If you feel confused by the question of “how do I stop being insecure in my relationship?” you’re not alone.
When you are insecure at times with your partner, it can limit how connected you feel in your relationship. In this article, you will learn 3 therapeutic ways to feel more confident with your partner.
How to Stop Being Insecure
It makes sense you would want to learn how to stop being insecure in your relationship. But the first step is reframing the question.
Learning how to completely eliminate any insecurities is putting tremendous pressure on yourself. After all, experiencing insecurity at times is a part of being human. All people sometimes feel self-doubt, anxious, or afraid of losing a loved one.
There is Nothing Wrong with You
While it’s uncomfortable to feel insecure in your relationship at times, you are not alone. Feeling insecure isn’t a sign something’s wrong or broken about you. And these feelings don’t need to be “fixed.” Rather you get to care for them.
Toxic positivity sometimes sends the message that you should always feel confident and happy. But truthfully, this isn’t how human emotions work. Rather we get to make choices about the emotions we turn up – or turn down. This is all about how we cope with emotions like insecurity rather than putting pressure on yourself to never feel insecure in the first place.
You Can Have Insecurities and Be Confident in Your Relationship
In life, few things are truly all or nothing. Rather often many things which seem like opposites can be true at the same time. This is dialectical thinking. You can, for example, trust your partner and sometimes feel insecure in your relationship.
You can also have insecurities and still be confident in your relationship. This duality requires though that you learn to care for your insecurities effectively.
Confidence is not the absence of all human insecurity – it’s the coping well with it.
Tip #1 for How to Manage Relationship Insecurity Well: Practice Self-Compassion
The first step to learning how to cope well with insecurity in your relationship when it arises is to give yourself grace.
When you feel insecure, sometimes, the last thing you want to do is be kind to yourself. It can feel more natural to judge yourself or your emotions. You may think you need to just be better. Yet judging yourself when you feel insecure only reinforces these feelings!
After all, the more you reject yourself, the more you anticipate others will do the same.
Being Kind to Yourself
Self-compassion is an amazing therapy tool for learning how to give yourself grace. Fundamentally, you speak to yourself with kindness and accept you are human when you are self-compassionate.
Related: What is self-compassion?
To accept your are human means a number of things. Firstly, it’s about understanding that all people feel uncomfortable emotions including insecurity at times.
Letting Go of Perfectionism
Another part of accepting your humanity is to accept that all human beings are inherently imperfect. And, dialectically, all human beings have innate – and equal – worth and value. This is true even as Western culture is highly competitive and teaches us to constantly compare the ways we are “better” – or “worse” than others.
Feeling total self-love, or confidence, is not living with the absence of insecurity. This is true just like you can deeply love your partner while still naturally judging or resenting them at times. (Another dialectical truth.) It’s what you do with these natural human emotions which makes all the difference not pressuring yourself to never feel this way.
When you practice accepting that you, like everyone else, is imperfect, you can better cope with insecurities. You can feel insecure and still treat yourself with total love and care. This brings us to the next tip for managing insecurity in your relationship.
Tip #2 for How to Manage Relationship Insecurity Well: Choose Your Thoughts
When you are feeling insecure in your relationship, have you ever noticed that your thoughts seem to become preoccupied with the things you judge about yourself?
Then maybe as you fill your mind with these judgmental or critical thoughts, you seem to find more examples to “prove” exactly what you’re insecure about? Like maybe you’re afraid of being cheated on then all of a sudden it seems like every show you put on is about cheating? Thus “proving” that you will be cheated on?
Crawling Out of the Rabbit Hole
This rabbit hole type of thinking is natural and human. All human beings have this tendency for confirmation bias.
When you know this is a natural way of thinking, you can better care for yourself when you do feel insecure. You can choose to focus on more helpful thoughts. You can also set boundaries on unhelpful thoughts.
Changing the Channel
When you are insecure, you can be kind to yourself. And, at the same time, you can practice a helpful therapy skill called “thought stopping.”
Basically, this skill is simply noticing when you are thinking in a way which feeds your insecurity. Next you can pause and redirect your thoughts. You can do this in any way that changes your focus i.e., cooking a meal, talking to a friend, or going to a workout class to name just a few examples.
