My feed

to access all these features

Join the discussion and meet other Mumsnetters on our free online chat forum.


Are you insecure? Come help me?

8 replies

IABUQueen · 12/07/2019 12:03

I have two friends around me who I struggled to understand their change in behavior when my circumstances improved.

They seem to have always wanted something that I recently obtained and so feel really insecure around me. Even though I never ever rub it in their face. I always try be supportive. And they know I have serious serious struggles in other parts of my life.

It took me a long time to figure out how to interpret their behavior. Until I eventually realized that something I’m doing must be triggering their insecurity.

I have things I’m insecure about.. and I remember I once had a friend who I used to feel insecure around because she was always rubbing the things that hurt me in my face. Soo I distanced myself. Never put her down and always respected her. I recognized the problem is me... not her but that I can’t handle her lack of empathy.

So I’m very aware of how not to rub things in people’s faces.. at least I’m not being intentionally mean at all. I love those friends dearly and very hurt at the concept I might need to drop them because they seem to behave as if I’m undeserving of my lifestyle..

I’ve been described by many as an extremely non judgemental person. I give people the benefit of the doubt till I die trying.. so if anything I’m doing it’s not intentional.

I would like to know from someone who feels insecure around others, to the point where they feel a need to put them down and break them... what is it that the other person can do to make you not feel this way around them?? How can they help you?

For example, I have a dear friend who I used to consider as a sister. She became obese after having her child and developed health issues and I lost my weight pretty quickly after dc. I am very sensitive about how she feels around her weight and she tries very hard while I don’t and so I even put myself down when she critiques herself just so she knows that we all have flaws. I tell her about other issues I’m facing. I tell her about my hidden complications and so on.. because I don’t want her to think she is alone..

But she seems to find other things in my life that she wants to make me feel miserable about.. she keeps trying on getting reactions out of me about certain things by digging deep with her criticism and her inconsiderate comments almost seeming desperate to get me to react and be hurt .. I find it all sad and it makes me feel sorry for her for having to do that.. but it does make me feel negative in the moment about my decisions and I end up feeling very little confidence about what she thinks of me as a person..

Anyway.. I don’t think she is a bad person.. I just don’t understand why she handles things this way and how can I help her deal with things better? I tried cutting the friendship but she is very insistent on being part of my life and i almost forget that her loving messages would be followed by serious put downs when we are together. It’s confusing.

If it’s a one off occurrence I would leave it but truth is I have quite a few friendships that turned suddenly this way and I don’t know whether something in me is triggering this behavior in others.. it’s making me feel like a pushover and I find that difficult.

My gut is telling me this is time for me to grow as a person and change the way I behave with friends and so I’m looking for some words of wisdom on how to behave.


OP posts:
Soola · 12/07/2019 12:05

It could be that you are coming across as being a bit patronising so that the other person feels compelled to put you down in other areas.

Soola · 12/07/2019 12:07

so I even put myself down when she critiques herself just so she knows that we all have flaws. I tell her about other issues I’m facing. I tell her about my hidden complications and so on.. because I don’t want her to think she is alone..


That would piss me off and make me think you were either patronising me or making it all about you.

IABUQueen · 12/07/2019 12:10

That would piss me off and make me think you were either patronising me or making it all about you.

Ah, that makes sense tbf. It’s not my intention. But I also when she comments about how she is on a diet and how she recovered I tell her how she looks good and how her hard work on her diet is inspiring and so on.

But yeh I do think she feels patronized by me :S

OP posts:
IABUQueen · 12/07/2019 12:20

Lost of my conversations with her revolve around me asking her advice about parenting. To be fair she is always critiquing my parenting and I take it on board because I think she has more experience than me and her son is doing well. She tends to be rather harsh but I value her advice as I’m desperate for some direction.

I also ask her for advice about other problems in my life.

I don’t talk down at her at all in fact it’s mostly her who does this.

But I can understand that maybe she interprets some of my behavior as patronizing and maybe I’m not seeing it. Maybe by me trying to make her feel better I’m sounding like I’m giving her too much sympathy that she doesn’t want.

But I don’t know how to respond when she is critiquing herself. Maybe I should just divert the topic completely.

