To answer some of these questions, look outside your own relationship with these insecurity-fostering people. How do they relate to others and what do others do in their presence? Do you sense that others, too, are made to feel small? Once you realize that is them and not you, this can help you neutralize your interactions with them. Going in ahead of time with them, knowing that you’ll be led down the path of self-doubt and anxiety, will allow you to make more objective appraisals of the situation. Girme et al. noted that people high in attachment security who were made to feel insecure also felt high levels of emotional distress. You can set that distress aside when you understand its source. You can also turn the tables on these findings to examine your own behavior with others. Are you the one who needs to put people down by showing your superiority? Having a solid sense of self means that you don’t need to inflict this pain on others because you’re confident in your own self-worth.
To sum up, the way you handle people who make you insecure is turn your attention inward and shore up your own self-esteem. Just because one person leads you to question yourself doesn’t mean that you’re inadequate. There may also be times when you’re particularly vulnerable. Recognize that people’s feelings of security can vary over time and this will help you reduce the distress that one given individual can cause.