Relationships are an essential element of the human experience. Biologically, we are social creatures… in other words, we aren’t hardwired for isolation.
Consider our experiences. When born we immediately become part of a family, are raised with our siblings, play with other kids, attend schools, build friendships, meet a boy or girl we like, fall in love, get married, have kids, go to work, meet and befriend co-workers, become “besties”…and so on.
Being social creatures, it’s natural to consider what others think about us. We value acceptance, appreciate love, and fear rejection. We want respect, loyalty, and honesty. Because of the value that we place on relationships, we fear the loss of these relationships. When we fear the loss of relationships, we can become insecure.
When we love another man or woman, we can become insecure. And when we build strong friendships, we can become insecure. After all, we’ve devoted our time, energy, and heart into our relationships, and we’re certainly not going to squander them…right?
Well, in holding on so tight, you may be becoming more vulnerable to losing someone. Human beings value relationships, but we also value trust. Part of this is being mindful of other people’s need to feel that they have the benefit of the doubt…and they should until they prove otherwise.
Here are 4 ways to start feeling more secure in your relationship…
1. Understand personality and communication
Lack of communication is the crux of a multitude of problems in relationships. Part of this is because we all have different personalities and minds that form how we communicate. Personality differences can also create difficulties in our relationships. The key is understanding these differences.
Introverts (those that value solitude), for example, may not say more than a few words to you all day long. This doesn’t mean they don’t care about your relationship; they just don’t express their thoughts all that much. Extroverts (those that value social interaction) will often express something verbally before the thought is even fully formed in their minds. We can build great relationships with people on both ends of the spectrum, as long as we are willing and able to understand them.
Introversion and extroversion are each just one of the many elements of personality that can lead to misconceptions about your relationship someone. The important takeaway is this: learn about the people that you build relationships with. Be observant. Learn about their communication styles, personalities, moods, and habits. Doing so will help avoid potential conflict down the road while strengthening your understanding of that person and your relationship with them.
2. Discard Perfectionism
Realistic expectations of people are necessary if you’re going to have good relationships. When focusing on someone’s faults, you are never going to be fully satisfied being associated with them.
Human beings are perfect in only one way: being imperfect. Faults are an inherent element of being human. We are raised differently, educated differently, culturally different, and our experiences are different. Some have certain “advantages” in some areas and “disadvantages” in others.
In a nutshell, we all have different traits that create our being. Perfection is a myth, and trying to live vicariously through someone else – which is essentially what we are doing when seeking perfect relationships (as no one is perfect) – will always result in a sense of emptiness, disappointment and, if not careful, loneliness.
In the end, it’s not about finding the perfect person in a relationship…it’s about finding the imperfect person that happens to be perfect for you.
3. Trust…trust…then trust some more
Countless relationships continue to end because one person is incapable of trusting the other. Usually, this is the result of bad experiences in past relationships. We often see this in dating and in marriage, when one partner has experienced emotional or physical neglect or abuse. This kind of experience makes it very difficult to fully place your trust in another individual, especially in a romantic relationship.
Vulnerability is the one real, underlying fear when a lack of trust is present. However, without the strength to make ourselves vulnerable, healthy relationships simply aren’t possible. The truth is that we are all vulnerable in relationships… there is no way around this. Ultimately, it is up to us to decide if this emotional vulnerability is worth the cost of placing our trust in another person.
When it comes to having a fruitful relationship, trust should be given until there is a reason not to. We simply have to use our judgment and hope for the best. Being vulnerable allows us to enjoy our good relationships and learn from the bad ones.
4. Focus on the positives
Worry, anxiety, loneliness, jealousy, and other negative emotions and thoughts will assuredly bring insecurity into your relationships. Instead, focus on the positive elements of your relationships. After all, relationships are meant to be enjoyed and appreciated, not approached with apprehension and fear.
This also means understanding that negative events can (and almost do) occur in positive relationships. There are always going to be some difficulties in a relationship, but that doesn’t mean that we should focus exclusively on these difficulties. Neither does it mean that the relationship should end because of them. Don’t overthink these circumstances.
Obviously, there are extenuating circumstances – emotional or physical abuse, for example, that may require reevaluating a situation. However, minor bumps in the road are not sufficient reasons to cut someone out of your life.
Insecure people are always looking for something negative in a relationship in order to protect themselves. The problem is that they always seem to find what they’re looking for. People that build quality relationships seek and understand the positives in their relationships with others and build upon those positives.
When we choose to accept the people in our lives, we are choosing to accept the “bad” things too. When we choose to fully accept someone, the quality of our relationships will grow, as will our happiness.
Have and show appreciation for the positive things in your relationships, including the entire person. Focus on their strong qualities, be an advocate and support them, and watch your relationships flourish.