Signs Of Insecurity In A Woman

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  • Insecurity in relationships always causes problems for the partners. In this article, we discuss what makes a woman insecure in a relationship, as well as 29 signs of insecurity in a woman that would tell you if she is insecure.

Insecurity in relationships is a problem that can affect both men and women in their relationships, depending on who is wearing the shoe. We discussed men and insecurity in relationships in our article on How to deal with an insecure man. In this sister article, we are looking at the other side of the coin which is insecurity in women in their relationships.


What causes insecurity in a woman?

Table of Contents

Optical illusion: what the sexes think of beards and makeup (U.S., 2017). Source: YouGov

Optical illusion what the sexes think of beards and makeup (U.S., 2017)

Just as with men, society has a huge part to play in the insecurities that women have to deal with. In our article on men and insecurity, we pointed out that fractured and fragile masculinity largely created by societal expectations is responsible for insecurity in men. The same is also true about insecurity in women. Society has painted a picture of what a “perfect” woman ought to look like, and a lot of it has to do with her body image, the way she carries herself, her height, and general appearance. Society has objectified women so much that this has led to a lot of body insecurities that deeply affect most women.

Another aspect of societal expectations that have affected women and caused insecurity is cultural expectations. Some cultures glorify women as homemakers and treat so-called career women as outcasts. This could affect some of these women and cause them to have insecurities especially if they come across a woman who fits the culture’s mold of the “perfect homemaker”.

Aside from society, bad life experiences, especially bad relationship experiences can scar a woman for some time when it comes to relationships. Women who are generally very suspicious, possessive and clingy, most likely have histories of a partner who cheated on them at one point or another.

How to tell if a woman is insecure – 29 insecurity symptoms and signs of an insecure girlfriend.

If you want to know if you’re dating an insecure woman, look out for most or all of these 29 insecure women behavior.

1. She doesn’t have a mind of her own.

Insecurity is a symptom of low self esteem (We discuss more signs in our helpful article on What does it mean to have low self esteem). A person with low self esteem has a lot of self-doubts. This in turn makes it difficult for them to trust their sense of judgment or be able to make any decisions of their own. An insecure woman, even in her relationship, would not seem to be able to make any decision that is her own.

Now the worst part is that if you decide to help her with reaching a decision and it doesn’t work out, she will turn around and blame you. She will say that had you not given her “terrible” advice, the mishap would not have befallen her. She would forget so quickly that she was undecided and you were simply trying to help.

2. She doesn’t seem to have an independent identity and life of her own and wants to take on all of yours.

Does it suddenly feel like she no longer has her own life or interests? Maybe she had friends before, but it doesn’t feel that way anymore because she has managed to merge all of her life into yours? An insecure woman doesn’t trust her tastes and who she is in general. She doesn’t craft her own identity because of the underlying inferiority complex she has. And so, when she enters a relationship, her boyfriend becomes her everything and she wants to imitate all aspects of his life as hers.

This may sound sweet, but just like the insecure boyfriend who makes you the center of their universe, this would drain you. You will also get bored very quickly because when she is that way, she is not bringing anything to the table to spice up the relationship. Everything depends on you, and if you can’t bring anything new, the relationship grows stale. 

Relationships are not supposed to work that way. Both partners have to bring their separate identities to make it more fun and exciting.

Read more about what an ideal girlfriend should do in a relationship in our article on What not to do in a relationship with your boyfriend.

3. She’s a people’s pleaser.

This insecurity symptom is heightened in women. An insecure woman wants to please everybody because she enjoys the attention she gets from keeping everyone happy. Even if it may not suit her, she would want to please everyone.

And for the insecure woman, it is easy to please everyone because of the other insecurity symptoms of not having a mind of her own and not having her own identity. Since she has no mind or identity of her own, it is easy to go with whatever the wind brings along and which she fancies. And so what you will have is a “yes woman”.

