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16. They will make sure you know all the ways you will fail at whatever goal you have.

People who are insecure about their own abilities to complete a task or reach a goal will always be the first to tell you all the ways you will probably fail at what you are working toward. They will be the first to tell you every pitfall you will experience. They are the first to tell you that you won’t be able to do something great that you really want to do. Trust me. People who believe in their own abilities and believe that they can achieve their own greatness will never tell you that you will fail in your endeavors. Ever.

17. They will enjoy the struggles of others.

When a person has become obsessed with the success and accomplishments of someone else, and has acted out of insecurity toward that person, they will be greatly satisfied any time the other experiences disappointments. They will enjoy the other person’s struggles. They will secretly hope that each stumble and each slip-up along the road to greatness will be the stumble or slip-up that finally winds up sending the other person down the road of failure. Trust me. People who are actively striving to overcome their own stumbles and mistakes will never be obsessed with yours or anyone else’s. Ever.

18. They will eternally pin you into the mistakes of your past.

Some people feel so defined by their past mistakes and their past failures that they refuse to ever let you move past yours. They search for any moment in time where you were less than perfect or where you made a mistake, and they will attempt to make everyone label you by that mistake forever more. They will not see any of the great things you have been, done, or accomplished since. Trust me. People whose past mistakes don’t haunt them and define them have no reason to hold onto your past mistakes. Ever.

19. They will always have to have the last word.

Some insecure people love to engage others as a way of feeling validated, intelligent, and authoritative. They will not concede any point, no matter how silly their argument is, and they will not ever agree to disagree. They always have to have the last word, or else they feel inferior and insignificant. Trust me. People who believe in their own intellect and who value peace over some need to not appear wrong have no need to fight to the bloody end. Ever.

20. They think that everything is a hidden jab.

People who are insecure about their ability to hide their weaknesses will think that almost everything you or I do or say about much of anything is a direct jab aimed at them, specifically. They will think almost any discussion around them has ulterior motives, and they’ll constantly shuffle the conversation back to them in an effort to dissect the motives of everyone involved. Trust me. People who aren’t striving to turn everyone else off of the scents leading to their own weaknesses have no reason to think that the conversation is always secretly about them. Ever.

Yes, we all have insecurities. Like I said, it’s part of the human experience. The question is, what kind of person will we each be when we feel the sting of our insecurities?

Will we constantly disparage ourselves and put ourselves down? I hope not. We do this only to put the negative thoughts into the minds of others before they can think the thoughts themselves. It’s a very weird way of dealing with our insecurities.

Will we constantly pretend we have no insecurities? I hope not. Pretending like our outlooks about ourselves are always positive and always confident and always healthy just sets us up for major letdowns and major discouragement that is hard to break free from, and I have learned that it doesn’t push us into happiness as much as we think it does.

Will we constantly make up stories, lies, and half-truths to make our lives less dull? Will we tell great fibs that will help us overcome our insecurities and that will dissuade others from thinking our lives are mundane and unaccomplished? I hope not. These people never have friends for long.

Will we “act out” against our insecurities by doing some of those twenty things I listed above? I hope not, though almost all of us have been guilty of many of them at one time or another. Acting out when we feel insecure is all smoke and mirrors no matter how we disguise it.

So, if by none of those methods, will we tackle our insecurities with humor and the ability to laugh and improve? I hope so. Humor really is the best way to approach our insecurities, so long as it’s always done from a place of self-acceptance or self-improvement and not from a place of internalized personal disparagement.

Humor is a beautiful way to deal with fear, and isn’t that what insecurity really is? Isn’t it just… fear?

Fear of the judgments of others? Fear of the arbitrary thoughts others might think and feel when they think or feel things about us?

Insecurity is simply our reaction to one of the only things we have absolutely no control over, and that is the way other people think about us and perceive us and judge us.

And as you ponder that, I promise you one more thing. Most of us have used several or all of the five methods listed at the top of this post for dealing with our insecurities. Most of us use a mix of them every single day. I know I have and sometimes still do.

The question is, will we each do what we need to do to be more healthy in how we deal with the things that make us feel insecure? Will we use our insecurities to better our lives and push us to eventually reach our goals? Or will we use our insecurities as crutches to blame everyone else for all the things we never achieve? It’s truly up to each of us.

I, for one, will from now on be excitedly flying on my lat wings and spreading them proudly for all the world to see. Also, I will be loaning out my Dan-hair sweater to anyone who is cold enough to be that desperate.

Dan Pearce, The Single Dad Laughing Blog