Understanding the signs of insecurity in women is important. You need to decide if you want to stay with this girl or if you need to run.
We are all insecure to some degree. One or two mild signs of insecurity is not enough to head for the hills.
You will be looking for the impossible woman if you think you can find one without any hint of baggage or insecurity. With a little bit of mild insecurity you just have to learn to manage it.
But if you are observing a lot of these signs at quite an intense level then you should be worried. Perhaps it's time to acknowledge that the relationship is toxic and move on.
Women manifest the signs of insecurity in slightly different ways to men. For them it is more about emotional validation. For us guys it's more about the fear of her cheating or leaving.
Observe your girlfriend and see if she demonstrates any of these signs. If she does you will need to take some time to have a good think about whether you stay or whether you go.
Signs Of Insecurity In A Woman
1. She Is Defensive
She takes everything as a criticism and jumps straight to being defensive as her default mode. You may not have done or said anything that should give reason for such a reaction. But you receive it nonetheless.
She reads far too much into innocent statements and will accuse you of intending things which were never meant.
2. She Is Authoritarian And Controlling
In a healthy relationship both partners need to maintain their individual identity. They shouldn't lose themselves in a relationship.
Yet an insecure woman will feel threatened if you find any satisfaction or validation outside of the relationship. Even if it has nothing to do with other women for example your career, sport or friends.
She wants to be the only important thing in your life and will be bossy, manipulative and controlling to achieve it. She will want to know where you are who you are with at all times.
It will begin subtlely and will creep up on you slowly. If you are still smitten with her you might even find it cute and will cave into it. Soon enough it becomes irritating and then downright crazy.
3. She Gets Jealous
Jealousy is a result of insecurity. It is a reaction that is triggered by some external event. Something like you talking to an attractive woman will set off her jealous reaction.
She will get jealous not only if you talk to other women but even if you so much as look at them.
She is constant fear of being traded up for a better model. Because she doesn't value herself and has low self esteem she isn't confident that she can keep you. So being manipulative, controlling and jealous are her tools to try and keep you in place. This is the type of woman who would look through your phone or go through your laptop.
Being jealous is one of the signs of insecurity. A little bit of jealousy is nothing to worry about and is just a protective instinct. But highly emotional irrational jealousy is something to be concerned about.
4. She Belittles You And Others
Bullying and belittling are part of the arsenal of an insecure person. To make themselves feel better they try and make others feel small.
In a relationship it is a subtle and subconscious attack on your self esteem. She wants to drag you down to her own self hating level.
Subconsciously she cannot understand why you would actually want her. So her only way of keeping you is to destroy your self esteem so much that you eventually come to depend on her. It's like putting you on a mental leash.
5. She Needs Constant Validation And Reinforcement
An insecure woman is not comfortable in her own skin. So while she will belittle you to make herself feel better at the same time she needs validation from you. 1
She derives her self esteem from other people's judgment. It doesn't come from any internal satisfaction with herself.
An insecure woman seeks constant reassurance that she is beautiful, valued and loved. It makes her clingy and needy, which becomes very draining after a while.
This is why you often find that an insecure woman will be an attention seeker. She will brag to get attention because this makes her feel good. She is looking for validation that she is acceptable as she is.
Heavy use of social media is a clue that she might exhibit these traits. Research has shown that insecure people use Facebook more.
6. She Makes You Feel Guilty Or Insecure
Has your girl ever made you feel guilty for spending time with other people? Even family or your male friends? If the answer is yes then she has an insecurity problem. One trait of insecure people is that they try to make others insecure.
She has become too clingy and has invested herself far too heavily in the relationship. She may have burned bridges with other people in her life so she depends on you for company.
She doesn't look for validation from anyone outside of the relationship. So she cannot handle the fact that you are deriving any sort of pleasure from anyone other than her.
A woman who behaves like this will try and drive a wedge between you and your friends and family. She will try and make you choose between them and her.
Your family or friends may express concern about her insecure behavior. She will use this as evidence that they are disapproving and are trying to get rid of her. So she will try and get rid of them.
Emotionally healthy people need to derive satisfaction from many areas of life. A relationship is just one of those. A secure partner understands this is does not command 100% of your attention. Nor will they make you feel guilty if you do not give it.
If she demands that you get all your satisfaction from the relationship then this is one of the sure signs of insecurity.
7. She Holds A Grudge
She loves keeping score and will hold a grudge forever. She doesn't feel worthy of your love so feels that she has to hold one over you all the time.