If your insecure girlfriend is this type of person, it may seem great at first because she will hardly fight with you and would always say yes to everything you say or suggest or do. But after some time, you will get bored because she doesn’t challenge you in any way.

Just like a beneficial good friend, partners in a relationship should challenge and help each other grow. With an insecure girlfriend who is a people’s pleaser, you will definitely not get any of those benefits.

4. She monitors your every move and wants to know who you are with and talking to at every given point in time.

This is because she feels jealous and insecure. This in turn makes her very controlling and demanding. She wants to know where you are at every given point in time, as well as who you are talking to all the time because she is afraid she will lose you to another woman.

She believes that by being so controlling and demanding she can put a leash on you and stop that from happening. Except that rarely ever happens to be the case. If anything, such controlling and insecure behavior only serve to drive the boyfriend further away from her.

5. She checks your phone with or without your permission.

This is another way she hopes to keep tabs on you to ensure you don’t cheat on her. The problem with an insecure woman who does this, and why she does this is because she isn’t confident in herself and how she looks. For some other women, it could be as a result of being burnt in past relationships. And so, she has this constant paranoia in her head that you’re probably checking other ladies out when she’s not looking.

Her going through your phone is because she is insecure and doesn’t trust you. She wants to see if her worst fears are true.

Any girlfriend who always wants to see your phone and takes issue with your refusal or makes such a big deal out of it, is most likely an insecure girlfriend. She will play the card of “well if you’ve got nothing to hide, why can’t I see your phone?” She’s trying to guilt trap you. If she trusted you and wasn’t insecure, she would not need to check your phone almost all the time.

6. She wants to spend too much time with you.

The insecure boyfriend and insecure girlfriend have this in common. For the insecure boyfriend, it will usually be because he doesn’t have much social life because of his insecurities. For the insecure girlfriend, however, it is usually because she wants to keep her eyes on you to ensure that you don’t check out other girls. Her insecurity and paranoia that there are ladies who are waiting to take you from her, won’t let her allow you to have any breathing space.

And because she wants to always spend all of her time with you, she doesn’t have any “me time” and does not understand if you want to have a “you time” where you do your things with no distractions.

This symptom is worse in those cases where the insecure girlfriend has no identity of her own and wants to take on everything about her boyfriend.

7. She goes bonkers when you don’t respond to her messages when she expects a response or when you miss a call from her.

And it would not matter that you had legitimate reasons for either not responding when she wanted you to respond, or to answer her call when she called. In her mind, you are delaying or not taking her calls because you are up to no good (usually with another woman).

And no amount of explaining will placate her once she has it in her head that you are deliberately not responding to her messages or taking her calls because you are up to no good.

On this point though, it has to be said that if you make it a habit to not take your girlfriend’s call or make it a habit to respond to her messages at your convenience, then you can’t blame her for flipping. It is in fact rude and disrespectful, and any normal girlfriend will reasonably be annoyed by it. Once, maybe twice, is excusable. But all the damn time? That is just wrong and also shows the value you place on your girlfriend.

8. She is the type of girlfriend who would make a big issue out of not holding hands with her every time you guys are outside.

It’s not only insecure boyfriends who are possessive in an unhealthy way. Even insecure girlfriends have unhealthy possessive tendencies like this one. For the insecure girlfriend, this is her way of being possessive. She wants you to always hold her hands in public as a way of making it clear to everyone that you are her prized possession and are off-limits.

This may seem sweet but it is unhealthy possessiveness because it is not coming from a good place of trusting you but from a position of insecurity and wanting to assert her claim over you like you are a prize or trophy she won. The day you don’t feel like holding hands, she will make such a big deal out of it, and tell you that you don’t want to hold her hands because you are ashamed of her and don’t want people to know she’s your girlfriend. Never mind that you always hold her hand before then. That one incident triggers her insecurities very badly and she would blow it out of proportion.

