Feeling insecure in a relationship can eventually drive people away. This goes for both romantic and platonic relationships. If you feel insecure in your relationships, there are things you can do to improve the situation.
Feeling insecure in a relationship is lonely, distracting, and debilitating. It is likely the other person isn’t trying to make you feel like this. But unless you address this dynamic, things will not improve. Are you ready to improve your relationship and feel more secure? Remember, you deserve to feel loved and safe.
In this article, I will discuss the implications of a secure and happy relationship. I will also provide 5 simple ways you can stop being insecure in your relationship.
What does a healthy relationship look like?
Our relationships play a huge role in our life. Think of the people you are closest to. Consider how they make you feel and what positives they bring to your life.
Whether it is family, friends, or romantic partners, relationships are an important element of your mental health and wellbeing.
A healthy relationship is one we feel at liberty to be ourselves in. We are encouraged to speak our opinion and we feel respected. We may not always agree with each other, but we listen to each other and try our utmost to see the other person's perspective.
Healthy relationships bring out the best in us and will:
- Raise our self-esteem.
- Allow us to feel loved, valued, and respected.
- Reduce feelings of anxiety or depression.
- Reduce stress.
Over the past few years, I have weeded my friendship flowerbed. I have removed or replanted friends who I feel do not value or respect me. Friends who I sense do not want the best for me. This has made room for new growth.
Before we do any weeding we need to recognize the signs of a healthy and unhealthy relationship in the first place.
How does feeling insecure in a relationship impact us?
Feeling insecure in a relationship sucks! It can feel like a sinking feeling in the pit of our stomachs.
There are many reasons why we may feel insecure in a relationship. Often it is our own inner workings that cause us to feel this way. This may include:
- Past relationship experiences.
- Social anxiety.
- Fear of rejection.
- General sense of unworthiness.
- Past trauma.
Feeling insecure in a relationship is not much fun. Not only does it have a detrimental impact on our mental health but it can lead to physical health issues.
Ultimately, these feelings can lead to a power imbalance in a relationship. Worst case scenario this may even result in the severance of the relationship.
A perpetual feeling that someone is going to leave you, could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. It feeds a circular pattern and, if left unchecked, the behavior these feelings induce may result in someone leaving. This then becomes a past experience for the cycle to repeat itself again in another relationship.
Insecurity fuels insecurity, we need to break the cycle.
5 ways to be more secure in your relationship
Remember, you don’t need to accept the insecure feelings in your relationship. There are several ways you can improve things. How about you try these 5 suggestions first. If you still feel insecure you could consider joint counseling.
There are occasions when the other person intentionally behaves disrespectfully to induce feelings of insecurity in others. Be careful you don’t jump to this assumption immediately. But if you have done all you can and you still feel the way you do, it may be time to leave the relationship behind you.
Open and honest communication is vital for all healthy relationships. Remember, you are allowed an opinion, and you are entitled to express your feelings.
We can’t expect other people to be telepathic, so it is our responsibility to express what we want and expect. We can also ask what they expect from us.
My partner recently told me he feels I’m more interested in my mobile phone than in him. Whilst this is not the case, I can understand how he may feel like this. I have spent too much time on my mobile phone recently. I took his comment on board. Now I make a point of leaving my mobile in a different room in the evening.
My partner could have avoided saying anything and allowed his frustration to build up. But by communicating honestly we rectified a potential issue.
2. Claim it, don’t blame it
It is very easy to go on the attack when we feel insecure.
Read these 2 sentences and recognize the difference in them.
- “You make me so angry when you flirt with other women.”
- “I feel disrespected with the amount of time you spend speaking to other women”
Can you see the difference?
The first example is full of blame and puts the responsibility for your feelings on the other person. The second example has greater ownership and accountability.
No one else is in charge of our feelings. Believe it or not, we choose how to feel. Yes, we may be triggered by someone else, but it is up to us how we react. When we take responsibility for feelings and express this, we minimize blame.
This helps open up an honest conversation. When we feel blamed we are more likely to respond defensively. When we hear our actions have resulted in negative feelings in another, we are more likely to take their feelings on board. This results in positive behavior change and removes reasons to feel insecure.
3. Avoid game playing
Game playing in relationships just leads to hurt and suffering. It never ends well.
Examples of game playing include:
- Hiding feelings.
- Trying to induce jealousy.
- Not being honest.
- Being purposefully evasive.
This list is almost the opposite of what defines a healthy relationship. People who play games want to claim back power in a relationship or maintain a position of advantage.
When we feel insecure, we are more likely to use games. Please don’t do this, nothing good ever comes from playing games.
If you feel someone is playing games with you, address it immediately. It is likely a true game player will deny this and possibly even gaslight you. But be astute. If nothing changes, and your gut tells you they are playing games, then they likely are. In that case, here's an interesting article on how to let go of a friend.
4. Invest in yourself
How can we expect to be loved if we don’t love ourselves?
You are a complete person by yourself. You don’t need anyone to validate you. Have faith in yourself and recognize you are worthy and of value.
Invest time and energy in yourself. This takes the pressure off other people.
There are many ways you can do this, here are a few suggestions:
- Join a community group or sports club and meet new people.
- Start a fitness regime.
- Engage with meditation and yoga.
- Keep a journal.
- Write down 2 things you like about yourself each day.
- Study something that interests you.
When you learn to become your own best friend you take the pressure off others around you. You become self-sufficient with love.
Investing in yourself will build your self-esteem and confidence.
5. Don’t settle
This one is vitally important.
Remember we talked about the self-fulfilling prophecy associated with the feeling someone is going to leave us. These feelings can cause us to push people away and behave in a way that makes people leave us.
On a similar note, don’t hold onto people out of sheer fear that they may leave. Consider if they are worth holding on to? If you are blindly clinging on, it’s time to open your eyes.
Are they worth holding on to? Consider if your relationship meets the standards of a healthy relationship, as we discussed earlier.
Maybe you aren’t compatible, maybe you are trying to force oil and water to mix.
Do not settle. Compromises in relationships are essential, but if you are making all the compromises and you feel squashed as a person, don’t settle. Leave this relationship and focus on yourself first.
I spent too long in a previous relationship. I desperately wanted the relationship to work. But I sacrificed myself in the process. I didn’t like the person I was in that relationship, but I love who I am now.
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Feeling insecure in a relationship can dull our spirit and steal our joy. We all deserve healthy relationships in which we feel loved and respected for who we are. Feeling insecure in a relationship can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. It can result in the demise of a relationship if we don’t take action to rectify our insecurity.
Do you ever feel insecure in a relationship? How do you address those feelings? Do you have a tip that you want to share with others? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!