It can be difficult to watch someone you care about struggle to deal with insecurities. Regardless of how often or sincerely you reassure them, their insecurities might be so deeply rooted that a few encouraging words have little effect on them. While everyone feels extra self-conscious at times, persistent feelings of insecurity can be painful and crippling for those plagued by it. If someone you love is prone to insecurity, here are a few ways to support them and boost their confidence.
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Give Them Space To Express Their Feelings
Sometimes, negative thoughts like insecurities just need room to breathe before disappearing on their own. If this is the case for your insecure friend, family member, or partner, allow them to express their feelings uninterrupted and without judgment. Ask them questions about these feelings and listen intently to their answers. This helps you to understand their point of view and past experiences that their insecurities might stem from.
It might feel counterintuitive to let them voice their insecurities without contradicting them. While you can certainly reassure them afterwards, validate their feelings first.
Stop Them From Spiralling
While you should provide your loved one a safe space to process their insecurities, it’s important to encourage them not to dwell in these feelings for too long. If you notice their words are starting to veer off towards unlikely scenarios or extreme self-hatred, disrupt their thought pattern to prevent them from spiralling.
Gently remind them that their terrible thoughts are just thoughts. If your insecure person starts to assume that a late reply from their partner automatically means they’re cheating or that their boss hates them because of their phrasing in an email, offer alternative explanations. Providing a different perspective might help them realize that their insecurities are influencing their interpretation of the matter.
Ask How You Can Best Support Them
If you’re unsure of how to best support the insecure person in your life, there’s nothing wrong with asking them. This encourages them to figure out how to use their social support system to combat their insecurities and reassures them that it’s okay to reach out to you.
In the event that your loved one doesn’t know what kind of support they need when their insecurities act up, offer these suggestions:
- Distract them from their insecurities with a fun, confidence-boosting activity.
- Call them to help them process their feelings of insecurity and triggering events.
- Perform errands for them. Since those with paralyzing insecurities might struggle with everyday tasks, you can ease their burden by helping them out.
Learn Their Triggers
Depending on the type of insecurity they have, it probably has its own unique triggers. Learning about these triggering events enables you to help them navigate these situations or avoid them altogether.
For example, if your friend in insecure about their body and social media posts with photoshopped and perfect-looking models triggers their insecurities, you could support them by encouraging them to unfollow these accounts.
Discourage Them From Social Comparisons
For many people, comparing themselves to others is one of the worst triggers for their insecurities. Although social comparisons are an inevitable part of human nature, it can provoke self-loathing for those struggling with insecurities.
Kindly remind the insecure person in your life that people often present the best version of themselves to others. It’s unfair to compare their worst version to someone else’s best version. The people they’re comparing themselves to likely experience self-doubt and bad days just like them.
There are many benefits to practicing self-care including reducing the frequency of negative thoughts. Encourage your insecure loved one to focus on taking care of their wellbeing and showing up for themselves every day. When their energy is directed towards caring for their needs, they are more likely to feel better about themselves. When they feel good in their own skin, they’ll probably be less prone to stirring their insecurities.
Promote And Model Gentle Self-Talk
Ask your insecure person to listen to the way you speak to them with kindness when their insecurities act up, and encourage them to do the same. Urge them to speak to themselves the way they would to a friend. Eliminating negative self-talk might not remove their insecurities entirely, but it can help them respond with more self-compassion whenever their insecurities are triggered.
Everyone feels insecure sometimes, but if someone you care about is experiencing debilitating insecurities, urge them to seek support. Insecurities might be an internal battle, but it doesn’t mean you can’t be there for them as they tackle these self-destructive thoughts.