The most important thing with thought stopping is you don’t let yourself stay on the channel that’s upsetting you. Here’s an example:
Focusing On What You Like About Yourself
Another way to change the channel is to build your focus on what you like about yourself. All human beings embody a unique combination of beautiful, amazing qualities alongside ones that they may feel embarrassed about.
Sadly, when we feel insecure, we dim our beautiful authentic light and fixate on the “problems.” You can create a practice of focusing on your accomplishments and awesome qualities.
Related: How to Be Your Authentic Self
Maybe you could start a journal where you keep track of things you have done well or things you are grateful about when it comes to your qualities or your life? You may, for instance, feel grateful that you are a loving person with a big heart.
Or you can cultivate self-worth with a free daily journal worksheet you can access here:
Tip #3 for How to Manage Relationship Insecurity Well: Communicate with Your Partner
Learning how to be appropriately vulnerable is a part of healthy intimacy.
When you are appropriately vulnerable with your partner about your insecurities, you work to find a middle ground. You want to ensure you are open with them so they may understand you. This also helps them support you when you’re feeling insecure.
At the same time, you want to find balance to ensure you are not talking to them about your insecurities all the time. Or expecting them to constantly reassure you.
Name It to Tame It
Sometimes, the simple act of being open about the things you are most embarrassed or insecure actually lets you feel better.
Instead of trying to fight your insecure feelings, hiding them or judging them, you may find peace by being open about them. When you are appropriately vulnerable with your partner, and receive their support, you may feel closer to them naturally.
Being open about tough emotions is a part of true intimacy. And fostering this closeness with your partner can act as a powerful antidote to feeling insecure in your relationship! You may even find that they validate your feelings by sharing they sometimes feel this way too! They are human after all.
Express Your Needs
Sometimes, when you are being open and accepting of your insecurity, you may notice a boundary you need to set.
Of course, you don’t have the right to control or change your partner even if you feel insecure. Instead you have the right to share your concerns and needs.
For example, you don’t have the right to prevent your partner from hanging out with friends without you. However, you may ask if they’d be willing to send you a couple texts throughout their evening with friends to stay connected with them. (Then if you’re obsessing while they’re out this is a great time to practice thought stopping.)
Coping Well with Insecurity in Your Relationship
Three main tools to manage relationship insecurity were identified in this article. However, to clarify how to best cope with insecurity in your relationship you can follow these steps:
- Accept you will feel insecure at times – it’s human and natural
- Be kind to yourself when you feel insecure rather than critical or telling yourself to “get over it”
- Choose your thoughts mindfully – set boundaries on unhelpful thoughts
- Openly communicate in an appropriately vulnerable way
- Accept you don’t have the right to change your partner
- Identify your needs and negotiate with your partner
Progress Not Perfection
You truly are capable of learning to manage relationship insecurity well. But remember, you can’t do this process perfectly nor can you eliminate these feelings entirely. It’s completely natural to feel insecure at times in a relationship especially when the other person means a lot to you!
You can cope well though! Practice these skills to ensure you are staying kind to yourself and your partner when you’re feeling insecure.
About The Author
Krystal Mazzola Wood, LMFT is a practicing relationship therapist with over a decade of experience. Currently, Krystal sees clients at her private practice, The Healthy Relationship Foundation. She has dedicated her entire career to empowering people to heal from unhealthy relationship processes. She does this by teaching the skills and tools necessary to have a life filled with healthy and loving relationships.
This passion led her to write her best-selling books and create courses. Her books, The Codependency Recovery Plan: A 5-Step Guide to Understand, Accept, and Break Free from the Codependent Cycle and The Codependency Workbook: Simple Practices for Developing and Maintaining Your Independence have helped many people heal.
Her third book, Therapy Within Reach: Setting Boundaries, will be released September, 2023.
If you have any personal dating or relationship questions, Krystal is happy to provide advice using her expertise and compassion. If you feel comfortable, feel free to leave any questions in the comments of this post. Otherwise, you may send an email to email@example.com or DM her on Instagram. Your name and any other identifying information will always be kept confidential.
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