. Therefore, the creation of a workplace environment which facilitates togetherness among employees and support for each other can help get rid of insecurity as employees do will not consider other employees as competition but rather workmates and friends who work for a united purpose.
One of the most effective measures of overcoming insecurities is through conducting a self-evaluation. The first step towards dealing with a person’s insecurity is through acknowledging that one is suffering from it. Acknowledging its existence creates a platform for acceptance of one’s weaknesses and thus paving the way for the development of favorable solutions. After accepting the existence of insecurities, it is important to assess what causes insecurities. Focusing on the causes of the insecurities allows a person to eliminate dangerous or negative factors that can lead to one’s susceptibility to them. It helps a person to elevate themselves to toxic situations that trigger the disease. The last step in the self-evaluation process is deciding to overcome the insecurities es and working on measures that eliminate the insecurities. In the process, one ought to set realistic goals that follow step by step processes. The setting of unrealistic goals may lead to failure and, as a result, cause the insecurities to reoccur.
Lastly, one can overcome insecurities by surrounding themselves with people who have positive mindsets. Friends, family members, and mentors can play a vital role in overcoming insecurities. They can provide essential contributions such as advice, support, or mentorship. Positive people’s input can help one to develop self-confidence and self-belief, which are instrumental in overcoming insecurities. Also, surrounding oneself with positive people enables them to avoid people with negative mindsets or people who focus on exposing one’s weaknesses. Therefore, there is a need to create a positive environment where one is surrounded by positive people and things that they enjoy doing. Doing so provided an impetus towards the development of successful strategies towards overcoming insecurities.
Insecurity is a major concern amongst people. Insecurity hurts relationships and restrains people from fully expressing themselves. It can be caused by several factors, such as a history of domestic abuse or traumatic experiences. Insecurities can be overcome through therapy, surrounding oneself with a positive environment, and taking a step to address the issue. Addressing and overcoming insecurity enables one to express themselves and avoid the negative consequences that come with it.
Lu, J., Zhang, Y., & Liu, J. (2018). Interpersonal insecurity and risk-taking propensity across domains and around the globe. Evolutionary psychology, 16(3), 1474704918795520.
Pingley, T. (2017). The impact of witnessing domestic violence on children: A systematic review.
Weber, S., Petriglieri, G. (2018). To overcome your insecurity, recognize where it comes from. Harvard Business Review.
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