Guess What? I Struggle with Insecurity
I’ve always known this about myself, but today it seems to be weighing especially heavy on my heart and seriously affecting my mood.
I care too much what others think of me. My family might deny this, but I am a serious people-pleaser. It really matters to me that everyone around me approves of me and affirms my lifestyle, choices, beliefs, etc. Even though it may not always seem that way based on how I interact with others, I try really really really hard to see issues from their point of view, and understand why they think the way they do, before I dismiss their opinions. And it bothers me when we can’t see eye-to-eye, when I can’t make them understand that we have far more in common than we have differences about.
And when someone (especially someone close to me) expresses their disapproval of my lifestyle, choices, beliefs, etc., it hits me hard. Always. I internalize it, and I react in two ways. First, I start viewing that person in terms of all the things they said about me. I minimize their virtues and exaggerate their vices, and sometimes I ramble to someone else about how wrong they are to say such things about me. I feel the constant need to prove myself, to make sure everyone knows that this is what I believe, not that. That this is the choice I made, not that, etc.
In short, validation means the world to me. And when someone criticizes me instead of validating me, I have this awful tendency to blow it out of proportion.
The second way I react to disapproval and/or criticism is to take it to heart—in a bad way. Even though I’ll never admit it to the offender’s face, I often internalize their words so much that I start to second-guess my own convictions. I start considering angles other than my own, no matter how unnatural they seem. And then I get furious because these other angles just don’t make sense. But then I’m just furious at myself for being such a wobbly bowl of jello when it comes to standing by what I believe in. It’s a nasty, vicious cycle. And when I get sucked into it, it always takes me a long time to dig myself out.
Anyway, I’m not really sure why I’m sharing all this. Maybe it’s to let you into a little snippet of how my mind and emotions work, and how tumultuous they are most of the time. Maybe it’s to ask you for a little grace when you disapprove of me, because if you know how I take it and how much I struggle with insecurity, you’ll be less likely to be harsh when you criticize me.
As for myself, I’m going to start changing my focus. I’m going to start cherishing all the beautiful things God says about me. I’m going to start measuring my worth not by what the people around me think about me, but by how God measures my worth and the place He has given me in His kingdom. Because seriously. God’s opinion should be the only one that matters to me.