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9 Ways To Be Less Clingy In Your Relationship

9 Ways To Be Less Clingy In Your Relationship

It’s no secret that relationships are tricky. Even if you feel like you’ve found the right person for you, it can be hard to find the right balance between closeness and personal space. While that fine line is different for everyone, if you find yourself tending towards the clingy side, here are nine ways to reel in that clinginess and give your partner some room.

1. Work on any trust issues you have

It can sound like a no-brainer, but it’s incredibly important to trust your partner. If you don’t trust him or her, then it will be impossible to let your partner have the space to be who he or she really is. Not having trust in your significant other can make him or her feel less secure about the relationship and lead to feelings of resentment. Trust is key to maintaining a good, long-term relationship that will make both of you happy. Placing trust in your partner can mean anything from not constantly asking where he or she is during the day, to reminding yourself that even getting frustrated with this new step is good for your relationship, even when it doesn’t seem like it is.

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2. Let people have their space

Love does not mean you and your partner need to be attached at the hip. For many couples, too much closeness can put a strain on the relationship. While sharing — thoughts, feelings, space, whatever — is definitely good in any relationship, too much sharing can make your significant other feel trapped. No one wants to suffocate in a relationship. It’s best to give your partner the space he or she needs. That way, your partner is less likely to associate your relationship with negative feelings, which makes the relationship stronger in the long run.

3. Focus on yourself

Take some time to really center your thoughts on yourself. It’s amazing how much we can learn about ourselves and our feelings if we just take the time to think about things alone. Take some time to focus your thoughts inward. Time alone can really help you not only feel centered and rested, but it can also show your significant other that you’re not dependent on him or her for happiness. Dependency can lead to one partner feeling more responsible in the relationship than the other, which can lead to major problems in the future.

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4. Pursue what interests you

Clinginess can often become a problem for those whose lives center solely around their partner. It’s important to prioritize your own goals and interests. Not only do these give you something to focus your attention on, but they also provide a healthy outlet for your energy. Instead of focusing too much on your partner, try turning it more towards something constructive. This will give your significant other a little breathing room, while still maintaining a balanced relationship.

5. Manage your anxiety

If you’re prone to anxiety or nerves, it can be easy to turn to your partner as a way to ease that discomfort. However, this can make your partner feel too responsible for your happiness, and can be an inconstant way to manage your feelings. Instead, try turning that anxiety into something positive and consistent, such as a daily ritual or activity. Simply doing habitual tasks can ease anxious feelings and leave you with more positive energy to put into the relationship. If you find yourself chronically anxious or with feelings that cannot be managed easily, speak to a doctor.

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6. Keep your body language in check

We often use body language to communicate affection, such as holding hands or adopting an open posture around those we care about. However, body language can also be a warning sign. Clinginess can be physical, just as much as it can be emotional and psychological. If you find yourself constantly needing to touch your partner, even as a reassurance that they’re still there, it can be problematic. Some people may feel physically held back or reserved if they are touched too much, so make sure you’re respecting your partner’s boundaries.

7. Build up confidence in yourself

Self-confidence can go a long way in ensuring that you feel good in a relationship. People with more self-confidence are less likely to cling to others as a way of validating themselves. Consider practicing positive thinking and self-love. If you respect and love yourself, it makes it that much easier for others to do the same.

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8. Develop your social networking

Often, clinginess can derive from too much of one thing. If you feel like your significant other is the only person you see anymore, it might be a sign that you need to diversify your social scene. Whether it’s going out with friends, joining a book club, or just paying your parents a visit, getting out there and talking to other people can help steer you away from clingy behavior.

9. Talk about it

While it’s always good to talk things over with your partner, working through your clinginess might help you arrive at a solution that you’re both comfortable with. Maybe your partner has a problem with one specific aspect of your behavior, or feels uncomfortable about something. Letting him or her know that you’re willing to work on the problem together lets your partner know that you care about them and their comfort in the relationship. If you work on things together, it’s more likely that you’ll be able to solve the problem at hand and become less clingy in a way that ends up strengthening your relationship.

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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