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Insecurities Are Hidden Wounds That Take Time to Heal in Any Relationships

Insecurities Are Hidden Wounds That Take Time to Heal in Any Relationships

It’s no coincidence that media will turn to the childhood stories to seek out where things went wrong when a star has a meltdown. The explanation might just be the attachment theory. This could also be part of the reason your relationships as an adult are suffering today. Find out what it is exactly and how you can help yourself heal from it today.

The attachment theory is the emotional and physical attachment you experience with your mom or dad growing up.[1]It was John Bowlby who first coined the phrase after doing studies on brain development in children. The study showed that when you have a strong bond with one or both of your guardians, you’re mentally more sound. Attachment will connect certain behaviors kids have. This includes seeking out the attachment figure when they feel threatened or afraid. Bowlby studied disturbed children and found that children really do need their mother in particular.

When there is a disconnection at a young age, it causes problems in adult relationships.

You may have unrealistic expectations that cause relationships to break down. Maybe you’ve never thought about what happens within you when anxiety builds up over small things. You may be overly jealous and hate yourself for it. These feelings don’t allow you to have a sense of peace in your life. This problem with attachment, in theory, may cause you to look like the psycho girlfriend or the over protective boyfriend. It may be that you have never known what it feels like to belong to something or feel secure.

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Whether a child feels secure plays an important role in how secure the adult feels.

Author Meghan Laslocky wrote a book about how to deal with heartbreak.[2] She attributed to knowing the ins and outs of the attachment theory. This helps you to understand where these needs come from. Once you know why you’re needing excess love, constant praise, and desperate for intimacy, you can start to move past it.

A child’s intimacy and sense of security with their primary caregiver will play an important role in how secure the adult feels in life.

There are various symptoms that come with a childhood where you weren’t given the proper love you needed.

Fear of intimacy might be one of the problems you have. You might avoid getting into a serious relationship so you don’t have to deal with the deep emotions that lie beneath.

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You never learned to open your heart to someone and the brain tells you it’s unfamiliar. When the brain hasn’t dealt with an experience before, it will produce your fight or flight response.

There’s no need to endure childhood emotions in your adult relationships any longer. There are ways that you can combat your insecure feelings though. You will not only get in touch with your own heart but you can share love with other, without the fear that you might get hurt.

Seeing a therapist about the deepest hurt you have will allow you to unpeel all of those layers.

For so long, you have been covering up your feelings that built up through not feeling loved as a child. Researchers Dr. Phillip Shaver and Dr. Cindy Hazan found that about 60 percent of people have a secure attachment, while 20 percent have an avoidance attachment, and 20 percent have an anxious attachment.[3]

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Seeing a therapist will help you uncover the pain that’s been sitting there for decades. This will allow the healing process to begin and you’ll be given tools to start rebuilding relationships.

There’re also more ways to fix your insecurity in any relationships.

If you believe that your relationships aren’t working because of your childhood experiences, there are some steps you can take.

  • Understand your attachment pattern by doing some research on attachment theory. There is plenty of information online from scientific to deeply emotional accounts. Find what resonates with you. Knowing what you’re dealing with will help you combat it.
  • Seek out friends and partners who exhibit secure attachment, this is the opposite of negative attachment styles. You don’t need a partner in crime full of their own emotional problems. Research has said that half of all adults have secure attachment. It’s believed that a positive experience with a person who is secure will help you deal with your insecurity.
  • If you’ve already fallen in love with someone, built a life, and both have similar issues with attachment, going to couples therapy might be helpful. If you can go through the journey of changing attachment patterns together, you can handle anything.
  • Staying relaxed is essential. With almost any type of therapy, the West has now recognized the need for calmness. The emotions that you experience as you uncover your childhood pain should include yoga and meditation. Centering yourself as you deal with emotional storms is a holistic means of powerful healing.

What you’ll get in return when you do heal is worth it.

Remember that secure attachment in your romantic relationships can extend to the rest of your life. Your interactions with the Starbucks barista can be more enriching. As you open your heart more naturally, you’ll gain more energy in your life.

