The Anxious Lover: Stop Feeling Insecure And Get The Love You Crave | HuffPost Life
Parents who struggle with anxiety may end up with children who struggle with There is also a relationship component to consider and which can Again, from Raising A Secure Child: “working hard at parenting from a. Additionally, attachment anxiety was associated with different pattern For instance, security priming was associated with positive mood, relationship goals Working memory (WM), being one of these processes, refers to the. Most of us can relate to having heightened anxiety over thoughts of rejection. acts as an internal working model for how he or she expects relationships to work . of abandonment make better choices that can help them create more security.
Below you can see how clear my relationship reinforces this. So why was I so obsessed with her?
Why couldn't I move on, even though I know I should? Because my beliefs about myself reinforced my insecurity. We often blame ourselves for the lack of responsiveness from those we love. It reinforces our feelings of unworthiness.
Any negative feelings we have about the relationship are turned inward. We put our partners on a pedestal and we make extreme compromises to keep the relationship.
This is why we quickly become relationship chameleons or use sex to validate our worth. At the heart of it, we don't believe we are good enough to be loved, so we adapt rather quickly. In my relationship above, I quickly adopted my girlfriend's vegan lifestyle habits.
Anxious lovers often use their adaptability to pick up new hobbies, values, or passions that bring them closer to our partners, even if they don't care about it. I'm not vegan now.
I only did it because she cared about it and I thought it was a way to bring me closer to her. I was unaware of that at the time, though. Eventually we lose ourself in the relationship. Our partners stop finding us attractive. We are no longer the person they fell in love with.
We are a copycat version of them. So how can keep our sense of self? How can we stop hiding our true feelings in fear of rejection? After all, it is our fear of rejection that causes us to tolerate behavior that makes us feel insecure in the first place.
Overcoming Insecurity in Relationships
There are two separate roads that lead to gaining security in our relationships. The first route is to find a healthy lover. Someone who offers reassurance when we feel insecure. Someone who isn't afraid of intimacy and will get as close as we want. He keeps needing it! It'll never stop and it's exhausting. Once we get the security that our partner is invested into our relationship and cares about our well-being, we actually turn our attention outside the relationship.
We go on to start businesses. We take on new hobbies. This called the dependency paradox of relationships. Over time our beliefs slowly change, and we stop worrying because we get the reassurance we truly need on a consistent and reliable basis. We stop fearing that our partner finds us overbearing. We stop behaving in ways that avoid conflict to get reassurance. Anxious lovers often avoid conflict or compromise to gain reassurance that their partner will stay with them, even at the cost of things they deeply care about.
The problem is we find those secure individuals to be repulsive.
They make us feel calm because they are direct, vulnerable, and honest about what they feel. This doesn't match our beliefs. Our life experiences have confused our insecurity, uncertainty, and anxiety in our prior relationships for passion. So when we are faced with someone who is comfortable with closeness and is direct about what they want, we push them away.
Instead, we fall for someone who is emotionally unavailable. Someone who makes us uncertain. Someone who pushes us away at the very moment we need closeness. Someone who implements a "no-contact" rule for a week or months.
Someone who treats us like our needs don't matter. Reinforcing the belief that we are too much to be loved. So when we find ourselves in the middle of this road, still struggling to find that secure partner, we need to stop.
Once bitten, twice shy. Part of her knew that her new man was decent, caring, and honest, but the emotional bit of Emma felt that it was "just a matter of time" before things went wrong. Is he going to finish with me?
Anxiety in the Uncertain Relationship: Why You Have It and How to Overcome It
Has he met someone else? If I don't know exactly where he is I get suspicious. He constantly has to reassure me. What can I do?
Fear of Abandonment: Overcoming the Fear of Being Left Alone
Insecurity drives people to become too 'clingy' or needy and this creates problems. Feeling insecure in a relationship is natural up to a point, at least until the relationship "settles".
Let's look at this in more depth: A security issue When we enter an intimate relationship we can feel very emotionally vulnerable; especially if we have felt let down or hurt in previous relationships. Will they reject me?
Have I done something to upset them? This is just too good to last! These are the typical thoughts and feelings of the chronically insecure partner. Being insecure is a whole lot of hard work. So what does it involve?
- The Anxious Lover: Stop Feeling Insecure And Get The Love You Crave
- Overcoming Insecurity in Relationships
Seeing problems where none exist When we become anxious about anything, we start looking for signs of things 'going wrong' nervous flyers look out for signs that the aircraft is in trouble. And, of course, we usually find what we're looking for, even if it isn't really there at all.
We perform constant monitoring: Why did they say that? Who's this other person they've mentioned? Should I feel threatened? Are they less attentive? Why did they pause after I suggested we meet up? Emma said she had often felt inadequate and "not good enough" to be with her current partner. She couldn't possibly understand what he could see in her.
Where does fear of abandonment come from?
She also told me she had ended many previous relationships because of her insecurity. But we all need the comforts and support that intimacy can bring us. So what can you do if insecurity is blighting your relationships? The insecure flyer will hear the normal mechanism of the air conditioning and twist it within their imagination to signify impending doom via crash and burn.
Daniel Siegel talks about the importance of creating a coherent narrative in helping individuals feel more secure and strengthened within themselves. When people make sense of their past, they may be less likely to feel such intense, knee-jerk fear of abandonment.
However, even when they do feel fear, they are far better able to calm themselves down. They can identify where their fear comes from and where it belongs, and they can take actions that are more rational and appropriate to the reality of their present lives.
They can enhance and strengthen their relationships rather reacting with fear and insecurity and creating the distance they so fear. Strategies to calm down when you experience fear of abandonment Every one of us has fears about being left alone. Another general practice to adopt is that of self-compassion. Kristin Neff has done studies, revealing countless benefits of self-compassion.
Rather, it involves three main elements: This refers to the idea that people should be kind, as opposed to judgmental, toward themselves. This sounds simple in theory but is much more difficult in practice. We can all be a better friend to ourselves, even if we feel hurt or abandoned by someone else. Being mindful is helpful, because it helps people not to over-identify with their thoughts and feelings in ways that allow them to get carried away.
When people feel afraid of something like being abandoned, they tend to have a lot of mean thoughts toward themselves perpetuating this fear. Imagine if you could acknowledge these thoughts and feelings without letting them overtake you. Could you take a gentler attitude toward yourself and let these thoughts pass like clouds in the sky instead of floating off with them — without losing your sense of yourself and, often, reality?
The more each of us can accept that we are human and, like all humans, we will struggle in our lives, the more self-compassion and strength we can cultivate. The more individuals can trace these feelings to their roots in their past, the more they can separate these experiences from the present. It takes courage for someone to be willing to see what hurt them and face the primal feelings of abandonment they may have had as children when they had no control over their situation.
However, when people are able to face these feelings, they can essentially set themselves free from many of the chains of their past. They can become differentiated adults, who are able to create new stories and new relationships in which they feel safe, seen, soothed, and therefore, secure.