Here is a post many people have found useful. This version has been updated since its publication in 2010:
Insecure people often reveal their self-doubt without being aware of it. Indeed, a wise observer can “read” another individual. For example, members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have told me they can tell whether a new conductor is competent and talented within 10 minutes of the beginning of their first rehearsal with him.
What follows is a short list of behaviors that suggest insecurity:
- 1. Are you able to give a compliment? Even more important, can you graciously accept one? The latter behavior tends to be difficult for someone who is unsure of himself. He might blush or become flustered. Alternatively, he is prone to dismiss the validity of the praise, instead telling you why it isn’t true. What should one do if complimented? Smile and say “Thank you.” Nothing more.
- 2. An inability to maintain eye contact is hard for many individuals who lack confidence. They will turn away…
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Thanks for another excellent article, Dr. Stein. Growing up with a violent father made me very insecure as a teenager and young adult. This changed when I had to assume responsibility for myself and family.
As an debut novelist, I’m still insecure about my work. Rejections from literary agents and publishers are no help in boosting my self-confidence. I expect that in time, with a book or two published, I’ll become less insecure as a writer.
Thank you, Rosaliene. I seem to recall some major novels that were repeatedly rejected before finally finding a publisher. Your persistence is admirable. I hope to get a chance, one day, to purchase one of your published books.
Thanks, Dr. Stein. I live in hope.