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If you boost your security, you become more generous and compassionate. That feels really good too. The more you give, the more secure you will become as well.

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

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Loraine Couturier

Content creation and marketing

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Last Updated on October 30, 2019

How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

How the Stages of Change Model Helps You Change Your Habits

Change is tough, there’s no doubt about it. Old habits are hard to shift, and adopting a new lifestyle can feel like an uphill battle!

In this article, you will learn about a simple yet powerful model:

Stages of change model, that explains the science behind personal transformation.

You’ll discover how and why some changes stick whereas others don’t last, and how long it takes to build new habits.

What is the Stages of Change Model?

Developed by researchers J.O. Prochaska and Carlo C. DiClemente over 30 years ago[1] and outlined in their book Changing For Good, the Stages of Change Model, also known as the Transtheoretical Model, was formed as a result of the authors’ research with smokers.

Prochaska and DiClemente were originally interested in the question of why some smokers were able to quit on their own, whereas others required professional help. Their key conclusion was that smokers (or anyone else with a bad habit) quits only when they are ready to do so.

Here’s an illustration done by cartoonist and illustrator Simon Kneebone about the different stages a smoker experiences when they try to quit smoking:

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    The Stages of Change Model looks at how these conscious decisions are made. It emphasizes that change isn’t easy. People can spend a long time stuck in a stage, and some may never reach their goals.[2]

    The model has been applied in the treatment of smoking, alcoholism, and drugs. It is also a useful way of thinking about any bad habit. Social workers, therapists, and psychologists draw on the model to understand their patients’ behaviors, and to explain the change process to the patients themselves.

    The key advantages to the model is that it is simple to understand, is backed by extensive research, and can be applied in many situations.

    The Stages of Change Model is a well-established psychological model that outlines six stages of personal change:

    1. Precontemplation
    2. Contemplation
    3. Determination
    4. Action
    5. Maintenance
    6. Termination

    How are these stages relevant to changing habits?

    To help you visualize the stages of change and how each progresses to the next one, please take a look at this wheel:[3]

      Let’s look at the six stages of change,[4] together with an example that will show you how the model works in practice:

      Stage 1: Precontemplation

      At this stage, an individual does not plan to make any positive changes in the next six months. This may because they are in denial about their problem, feel too overwhelmed to deal with it, or are too discouraged after multiple failed attempts to change.

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      For example, someone may be aware that they need to start exercising, but cannot find the motivation to do so. They might keep thinking about the last time they tried (and failed) to work out regularly. Only when they start to realize the advantages of making a change will they progress to the next stage.

      Stage 2: Contemplation

      At this stage, the individual starts to consider the advantages of changing. They start to acknowledge that altering their habits would probably benefit them, but they spend a lot of time thinking about the downside of doing so. This stage can last for a long time – possibly a year or more.

      You can think of this as the procrastinating stage. For example, an individual begins to seriously consider the benefits of regular exercise, but feels resistant when they think about the time and effort involved. When the person starts putting together a concrete plan for change, they move to the next stage.

      The key to moving from this stage to the next is the transformation of an abstract idea to a belief (e.g. from “Exercise is a good, sensible thing to do” to “I personally value exercise and need to do it.)[5]

      Stage 3: Preparation

      At this point, the person starts to put a plan in place. This stage is brief, lasting a few weeks. For example, they may book a session with a personal trainer and enrol on a nutrition course.

      Someone who drinks to excess may make an appointment with a drug and alcohol counsellor; someone with a tendency to overwork themselves might start planning ways to devise a more realistic schedule.

      Stage 4: Action

      When they have decided on a plan, the individual must then put it into action. This stage typically lasts for several months. In our example, the person would begin attending the gym regularly and overhauling their diet.

      Stage 4 is the stage at which the person’s desire for change becomes noticeable to family and friends. However, in truth, the change process began a long time ago. If someone you know seems to have suddenly changed their habits, it’s probably not so sudden after all! They will have progressed through Stages 1-3 first – you probably just didn’t know about it.

