Insecurities in a relationship are common feelings that nearly everyone will experience at some point in their lives, and they can stem from a variety of sources. It typically manifests as a lack of confidence, anxiety, and uncertainty. Working to accurately identify and address insecurities allows a person to reduce their negative impact, find renewed security and stability, and develop a long-term sense of worth that propels them towards happiness and improved well-being.
What Exactly are Insecurities?
According to the American Psychological Association, insecurities are multifaceted. It refers to an overall sense of insecurity or anxiety about your worth, abilities, skills, and value as a person; it conveys the message that you are at risk or in danger of something or someone. Insecurity can have a negative physical, mental, or emotional impact. You can’t achieve full trust or function to your full potential if you don’t have security.
Symptoms of insecurities:
- An overwhelming sense of inadequacy
- A lack of self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth
- Feeling incapable or ill-equipped to deal with stressors
- Generally pessimistic about the world
- Concerned about their interpersonal relationships
Insecurities can have a big impact on your life, relationships, and self-esteem. If you want to talk to a therapist or a couple’s counselor about how your insecurities are affecting you. We’ll assist you in locating a supportive, experienced therapist who is dedicated to your well-being.
Types of Insecurity
Insecurities can arise from a variety of sources and spread throughout your life. Because of the various causes and effects, one person’s insecurity may appear completely different from another’s. Not all types of insecurity fit neatly into categories, but some of the most common types of insecurity include relationship insecurity, social insecurity, body image insecurity, job insecurity, and basic needs insecurity.
When a person is insecure in a relationship, he or she is unwilling to be vulnerable and willing to put their trust in others. An insecure person may be unable to trust what someone says or that they will follow through on promised behaviors and activities. These issues have an impact not only on the individual but also on the people with whom they are attempting to form relationships.
In most cases, social insecurity is characterized by a lack of confidence in one’s own ability to perform well and succeed in social situations. Social insecurity, like other forms, is primarily a result of a person’s anxiety about what might happen in the future, rather than what has happened in the past. Often, the signs and symptoms of social insecurity will overlap with those of social anxiety.
Someone with social insecurities may be concerned about:
- Having an awkward appearance
- Making a hurtful or inappropriate remark
- Not being intelligent enough to contribute to the discussion
- Lack of comprehension of jokes
Body Image Insecurity
Those who are self-conscious about their physical appearance will struggle to accurately perceive their physical appearance. Instead of having a balanced view of their characteristics, they may spend an inordinate amount of time and energy worrying about their appearance. Specific anxieties may be widespread, or they may concentrate on a single part of the body, such as the nose, ears, knees, or teeth.
Job insecurity stems from a person’s sense of inadequacy at work. They may be filled with overwhelming doubt, confusion, hesitation, and uncertainty about their job, and they may constantly feel like fraud. Students at all levels of education may feel insecure, which causes them to doubt their intelligence, ability to write a well-written paper, and apply knowledge as needed. People with a job and school insecurities face problems such as failing grades, poor work performance, and leaving tasks unfinished in either case.
Basic Need Insecurity
It is difficult to succeed in life if you do not have enough food, shelter, or health. When a person is unsure of where their next meal will come from, where they will sleep at night, or how long their physical and mental health will last, they are unable to devote enough energy to other aspects of life. This high level of stress causes physical as well as psychological difficulties.
How to Deal With Insecurities
Insecurities, like other psychological conditions, can be treated with a combination of therapeutic and lifestyle techniques. All treatments take time and patience, so people should be willing to stick with interventions for a long time if they want to see long-term results. Some good ways to deal with insecurity are as follows.
1. Recognize the Role of Insecurity in Everyday Life
When you have insecurities, you may believe that the problem is only present part of the time or that it has no significant impact on your life. These opinions may be correct, but it is invaluable to examine your life honestly and ask yourself how insecurities affect your school, work, trust, communication, self-esteem, and mental health.
2. Thoroughly examine the source of the insecurity
When people are insecure, they may believe that external issues, situations, and people are causing their problems. Outside forces undoubtedly play a role in insecurities, but it is up to the individual to address the issue. When insecurities arise as a result of past life experiences, mental health issues, or current relationships, make sure to plan interventions that address the source.
