The Insecurity Trap — A Psychological Implication of the Social Game
My previous article “The Social Game at LUMS” looked at the sociological implications of the social game in context of LUMS.
In this article, I look at a psychological implication of the social game: “The insecurity trap”.
The insecurity trap is an implication relevant to all individuals in society and not solely confined to LUMS.
The social game excludes people who don’t conform to certain indicators.
Upon a closer look those indicators reflect the insecurities of the people who exclude in the first place.
To understand this, imagine sitting in the middle of a social space. You will only feel anxious if you perceive people around you are judging you. So the anxiety comes within you. It might be fueled by people passing confused looks but it is always sparked within you.
In the same way, if you judge someone based on appearance or their accent, it is a reflection of your own internalized insecurity.
This insecurity is highly visible in the social environment at LUMS but it is a feature of all societies.
This means the social game (striving for validation) is driven by a need to deal with an insecurity we create ourselves.
Most people deal with this insecurity unconsciously. They relentlessly try to chase away it away by making superficial changes like clothing but the insecurity exacerbates, because they are driven further away from the root which lies within them.
This is the insecurity trap.
The need for validation arises not because people don’t like you. It arises because you do not like yourself. Your inner lack of fulfillment is projected outward which is why people end up not liking you. You end up concluding I need to change something about myself. Yet those changes never bring contentment in the long-term precisely because you dealing with the wrong belief. You need to deal with the inner belief of not being good enough which drives you to attain validation in the first place.
Dealing with this belief would extinguish the urge for validation. It would free you from playing the social game.
I will not pretend to claim that I don’t play the social game or that I don’t crave validation. But I cannot bear the silence any longer.
Society may have sown the seeds for my insecurities to develop but the soil was my own. And my silence is moisture to that soil.
So to begin with, we need to admit our own vulnerability to the social game. We need to own our insecurities rather than let them rot in the recesses of our minds.
Doing so, will help us strive towards becoming better human beings and excelling at things we intrinsically love, instead of remaining caught in the insecurity trap.