This causes problems because you spend all your time walking on eggshells. The overriding concern becomes not making a mistake that will set her off. You feel you can't be human and have flaws or make mistakes without her telling you all about it.
She can't forgive because she doesn't know what it means to love unconditionally.
8. She Overreacts
She will belittle you, make you feel guilty and hold a grudge. None of these things will happen mildly. Everything is high drama. They will be blown out of all proportion.
Again it is to elevate her and denigrate you. Since she doesn't value herself, this is another tool to try at lift herself at your expense. By humiliating you she thinks she improves her position.
9. Every Problem Is Someone Else's Fault
An insecure woman is not capable of self reflection. Because that would mean acknowledging her limitations and weaknesses.
Subconsciously she knows she has flaws but she refuses to acknowledge these. Instead she masks them and denies their existence.
When things do not go her way it is never her fault. It will always be the circumstances that were against her, or someone else who sabotaged her.
She struggles to make real progress in life because she can never take responsibility. She never learns from her mistakes.
10. You Can't Have An Honest Discussion About The Relationship
Relationships hold a mirror up to our flaws. When the rose tinted glasses wear off and you start to notice each other's shortcomings, conflict will emerge.
It's necessary in relationships to some very frank and open conversations about our limitations. These can be uncomfortable but are required for the relationship to grow and progress.
One of the key ingredients to a successful relationship is the ability to see one's flaws and be accountable for them.
An insecure girl can't do this. She can't take constructive criticism and refuses to examine her own shortcomings. This makes it impossible to have any productive and honest discussion about the relationship.
11. She Encourages Failure
Insecure people don't know how to succeed. So instead they love to see other people wallowing in failure.
If you have an insecure girlfriend she won't support your dreams. She is much more likely to tell you that your goals are too lofty and ambitious and encourage you to tone them down.
Misery loves company and an insecure partner will try and bring you down to their level.
12. She Needs You To Need Her
People often tell their partners "I can't live without you" as a romantic gesture. In reality we could all live without our partners if we had to.
They might leave us or they might die. It would hurt but life would go on. It is not a pleasant thought but it is the reality. No person ever physically needs the other in a relationship.
Secure people understand that they don't need the other person. Even if they have been in a committed relationship for years they stay there by choice not by need. They stay because they want to, not because they have to.
A tell tale sign of insecurity in a woman is neediness. But not only will she be needy, she will encourage neediness in you.
She wants to emasculate you and to make you feel worthless so she can tie you to her forever. She worries that if you don't need her, then you will leave. If you are secure and confident then that is a big risk to her.
That's why she has the full range of controlling, demeaning and authoritative behavior to try and get you to conform to her neediness.
13. She Abandons Her Own Life To Merge With Yours
Since an insecure woman isn't happy with her own life, she will seek to merge with yours.
I often describe healthy relationships as being like a venn diagram. You maintain your individual life but there is a significant overlap. This space that you share is the relationship, the rest of your bubble is your own individual life.
An insecure woman lacks satisfaction with her own bubble so instead she wants to jump in with yours. The relationship becomes the most important thing in her life and everything else is relegated. Her career, her hobbies and other significant people now play second fiddle.
Because the relationship means everything to her she abandons everything else and over invests emotionally.
It's hard to notice this happening in the early stages of a relationship. You probably only see each other a few times a week and you don't know what is happening in the rest of her life. Plus you are generally so love drunk that you don't notice.
But as things start getting more serious pay attention to this warning sign. A secure woman will maintain a healthy balance in life and while you will be important, it won't be at the expense of everything else. If she dives all in too quickly, then look out.
Understanding the insecurity signs is one thing. Dealing with an insure woman is another thing all together.
Ultimately you have two choices. Decide that the relationship isn't worth it and bail. Or find a way to make it work in spite of her insecurity.
If you decide to stay it's easy to throw your hands up and say it's too hard and not your fault. It's true that ultimately she will have to take responsibility for dealing with her issues. You can't fix her.
But you can sit on the sidelines and grumble, or you can do whatever you can do to handle the situation. I think it is better to be proactive and try and make the best of the situation for yourself.
I recommend the program "10 Steps To Overcoming Insecurity In Relationships." It's something either you can use, she can use or both of you can use. It will help break the cycle of insecurity so you can get back to a happy relationship.
- Ramani Durvasula, author of Should I Stay Or Should I Go? Surviving A Relationship With A Narcissist identifies the need for validation as one of the four pillars of narcissism. The other three are lack of empathy, grandiosity and a chronic sense of entitlement.
Image credit: Hans van den Berg