If your partner displays these 10 behaviors, they’re deeply insecure

by Gemma Clarke | June 5, 2024, 11:46 am

Have you ever caught your partner doing the covert screen glance while you’re innocently scrolling through your phone?

Or do they transform into an overprotective rottweiler whenever someone teases you?

If so, your partner might have some insecurity issues.

From over-apologizing to the subtle art of overthinking, in this article, we’re decoding the not-so-cryptic behaviors that scream, ‘Houston, we’ve got an insecure partner!’ 

1) Wanting to be with you ALL the time

Insecure people hate being alone, so when you start dating one, expect to give them all your time and attention.

To an insecure person, being alone heightens their challenging emotions and thoughts. So they latch onto their partners, becoming incredibly needy.

What’s more, insecure people lack awareness of your need for personal space. So they will invade your privacy without realizing they are doing anything wrong.

For example, they might turn up at your workplace when you finish your shift. Or come by your house unannounced. 

But it’s not just their free time that they want to spend with you. You’ll also notice this behavior…

2) Wanting you to go everywhere with them

Insecure people struggle to do basic tasks on their own. 

You probably don’t think twice about going to the grocery store or bank alone.

But to an insecure person, running errands alone is something that fills them with anxiety.

The same goes for social events. If they get invited to a party or family event, they will want you to go with them for emotional support. 

Some research studies have identified a link between insecure attachment styles and social anxiety

This suggests that people who appear needy in their relationships struggle to interact with others and feel anxious in group settings. 

3) Constantly seeking reassurance 

Insecure people are also incredibly anxious in their relationships.

They worry that you will stop loving them or find someone better, so to soothe their nerves, they will seek constant reassurance from you.

Insecure people seek reassurance by excessively telling you they love you. They do this in the hope you will say it back, as hearing those three words helps to settle their anxiety (temporarily). 

Their need for assurance will be exceptionally high after an argument or conflict as they will need verbal confirmation that everything is okay again. 

It’s common for insecure people to ask their partners, “Do you still love me?” after every disagreement. 

This behavior is linked to insecure attachment styles, likely stemming from their childhood or past relationships. 

Many people with insecure attachment have experienced someone they love leave or neglect them and have a constant fear that it will happen again.

4) Apologizing excessively 

Insecure people are also known to apologize for everything, including things that are not their fault. 

Why is this?

According to social worker Shahar Lawrence, people with low self-esteem feel like they’re taking up too much space or asking too much.

 They see themselves as hindrances and will apologize whenever they do or say something they perceive as wrong. 

Over-apologizing can also be a people-pleasing behavior. They will apologize (even when not in the wrong) to resolve arguments and avoid conflict. 

This is because they see conflicts as threats to the relationship. So, to protect it, they will try to diffuse the situation by telling you what you want to hear. 

Interestingly, this behavior is more common in insecure women than in men. 

A 2010 study found that women both apologize more and believe they have committed more offenses requiring an apology than men.

This excessive need to apologize may also be due to the following behavior…

5) Overthinking

Research has found associations between overthinking and anxiety

People with a poor self-image tend to worry more about what others, including their partner, think of them.

Their minds search for possible threats, and as soon as they find one, they will ruminate on it, creating an elaborate story around it.

Thus, insecure people are known to blow things out of proportion. They worry about minor things, which is what contributes to their general and social anxiety.

Overthinking is also what causes an insecure partner’s jealousy…

6) Getting jealous easily 

As mentioned, insecure people constantly fear that you will leave them or find someone better.

So they are constantly scanning for threats, such as someone who might try to “steal” you from them. 

To try to minimize these threats, an insecure person will display many signs of envy, such as:

  • Wanting to know where you are at all times
  • Getting annoyed when you don’t text back immediately
  • Going through your phone to check your texts
  • Not allowing you to have friendships with people of the opposite sex

Jealousy is one insecure behavior that you cannot allow to continue. As envy worsens, it can damage the relationship and cause resentment.

7) Acting overprotective

Insecure people have a strong desire to keep you by their side. 

This can result in very possessive and overprotective behavior. At first, it may seem cute, but it gets embarrassing and annoying after a while. 

This could show up in various ways, such as:

  • They worry about you going out alone at night
  • They overreact when someone insults or criticizes you
  • They are always at your defense, sticking up for you

This behavior is more common in insecure men than women, as males are biologically wired to protect and provide for their loved ones.

So, when men are deeply insecure, they perceive an elevated need to take care of their women. They also perceive more potential threats from other men, leading to possessiveness. 

8) Inability to take criticism 

Insecure people react badly when criticized, as criticism amplifies their inner anxieties. 

Therefore, if your partner is insecure, you won’t be able to give them positive criticism. Every time you raise an issue, they will take huge offense and get upset.

This can make conflict handling challenging, as you may be tempted to avoid saying how you feel.

Some deeply insecure people will insult and criticize their partners as a way to ‘minimize’ their own insecurities. 

In this case, they will highlight your flaws to hide their own.

9) Struggling with intimacy 

If your partner is insecure about their appearance, you will likely notice it in the bedroom. 

They will struggle to relax when getting intimate with you. 

In particular, they might opt to keep their clothes on as being naked around anyone makes them feel vulnerable and exposed. 

They might go so far as avoiding intimacy or rejecting your sexual advances. This can significantly damage the relationship, making you feel unloved and unwanted.

10) Comparing themselves to everyone, including you

Insecure people are obsessed with social comparison. 

While they do it because they lack self-esteem, comparing themselves to others increases their insecurity further, and thus, becomes a vicious circle.

This behavior can appear in your romantic relationship when you achieve something notable in your work or personal life.

You might notice that your insecure partner struggles to be happy for you and instead appears envious. 

Your achievements might also prompt them to play the victim card. In this case, they’ll complain about how “good things never happen to them” or “they could never achieve what you did.”

Often, they will do this to seek reassurance and validation

As they cannot find self-belief within themselves, they want you to tell them they are good, worthy, and smart enough to achieve great things. 

Final thoughts

Is your partner guilty of several of these behaviors?

If so, it’s time to address their insecurity before it ruins your relationship.

Most insecure people are not aware of their damaging behaviors, nor do they know where their anxiety comes from.

So, the first step is to help them identify the problem. 

You can facilitate this by creating a safe, judgment-free environment for them to open up and discuss their insecurities. 

Guide them to reflect on their past experiences so they can learn where their anxiety and low self-esteem stem from. 

Then, encourage them to seek support for their issues while reassuring them you’ll be right by their side throughout the journey. 

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