The Roots of Insecurity

The words we hear from others can affect how we see ourselves, but they don’t have to if we don’t let them.

Targets of bullying are picked apart daily in every minute detail, and in every aspect of their existences. A bully may criticize something as minute as the way they write. Bullies may criticize a woman for sitting with her legs crossed or the way she applies her makeup. But I guarantee that it has nothing with the way the woman sits or puts on her cosmetics, it has everything to do with the bullies’ own insecurities that are buried within themselves.

In reality, the bullies may think the woman is awesome and their criticism could be taken as a compliment because the bullies know they can’t compete with her and certainly don’t deserve the time of day from her because they know they aren’t even on her level, so, they do whatever they can to tear her down and bring her to their level.

However, the criticism surely doesn’t feel like a compliment and can make you feel like crap, so, I’m very careful when I use my words here. Insecure bullies and abusers will say terrible things to us and they can stick with us if we’re not careful.

“You’re ugly!”

“You’re fat!”

“Your clothes look like hand-me-downs!”

“Your hair looks too straight!”

“Your nose is too long!”

“Your ears are too big!”

“Nobody likes you!”

“You don’t have any friends!”

This doesn’t mean what they say is true, but so many times, we let the words of bullies get into our heads. When bullies assault us with hurtful words, targets often sit and wonder:

“Why don’t they like me?”

“Why am I not good enough?”

“Am I too fat?”

“Am I too short?”

“Am I too weird?”

“Is it my makeup, my hairdo, or my clothes?”

And they do it regardless of whether what was said to them is true.

Understand that our insecurities will scream at us from time to time but if we chose to listen to those pesky little voices, which are most often only voices from past abusers, it only serves to damage our self-confidence and self-esteem. Granted, there will be times when you will question yourself and this is perfectly normal. But when you make it a habit, then it becomes a problem.

There will also always be someone prettier, better looking, smarter, or financially better off. That’s just life. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have anything going for you because you do but again, there will always be someone with more.

Therefore, never compare yourself to another person because you do yourself more harm than good. Realize that each one of us is blessed with great qualities, although some may not know what they are.

Insecurity is a tricky animal because it has a way of hiding in obscurity. Sometimes, we don’t even know we have it. Bullies are such people. Most bullies are bogged down with insecurities, which is why they always point out the shortcomings of others in attempts to hide their own and the self-esteem fix they get from it is only short lived. Then bullies will only come back for more.

Another reason why insecurity is so tricky is because the insecure person not only doesn’t realize it exists, but they also don’t know when they became insecure nor what caused the insecurity.

We aren’t born with insecurities. They are given to us by other people, those who unfairly criticized you during your early years. Maybe someone called you stupid, or ugly. Maybe someone told you that you didn’t look good enough or, weren’t smart enough to pass that class.

Maybe you had an abusive parent or family member who told you that you would never amount to anything. Maybe your dad left and never cared to spend any time with you. It could be that you had an older sibling who bullied you. Maybe your classmates repeatedly told you that you weren’t good enough and never would be. Maybe others trivialized your successes and told you that they didn’t matter. They stem from many different factors.

Nevertheless, there had to be that first person who berated you- that person who planted that seed of insecurity and they repeated the same behavior and nurtured that seed so that it would grow. Maybe others helped to grow that seed and it’s only festered inside of you. And that seed has negatively affected your relationships with others and continues to do so today.

But understand that we all have flaws and the best way to get comfortable with them is to own them and accept that you have them. You might as well get comfortable with your flaws if they’re things you can’t do anything about. Also, once you embrace your flaws, no one can hold them against you any longer. By accepting and embracing your flaws, you take back your personal power and squash any power that bullies ever had over you because the insecurity ceases to be.

Many bullies have also been victims of others. This is the reason they try to break your confidence, only bullies refuse to have that discussion because it would only cast them as being vulnerable. Also, bullies never took the time to acknowledge and heal their own hurts and insecurities.

Therefore, bullies will tear you down with their actions and words because they feel either inferior to or threatened by you.

Once and for all, I want you to understand that there will be that partner who tells you that you dress like a floozy even though you dressed the same when your partner met you and you actually dress rather conservatively. There will be classmates who criticize your laugh or your smile. There will be people who flat out tell you to shut up when you speak even if the words you speak make sense.

The criticisms that hurt us the most and have the potential to destroy us come from spouses, family, and friends- people we love and trust the most. It is those remarks that can do the most damage because these are the people who are supposed to love us, take care of us, and protect us. And we believe they do. We believe they only want what’s best for us so we attempt to modify and change who we are to satisfy them and gain their love and approval. And the more they berate us, the more we shape-shift, trying to attain that allusive approval, until we twist ourselves into a pretzel!

