by Tony Robbins: Do you find yourself fishing for compliments? Asking where your partner is going, even though you know the answer?
Badgering them for extra attention although you spent the entire day together? Maybe you repeatedly ask your spouse about spending time with a coworker who’s just a friend. All of these things are signs of insecurity in a relationship.
Many people feel jealous and insecure in their relationships, even if they are loved unconditionally by their partner. Whether you’re in a relatively new relationship or a decades-long marriage, here’s everything you need to know about how to stop being insecure in a relationship.
WHAT DOES INSECURE MEAN?
Being insecure means you’re unsure, unconfident and anxious. It’s a deep belief that you just aren’t good enough at work, in social situations, in relationships and more. You may even be living in a state of fear, always worrying about what’s going to happen next. You can let your past control your future, or doubt your own value and have a low sense of self-worth. Insecure people don’t always appear that way – in fact, overconfidence and narcissism can actually be signs of deep insecurity. Feelings of insecurity run so deep, we may not even recognize them ourselves.
WHERE DOES INSECURITY COME FROM?
Sometimes it seems as if feelings of insecurity stem from outside forces – we fail at achieving a goal, we get rejected by a potential love interest, we don’t get that promotion we wanted. But the real root of insecurity is a lack of self-esteem. We project an image of confidence, but deep down inside, we feel that we don’t deserve love. And then we sabotage ourselves and our relationships.
Dig deeper: What does insecure mean, really? Where do those feelings come from? The truth is that all feelings of insecurity are a result of our own limiting beliefs, or the stories we tell ourselves about who we are and the type of life we deserve. If we had to earn love as a child by being perfect – or if we didn’t earn love at all, and instead were left with feelings of abandonment and loss – those feelings carry over into adulthood, whether we realize it or not.
SIGNS OF INSECURITY IN A RELATIONSHIP
No one feels completely certain in their relationship at all times – in fact, variety can even be good for relationships. But is it normal to be insecure in a relationship on a regular basis? No, and if you’re showing these signs, it’s time to learn how to stop being insecure in a relationship.
This is one of the most obvious signs of insecurity in a relationship. A jealous partner constantly questions their significant other’s true intentions. They spy, become clingy or control your friendships and free time. Jealousy is all-consuming and damaging to every relationship.
Some attention-seeking behaviors are similar to jealousy, like the need for constant reassurance. Others are about a fear of being alone, like always having to do everything together. Still others fulfill a need for significance by causing drama or picking fights.
Every couple argues – the difference is between healthy and unhealthy arguing. Healthy arguing uses productive communication tactics to reach a place of understanding and agreement. Unhealthy arguing stems from lack of trust, unresolved insecurities and even fear that true communication will cause your partner to leave you.
HOW TO STOP BEING INSECURE IN A RELATIONSHIP
If you feel insecure, it’s because you haven’t dealt with whatever is putting you in a negative state. This could be that your needs aren’t being met by your relationship, or it could have to do with something outside your union, like a lack of self-confidence or fear of the unknown. The important thing is to get to the root of the problem and solve it together.
1. START WITH SELF-LOVE
The core cause of insecurities in a relationship is often a lack of self-love. If one partner holds on to harmful limiting beliefs, like being afraid of failure or thinking that they don’t deserve love, they won’t be able to trust completely – and trust is the foundation of any relationship. To work on self-love, first identify and overcome your limiting beliefs. Learn to interrupt negative patterns of self-talk. Take steps to build your confidence and turn your life into a journey of discovery, not distrust and suspicion.
2. LEARN TO COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY
Communication is key in all areas of life – and that’s especially true if you’re feeling insecure in a relationship. To really discover how to stop being insecure in a relationship, the best thing you can do is effectively communicate with your partner. How does your partner communicate? What’s their communication style? You can talk things over repeatedly, but unless you’re truly connecting with your partner on their level, it will be challenging to resolve lingering issues.
3. MEET EACH OTHER’S NEEDS
Feeling insecure in a relationship is often a symptom that certain needs aren’t being met. There are six basic human needs that affect every single person on the planet. We all strive to feel certain that we can avoid pain and gain pleasure; we crave variety in life; we want to feel significant; connection to others is essential and growth and contribution help us find fulfillment. Each person ranks these needs in a different way. Which one is most important to you? Is your relationship helping to fulfill this need? If not, how can you improve the relationship to feel more loved and supported?
4. BALANCE YOUR POLARITY
In every relationship there is one partner with a masculine energy and another with feminine energy. These energies don’t have to align with genders, but opposing forces need to be present in order to find romantic harmony. This concept is called polarity. If you’re feeling insecure in a relationship, you and your partner may not be in balance. If both partners take on masculine or feminine traits, it can cause insecurities to arise. Look at how your roles have changed over time. How can you restore polarity and banish insecurity?
5. ACT LIKE YOU’RE A NEW COUPLE
When you start dating someone new, the energy is electrifying. You want to learn everything about your partner and be physically close to them whenever possible. Over time, this spark fades. As you become better acquainted with your partner, the fireworks you first felt start to fizzle. You become comfortable in your habits and stop trying to impress. Insecurities in a relationship can surface when your partner feels that you’re no longer making an effort or that your attraction is fading. Bring back the passion in your relationship and act like you did when you started dating. Compliment your partner. Plan surprising dates. Write them love notes. These small acts can reignite the passion and squash insecurities.
6. CREATE NEW STORIES
Mistakes are made in even the happiest relationships, but sustainable relationships are able to leave those mistakes in the past. What are you and your partner dealing with? No matter if you’ve previously fought over finances or flirtations, if you’re deciding to move forward as a couple then it’s time to leave those old stories behind. Instead of insisting that your partner always does something that irritates you, try shifting your mindset. Accept your partner for who they are and decide to create a beautiful new story together instead of reliving past pain, and you’ll learn how to stop being insecure in a relationship.
7. STOP OVERANALYZING
What does insecure mean? It has nothing to do with outside forces. All of your insecurities in a relationship start in your own head. Your thoughts affect your emotions, and your emotions affect your actions. When you let anxious thoughts spiral out of control, that’s when you lash out at your partner, become defensive or shut down. Stop these feelings before they start by learning to control your emotions. Keep your partner’s actions in perspective – everyone talks to the opposite sex, wants to go out with their friends and needs alone time once in a while. This doesn’t reflect badly on you. It means you’re in a normal, healthy relationship!