Annoying Insecurity

Insecure people are annoying, don’t you think?

I do think so. I have not read much about insecurity as a psychological phenomenon but have read and observed enough to know when I meet one. Generally speaking, everything about them is off the gauge, too much or too little, too high or too low.

CC license shared via @kuhtser
CC license shared via @kuhtser

Insecurity is not an affliction suffered by some or a limited number of individuals. We all do have or have suffered some sort insecurity at one time or another. Situational insecurity is generally temporary and its symptoms don’t last long. They will be gone when the situation that makes them insecure is resolved. People who are suffering from situational insecurity still do look awkward and/or annoying but they will soon come around and regain their balance and look ‘normal’. People with severe and chronic insecurity, however, leak out symptoms of their insecurity like they were part of their personality traits. These people can be very annoying to their friends and co-workers and, as a result, they may become unpopular. If they happen to be smart or rich or have some other positively outstanding qualities, they may still have some ‘friends’ who cling to them — if only for some advantage they can take of them. But generally speaking, I think they are lonely people who can’t feel genuine affection from their relationships.

I have met and had to deal with some chronically insecure people every now and then — friends, students, co-workers. I can get by with some, have appeased and helped some. I think more than once I’ve managed to win a genuine friendship from some of them (probably because I could make them feel comfortable with me). I think I have also managed to help some alleviate their sense of insecurity and mitigate its symptoms. But there is this one student of mine — or ex-student, now that he has graduated — who seems to be suffering from an extreme kind of insecurity that some casual conversations, show of affection and empathy would not just do it to make him realise of his annoying behavioural symptoms of insecurity. Perhaps he’d need a more systematic kind of intervention and help to relieve him from whatever trauma he must have suffered that makes him behave the way he does.

Perhaps you wonder why I have a particular attention to this individual. Well, to be honest, he’s not the only one receiving this kind of attention from me. As a teacher, I generally have a genuine interest in my students’ welfare. Perhaps because of this, I am quite well-liked among my students — or at least I feel so. I make him a case of example here because I think he is very smart, probably a genius, but being extremely insecure, he is very unpopular among his friends and teachers.

This individual has the habit of attacking others, verbally. The way he speaks — his words, sentences — seem to be condescending to others, and this he does without any humour of any kind. He boasts what has done, what he knows … He looks down upon what he considers to be others’ ‘mistakes’. He’d chime in the middle of conversation uninvited to show off. His social media status also show the telltale signs his self-perceived superiority over others. In short, he has these things that others would consider to be inappropriate and condescending.

What he does is probably not quite uncommon among genius. But not all genius people are like that. There are certainly many humble geniuses who treat others respectfully. I am really concerned that if he continues doing what he’s been doing, his career and aspirations would suffer. He is an emerging and promising writer who has published a number of books as of now. His books are probably quite popular among his own social groups (emerging and aspiring writers). But I don’t think he’ll make it big time if the way he markets himself in the social media still has that unmitigated telltale signs of condescension towards others. I certainly hope I am wrong and would want to wish him every success he deserves. But I also wish that he’d realise that his bloating overconfidence can potentially be harmful, that he’d begin to seek help to overcome his traumatic insecurity, because symptoms of insecurity are annoying and can be very repulsive to others.


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