Feeling insecure in your relationship can be a destructive force that can ultimately wreck your relationship and make the self-fulfilling prophecy come to pass.
Feelings of insecurities can plague all of us occasionally but when feeling insecure becomes chronic and starts to affect your relationships you must take a step back and figure out the root cause of these feelings. Are these feelings warranted or is your low self-esteem making you feel paranoid and unworthy of love?
Insecurities come from within. Feelings of insecurity usually stem from childhood traumas, dysfunctional parenting, bullying, anxiety, perfectionism, recent failures, and abusive relationships. Getting to the heart of your insecurities can help you clarify situations and events you are perceiving. Becoming aware of your feelings can help you realize if you are projecting your own insecurities or if your partner is genuinely doing things that diminish the relationship and you as a person.
Perception Gives Life to Our Insecurities
When we look at life through the lens of our own life experiences, what we view can be skewed because those lenses are formed by situations that have shaped our way of thinking and how we view the world.
If you have experienced rejection and have been dumped by someone you deeply cared about, you may think that you are not worthy of love and that any future partner will ultimately leave you. You may become clingy and needy, which in turn will suffocate your partner and end up driving him or her away.
Becoming objectively aware of your feelings can help you realize if you are projecting your own insecurities or if your partner is genuinely doing things that diminish the relationship and you as a person.
Or, if you have been cheated on, you may believe that all your future partners will cheat on you. You may become paranoid and jealous. You may accuse your partner of being unfaithful when he really may not be. Again, this lack of trust may drive him away thus cementing the false belief that you are not worthy of love and amping up your insecurities for any future relationship.
And because our insecurities develop as a result of our past and recent experiences, our self-esteem takes a hit and we develop a negative self-concept and fill our minds with negative expectations and beliefs.
Things are not always what they seem.
So how can you work through your feelings of inadequacy and insecurity in your relationship and come out feeling strong about yourself and not letting the petty little things bother you? How can you get out of your own head and not engage in sabotaging behaviors?
5 Steps to Overcome Insecurities
1. Recognize your insecurities. Becoming self-aware and recognizing the triggers that set you off into a spiral of self-doubt and paranoia will help you stay grounded in reality and appraise situations based on their facts, not your biased perception.
2. Accept your worth and value yourself. In order to feel worthy of love, you must stop rejecting yourself. Love yourself and don’t be so hard on yourself. There are ways to build your self-esteem. One of them is to ignore your inner critic. That little voice that is always critical of you, the one who casts doubts and shames you. Talk to it and tell that voice to go away, that it has no power over you. Think of all the positive qualities that make you a good person and how you have so much to offer to your partner. Think of the people who love you. They love you for a reason, right? It’s because you are worthy of love and affection.
3. Stay independent. It is important that you don’t lose yourself in a relationship. If you are constantly putting your partner’s needs above yours and giving up the things that make you happy, you will be that more clingy and dependent on the other person. You must develop your own sense of autonomy and self-worth outside of the relationship. When you are taking care of your own needs and do not need another person to validate you, you’ll find that fears and insecurities tend to dissipate. You are your own person and you do not need another to make you happy.
4. Let go of perfectionism. People who are perfectionists tend to be very insecure. They demand a lot of themselves and when they don’t live up to their unrealistic expectations, they beat themselves up. This only validates their feelings of inadequacy and further sets up the mental narrative that they are not good enough. If you are a perfectionist, it’s time to embrace your imperfections. If you don’t, you will be seeking approval and affection and will likely never feel good enough or deserving of anyone’s love.
5. Know when it’s time to move on. Sometimes we may be in a relationship where your partner engages in activities that fuel your insecurities. If you’re an introvert but your partner is an extrovert and is friendly with those of the opposite sex, you may see him as flirting. Or if your partner loves to dance but you don’t. You go to a party and your partner is the life of the party. This may fuel your insecurities. So, if you’re in a relationship with a person whose personality traits make you feel insecure or jealous, you may have to face it that this is not the right person for you. Of course, you can always work through your feelings of insecurity and accept your partner for who she or his is, providing they truly love you and you want to make the relationship work.
When to listen to your insecurities
Sometimes your insecurities are grounded in intuition or are a product of mental abuse such as gaslighting. If your partner is critical and manipulative, you may be felt to feel insecure and inferior and are being gaslit. Or if your partner lies and conceals things from you, he may indeed be having an affair.
You CAN Overcome Your Insecurities
The bottom line is that you need to become self-aware of your mental state and what’s causing your insecurities. If you are in a relationship with a loving person, then get out of your own head and realize that you can overcome these feelings and come out a stronger person. Being objective about the dynamics of your relationship and the interactions between you and your partner can help you negotiate a happy emotionally stable relationship and remove the ambiguity that leads to self-doubt. A relationship shouldn’t feel like hard work all the time, or that you have to be someone you’re not to please your partner. Start taking steps to empower yourself and build up your self-esteem. You have the power to take control of your happiness and accept that you are deserving of love.