Pretty much everyone has at least a few things about which they can, at least sometimes, feel insecure. Insecurities, in and of themselves, are often thought of as pretty common. Most people probably don't feel 100 percent confident about absolutely everything regarding themselves, their relationships, and their lives all of the time. For some people, however, insecurities are more deeply rooted and can seriously affect or interfere with all sorts of different facets of their lives. In these cases, there could be some signs your insecurities might actually be a personality disorder, which, if your insecurities are severe, might mean that you should seek out a qualified therapist who'd be able to determine whether you fit the criteria for a diagnosis as well as where to go from there.
Though there are some heavily stereotyped depictions of personality disorders in pop culture, if you've never had a reason to learn more about this category of disorders, you might not actually know that much about them. Psychology Today noted that, technically, there are 10 different personality disorder diagnoses and each involves a thought pattern in which the person thinks in black and white and can interfere with interpersonal relationships. For some with personality disorders, it can be difficult to maintain relationships with others and for those with some kinds of personality disorders, insecurity plays a major role.
And while having these kinds of insecurities by no means indicates that you definitely have a personality disorder, they're the kinds of things that those with personality disorders might recognize all too well.
1. You're Terrified Of Being Alone
It's not uncommon for people to feel scared to be alone, at least sometimes. In an interview with Vice, however, Dr. Barbara Greenberg, who treats people with borderline personality disorder, said that those with borderline personality disorder often have a fear of being alone or abandoned. If your insecurities about not being good enough for someone to stick around stem from your deeply-held fear of being alone, that could be a sign that there's something bigger going on.
2. You're Scared Of People Rejecting You
Rejection is scary and disappointing and sometimes — like when you lose out on a dream job or the love of your life — just plain old devastating, so, of course, a fear of rejection doesn't mean you have any sort of disorder or condition. That being said, in a blog post that he penned for Psychology Today, Dr. Joseph Nowinski, PhD, wrote that insecurities around rejection and abandonment are motivating factors for how people with borderline personality disorder function. An extreme fear of rejection might need to be addressed because it could actually be a sneaky sign that what you thought was just normal insecurity is actually a personality disorder.
3. You React To Difficult Emotions
As Greenberg told Vice in the previously mentioned article, those with borderline personality disorder can struggle to be present with difficult emotions without doing something about the way they're feeling. If that fear of spending time with feelings like anger, grief, guilt, and other hard-to-handle emotions sounds familiar, that could be a sign of something more serious.
4. You're Scared People Are Attacking Or Criticizing You
I'd go so far as to say the majority of people want to be liked by others, at least to some extent, or, at the very least, feel tolerated or accepted rather than attacked or criticized. So an insecurity about feeling that those in your life are criticizing, attacking, or mocking you probably doesn't sound all that unrealistic. However, a woman with borderline personality disorder told Vice in the aforementioned article that she sometimes reacts when there's a perceived attack from someone in her life, when in reality that might not have been what was going on. That could definitely affect not only how you're feeling, but also your relationship with that person because, as the woman noted, this can lead some people with the disorder to characterize that friend as a good or bad friend, since they tend to think in black and white.
5. You Tend To Test People Close To You
In an essay for The Mighty, someone with borderline personality disorder noted that sometimes those with the disorder will "test" their friends and others close to them and try to see where the boundaries in the relationship really lie. If you're dealing with serious insecurities around trust, disappointment, or betrayal, that could be a potential sign that talking to a qualified expert might help.
6. You Won't Tolerate Differences In Opinion
In his previously mentioned blog post for Psychology Today, Nowinski noted that, in particular, men with borderline personality disorder tend to be extremely inflexible and that's how their insecurities manifest. They can't deal with people having different opinions than they do and need to feel as though they're in control of things.
7. You're Scared To Let People In
As Nowinski noted in the aforementioned blog post, insecurities can guide how people act when they have a disorder like borderline personality disorder. Because those with personality disorders have big-time insecurities surrounding abandonment and trust, it might sometimes be difficult for them to let people get super close to them. That's not (at all) to say that those with personality disorders cannot have relationships, because they certainly can and do, but for some people with these disorders, the fear that they'll end up alone and disappointed is too great to truly let anyone in.
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