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The Upsides Of Being Insecure

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Jul. 19 2018, Published 8:05 p.m. ET

For the most part, existing as someone who’s super insecure is a real drag. You waste valuable brain power worrying about things that other people don’t even consider. You miss out on moments of joy because you found something to obsess about instead. In general you annoy the hell out of yourself. But as I have discovered, there are also some perks. As strange as it sounds the frustrating way your paranoid brain operates can sometimes work in your favor.

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For one thing, you’re super observant. When you’re insecure and constantly worry what people think of you, you tend to watch things more closely. You analyze what people say or do looking for any sign of irritation or disdain to confirm your suspicion that they despise you. Now this doesn’t sound like an upside, but the thing is most of the time you’re wrong about your suspicion (I promise). So whilst you’re looking for those signs you notice other things. Things other people look over. You’ve become the Sherlock Holmes of social interactions, so you see some interesting stuff. You get some great gossip this way. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had friends “spill the beans” to me, only for me to have figured that situation out weeks ago. You also tend to notice when something is off with you’re friends. Granted it’s because you’ve assumed it’s something you did. But as it often isn’t you tend to reach out to people just when they need someone to talk to.

The biggest upside, can actually be pretty great. The thing is that when you’re insecure and an over thinker, it’s almost like you create your own alternative reality. A universe in which every word you say and every decision you met with intense scrutiny, and everyone is mad at you for everything you do. But because you’re being insane, of course, sometimes reality brakes though. And those moments are amazing. One of the best feelings a worrier can have is the realization that everything is actually ok, and that people actually like you. For people who don’t worry what people think of them all the time, these small interactions just don’t have the same power. Someone laughing at your joke is a thrill, someone talking to you first is amazing, someone paying you a casual compliment like “you’re so funny” or “I like hanging out with you” is freaking mind blowing. Because you’ve spent so long thinking the worst, things being normal feels like a huge victory.

So whilst for the most part it’s super annoying to be constantly over-analyzing things, every so often it turns out pretty good for you.

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