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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

What You Really Need to Feel Secure in a Relationship

What You Really Need to Feel Secure in a Relationship

People who are insecure in their relationships do irrational things all the time. Texting their partner a million times in a row. Or calling to check in constantly. Maybe they try to keep track of their partner’s whereabouts, even checking their email or Facebook messages when possible. Maybe you’ve experienced this, either as the insecure one, or the person dating the insecure one. Or maybe you’ve even been both, in different relationships.

Even if these aren’t the signs of a the healthiest relationships, these behaviors are common to make people feel more secure in a relationship. After getting a response back from the partner over text, Facebook, or an actual call, they feel better.

The problem is that people end up making a habit of these actions, repeat them over and over again to stay secure. These little actions, as innocuous as they are, can damage a relationship. Some might feel annoyed by their partners always checking up on them. Some might feel like there is a deep trust issue that hasn’t been solved.

The Origin of Insecurity

Imagine a world where everyone holds a certain amount of fuel in their hands. At the same time, a fire is lit in their heart and that fire needs constant fueling to survive.

Every single person will find their compatible person, someone who can find the fuel with which they can keep the other’s fire on.

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    Sometimes it’s a smooth exchange of fuel. Individuals find others like family members or friends to keep their fires lit and going.

      But many times, people refuse to give them fuel.

        These people could be their parents who failed to give them enough attention when they were still a child. Childhood development depends so much on a child’s ability to form a strong relationship with a caregiver.[1] It’s crucial for babies and children to survive by attaching to a caretaker. If children grow up without being paid enough attention by their caretaker, they can easily grow up to feel insecure and have trouble trusting other people. Feeling abandoned as a child, they might even doubt their own worthiness and a strong fear of being unwanted.

        Or it could be people who made them feel rejected in previous relationships. Being rejected or betrayed by a friend or romantic partner makes people feel unwanted. They feel hurt and even doubt their own self-worth. They can find it difficult to open up to others and trust anyone else. And when they find trusting other people hard, they will inevitably feel insecure in a relationship.

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        As time goes on, their fire gets smaller as they lack fuel.

          When, finally, someone suitable is there to give them the fuel, they seek a lot from this partner – sometimes, too much.

            In order to ensure a constant supply of fuel, they do everything they can: this is when they might start checking their partner’s texts or messages, or call too often. They can’t trust their partner because of what happened in their past.

            But when they demand so much fuel, it drains the other person.

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              And so all those things that someone does to try to feel more secure can annoy or hurt the other person. For example, they may fight a lot over small things because of moments of insecurity. Both will be exhausted: one demanding a lot of fuel, and the other trying to always supply the great demand.

              As you see, insecurity doesn’t come from the current relationship or partner. It comes, instead, from the inner fear of being abandoned, not being loved, and not being valued. This feeling is built up along the way.

              Where to Look for Security

              The fire within a person is insecurity, and the fuel is a way to feel secure.

              Waiting for another person to give you fuel is just chock full of insecurities. When other don’t want to do so, or their fuel doesn’t work well for you, your fire will become smaller. When your security depends on someone else, you give away all of your power. This is why when you’re rejected, neglected, or betrayed, you feel insecure.

              Giving yourself the fuel you need is how to make your own security really sustainable.

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              1. Fuel Your Own Fire

                Maybe you felt rejected when you were small. Or in you previous relationship, others made you feel unimportant or didn’t respect you. They didn’t reflect your self-worth.

                When you feel insecure, you are often focused on something you feel is lacking about you. For example, when you don’t feel good about who you are on the inside, it is totally natural to look outside of yourself for validation.

                But this isn’t a good way to stay self-sufficient. Instead, do something to make yourself feel good and secure, and you will no longer look outside for validation. Get a haircut, go to an interest class, and do what you’re good at. If you want to know more about how to feel good about yourself, read We Don’t Need More Likes, We Need Self-Esteem.

                2. Keep Your Fuel Independent From Your Partner’s

                  Even when you’re in a relationship, it’s crucial to keep your independence. Any health relationship is comprised of two healthy people. Becoming overly enmeshed in a relationship can lead to badly-defined boundaries. You’ll have an overly diffuse sense of your own needs.

                  When you aren’t dependent on your relationship to fill your needs, you feel more secure about your life. It’s important to maintain a sense of self-identity and take care of your own needs. If you had hobbies and passions prior to your relationship, keep maintaining them. For example, if you’re a runner, continue getting up early and making that a priority in your life. Having your own life outside of a relationship also make you continually interesting and helps you to grow.

                  Everyone has what they need to feel secure. Most people don’t realize it and try to look for it from others. But relying on others to make you feel secure is not healthy and will drain a relationship. Do what makes you feel confident and worthy, stop looking for others’ validation and you’ll find the security you’ve always needed. Light your own fire.

                  Reference

                  [1] Psychologist Word: Attachment Theory

                  More by this author

                  Anna Chui

                  Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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                  Last Updated on March 14, 2019

                  7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                  7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                  Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

                  For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

                  Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

                  1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

                  A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

                  It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

                  It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

                  How it helps you:

                  If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

                  Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

                  2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

                  Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

                  Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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                  How it helps you:

                  Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

                  Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

                  If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

                  Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

                  3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

                  Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

                  Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

                  How it helps you:

                  This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

                  For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

                  Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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                  A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

                  4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

                  To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

                  A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

                  How it helps you:

                  One word: hierarchy.

                  All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

                  In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

                  If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

                  5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

                  Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

                  Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

                  How it helps you:

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                  Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

                  If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

                  This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

                  6. What do you like about working here?

                  This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

                  Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

                  How it helps you:

                  You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

                  Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

                  Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

                  7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

                  What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

                  As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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                  How it helps you:

                  What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

                  First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

                  Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

                  Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

                  Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

                  Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

                  Making Your Interview Work for You

                  Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

                  Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

                  More Resources About Job Interviews

                  Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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