How to come across as insecure in writing

There are numerous examples of situations where you would want to come across as insecure. Say you found yourself writing a CV where you wouldn’t want the recipient to hire you, maybe sending along a cover letter that backed up the insecurity of set CV. Maybe you are writing business emails to potential new clients that you don’t want or trying to negotiate terms that you would love to be worse. As said the applicability and examples are numerous, so how do you do it?

There are two very easy and simple ways to do this, so let us start of with the first.

Exhibit A:

Writing “I” when referencing to yourself with lower-case “i”.

For people who does not know this, it can seem unimportant. Will this minor detail be enough to let me come across as insecure – shouldn’t I try harder? You can try harder – of course – but this little trick will get you very far. I’ll go as far as to call it the 80/20 rule of insecurity in writing.

In the business world you are almost guaranteed success if you do this. Your 14yo pen-pal may not pick up on the subtle detail, but proving insecurity towards him may be as easy as keeping your crash helmet on when you step off your tri-cycle and walk across the playground to class.

But if people handle serious recruiting, negotiation or sales they WILL pick up on this. Candidates, mails etc. where this is present will almost explode in front of them and make the first screening a peach. So again; if you wish to come across as insecure remember to write I with lower-case.

Exhibit B:

Referencing third person instead of claiming responsibility.

While not as powerful as Exhibit A, Exhibit B still has it’s merits. A strong and secure person will take responsibility, know their weaknesses and stand by them. To come across as insecure what you need to do is avoid claiming responsibility and always write in broad terms.

The best example of this is probably describing limitations or weaknesses, but can be applied at will to almost all scenarios. Let’s take two developer candidates as an example. They are both asked to describe their weaknesses.

  1. As most programmers i am probably not the best tester, but that is just part of being a programmer i guess.
  2. I am not the most thorough tester.

Yes I know – I spiced up the examples with Exhibit A as well. Now this is taken totally out of context and drilled down to a very simple and short example. But 1 should be a clear winner here in terms of insecurity. Writing like this you almost excuse yourself for being present. The exact vibe you would want to come across when trying to appear insecure.

I hope my little short examples provide some inspiration as to how powerful writing can be in transmitting cues as to who you are as a person. I will probably be writing a lot more about this in the future and not only confined to writing, but also speech, body language etc.


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