How To Deal with an Insecure Person at Work

Everyone feels like they are not good enough.It can be hard to work with someone who is chronically insecure.Someone who puts others down to feel better or struggles to complete tasks due to their low self-esteem may be hard to work alongside, but there are many ways you can approach the issue.While keeping your own boundaries in mind, here are some tips on how to work with an insecure person in a respectful, compassionate way.

Step 1: They are new to the team and may be shy.

Take a few minutes out of your day to ask this coworker how they’re doing.Take an interest in their hobbies, current life, and what they like about their job.It may help diffuse their fears if they see you as an ally.Say something like, “Hey Alex, I heard you just got a new cat,” when you see them in the break room.Have you come up with a name?”How’s your day going?”The water cooler can show you care and improve someone’s confidence.This can help establish trust between you and your coworker.It can make them feel better about their position on the team.

Step 2: This can increase their self-esteem.

Make sure your compliment is specific to this coworker’s talents.If you disagree with a person’s criticism, encourage them to see their own skills.If you are a supervisor, make sure you give positive feedback to this employee whenever you can to up their confidence and help them improve.Your coworker may have said, “This probably doesn’t make sense.”Say, “That makes perfect sense” to encourage them.You make a good point.A few positive comments throughout the week can help someone feel better about their performance, even if you don’t give them constant reassurance.

Step 3: If your coworker is struggling, offer to help them.

They don’t feel like you’re being condescending or pointing out their flaws if you do that in a respectful, casual way.They can boost their faith in their own talents by asking for help.Asking for help fosters a trusting atmosphere.Your colleague can see that everyone has strengths and weaknesses in the workplace.I had a hard time with the database system when I first started in this role.I want to know if I can answer any questions.”I’m struggling a little bit with this PowerPoint project.”Your presentation in the meeting was great.Do you have any tips?

Step 4: They might not know how to complete certain tasks.

If you are a manager, you should give specific instructions.Offer to answer any questions they have, and be willing to explain things to them.If you’re a colleague and working on a project together, be open to answering any questions they may have and delegate tasks among the two of you so that you know what you need to accomplish.The employee can feel more secure doing their work on their own.

Step 5: It takes a while to build up confidence.

It may take some time for a person to improve if you manage them or work with them.If you’re a supervisor, encourage them with positive feedback and trust that their self-esteem will improve as they get better at the job.Try not to take it personally, if your coworker puts you down or takes out their insecurity on you.You don’t deserve to be mistreated, but it can be helpful to remember that this person’s behavior has nothing to do with you.

Step 6: Your performance at work shouldn’t be affected by this person’s feelings.

If a person takes out their feelings on you or relies heavily on your reassurance, it can be hard to work with them.Take a few deep breaths if you’re stressed out at work.It’s a good idea to spend some time with your coworkers.You should remind yourself why you enjoy your job and what you are grateful for.When you work with a coworker, taking care of yourself can help.If you meet your own needs first, you won’t feel stressed and will have the tools to help you.You can prevent internalizing your coworker’s behavior or taking it personally by practicing self-care.

Step 7: If their behavior is toxic, you should avoid them as much as possible.

You don’t have to help or spend time with someone who is mistreating you.You should only talk to this person about things that are related to your job.Set firm boundaries and keep things civil.Ask them to excuse themselves from the conversation if they ever do something that makes you uncomfortable.Don’t allow passive aggression to get the better of you.Say thanks for your feedback.I need to get back to my desk and be on your way because I have a lot of work to finish up.Some people try to build up their confidence through gossip or taking other people down.Don’t engage if this coworker does this.Leave the conversation if you change the subject.

Step 8: It is a last resort.

If your coworker’s insecurity is making it hard for you to work, bring it up with your supervisor.They can help with the issue by giving the employee resources to handle it.Specific examples of how this coworker’s insecurity has affected your work performance are needed.If they get defensive whenever you try to bring up feedback, cite how this affects the efficiency and outcome of group projects.

Step 9: Inform them if their insecurity is hurting their performance.

Talk privately with the employee about how their insecurity is hurting them and their coworkers, in a respectful and compassionate manner.Provide solutions that will allow the employee to improve.It can be hard for a person to receive constructive criticism, so be very sensitive when discussing this issue.Try to compliment the things they do well first.Start with something like, “I’m always impressed by how passionate you are about this work.”Follow that with feedback.If you were more receptive to your coworkers’ perspective in meetings, you would be able to improve your performance.It is possible to work as a team and listen to another point of view.You may have to address the issue with them again if they don’t improve.Sometimes the role is not a good fit.If that is the case, tell them and yourself.