Ask Dr. Roger - Insecurity

People often have questions about mental health issues and aren't sure how to get the answers. Here, Dr. Roger answers questions about issues that matter to you. The Q & A is currently closed. This is an older post. Dr. Roger is not currently taking any questions. Please see Help pages if you need immediate help.

Q: Hi . My name is Katie . I have a pretty good life, but i always feel down. I feel like my best friend is always mad at me. I dont understand why i get this feeling. Im extreemly insecure, and i dont know why. My best friend always tells me i dont talk to her, and when i do i dont know what to say or what she would think. Things are falling apart and i dont know anymore.  :(  please help

Insecurity

A: Hi Katie, thanks for writing in. This is a tough question because this forum is not really for giving advice on how to handle a specific problem. However, I can discuss a more general issue that you raise -- feeling insecure around other people.

First, let's come up with a definition of insecure. In your case, I would say that insecurity refers to feeling uncertain about how well liked you are. There are usually 1 of 2 possible reasons for why people feel insecure. First, they may actually have problems interacting with others. There can be a number of reasons for this problem, such as (1) actual social skills problems that could use some improvement, or (2) the people around them are just plain mean and inconsiderate (this can be common for adolescents and children when people are less mature).

However, sometimes there are no significant problems interacting with others, it just feels like there is. This can occur when we experience thinking errors -- which are thoughts that are negative and unrealistic. For example, if someone you know walks past you without saying hello, and you automatically think "They must be upset with me" or "They don't like me," then you are experiencing a thinking error. In this case, there are multiple reasons for why the person didn't acknowledge you (e.g., distracted in thought; in a bad mood not related to you). To simply assume that the worst possible reason is accurate (i.e., that they don't like you) is to be biased in a negative way. I have worked with many people who experience thinking errors, and based on their thinking conclude that they are not likeable. I know they are being unrealistic because they have friends and family who clearly love them.

If you feel you need to work on either of these causes of insecurity, consider working with mental health professional, or getting a self-help book.

Take care,

Dr. Roger