Today we want to share some tips on how to overcome insecurities in a relationship. Because whether you want to acknowledge it or not, insecurities can put unnecessary strain on a relationship.
Here’s what insecurity looks like in a relationship:
Insecurity is when you start probing your partner on his whereabouts after seeing a Romcom about cheating partners. It is spending way too much time in the dressing room to perfect your outfit so your guy won’t be attracted to any other lady at the party.
It is the moment you subscribe to the misguided school of thought that you have to become a “yes person” to keep a relationship. Insecurity is when you feel that adopting your friend’s lifestyle will help you have a long lasting love life, because they seem to be doing well in their relationship.
So yes! There are more than 50 shades of insecurities, however, it all boils down to one meaning. Insecurity simply means being nervous about your relationship and feeling unworthy of a long lasting love life.
However, we are about to find out how to overcome insecurity in a relationship. But before that, let’s examine its causes and effects.
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Causes of Insecurities In A Relationship
1. Crushed Self Esteem
One of the most common causes of insecurity in a relationship is low self esteem. For instance, an individual who grew up amongst people who made them feel like they are not good enough or showed them little or no affection, will have their self-esteem badly affected in the long run.
They end up carrying that mentality into their relationships as they become a “yes” kind of person and overcompensate when they are wrong in a bid to save their relationship.
2. Past Experience
Another cause of insecurities in a relationship is due to the “not so good” experience someone may have had in their relationships and encounters with people. It’s good news that most people have learnt to walk away from toxic and abusive relationships.
However, only few have been able to really move on from those experiences. For those who are yet to get over it, they end up holding onto the negative emotions from their past and even bring them into present relationships as unresolved emotional baggage.
When you see people who promote the “all men/women cheat” kind of banter, chances are they’ve had an experience with a cheating partner and since they are yet to move on, they conclude that true love doesn’t exist.
3. Over dependency
It’s true that nobody is an island and to survive, we need to help one another. However, people who often go into a relationship to have their needs met are likely to end up having insecurity issues.
We all have our individual goals and life expectations. However, many people tend to lose their individual identities after getting into a relationship and end up losing their sense of personal life fulfilment in the long run.
As a result, they turn to their partners instead, and start relying on them to provide them with life fulfilment and meaning. This dependency (over dependency) often leads to insecurity as they tend to feel afraid of losing their better half.
Effects of Insecurities In a Relationship
1. Insecurity of a partner could push the other away and eventually lead to a breakup.
2. Feeling insecure means you don’t trust yourself/partner. Since a relationship cannot thrive without trust, it will eventually lead to a fallout.
3. Insecurity in a relationship might lead to abuse. This is because insecurities are internalized negative thoughts that can often turn outward and become negative behaviors, such as jealousy, paranoia or anger.
4. It’s no news that low self esteem is a causal factor of insecurity issues in a relationship. However, feeling insecure in a relationship is very likely to deteriorate one’s self esteem.
5. Insecurity in a relationship could cost you your happiness and peace of mind. Because you’ll often be worried about your perceived inadequacies and become suspicious of every Tom, Bingo and Anny (yeah Dick and Harry have gone on a break), you are less likely to enjoy your relationship in peace.
How To Overcome Insecurities In A Relationship
1. Cut down on self criticism
If you’ve got a voice that usually tells you “this is not enough”, “your hair looks bad”, “your partner’s ex is hotter than you”, blah blah blah, then it’s time to shut that voice up.
While people from the outside may bully you and try to make you feel inadequate, this voice does not help matters at all as it seeks to make their bullying a reality. It tells you to wallow in your flaws and never forget your mistakes.
You’ve got to put your foot down and silence such voices. When you do so, you become mindful of your self-diminishing thoughts, take a step back, and then take an active effort to reframe them. Putting self criticism to bed allows you to reject unhealthy attitudes toward yourself and accept a more realistic approach as an accurate reflection of who you are.
2. Discard Romantic Perfectionism
A romantic perfectionist is someone who gives a set of rules and standards as to what a perfect relationship entails and who deserves it. When you impose conditions on yourself and try to be this or that to be “eligible” for a great relationship, you become insecure when you actually end up having a great relationship without even meeting those standards of yours.
First of all, understand that everyone deserves to love and be loved. Love does not happen to short and skinny people while it leaves tall and chubby people unloved. Nope! Love does not care about your racial or financial status, love does not consider your hair or skin color.
The moment you set standards for you to feel loved, you send yourself a message that you are not truly loveable at your core. When you do this, you are simply telling people that you can’t be loved for who you really are, but that you need to deserve love by doing certain things and behaving in certain ways.