9. She obsesses over her looks.

Her looks are almost always at the center of an insecure woman’s insecurities. She has deep fears that she doesn’t look that great or attractive enough, especially for you.

She believes very much that if she doesn’t look a certain type of way, she would lose you to another woman. And so she fusses about how she looks. She spends too long in front of a mirror trying everything she thinks she should try out to look a certain way. She is not confident in her body and how she looks.

If your girlfriend is super obsessed about her looks to the point where it is too much, it is because she is insecure.

10. She is always looking for validation (and compliments) from you.

There’s nothing wrong with being complimented or told you’ve done a good job especially when it comes naturally from the person with no prompting from you. But where a woman looks for this ALL the time, it is a sign of underlying insecurity and low self esteem. You don’t need someone to tell you that you’ve done a job to know you’ve done a good job.

How you know she’s looking for validation is in the comments she makes if she did something and you didn’t seem to notice to compliment her on it or tell her how great she is.

11. She trash talks other women.

An insecure woman is secretly afraid of other women. She sees them as threats, especially the ones that have the things she wishes she had. Her way of making herself feel better for not having what they have is by trash talking them and their accomplishments. If your girlfriend is like this, it can be draining and exhausting to listen to all those unnecessary and uncalled for rants and name-calling. But she’s simply acting out (or rather, voicing) her insecurities.

People who think they’re better than you also display this sign because they also have underlying low self esteem issues, just like an insecure woman. Read more about them in this insightful article on 15 Signs someone thinks they are better than you.

12. She would always look for something negative to say about other people.

But it’s not only other women she has a problem with or feels insecure about, she feels that way about everyone. You will wonder if there is ever anyone she has anything good to say about. In her books, everyone is just bad, bad, and bad. A woman who always has something negative to say about other people, even when it is clear there is nothing negative to be seen, is an insecure woman. Finding faults and negative things in other people is her way of trying to paint a perfect picture of herself as a way of masking her insecurity.

13. She is a “me, me, me” type of person.

All your conversations almost always end up coming back to her and being about her. Even when you are talking about you, she will still find a way to make it about her. This is because she craves and loves attention. Talking about you, or any other person for that matter, takes the spotlight off her, and she doesn’t want that.

14. She is almost always moody.

This will always happen because she wants to have her way all the time and this is impossible. And when she can’t have her way, she sulks and gets very moody.

15. She doesn’t take criticism too well and gets very defensive.

Just like an insecure man, an insecure woman also has a very fragile ego because of their low self-confidence. Even constructive criticism is taken as a personal attack. And because of this, you become very skeptical to voice even legitimate concerns. You feel stifled and frustrated in the relationship.

16. She picks on almost everything, even what would appear small and/or trivial.

This happens a lot you start to wonder to yourself if she enjoys fighting just for the fun of it. Even harmless comments are viewed with suspicion, and she makes a big deal out of everything you say. In one extreme case, an insecure girlfriend accused her boyfriend of indirectly calling her fat just because he commented on the weather being cooler on a particular day.

17. She gets unnecessarily jealous when you talk to other ladies or even just harmlessly look at other women.

Jealousy is one of the classic hallmarks of insecurity in a relationship. A little healthy jealousy is good and important in every relationship because who doesn’t want to feel like their partner is afraid of losing them.

This type of jealousy though is way beyond the normal healthy jealousy and is suffocating. You can’t even talk to other women without being accused of cheating. Heavens forbid that she catches you simply looking harmlessly across to a woman that entered the vicinity. All hell will break loose. She would accuse you of the vilest things. Such is the depth of her insecurity.

If you’re a jealous girlfriend and want to work on your jealousy, our article on 17 Ways how to not be a jealous girlfriend can help you.

18. She injects herself into your conversations with other women.

This is an offshoot of her being jealous that you are talking with other women. Say you attended a party or any other social function. She then notices you talking to another woman when she turned or walked away, she will quickly rush by your side to “introduce” herself. But really, what she is doing is standing guard to make sure “you are not doing anything funny”.