It amazes me how many broken children there are out there who don’t yet understand that there was never anything wrong with them. These children become bullies and grow up to be angry and bitter adults who will only spread their toxicity to others.

It’s much easier to make others feel small than to deal with what others have done to us. I was broken for a lot of years, brainwashed into thinking I wasn’t worthy of being treated well. I always thought I was vermin compared to others because that’s what I’d been told repeatedly by others.

It took me a 2 ½ decades to realize that there was nothing wrong with me and that none of the bullying, abuse, and torment people subjected me to was ever my fault. I was not defected, and I was never a bad person. In fact, I now realize that I’m an awesome person and if people who don’t know me choose to judge me and have issues with me, it’s their problem not mine.

And I hope and pray they get their mental stuff together before it’s too late because it takes someone who lives a miserable existence to go through life making other people feel like dog shit to feel superior.

Insecurity is a seed that plants itself deeply, which is why it can be difficult to deal with. But in order to heal, you must cut out the roots of it too.

And if you don’t take the time needed to deal with and heal it, you will continue to carry the insecurities that someone else gave you and they will affect the way you handle people and your future relationships- every one of them, whether they’re romantic, friendships, or family.

Realize that the insecurities you have were caused by other people who wanted to look and feel better and more powerful than you. They saw a good quality in you that threatened to overshadow them somehow. So, they went on a mission to tear you down to keep you from stealing their spotlight.

Always remember that the bullying and abuse was never about you, it was about them. It was about their fear of you overshadowing them. It was about their being afraid that you’d reach success and leave them in the dust. It was about something they saw in you that threatened their fragile egos.

With knowledge comes empowerment!

81 thoughts on “The Roots of Insecurity

  1. Such intricate details, you seem to know every inch….agree with you stay strong, know your flaws and accept them and most importantly stand your ground…there are people with good heart too dear…they also do help at times, like the way you are doing…we have to keep a watch on the surroundings and read the people not judge…its all in your writings 😇…hmm you seem to have put in a lot of work in them…👍👍…your real-life situational writings are goods and keep one upheld

  2. Wow such a long blog!!!
    I really appreciate it, how long does it take to write it?
    Commendable!
    We get insecure due to negative comments, criticism always harm people. Constructive criticism is a good thing, but if criticism is meant to take you down, it’s very hard to get that confidence back.
    A lovely blog, keep sharing.

  3. Oh, wow! This hit a few nails on the head for me. It’s such a helpful and powerful piece of writing, and I can identify with it totally, every bit of it. I’m one of those people who was bullied and abused in every way possible from before and during my primary school years. It continued through to grammar school, then college, and then into my adult life and relationships. It’s taken me forever to learn to deal with this, and I’m still in therapy decades later and am working on the fallout. I’m glad to say I’m a heck of a lot better than I was back then, and I’m very thankful for that. I’m now happy in my own skin and enjoying my life. It’s not been an easy road, but one that I am undertaking with determination and gratitude. I’m definitely getting there at last. Thank you so much for sharing this honest and excellent post. Ellie <3

    • You’re most welcome, Ellie! 💖 My heart goes out to you for what people have put you through! But I’m so proud of you for taking your life back and it sounds like you’re doing that now! 🌺🌷🌞🤗

      • Thank you so much, Cherie. That means a lot to me. By the way, how do you get those cute little emojis on your posts and comments? I use my laptop, and it will only let me type a face or a red heart. I’ve noticed many people can produce these too, but I can’t. Are you using your phone to write posts etc.?

          • Oh, that’s brilliant! I’ve just tried it, and it works! I’m so pleased as it’s a nice personal touch when in the right place. Thanks so much for telling me. I’ve ONLY been blogging since 2014 and never knew! Better late than never!

  4. Another great post Cherie! The problem with me is that I endured negative comments from bullies since I was little, I can’t place exactly where it began. It took a long time for me to shake off the negative and focus on the positive.

    • Awesome song, Jen! I love the beat! 💖 I’m sorry your mother treated you so badly! But I’m so glad you’re using your talents to cope and creating such fantastic music! 🎶🎛🎵💃💃💃