When you don’t meet these self imposed standards, you tend to feel insecure and think your relationship will eventually fail.
What do you do? Firstly, before going into a relationship, ensure you are loved for who you really are. A lot will make sense after that.
3. Communication Is The Magic Word
Overcoming insecurity issues in a relationship also entails a great deal of communication between both parties. No matter how synced the both of you are, you obviously can’t read minds. Don’t expect your partner to always know what’s going with you (except they’ve got some telepathic superpower though).
Let your partner know what the issue is. If they are the ones feeling insecure, have them discuss it with you and make sure your listening ear is not unavailable. Sometimes, all you need is an attentive ear and some reassuring words from your partner. These are all embedded in effectively communicating with one another.
4. Stop Overthinking
If you are the type that daydreams about your partner sweating it out with someone else when they have only missed your calls twice, then it’s time you to keep those wrong imaginations in check.
Overthinking in itself is not a great habit, as it creates stress, nervousness, anxiety, and tension for any individual. But in the context of your relationship, it spells a recipe for a breakup.
One thing about overthinking is that even if you don’t have a negative or insecure thought, overthinking will guarantee that you find one. Overthinking often leads to wrong assumptions and if not properly dealt with, it might lead to a breakup.
If you find out that you can’t do without thinking about 1000 possible ways your relationship could go south each time your partner asks for quiet time alone, you can distract yourself with activities that interest you at that moment. Nonetheless, to overcome insecurity that comes with overthinking, here’s what you should do;
5. Ask the right questions
Rather than work with assumptions and project what is not, ensure you ask your partner questions when you are unsure or unclear about something. Understand that setting things straight and clear requires both partners to ditch defensiveness and assumptions. Hence, be kind, honest and open with each other.
6. Do Away With Comparison
Phew! There are so many things you have to trash in order to overcome insecurities in a relationship. A major one is comparison. Comparing your past relationships with the present or your ex with your partner is unfair to them.
Now let’s put you in their shoes. If, for instance, they had an ex who once cheated on them , how would you feel if they start to project that ex’s character on you? That is exactly the same way they feel when you try to checkmate their words and monitor their movement all because you’ve had an experience with an unapologetic cheat.
Comparison does not stop only with the past. People who compare their relationships with that of their friends and even celebrities or showbiz folks are only setting themselves up for disappointment.
It’s okay to be happy for others, however, ensure you don’t get intimidated by them. You can still cheer for other couples while you enjoy your own relationship.
READ NOW: How To Set Boundaries In A Relationship
7. Embrace Your Flaws
It’s one thing to feel insecure, and it’s another thing to deny it. Denying your flaws rather than accepting and working on them will only make things worse. As a human, it’s absolutely normal to be flawed. Your weakness doesn’t make you a bad person.
However, accepting that you are insecure will help you work on being a better person. If you choose to live in denial, it won’t solve a thing and it will only make things worse. Embracing your flaws presents you an opportunity to move past projection and defensiveness, overcome those flaws and reconnect with your partner.
8. Be Acquainted With Your Strength
Yes, you can be insecure once in a while yet you are not all that bad. Yes! You have got a lot of good in you and the more you start paying attention to them the better you are at overcoming your insecurity.
Getting to know your strengths and capabilities will help boost your self-esteem. What about writing down a list of the things you admire about yourself or the things you are grateful for? Journaling about your positive traits does a great deal in helping you conquer your insecurity.
Since it’s for your eyes only, you don’t have to be modest about it. You could ask your partner about the 3 things they admire most about you.
Maybe you have a gorgeous smile or you’re a good kisser. Perhaps you don’t have a smokin’ hot body but you’re supportive and make your partner feel appreciated. Maybe your sense of humor is not that top-notch but you’re trustworthy and, on top of that, a great cook.
Nobody is perfect, so, it’s important to know that you don’t have to be perfect to be loved. Imperfections are what make us human. Learn to cherish your strength and uniqueness. Be positive with yourself, know your strengths, embrace them, improve your self talk and tell yourself how amazing you are.
9. Ask For Help
A day with a therapist could go a long way in helping you overcome your insecurity issue. So, if you have discovered that your insecurity is rooted in something deeper like past trauma or repressed experiences, you owe it to yourself to process those emotions properly.
A therapy session, or some time with the psychiatrist or a support group will be of help. This is a critical step if you find out that your insecurities run deeper than you originally thought, do not take it for granted.
Finally, be optimistic and be confident about the efforts you make to overcome your insecurity issues. Now is definitely not the time to subscribe to pessimistic media or engage in the “true love doesn’t exist ” kind of belief. Remember, overcoming insecurities is also about protecting your mental health.