Monday, July 20, 2009

Insanely Insecure

Last time, I ranted and raved about the two conflicting emotions that drive us, namely:
1) Our need for individuality
2) Our need for acceptance in a group/Community

This time, let us study both of these together as a foundation for a more complex emotion, which seems to drive many of our actions. What I am referring to is insecurity. I am not using the narrower term which refers to a feeling of unease due to being (at least perceiving to be) unloved. I am trying to portray this in a broader sense, like the things we do to make sure we don't feel insecure.

That would entail a lot of things. Why would anyone want to kill himself/herself for any cause, however noble it may sound? We have an image of the self, which, most of the time, is far removed from the way we are perceived by those around us. To break that image of ourselves would be devastating to our psyche. Therefore, to make sure this never happens, we act in ways that are consistent to the way we perceive ourselves. For example, a person who would like to be considered thoughtful and intriguing might try to shut himself out. In the same way, he might also try to be an introvert who creates obscure blogs that no one cares to read (Ok, I AM like everyone else!) Of course, the route we take to achieve this final objective is a combination of social precedents and self-created hypotheses, but the fact remains that we want to get there somehow. Therefore, insecurity acts as a regulator, making sure we don't do extreme things, and at the same time, spicing up our lives and ensuring we aren't boring people. It is important to note here that our idea of the self is by no means concrete, and at different points in time, we would want to be different people, influenced by what surrounds us, which again drives our insecurity.

Sometimes, though, this emotion does drive us beyond that point of no return. We withdraw from society because we feel we would not fit in if we tried. Or contrastingly, we might become a Paris Hilton (says it all, doesn't it). Nonetheless, it is time we started acknowledging that we are all, to some extent or the other, insecure. In fact, we are more so when we try to show we are not (if that makes sense).

So, are you insecure? (I bet you are!). If you don’t agree (again, probably cause you are), please leave comments. Brickbats are most welcome!