19. She wants to have her way all the time.

This is another classic insecure woman behavior. She is controlling and demanding and must have her way no matter what. For her, it is her way or the highway. Insecurity makes her feel powerless, even though you cannot see this. By wanting to always have her way she is trying to assert dominance to convince herself that she is not as powerless as she feels.

20. She always tries to guilt trap you when she can’t have her way.

When you put your foot down and make it clear that she can’t have her way, it becomes a big issue. She uses all the tricks in the books to try and make you feel guilty for not letting her have her way.

If for instance, the issue is that you won’t be spending time with her but having your time alone, she will moan about how you want space because you are falling out of love with her. Another example is when you refuse to give her your phone. She will quickly turn this on you and tell you that you are refusing because you have something to hide.

There is no end to her emotional manipulation and guilt trapping because she just must have her way in order to feel powerful and in control.

21. She has to win every argument and fight.

This is another classic way she wants to have her way all the time. For her, losing an argument means she’s a loser. And she already feels like a loser because of her low self esteem and insecurity. And this is why she must never concede defeat according to her because it would only serve to remind her of how she feels about herself.

22. She wants to dictate who your friends are.

This one can be outrageous and outright annoying. All of a sudden your good friends can no longer be your friends because she doesn’t trust them anymore. And if you had female friends before you met her, you can forget continuing with those friendships because her insecurity will always see them as threats, even in cases where they are not.

You may like 11 Signs someone doesn’t want to be your friend.

23. She tries to create friction between you and your family and/or friends.

This happens where she sees she cannot dictate who you keep as a friend. Suddenly all these friends and family members are bad. She will start to sow seeds of doubt and discord in your mind. She fears that these people will see through her insecurities and convince you to dump her. In her mind, the only way to stop this from happening is by separating you from them.

Check out this related article on What to do when your family hates your boyfriend.

24. She is unnecessarily petty.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. She will make mountains out of molehills and pick a fight over the smallest things. And the worst part about this behavior is that she is not that way just with you. She also displays the same behavior in public when she thinks people are stepping on her or taking advantage of her. For instance, she may go off at a waiter in a restaurant for a very short delay in bringing the menu.

25. She is always the victim and everyone seems to always be against her.

Have you noticed how in all her stories about other people, they are the ones at fault? She never has any part to play in a falling out for example. She is always the “victim”, and everyone else seems to be against her.

This is of course highly doubtful because as perfect as we want to think we are, we will step on some toes sometimes. For the insecure woman, admitting this is a sign of acknowledging her insecurity which she sees as a weakness.

26. She hardly believes the things you say to her.

The boyfriend of an insecure woman always has a tall mountain to scale because her insecurity does not allow her to believe anything he says, especially compliments. She will always find a way to find something negative in your compliments or anything sweet you may say to her. In extreme cases, she may even say that you are being nice to her because you’ve done something wrong.

27. She brings up your exes and it is usually to draw comparisons.

She will do this so many times that you start regretting telling her about your exes. And if you have a fight and make an innocent comment, she will find a way to say that you are trying to compare her to one of your exes. And yet, she is the one drawing that comparison in her head. Because she has that comparison in her head, she is projecting it to you.

28. She finds it hard to compliment your accomplishments.

You will think that your girlfriend will be your biggest fan and celebrate your accomplishments with you. But not so when you have an insecure woman in your relationship. For her, your accomplishments make her feel small and insignificant. Celebrating them or complimenting you on them would mean she is not doing much, or at least so she thinks.

Pay attention to how she responds to your feats and accomplishments. If she acts indifferent like it’s no big deal, watch out. You have an insecure girlfriend.

29. She loves and craves attention and would do anything to create one.

An insecure woman loves attention because it makes her feel temporarily powerful and significant. Remember that they already feel small and insignificant. And so, they run with so much attention as a way to mask insecurity.

How to deal with an insecure woman.

