Wednesday, May 18, 2016

4 relationship-killing insecurities and how to avoid them

“We are all so incredibly insecure.”
Michael Heyward, founder of app Whisper
 
True dat. We worry that we’re not attractive enough. We agonize over whether or not he likes us, if she likes that other guy. We anticipate that our relationships will fail.

It’s possible to attain a sense of certainty and calm if we’re willing to indulge in self-reflection. Here are four relationship-killing insecurities and how to deal with them:


#1
Insecurity: comparison
We compare our relationship to the couples on social media, in movies, on TV, in celebrity news. These comparisons make us envious of couples who seem to never fight, have endless bank accounts, always look beautiful, travel to exotic destinations…we feel like we’re constantly trying to be as good as them.
How to deal: wish everyone well, but recognize their awesomeness as different from yours
Instead of comparing, view these couples as the apples to your oranges. They’re on a completely different path than you: they can be happy and have a great time and you can too, on your own path.

#2
Insecurity: criticism
My high school boyfriend told me he couldn’t stand my glasses. Despite nearly ten years passing since our BLOW OFF, I still take my glasses off when taking photos because I internalized his criticism.
How to deal: let the past go
Now I understand that my ex was a high schooler struggling with his own insecurities. He wasn’t right in criticizing me but I can forgive him nonetheless. Holding on to resentment won’t help.

#3
Insecurity: lack of trust
Lack of trust is trained in us over the years as people we date or are interested in do things that we interpret as abandonment or rejection. We learn not to trust that our partners will stay with us or accept all of us.
How to deal: switch up the story
Failed relationships (or almost-relationships) are a part of life, not all of it. Try to let go of the stories you tell yourself about past obstacles. Start looking instead at what you learned and overcame. Develop trust in yourself that you can overcome future challenges.

#4
Insecurity: needing approval
Have you ever read into everything your partner says and does in-person, over text, on social media? When we’re granted approval, we feel worthy or beautiful, but then we need more approval to keep up our self-image. It’s a cycle of needing constant approval and fearing disapproval.
 How to deal: pause to take a self-assessment
You have the ability to appropriate your partner’s approval to yourself. If you notice yourself wanting your partner’s approval or attention, remember that you don’t need anyone else’s approval but your own. This doesn’t mean you don’t want connection with others: you can love others and be loved by them while also self-approving.

Has insecurity ever eroded one of your relationships? How did you deal? Comment below.

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