Insecurity – Concept, etymology and types of insecurity

We explain what insecurity is, the origin of the term, its general meaning and its specific meaning in the emotional and civic sphere.

Insecurity is the perception that we are taking a risk.

What is insecurity?

By the word “insecurity” is understood, in a very wide range of contexts, the lack of security, that is, an idea similar to uncertainty, risk, not knowing what is going to happen.

This type of printing usually leads to distress or a feeling of being in danger, given that the human being tends to feel comfortable in predictable, repetitive and everyday situations, more than in those in which he does not know what to expect. It is a primitive and instinctive behavioral trait that we share with many animal species.

The word comes from Latin securites, whose root is another Latin verb above: curare, translatable as “cure.” So that which is safe is, in an ancestral sense, that which has a cure or that it is possible to cure, fix, compose, etc. Therefore, insecurity would be the feeling or perception that we are facing possible damage, that something irreparable, unsolvable could happen.

Although the term is used in areas as different as computing (linked to the vulnerability of systems to hackers and hackers), psychology and quality of life, it is in the latter two that it is most often used on a daily basis. Therefore, it is convenient to see each of them separately.

Emotional insecurity

In the field of psychology and emotions, insecurity is understood as the feeling of discomfort, nervousness or discomfort that is experienced in situations perceived as vulnerability. In other words, when a subject feels exposed, in a fragile position, threatened (not necessarily in a physical sense, but also emotionally), he begins to experience the symptoms of insecurity.

Usually, this means that the body unconsciously prepares itself for a dangerous situation, increasing heart palpitations (so that the muscles respond faster), secreting adrenaline (for an “extra” speed of reaction), and the mind itself is disposed towards aggression, submission or flight, instinctive responses of the kind in the face of real danger.

All of this is often viewed as defense mechanisms, even if the perceived danger is not real, or is simply not that serious. For example, a person may feel vulnerable to intimacy, or to the attention of others, or to certain situations, and his reaction, instead of helping him to cope better, hinders his performance.

Thus, insecurity can negatively feed back the circuit, because the next time you find yourself in such situations, you will feel even more threatened, given your previous failure.

All human beings experience emotional insecurity at some stage in our lives, and we react to it in the best way we can. However, when defense mechanisms, as in the previous example, place the person in a situation of repeated suffering, it may be time to consult a psychotherapist.

Citizen insecurity

In society, insecurity is understood as the real presence of risks or threats to the health of the inhabitants of a city, country or region. It can arise from various factors, such as urban violence (generally associated with crime), the action of natural forces (natural disasters), or other factors typical of life in society.

Citizen security, also called public safety, it is usually a task to be fulfilled by the State, who is granted a monopoly on violence through the forces of public order (police, firefighters, military, etc.). The State also manages the judicial system to punish crimes and compensate victims. The management of society must guarantee citizen security, that is, combat insecurity in all its forms.

Thus, when speaking of very insecure or highly insecure cities or nations, such as different regions of the so-called Third World, for example, reference is made to the fact that the people who inhabit them are much more exposed to danger or violence than usual. so are citizens of safer regions.