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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

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                  Anna Chui

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

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                  Last Updated on July 3, 2020

                  30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

                  30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

                  In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

                  1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

                  Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

                  2. Focus on your breath

                  Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

                  3. Get organized and purge old items

                  A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

                  4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

                  Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

                  5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

                  Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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                  6. Smile more

                  Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

                  7. Don’t worry about the future

                  As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

                  8. Eat real food

                  The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

                  9. Choose being happy over being right

                  Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

                  10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

                  Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

                  11. Make use of filtering features on social media

                  You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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                  12. Get comfortable with silence

                  When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

                  13. Listen to understand, not to respond

                  So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

                  14. Put your troubles in a bubble

                  Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

                  15. Speak more slowly

                  Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

                  16. Don’t procrastinate

                  Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

                  17. Buy a coloring book

                  Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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                  18. Prioritize yourself

                  You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

                  19. Forgive others

                  Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

                  20. Check your expectations

                  Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

                  21. Engage in active play

                  Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

                  22. Stop criticizing yourself

                  The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

                  23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

                  Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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                  24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

                  Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

                  25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

                  Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

                  26. Manage your money

                  Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

                  27. Stop trying to control everything

                  Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

                  28. Practice affirmations

                  Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

                  29. Get up before sunrise

                  Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

                  30. Be yourself

                  Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

                  Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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