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      Stage 5: Maintenance

      After a few months in the Action stage, the individual will start to think about how they can maintain their changes, and make lifestyle adjustments accordingly. For instance, someone who has adopted the habit of regular workouts and a better diet will be vigilant against old triggers (such as eating junk food during a stressful time at work) and make a conscious decision to protect their new habits.

      Unless someone actively engages with Stage 5, their new habits are liable to come unstuck. Someone who has stuck to their new habits for many months – perhaps a year or longer – may enter Stage 6.

      Maintenance can be challenging because it entails coming up with a new set of habits to lock change in place. For instance, someone who is maintaining their new gym-going habit may have to start improving their budgeting skills in order to continue to afford their gym membership.

      Stage 6: Termination

      Not many people reach this stage, which is characterized by a complete commitment to the new habit and a certainty that they will never go back to their old ways. For example, someone may find it hard to imagine giving up their gym routine, and feel ill at the thought of eating junk food on a regular basis.

      However, for the majority of people, it’s normal to stay in the Maintenance period indefinitely. This is because it takes a long time for a new habit to become so automatic and natural that it sticks forever, with little effort. To use another example, an ex-smoker will often find it hard to resist the temptation to have “just one” cigarette even a year or so after quitting. It can take years for them to truly reach the Termination stage, at which point they are no more likely to smoke than a lifelong non-smoker.

      How long does each stage take?

      You should be aware that some people remain in the same stage for months or even years at a time. Understanding this model will help you be more patient with yourself when making a change. If you try to force yourself to jump from Contemplation to Maintenance, you’ll just end up frustrated. On the other hand, if you take a moment to assess where you are in the change process, you can adapt your approach.

      So if you need to make changes quickly and you are finding it hard to progress to the next stage, it’s probably time to get some professional help or adopt a new approach to forming habits.

      The limitations of this model

      The model is best applied when you decide in advance precisely what you want to achieve, and know exactly how you will measure it (e.g. number of times per week you go to the gym, or number of cigarettes smoked per day). Although the model has proven useful for many people, it does have limitations.

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      Require the ability to set a realistic goal

      For a start, there are no surefire ways of assessing whereabouts in the process you are – you just have to be honest with yourself and use your own judgement. Second, it assumes that you are physically capable of making a change, whereas in fact you might either need to adjust your goals or seek professional help.

      If your goal isn’t realistic, it doesn’t matter whether you follow the stages – you still won’t get results. You need to decide for yourself whether your aims are reasonable.[6]

      Difficult to judge your progress

      The model also assumes that you are able to objectively measure your own successes and failures, which may not always be the case.[7] For instance, let’s suppose that you are trying to get into the habit of counting calories as part of your weight-loss efforts. However, even though you may think that you are recording your intake properly, you might be over or under-estimating.

      Research shows that most people think they are getting enough exercise and eating well, but in actual fact aren’t as healthy as they believe. The model doesn’t take this possibility into account, meaning that you could believe yourself to be in the Action stage yet aren’t seeing results. Therefore, if you are serious about making changes, it may be best to get some expert advice so that you can be sure the changes you are making really will make a positive difference.

      Conclusion

      The Stages Of Change Model can be a wonderful way to understand change in both yourself and others.

      While there’re some limitations in it, the Stages of Change Model helps to visualize how you go through changes so you know what to expect when you’re trying to change a habit or make some great changes in life.

      Start by identifying one of your bad habits. Where are you in the process? What could you do next to move forwards?

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Psych Central: Stages Of Change
      [2] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
      [3] Empowering Change: Stages of Change
      [4] Boston University School Of Public Health: The Transtheoretical Model (Stages Of Change)
      [5] Psychology Today: 5 Steps To Changing Any Behavior
      [6] The Transtheoretical Model: Limitations Of The Transtheoretical Model
      [7] Health Education Research: Transtheoretical Model & Stages Of Change: A Critique

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