How to Deal with Your Own Insecurity
In intimate relationships, insecurity is like a grenade.
Your evening can be going great and suddenly your holding that grenade and feeling a little paralyzed.
Our first instinct is often to get angry at someone for "making us feel insecure" with whatever they did. Maybe he complimented her dress and not yours, or maybe he laughed at her joke a little too hard.
Insecurity is just fear in another costume: Fear of rejection and, at a deep level, fear of abandonment.
Just like road rage, when we get so angry with someone for making us feel afraid, we still have to manage our emotions lest we do collateral damage. Breathe and follow these steps:
1. Acknowledge the fear. Say it out loud if you must: Hey Fear, what's up?
2. Remind yourself you are whole and perfect no matter what happens with your relationship. Not to be morbid, but all relationships end (in this dimension) whether it's through death or a break up. You must know on a deep level that you will be ok no matter what. That's what keeps being in a relationship a daily choice and not a form of captivity.
3. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt. I like to say trust his intent. If you're not in relationship with someone you can assume wouldn't want to hurt you on purpose, then you have a bigger problem on your hands. If he stepped on your foot, you would accept his apology and then, even though your foot was still hurting for the next 20 minutes, you wouldn't then start accusing him of doing it on purpose or demanding that he continue to apologize until the pain stops... right? I hope not.
4. Ask for what you need. Maybe you need a reassuring word, or some physical contact, or a few minutes alone to gather yourself. Go on a brisk walk and get out of your paralysis for a minute. It helps, I promise. It can also be as simple as saying, "I just need to feel you by my side right now." He will probably be happy to hear it. This is how these moments can deepen your connection.
Love and Fear cannot exist in the same space. When handed that fear grenade, resist the temptation to pull the pin.
Choose to connect. Choose love.
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Sophie Venable holds a Master's Degree in Marriage & Family Therapy, is a Certified Professional Coach, Author of MYLF 101: Make Your Life Fabulous and Founder of The Real Deal: Courses in Love & Life for Women.