The most secure people are the ones who can give compliments and praise freely, because they don’t feel like giving them takes away from their own power. Kind words and sincere acknowledgment of someone else’s successes empowers you AND them. It doesn’t make your accomplishments any less.
I reflect back on myself in my twenties and thirties and it’s easy for me to cringe. It’s only clear now that my insecurities were not serving me well at all. I often acted out of fear, tried to control situations and people, so I walked around feeling hurt and betrayed. My feelings were valid, of course. Emotions are always valid. But in these situations, I was the only one in misery. Everyone else was just fine. I was the one holding the grudges and feeling ‘done wrong’. I was the one who was struggling day after day. The people who I perceived to be the assholes were just fine. They didn’t give me a second glance, they were good.
I had to let that shit go. Seriously. And thank goodness I did because I am a much happier person now. I think a lot of it comes with age of course. A good dose of maturity coupled with some personal development. When people operate out of fear it is a very unattractive feature. My ex is a prime example. (Note: I am not out to publicly ‘diss’ him, I have well and truly moved on; it’s just that he is a good, familiar example to use). He was very witty, but the problem was it was most often at someone else’s expense. As an example, we would go to bodybuilding shows, and oh my goodness the comments he would crow from the audience. It was terribly embarrassing for me. Sure, some people would laugh and I would try to chalk it up to ‘being funny’. But he was clearly operating out of a strong need to make himself feel better about the skin he was in.
Actually, my defining moment in our relationship was when I realised I didn’t love him anymore when we were people watching at a café. It was a warm day, lots of people were walking past and we were having a coffee. This couple walked past us and they were a hot, cute couple in anyone’s eyes. I said to him, “Wow, check her out, she’s an absolute stunner.” To which he turned and surveyed her up and down and proceeded to tell me three things that were ‘wrong’ with her. I said “Wow, XXX, you really don’t have much nice to say about anyone do you?” It made me feel distaste in my mouth. And it’s not just him I might ad. Maybe you know someone like this too? You have to ask the question, “what is going on with them” that they feel this need to belittle others. And if not belittle, at the very least not be charitable with their compliments.
When we are more comfortable in our own skin, then we don’t need to put down other people to make ourselves feel better. We realize that all people are doing the best they can, and so are we. We give others the benefit of the doubt and judge them less. We also give ourselves the benefit of the doubt and discontinue SELF-judgment.
You have two choices. You can hold onto your anger and hurt and let it keep you insecure. Or, you can own your insecurities, take the bull by the horns, take responsibility for your own bullshit and determine that you need to set aside some time for some introspection.