3. Openly Communicate Your Concerns About Insecurity
Insecurities cause people to be unsure and uncertain about relationships, so they don’t feel comfortable sharing their experiences and feelings with others, but this approach only breeds isolation and shame. Take the opposite approach and be open with trusted supporters about what you’re going through and what they can do to assist. Make sure to keep your expectations in check. Inform your loved ones, mental health providers, and physical health providers of your insecurities.
4. Concentrate on the Positives
The way you talk to yourself and perceive the world will have a significant impact on your insecurities. People who speak more positively to themselves, challenge their negative self-talk, stay focused on the future, and find good things in their surroundings are more secure and comfortable. These may appear to be foreign concepts at first, but they will pay off in the long run.
5. Maintain Your Physical Health
Exercising, getting enough sleep, and eating healthier foods can help reduce mental health symptoms and boost self-esteem. People who are physically healthier tend to be mentally healthier, so start with small changes and gradually increase consistency.
6. Accept Your Limitations and Celebrate Your Distinctions
Change is good, and taking new paths can help people achieve great things. The issues arise when people become obsessed with changing the unchangeable. Accept what you can’t change and make peace with your insecurities. Discover ways to accept what makes you uncomfortable.
7. Seek Professional Help
You wouldn’t try to set a broken bone or remove your gallbladder, so don’t try to resolve your insecurities if professional help is required. Therapists can provide the most effective and efficient form of treatment for long-term well-being and security.
What Causes Insecurities in a Relationship?
As humans, none of us will ever be truly confident and certain about every aspect of our lives (after all, we aren’t God), and these moments of uncertainty can lead to us feeling insecure about ourselves on occasion. It could be insecurity about our appearance, our life choices, or even something as trivial as whether we took the correct bus to work today. The point is, we’ve all dealt with insecurities at some point in our lives.
Here are the main reasons for insecurities in a relationship that you should not ignore.
1. Lack of Confidence
In a relationship, we are only as secure as we allow ourselves to be. But, if we’re already unsure about almost everything in our lives, how can we expect our relationships to be any different? Low self-esteem and a general lack of confidence are arguably THE leading causes of relationship insecurity, and they are frequently linked to a person’s upbringing.
Being teased and bullied at school, being constantly told you weren’t good enough, or perhaps even a lack of proper affection as a child all have long-term effects on a person and, if unresolved, will continue into adulthood.
Regardless of where it stems from, the end result is often the same, and they often grow up constantly feeling insecure about everything as a result of the conditioning they received over the years.
If you are constantly doubting your own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, you will not only project these doubts onto your relationship and your partner, but it will also lead to a series of irrational thoughts and worries, which will only amplify your feelings of insecurity.
2. Negative Previous Experiences
Many of us have left certain relationships because something bad happened (unfaithfulness, dishonesty, etc.) or because the nature of the relationship itself was toxic (abusive, emotionally unavailable, etc.). As we walk away from such relationships, it is healthy to leave those negative memories behind and eventually move past them in order to begin again.
Some of us, however, end up holding on to those negative emotions and even bringing them into our subsequent relationships as unresolved emotional baggage. This causes insecurities and anxiety, which we end up projecting onto new partners because we’re subconsciously holding them against the pain or hurt our ex inflicted on us.
When we bring past emotional baggage into a new relationship, we automatically create an environment of insecurities, and we essentially sabotage the new relationship by holding our new partner accountable for something they did not do.
3. Attachment Styles
According to psychological research (theory of attachment), a child develops different attachment styles (secure or insecure) depending on how their parent interacts with them.
It was also discovered that these attachment styles could persist into adulthood and play an important role in how people form relationships. A neglected childhood may result in a person having greater insecurities as an adult because their emotional needs were not met while they were growing up.
This causes major insecurities to be projected, especially in a relationship, because the individual with an insecure attachment style has little to no experience meeting their emotional needs. When they finally understand what it’s like to have their emotional needs met, an unhealthy reliance develops. That person perceives no other way to receive such affection.
