Insecure People are Self-Absorbed and Egotistical

(I should know as I’m often insecure.)

I came to this conclusion after reading three different posts. In my non-linear brain, the themes of the three posts came together, had a party, and left me with (besides many empty bottles of wine) the idea for today’s post.

The culprit posts are:

Wendi on Life’s Little Inspirations suggested that unfulfilled dreams come from a lack of self-esteem. The Urban Panther, being a confident feline, has no problem watching the Urbane Lion flirt, and Dave declared that to provide customers with the best service possible, small business owners need to be arrogant.

Can you see the connection? Can you see why insecure people are self-absorbed and egotistical? No? Well then, let’s look at each post, one at a time.

When we let insecurity punch holes in our dreams, we live inside our head. We refused to act, depriving ourselves and those around us the benefits derived from living our dreams and living with confidence.

That one was obvious, right? Let’s move on then.

If the Urban Panther were not so confident, she’d mistrust the Urbane Lion. No matter how much he might declare and demonstrate his love for her, he’d have to change who he is (i.e., stop flirting) to please her. And we all know how well trying to change for someone else works out.

Easy-peasy, no? Now for the last one.

But wait, isn’t arrogance egotistical by definition? Not the way Dave defines it. To him, having sufficient arrogance means believing in what you do best and being able to communicate that skill to the world. If you’re not confident about your skills, you’ll turn inward, worry about how you’ll mess up, and your customers will end up unhappy and further business will choose someone who doesn’t believe they’ll screw up.

Taken together, the posts point to an inward/outward dichotomy. Insecure people turn inward, becoming self-obsessed – “It’s all about me.” Confident people look outward – “It’s all about you.” – with generosity and respect for others flowing from their fingertips.

Someday Lessons:

  • Build confidence by getting out of your head and doing things instead of just thinking about them.
  • Insecurity-based mistrust insults the trustworthiness of those around you.
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23 thoughts on “Insecure People are Self-Absorbed and Egotistical

  1. Allison Day says:

    You know, this is an insight that would have never occurred to me, but it’s so very true. It’s no wonder people gravitate towards confident people… it’s because confident people give back, rather then making everything about themselves. I must work on this confidence thing… wouldn’t want to be self-obsessed, now would I?

    That would make Mike extremely self-absorbed and egotistical, wouldn’t it. 😉

    Allison Day’s last blog post..Taste and Create 11, A Little Foodie Love

  2. Sheer brilliance. For linking to me I mean. OOPS was that arrogance? haaahaaa just kidding…

    Thanks for the link and reference, I loved the way you tied this together and came up with a powerful point that I do think is very true. I have often said that if you are feeling sorry for yourself the best cure is to get out and do some volunter work or go help out a friend…it often turns things around because it gets your mind off of yourself. Also, Lance’s challenge to stay in the moment helps a lot. Can’t be self absorbed and focused on the world around you at the same time. It’s pretty hard.

    Still thinking about you this morning Alex and wishing you my best. hugs.

    Wendi Kelly-Life’s Little Inspirations’s last blog post..Wide-Eyed Walking

  3. Alex Fayle says:

    Yes, my Escaping Reality character is super self-absorbed, which actually makes it difficult to write him because he doesn’t really pay attention to what other people are doing.

    Thanks for the hugs – feeling much better today. And that’s a great suggestion for breaking a wallowing habit – helping others!

  4. Al at 7P says:

    I often struggle to figure out the difference between confidence and arrogance. Come to think of it, sometimes my own arrogance is due to insufficient confidence! True confidence is positive and constructive.

    Al at 7P’s last blog post..The Criminally-Minded Approach for Achieving Goals

  5. Writer Dad says:

    “But wait, isn’t arrogance egotistical by definition? Not the way Dave defines it.”

    This is why I loved his post so much (thanks for the heads up). He completely redefined the word for me.

    Writer Dad’s last blog post..A Breath of Fresh Air

  6. Lance says:

    I love the way you pulled this together – and it makes much sense after reading this. Your insight here has given me some new thoughts on secure and insecure people. Good stuff!

  7. Insecure people turn inward, becoming self-obsessed – “It’s all about me.” Confident people look outward – “It’s all about you.” – with generosity and respect for others flowing from their fingertips.

    This is brilliant. I never thought of it this way, but it’s true. The more confident you are, the more you can make it about other people.

    Ah, my brother is so wise!

    Urban Panther’s last blog post..Cut and run

  8. Amy Derby says:

    I think both of your lessons are good ones. Sitting around thinking about things is definitely not the same as doing. As a mostly-hermit, I know, I am guilty of this one frequently. “Insecurity-based mistrust insults the trustworthiness of those around you” really makes me think. I have no wine. But I *know* I’m guilty of this… [resumes Eeyore position for contemplative purposes] Great post.

    Amy Derby’s last blog post..What’s Your Dream Gig?

  9. Vered says:

    Secure people are generous. When you respect and trust yourself, it’s easy to respect and trust others.

    “Insecurity-based mistrust insults the trustworthiness of those around you.” – Very true.

    Vered’s last blog post..Would You Eat Spicy Chocolate?

  10. Hi Alex,

    I’ve seen many marriages/relationships break up because one of the parties was insecure, thus setting the bar so high for the other person, they couldn’t keep up.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Plugins, Questions and Open Mic

  11. This post reminds of Thomas Leonard’s 28 Laws of Attraction.

    1). Become Incredibly Selfish
    7). Market Your Talents Shamelessly

    His take was that when we take care of numero uno we then become richer, stronger and more able to be generous with others. I agree.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work’s last blog post..Time to Walk Away?

