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What reveals insecurities?

In my experience there are two general ways how you can tell someone is insecure aka has low self-esteem. One is obvious, while the other can easily be mistaken for confidence.

The first way is the typical and obvious insecurity, in which a person literally and figuratively makes themselves smaller.

Hunched over body posture, looking down, belittling themselves, talking with a low voice,… all of these can be signs of this form of insecurity.

But to me, much more interesting is the second way. And it’s surprisingly common too.

The second way of telling if someone is insecure is the opposite of making yourself smaller. It’s making yourself bigger (and others smaller).

I see this a lot in high school kids, rich people in the finance, law, or media industry, men who aspire to be ’alpha‘, and generally male-only groups.

What are symptoms of this form of insecurity?


Being loud and aggressive


Displaying your status, wealth, or power


Extreme confidence

It’s sad that a lot of these traits and behaviors are depicted as virtuous in movies, songs, and advertisements, whereas they are little more than elaborate ways to hide the ruins within a person’s psyche.

Let me end here with one of my favorite poems (translated from the German original):

As long as you try

to impress others,

you are not convinced

of your own strength.

As long as you strive

to be better than others,

you are doubting your

own worth.

As long as you try

to elevate yourself

by lowering others,

you are questioning your

own greatness.

Who is in peace with oneself

doesn’t have to prove anything

to others.

Who knows one’s own worth

doesn’t need validation.

Who knows about one’s own greatness

lets others keep theirs.

-Gabriele Ebbighausen


The Shackz

083 651 3729

065 741 3428


Growing Wings

071 060 4339

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