Saturday, July 10, 2010

"He said, WHAT?!?" | We ALL Get Insecure - Getting to the root of Insecurity

I had every intention today to write about embracing insecurity in my own life, but the Universe had a slightly different plan. Instead, I was a witness to a raging surge of insecurity as displayed by someone I love and care for deeply.  He is one of my closest friends on this planet, and since he does not usually allow himself to exhibit emotional vulnerability, I was particularly taken back by our exchange and his willingness to open up about about his insecurities - though he never called them that.

Up until recently, I depended on this friend for a lot.  I was a long-term unemployed individual with very little money coning in from unemployment insurance, and I had periods where I was emotionally needy...and he was there for me in every way, always supporting me and encouraging me.

About a month ago, I landed a great job not too far from home.  I am treated well there and actually look forward to going to work, both for the exciting work that allows for creative opportunities as well as the structure of operational duties, but I also enjoy the company of the people that I work with.

Everything was fine with my friend until about one week into my job. Then he began to change. He seemed distant, less affectionate, and even angry and bitter at times.  I felt a bit like I was being avoided, and it really hurt.  I questioned myself - had I done anything wrong? Could I have offended him in some unintentional manner?  I asked him, but he denied it. He said he hadn't been sleeping well and had a lot on his mind.  But, the new tension - the stressed state of our relationship left me feeling like I had a knot in my stomach. It was very unsettling.

Today, we were driving around, and he said to me, "You don't need me."  "What?" I asked.  "You don't need me," he said, "If you wanted to go off on your own now, you have everything you need to take care of yourself."  I took a deep breath and thanked the powers that be for this opportunity to show love and compassion, and to see what a destructive beast insecurity can be and how badly it can make others around you feel to see you in that state.

My original reaction though, was to say, "What? You need everyone in your life to 'need' you? Can't I just love you?" This is when I really felt stunned. He said he felt that he wasn't loveable and wondered why I would possibly desire to be with him if I didn't "need" him in some way.  In that moment I reassured him of how loveable that he is, and I acknowledged, for myself and for him, that I have always had everything I needed and could have gone off and taken care of myself, on my own, at any point, even when I was down and out financially on unemployment. I have been homeless in my life, and not that I would allow things to get that bad, but there are always friends' couches to sleep on and roommate situations, local places of worship - I wouldn't be out on the street.

If I were that unhappy with our relationship, I could have gone and done that at anytime. I know that. I was there because I love him.  After that conversation, it was as if a huge weight had been lifted and our relationship felt less strained and more "back to normal."

It is so easy for us to get self-centered and think that everything is about us - that our insecurities and issues are so important - that we forget that what we are going through - EVERY day, is part of the collective human experience. Someone, somewhere, is dealing with the issues that you are dealing with. Many people are.  Sometimes, when we see someone else who we love struggling with something we've also had difficulty with in lives, we are able to extend them love, compassion, understanding, and reassurance.  Then, we realize that we've tapped into a well of strength within - something that we can then turn to and utilize for healing within our own heart and soul.

Insecurity. It can only heal when it is brought out into the light, spoken about, and addressed. Often times, the things that make us feel insecure are not even truths at all. Exposing them in the light initiates the healing.

May you bring your insecurities into the light and be a source of love, compassion, and healing in the life of someone who is feeling insecure right now.

Debbie aka Sulilo

I found the image of the Insecurity T-Shirt on Zazzle


  1. Beautiful Sulilo - thanks for this. I have a friend who comes across as super-confident and really helpful but am seeing that this is a disguise/mask for her own sense of insecurity around being needy. She both hates to appear to want or need help but equally gets extremely angry if you miss the cues she sends out for you to "help/support" her in the very narrow manner in which she is willing to show her neediness.

    Really hard to figure out - "don't help me, don't help me, I'm fine, I don't need anything, I'm super-capable,dont help me and then WHAM! You didn't meet my needs as I hoped and expected you would. - on my terms when I said you should!"

    It used to throw me but the more I see it the more I can step back when it appears. I now see it more visibly when she does it to others, but I find it hard to stand by her when she is venting her frustrations with whoever she's blaming. I can see she's over-reacting and totally obsessed with her own idea of how things should have gone, but she gets highly upset if I try to help her see this.

    I guess in the heat of the moment the best is to just stay quiet. Afterwards, some deconstruction can happen. Answered my own question. Thanks for the prod!! :)

  2. Thank you so much for sharing, Jeanne. I think that this is so often the case - we put on a mask of "confidence" on to cover up where we feel lack, insecurity, and inferiority, and sometimes, depending on how our needs were met (or not met) in our early years, we have our own set of expectations (or hopes) for how others will be able to read our minds (or our signals) and rescue us by meeting our needs without our having to ask so.

    It sounds like you have a great deal of insight about your friend and that, in reflection, you have a lot of compassion for her as well.

    Keep on loving and sharing your light, and thank you again for your insightful comment.

    Debbie aka Sulilo


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