  12. steph says:

    Wow. There is so much truth to this. I’m so guilty of it, too. I have never thought of insecurity this way, and now I feel like shit. Which is great, really, because I don’t want to feel like shit. I don’t want to be insecure, but I especially don’t want to be self-absorbed and egotistical.

    Whoa. So much to think about. What an observant and insightful post. This is excellent. Thanks for the provocation!

    steph’s last blog post..Back in the Saddle

  13. Alex Fayle says:

    Arrogance is a very typical trait in the men in my family – and it usually comes out when we’re unsure of something we think we *should* be sure of – just ask the Urban Panther about the legendary Fayle Arrogance!

    Dave N. is a frakkin’ fantastic writer – his way of looking at things really makes me think in different ways.

    Thanks! When it all came together in my head it was a total Bill & Ted “Whhhhooooaaaaahhhh” moment.

    (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure: )

    Yes, yes it’s true. You have a very wise brother – we should get him blogging as well. 😉

    The UP and I both live in other-language cultures where our boyfriends speak the other language – you cannot imagine the insecurity we feel when we don’t understand what’s go on!

    Respect and generosity are great ways of describing the benefits of confidence.

    I was in a relationship like that almost a decade ago now – no matter what I did it was never enough to create trust in my boyfriend. Funny, that was the one time I didn’t cut and run when I should have – likely because I’d already invested so much I was *sure* I could win his trust eventually (I did get it but only once we broke up and salvaged a friendship).

    I’m going to go look up those laws now. I’m not normally a big fan of LoA, but by those two laws you mention then seem to be about action as well as thought/attitude.

    Good luck with the journey! It’s a tough one but it’s so worthwhile.

  14. I just came across your post today from Steph’s post, In Other Words…

    What a massive topic to discuss! I think everyone must have insecurities and times of confidence, it is just to what degree and how often.

    I just wrote in depth about confidence and why it is important in business and how to attain it for oneself (though of course I am always still learning myself). These are just tips and tools I have learned so far… I am curious what you think?

    Also, your title… Someday Syndrome… very funny!!
    Here’s my post today about deadlines:

    Hope you will come visit and share your wisdom my way.

    Thanks. Nice to find a cool new site. (new to me)

    @ Al at 7P — I see confidence as a true, honest, and silent acceptance of one’s own positive traits, whereas arrogance is an insecure blabbering manifestation of a false conception of one’s own traits.

    Jaden @ Screenwriting for Hollywood’s last blog post..Write a Screenplay in One Month: Week Four

  15. Alex you can find them in his book The Portable Coach. Since he passed away I’m not sure if you’ll find them online anymore. Leonard was very pragmatic and lots of his stuff was about action.

    It’s interesting I just used the word attraction and you assumed I meant the Law of Attraction ala the Secret and all. That’s why even though I personally use the concepts (along with action) I do not use the phrase LOA.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work’s last blog post..Time to Walk Away?

  16. Cath Lawson says:

    Hi Alex – that was brilliantly put. It can be difficult being round insecure people and they really do make others around them feel bad.

    Cath Lawson’s last blog post..The Power Of Blogging For Business Without A Business

  17. Alex Fayle says:

    Thanks! I’ve added the book to my Amazon Wish List.

    Thanks to you as well! I spent a lot of my life on the insecure side of the fence and having found the gate to confidence I’m able to look back and see how others might have seen me.

  18. […] might not be at all what we really want. (Read about Brett hanging on to the bitter end.) And his post on insecurity even hints at it — that by holding onto our negative beliefs about ourselves, we are […]

  19. Kat Braganza says:

    This is me…..

  20. Alex Fayle says:

    Recognizing a situation is the first step in changing it. Good luck!

  21. Nek Caw says:

    “with generosity and respect for others flowing from their fingertips.”. Hmm. I’m a rather insecure person about numerous things, and yet very generous and respectful of others. Many of my friends are the same in this respect. I don’t think it is right to say that these qualities are what comes from confident people…

    In addition, I believe having a balance between both qualities is what matters. Turn inward to develop thoughtful and structured ideas and to work on problems. Turn outward to get things done. If you do the former entirely, as you say, you won’t get anything done. If you do the latter entirely, chances are you’ll sometimes come across as an arrogant loser, and you also won’t get far with thoughtful qualities such as internal development and ingenuity.

  22. Alex Fayle says:

    It looks like we are saying thing same thing with different words – perhaps what you call insecure, I might call introverted or shy, which is different from the insecurity I talk about in this post which is a selfish me-me-me thing. To me seemingly confident and arrogant people who are all me-me-me are likely insecure about themselves and are overcompensating.

    I agree completely with your comment and yet totally stand by my post, so my intuition tells me that we mean the same thing. 😉

  23. Jack says:

    It depends, I’ve noticed what could only be called the asshole effect, people may not like assholes, yet they sure are hellva lot nicer to assholes than they outta be, and push nice people around. I think being a prick often is a situational adaptation because it seems to work so well. Face it, you may not like a prick, but you sure as hell wouldn’t want to piss him off, and if you unintentionally hurt a nice person, they probably wouldn’t do anything to you. It’s all about social power, unfortunately.

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