Genesis 1:27 "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."
Introduction: Guest Blogger Debi Smith
My wonderful wife Debi Smith has been featured in the past as a guest blogger on "Growing Christian Resources". Currently Debi is doing her Bachelors Degree in Christian Counseling at Liberty University. Recently I asked her if she would allow me to post her most recent paper that she did entitled: "Relational, Emotional, and Spiritual Effects of Insecurity in Women". I believe this topic is very important and that my wife's recent research and writing can provide an invaluable resource to the Body of Christ and readers of this blog. With that said we continue from where we left off yesterday and will focus today on the side effects of insecurity. I now present to you our guest blogger Deborah Smith:
Relational, Emotional, and Spiritual Effects of Insecurity in Women (continued)
What are the Side Effects of Insecurity?
Ruined Friendships Previously this paper looked at the danger of women comparing themselves to unrealistic images of women through the media. It was mentioned that such comparisons can result in depression and eating disorders. Comparisons made with non-media related women can also have ill effects. Comparisons affect who an insecure woman chooses as a friend. This quote was made after observing a survey of college aged women: “Because men place a premium on physical attractiveness, competition among women to attract men centers heavily on their level of attractiveness; thus women should not want a friend to be much more attractive that they are because then they might look less desirable in competition in comparison to their friend, but at the same time women should not want a friend to be much less attractive that they are because that might inhibit their ability to gain attention or interest from men when together” (Recheck & Lighthall, 2010, p.84).
Insecure women compare themselves in more areas other than appearance. In the workplace a rivalry with other women often keeps women from forming friendships within their profession. This was especially true in male-dominated workplaces. The other females that worked alongside them were viewed as competition (Walker, 1994). Insecurities also cause women to destroy good friendships - needed friendships – out of jealousy (Moore, 2010). In an example on how insecurity destroys friendships, Beth Moore shares an account of a woman who had had a disagreement with a friend. She wrote an email apology to this friend and when she didn’t hear back, she assumed her friend was angry and proceeded to write another email, followed by another asking her friend to forget the former emails. Insecurity causes people to make fools of themselves out of desperation to protect or fix a relational problem that is perceived (Moore, 2010).
Unhealthy Relationships, Rejection, and ShameInsecurity also throws women into the arms of people that can hurt them and continue the cycle of insecurity.
“We end up putting ourselves in one messed-up relationship after another trying to find someone who will take care of us. Someone who will not disappoint us. And it never works. For one thing, that kind of motivation draws us to the wrong kind of people” (Moore, 2010, p.66).
When rejection or betrayal occurs, whether in a love relationship or in a friendship relationship, an insecure woman experiences shame and guilt. It is as though she should’ve known better than trusting someone in the first place. This is demonstrated in a personal account from a study done on Ontological Insecurity. The woman interviewed tells of how she friended another woman she met in a class and grew close. After joining this new friend several times at her family’s home, the woman began feeling as though she were the source of an inside joke. Soon after, the relationship was severed and the two no longer communicated. She expressed guilt and shame that she should’ve been able to “read” the persons character better (Smart, Davies, Heaphy, & Mason, 2012).
Insecurity Leads to Self-Defeat and Distorted View of IdentityIn healthy friendships in children, “there is greater involvement in school, a sense of acceptance by peers, and positive self-esteem” (Furman, Collins, Garner, Montanaro, & Weber, 2009, p.19) The opposite of this is “isolation and alienation which leads to social dislocation and depression in individuals” (Furman, Collins, Garner, Montanaro, & Weber, 2009, p.19). When insecurity wiggles its way into a relationship it can manifest through self-defeating thoughts and messages. For example, “Nobody wants to hear from me” or “No one cares about me” (Furman, Collins, Garner, Montanaro, & Weber, 2009, p. 28).