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The psychology behind insecurities

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The psychology behind insecurities

She's glancing miserably into the mirror thinking horrible things about herself. Model: Mallory Bolser

She's glancing miserably into the mirror thinking horrible things about herself. Model: Mallory Bolser

Jasmin Lykke

She's glancing miserably into the mirror thinking horrible things about herself. Model: Mallory Bolser

Jasmin Lykke

Jasmin Lykke

She's glancing miserably into the mirror thinking horrible things about herself. Model: Mallory Bolser

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He glanced miserably into the mirror. Observations and comments about what he saw began as a pinprick in the back of his head as he picked and tore at his appearance without remorse. As he continued to look at himself, the once insignificant pinprick worsened into a nagging, gnawing voice that screamed ugly, dirty. Your clothes are wrinkly. Your hair is a mess. Straighten yourself up, will you? There’s no turning back now. What he has forgotten is that he is in the men’s restroom at his school, and someone has just walked in. Humiliated, he tugs at his wrinkly shirt and stumbles quickly into the hallway. He will continue to pull at his shirt multiple times throughout the day and check the state of his hair in anything reflective.

Confidence issues are nothing new to us. Everyone has something they dislike about their hair, their outfit that day, or maybe about the unique way that they pronounce a word differently than the guy next door. Once these insecurities have made themselves at home, there’s no way to dig them out. But why is that? What causes those little voices to stick with us? Insecurities, according to goodtherapy.org, may be experienced by a person regarding some aspect of their lives.

“Bullying has a big impact on what people think about themselves,” junior Emma Elleman said. “For example, if I were to say, ‘I don’t like those shoes on you, you shouldn’t wear those shoes,’ then you’re obviously going to be insecure about wearing those shoes the next time you put them on.”

Most of the time, insecurities are born because of the people that surround you; what they might think, what they might say. But sometimes, insecurities sprout up from the past.

“My mom used to say that she was fat,” sophomore Aden Ford said. “She didn’t think that she was good enough, and it still affects me now. I still have that same aspect about my body.”

Similar to Ford’s experience, an unhappy environment is prone to cooking up issues with confidence. But can these ‘confidence issues’ lessen over time?

As people get older, they realize that there’s no reason to be insecure, (that) they’re going to live no matter what. People are going to grow.””

— sophomore Sabastian Hall

“As people get older, they realize that there’s no reason to be insecure, (that) they’re going to live no matter what,” sophomore Sabastian Hall said. “People are going to grow.”

This sparks the possibility that one can simply ‘grow out’ of their insecurities, much like shedding an old skin and throwing on a new one.

When you’re a teenager, you think more dramatically about things, and it’s like, oh my God, my appearance has to be perfect,” Ford said. “But when you get older, you get to the point where you don’t really care. (But) obviously, I’ve met adults that still have insecurities that don’t do certain things because of it.” 

Because of their individuality, people react to the eyes of the world in different ways.

“It can lead to unhealthy issues,” Hall said. “If someone doesn’t have the motivation, physically, they’ll stop doing certain things and their diet will change.” 

The severity of someone’s insecurities can push them to shun the world.

“With some people, it doesn’t affect them that bad, and they can overcome it really easily, but others don’t even leave their house because of it,” Ford said. “They don’t even talk to people. They can definitely just lose a lot from their lives because of (their) insecurities.” 

Sometimes, in this world-renown game of survival of the fittest, desperate times call for desperate measures.

“With some people, it leads to suicide, which obviously should never be the answer,” Elleman said. 

Just as individuals may react to the eyes of the world in their own unique ways, they manage to cope in different ways as well.

“If I feel like I’m annoying everyone, I tell them how I feel so that they can reassure me that I’m not,” Ford said. “And then the next time I feel like that, I’ll just think about their reassurance and play it over in my mind, or I’ll write about my insecurities, or I’ll probably even look up other people that share the same insecurities and I’ll read about how they feel and think, ‘hey, there are other people that feel like me, and it’s okay to feel like this.’” 

Other than surrounding herself with friends as a coping mechanism, Elleman looks to music as an outlet.

“Most of the time, I’ll cry and listen to sad music,” she said. “Music is my way around everything.”

Levels of confidence can have their highs and their lows.

“Say I’m going to work, and my confidence goes up because I know that I have a job,” Hall said. “And when I go outside, people see me in my work clothes and it’s like, ‘wow, he has a job, he actually has a life.'” 

Just as your experience on a rollercoaster may vary each time you revisit it, your confidence can fluctuate on a day to day basis. With some, their resounding mood for the rest of the day depends on how they feel when they wake up in the morning. Because there is so much diversity throughout one brain and the next and in the manner in which they both process things that are said and taught, it is hard to speak for the feelings of devastation one might feel when someone throws a veil of negativity over your outfit with the help of one snarky comment. The consensus is that insecurities and reactions to their influences depend on a person and their upbringing, or the functions of their brain.

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About the Contributors
Savanah Adams, Reporter

My name is Savanah Adams, and I am a sophomore. I am a perfectionist and an admirer of words at heart, a follower of Christ. I am captivated easily by...

Jasmin Lykke, Co-online editor

I'm Jasmin Lykke, a foreign exchange student from Denmark. I work as a reporter and co-online editor. I ran varsity cross country, and will run varsity...

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