I guess next time she starts pulling me down I can ask her “have I upset you in any way? Because you are being hurtful” And maybe she will explain?

OP posts:
IABUQueen · 12/07/2019 12:22

Or let’s accusative I guess

“Have I upset you in any way? You sound quite negative?”

OP posts:
Soola · 12/07/2019 12:25

I was trying to be constructive in my above comments.

You sound like a very nice caring person but also a worrier and a deep thinker. That’s fine, nothing wrong with that but it might cause you to over compensate in trying to make them feel better about themselves which unnerves them.

Sometimes if a person tells you that they’re fat and miserable, it’s better to just listen rather than tell them they have lovely hair etc.

Preggosaurus9 · 12/07/2019 12:54

Maybe you've grown out of these friendships and it's time to move on.

It's not up to you to fix someone else's insecurity or indeed any other issues you think they have. Just get on and enjoy your life. Better to surround yourself with people who build you up.

IABUQueen · 13/07/2019 22:20

Solos thank you so much for your input.

I did discover something about myself in this thread. I do think I can come across as self centred while trying to comfort my friend and a bit patronising.. even though it’s not my intention at all.. but I can see now how it looks like on the other side and I’m quite embarrassed.

I was an introvert for such a long time in my life and struggles to make conversations.. I find it safer to give examples from my own life to comfort my friends than ask them leading questions which might seem
Nosey.. I used to struggle with people asking me questions.. my siblings were all severely introverted with social anxiety and so I developed this habit of talking about myself in the hope to help them open up when they were in distress.. to me it uncomfortable to talk about myself in critical way but I find comfort in it being humbling as I don’t want my friends to see me as any better. I used to hate people thinking I lead a perfect life because I was toooo introverted and protective of my privacy and I did a huge Uturn one day as it was making me feel uncomfortable that people don’t know I’m full of flaws like them. So I developed this habit of making someone feel safe by discussing my own shortcomings. I find it uncomfortable listening to people being self critical and with low self esteem and I tend to interrupt too because I don’t want them say things that will become fixated in their minds. I keep hoping I will change their perspective before they humiliate themselves further. I sound like I have issues perhaps.

But to someone without this history I might just come across as self absorbed.. they probably don’t struggle with opening up and don’t need me to pave the way. They probably just need a bit of empathy. So I’m gonna work on that and thanks for that.

However, I think Preggo is right. I think I’m actually too transparent and my friends knows me. She has probably the right to be annoyed with me but I find it nasty for her to go all the way as to put me down through making me feel insecure about my DH (being quite flirty around him intentionally) and putting me down through my toddler.. I feel the way she is getting back at me is quite personal.

Perhaps I do need to surround myself with people who are conscious of the fact that they need to build each other up. Whether they get it right or get it wrong..

People who have a limit and boundary to how far they go when they are upset with someone .

She is very kind in many aspects of life , she used to be selfless in a way... a bit too much and now has gone the other direction.

She told me “I decided I want to become selfish”. I corrected her and I said, I don’t think you mean “selfish as in you would t mind who you hurt as long as you are happy. I think you mean you want to be fair on your self, self loving and value yourself more. I said I think you went through pain and it’s made you want to reject being selfless but becareful not to convince yourself that the opposite of that is selfish because I think the opposite of that is self appreciating”.

She agreed with me but then she said “no I feel I have become the type of person who doesn’t care who I hurt as long as it makes me feel good about myself . Each to their own.”

So I think I’m in a bit of denial but I think my friend doesn’t really exist anymore and I should grieve the loss and move on. She certainly convinced herself that this is the only way to survive and I might very well be the prey..

Sad though because I think she is doing this only because she is very very hurt in life but ... :(, that’s not a reason to go hurting someone else..

I guess some people who were too nice, and end up paying a heavy price for it.... end up confusing being nice with being kind and blaming kindness for their misfortune. And just decide that it’s a lot stronger to become unkind and it makes them feel like they’re coping better and avoiding another trauma.

I guess she decided to be unkind and I need to accept that. And work around it. Even though I probably contributed to the situation but my actions weren’t intentionally unkind.

OP posts:
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.