If you love your insecure girlfriend very much, it is worth giving trying to help her a shot before calling it quits. We have already discussed some or all of these strategies in our article on men and insecurity in relationships. We will discuss them in the context of insecure women in relationships.

1. Have a chat with her about it.

Try not to be accusatory, or she will get defensive and it becomes a fight. Choose a time when she’s upbeat and very happy and broach it as some observations you’ve made. Having this chat during your pillow talk when she’s mushy in your hands could be the best time for it.

You can start by telling her you’ve noticed she gets irritated and upset about so and so, and why that could be the case. Because she’s mushy, she may pout and tell you it’s because she always wants to be with you or something along those lines. You can then tell her something like “but babe that sometimes make you come across as too clingy and needy you know”, or something along those lines. But you catch the drift.

Had at the right moment and in the right place, this conversation will help a lot in getting her to realize that her attitude is causing a rift in the relationship.

2. Set boundaries and be firm about them.

In having the conversation, you have to make it clear that you are not okay with the boundaries that she has crossed. List those boundaries and lovingly tell her that you would appreciate it if she starts respecting those boundaries because they are important to you.

3. Affirm your love for her.

This is one way how to make an insecure woman feel secure. Remember that her insecurity makes her feel she would lose you because you don’t love her. Tell her that you’re with her because you love her and want to be with her and no one else.

4. Encourage her to get hobbies and interests of her own.

This would not only help her to bring something to the relationship table to help with your couples’ hobbies, but it would also ensure that she doesn’t have to make you her everything. That can be very draining. To prevent this from happening, her having her interests and hobbies is very important.

5. Invite her sometimes to hang out with you and your friends where this would not be awkward.

This is another way how to make an insecure woman feel secure. Inviting her to come with you to your friend’s house to watch a game or play video games can be very awkward. The way around this would be to invite them over to your house instead. That way she gets to meet them and also hang out vicariously with you and your boys. You can make her feel like a part of the squad by asking her to host you guys. She would love it very much. Don’t babysit her in such hangouts though. In this way, the awkwardness will make her rethink having to hang out with you and the boys all the time.

6. Help her overcome her insecurity in practical ways.

These are some practical things you can do to help your girlfriend overcome her insecurities:

7. Encourage her to get professional help.

This is very important because despite your best efforts, at the end of the day, only your insecure girlfriend can help herself stop her insecurities. Getting professional help will be the step in the right direction to getting to the root causes of her insecurities and dealing with them.

8. If nothing changes or the changes are not long-lasting, it’s time to quit the relationship.

A relationship where one or both of the parties are insecure only becomes toxic and unhealthy if the insecurity issues are not addressed. If despite all your efforts in adopting the 7 strategies above, she still doesn’t change, it is time to love and care for yourself enough to give up on the relationship. Staying on will affect your mental and physical health negatively, and this will in turn negatively affect any other relationship you get into.

Frequently Asked Questions.

  • How to spot an insecure woman?

Look out for some or all of the 29 signs listed in this article.

  • What makes a woman insecure in a relationship?

Society is the biggest cause of women’s insecurity. Scars from past relationships as well as other bad experiences and culture can also make a woman feel insecure in her relationship. You can read more in the section on what causes women to be insecure.

  • What does it mean when someone is insecure?

It means they are not confident in themselves and feel threatened by certain external things they see in others which they don’t have.

  • How to deal with an insecure wife?

The 8 strategies listed in this article can also be employed in dealing with an insecure wife.

In Conclusion.

Women generally feel insecure because they have been objectified by society and they feel they can’t measure up to society’s standards of what a “perfect woman” is. For others, it is the scars of past bad experiences, especially on the relationship front.

Whatever the reasons might be, it does not excuse the insecurity and the bad 29 insecurity symptoms we have discussed in this article. Adopt the 8 strategies to try and help her. And if they don’t work, leave the relationship for your peace of mind.





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