It’s not a word I would use to describe myself. At all.
But the truth is, I think we all struggle with insecurity.
Last spring I joined two of my friends to do Beth Moore’s “So Long Insecurity” study. I really wasn’t sure how much I would learn, but it’s Beth Moore – you know you’re going to learn something.
As we went through the eight-week study I was able to identify some areas of insecurity and really begin to think through where they come from and how they manifest themselves.
I was reminded of something I learned in Gary Smalley’s book “The DNA of Relationships” where he talks about how everyone has a “core fear.” He, of course, expands on how that plays into a couple’s relationship.
He lists a dozen or so common core fears for men and women.
“Being invalidated, as if my words and actions are being devalued and ignored.”
Now I might not have used the word “invalidated” but I quickly realized that this is definitely my trigger button.
Mark and I have a running joke now, but it started out as a pretty big fight in the early years of our marriage.
I don’t remember the details, but basically we were having a conversation and I relayed some interesting fact or theory on the subject.
I don’t remember if he said something or gave me a look that I took as “That’s the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard.” My defenses went up and I said that I read it somewhere.
“Where? Good Housekeeping?”
The conversation digressed from there because then, as a future writer, I felt called upon to defend magazine writing in general and explain that you generally can’t get complete nonsense published in a magazine. Well, unless it’s the National Enquirer or something.
So now when one of us will say something that seems a little far-fetched the other will say “Where’d you read that? Good Housekeeping?”
It’s funny now.
It wasn’t then.
Smalley calls it a “core fear” but basically it’s an insecurity.
Which is kind of funny because 1) I’m not insecure about my intelligence and 2) I generally don’t care what people think.
It seems that my dear husband is the one most likely to trigger this issue – probably because he’s one of the few people that I DO care what they think of me.
What’s good is that now both of us know what my trigger issue is. When he gives me a look or makes a comment that has the general “that’s idiotic” tone I remind myself that he’s really not questioning my intelligence.
Then I tell him, “I read it in Good Housekeeping.”
I’ve also seen this play into my relationship with the kids as well. One child seems to hit this button more than others. Somehow “We’re out of cereal” comes out sounding like “I can’t believe you let us run out of cereal. What kind of mom are you?”
Again, not what she’s saying, but it’s what I hear. I’m working really hard to catch those moments and hang on to what I know that person IS really saying.
Do you have a core fear?