          • thank you. bullies travel in packs — in person and online — because they are fearful themselves. i am watching a friend get smeared online by a communal narcadoodle and her flying monkeys. Some of these people I thought I could trust. The friend of mine is disabled like I am and had a brain tumor removed. She is also deaf. This narcissist who is smear campaigning my friend claims that my friend is one who abused her. I knew something was not right in the past when the abuser claimed to have experienced domestic violence and was abused by narcs yeah it did not turn around and show me empathy. Her flying monkeys behavior also does not add up and I blocked a few people after I saw the truth come out about their personalities. Today I was mocked and bullied Again by the same grown adults who harass me before. I feel like they travel in packs looking for people to harass because they have nothing better to do with their time. The 60-something harassed me in Starbucks one time too. I feel like he is stalking me and might have to get the police involved. Life is too short to deal with these morons. Two of them inspired character ideas and when I encounter these nitwits, I use the story fodder and start writing. Now that I know my friend is being bullied by some people I thought were friends, I blocked them on all platforms. I let my friend know that I believe her and that her feelings are valid. Sometimes the quietest voices are the ones that need to be heard. Her and I are talking about it in private. Meanwhile this one woman has been smearing my friend for months and I did not know. I do not use much social media anymore

          • Omgoodness, Jen! My heart hurts for your friend and for you. There are some truly evil people and many of them are people in our neighborhoods and communities and the internet is overrun with them. It just goes to show that good people like you are few and far between. I’m so proud of you for being loyal to your friend! You have my utmost love and respect, honey! 💖🌺🌷🦋🤗

          • Thank you. I appreciate your kind support as always. I will try to point her to your blog as I feel it will help her.

  5. This is the best post yet. Abusers have a way of finding me and I don’t drop them soon enough. I read that abusers are insecure. I always wondered what they were so insecure about. I found the answer in this post. 😊 💕

    • Thank you so much, Ruby! I’m so glad this is helping you and that you’re learning how bullies operate and how to take care of yourself when they strike. 💖🌺🌷

  6. This is a must read! Every single teenage should read this. I know if I were taught even half of this I wouldn’t have made so many mistakes in my teen years.

  7. Girl, all they have to do is to plant a seed of doubt, and then insecurity kicks in like PMS cramps! UGH! 😝 Great post and great caution signs you mentioned Cherie. 👏🏼🥰💖 There’s always something they see in you that they either fear or want…most of the time it’s your “character” they desire but can’t buy or pretend to have. 🤜🏼🤛🏼

  8. Interesting analysis of self-esteem issues and where they come from–imposed on us by others. Of course that’s their origin! Why didn’t I realize that until now? LOL

  9. I have to say I’m in love with your blog at this point. I felt as though this was directed at me and I’m glad you decided to share your experience and help people get comfortable in their own skill. Healing is pretty hard I must confess and going through with it is harder. It’d be nice if you made a post about healing because I think I personally need it.

    Thanks for sharing such great advice ❤️, you kept me glued to my screen till the last word.

  10. You certainly are giving me a great education:

    “Always remember that the bullying and abuse was never about you, it was about them. It was about their fear of you overshadowing them. It was about their being afraid that you’d reach success and leave them in the dust. It was about something they saw in you that threatened their fragile egos. ”

    OMG!!! Yes it was! My mother threatened to chain me to the Enterprise stove as a child- I was born to look after her not get an education, find a life partner or LIVE outside her world.

    I escaped,

    But that role haunted me for years!

    No more!!!!!

    My mom, my colleague and my boss- all weak, fragile, pathetic people. I can feel sadness for their miserable existences and the heaps of pain and misery they caused – The tragedy of their worlds!

    Not mine. I am out!

    My shackles have been hacked off!

    I am free!

    Yup- With knowledge comes empowerment!

    Thank you Cherie!

    • Thank you so much! 💖 And I completely understand how you feel. No one wants to feel like they’re the only one. I felt that way myself when I was being bullied. When I saw someone else being mistreated, I’d feel better not because I enjoyed someone else’s pain but because it was conformation that I wasn’t the only one being mistreated.

  11. This is really good! Never thought of my Mom as a bully before (abusive and mentally ill, but ya, she was a bully). Amazing how long it can take to get their analysis out of your head (your neck is too long, your hair is too straight, your lips are too big….there was a list). But she thought no one looked as good as she did…Love what you do….

  12. Post interessantissimo, per fortuna non mi è mai capitato di subire bullismo, ma so che tanta gente ha avuto grossi problemi per questo, quindi c’è bisogno di parlarne e cercare di mettere a confronto le proprie esperienze. Ciò aiuta molto psicologicamente. Piacere di conoscerti, a presto. Un saluto da Grazia!🤩👼🏾👍🏾

    • Thank you so much, Grace! 💖🌺🌷 It’s a pleasure to meet you too! And you’re absolutely right, bullying does need to be discussed more and targets must be taught confidence so that they can better stand upnto bullying.

    • I’m so sorry the pain is still inside, sweetie. Sadly, I think it’s like that for the majority of us. Even I have bits of it as well. Although they’re not as bad as they used to be, they’re still remnants of it there, under the surface. Know that I know where you’re coming from and I care. Sending you lots of love and hugs! 💖🤗💖🤗

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