4. Personal Life Satisfaction
As two distinct individuals before the meeting, both of you will have unique aspects about yourself that will make you, uniquely you. Your profession, hobbies, goals, opinions, and even your favorite food are all tailored aspects of yourself that not only create your identity but also provide you with a sense of fulfillment.
Many people lose their identities after entering a relationship, and as a result, they lose their sense of personal life fulfillment. As a result, they turn to their partners for fulfillment and meaning in their lives, and they begin to rely on them.
While these factors can also be unhealthy, it does not always cause insecurities in a relationship. However, when we develop a reliance on someone else to give our lives meaning and fulfillment, there is usually a subconscious expectation that the other person will feel the same way about us.
5. Inequitable Previous Relationship Experiences
By a certain point in everyone’s adult lives, we’ll have exhausted all of our relationships the first time. We may have previously referred to someone from a previous relationship as our soulmate, or we may have come close to settling down. We all progress at different rates, and the amount of relationship experience varies from person to person.
If you’re not a confident person, to begin with, getting together with someone who has significantly more experience than you or has previously been involved in a serious relationship can easily lead to relationship insecurities.
If you’re constantly comparing yourself to your partner’s exes or the emotional connection they once had (which is likely to be stronger than yours), feelings of inferiority can easily develop as you begin to doubt yourself and wonder if you’ll ever measure up.
Signs of Insecurities in a Relationship
Both partners in a relationship should feel loved, respected, and secure. When there are severe insecurities in the relationship, this holy grail of healthy relationship characteristics shatters. Relationship insecurity can manifest itself in a variety of destructive ways, ranging from jealousy to controlling behavior.
Your marital insecurities may or may not be justified, but they result in unhealthy behaviors regardless of your reasoning. What’s more, studies have shown that such insecurities can lead to health problems later in life. Here are some signs of insecurities in a relationship, as well as what you can do about it.
1. Fear of losing a friend
The constant fear of losing your mate is one sign that you are insecure in your relationship. Relationship insecurities make you feel like you’re not worth someone else’s time, so you obsess over whether your mate likes you, enjoys sex, always wants you, finds you annoying or wants to leave you for someone else. This fear seems all the more justified if you’ve been through a rough patch with your partner, during which they may have lost your trust.
In a study of couples seeking marital therapy, romantic attachment insecurities is found to be a predictor of sexual dissatisfaction. A relationship is doomed if it lacks trust. You should not be together if you are truly concerned that you will not be able to trust your partner. Is it worth it to be insecure in love?
2. Consuming enviousness
In a healthy relationship, there is a certain amount of jealousy. After all, you’re in a committed relationship, and you don’t want someone else to destroy what you’ve worked so hard to create. But there comes a point when healthy jealousy becomes consuming insecurities. Common manifestations of jealousy include:
- Spying on your friend
- Constantly wondering where your partner is
- Exercising control, such as requesting the termination of friendships because they make you uncomfortable.
- Being overly close or clingy to your partner
- Envy and pettiness, such as making a new friend or flirting with someone else to make your mate jealous
Jealousy is extremely difficult, but not impossible to overcome. This sneaky emotion may seem entirely justified at the moment, but it is not worth ruining a good relationship over. Practice letting goes of certain hang-ups and establishing trust in a relationship.
3. Demanding electronic access
If you demand access to your spouse’s electronic devices, such as phone, tablet, or social media accounts; this is a sign that you are insecure in your marriage. You may be paranoid, wondering if your friend is using inappropriate apps or having inappropriate conversations in private messages; but you should not be policing them in the hopes of saving your relationship.
It may appear frightening at first, but accepting that you cannot change your partner’s actions by monitoring them as if you were a security guard can provide you with a sense of peace. In the end, you either trust or don’t trust your mate.
4. You are constantly on social media.
Even if you have your partner’s e-mail passwords or access to their phone, your insecurities will not be silenced. Instead of going directly to your friend’s device, you obsessively check their social media. You might even Google your spouse’s name or keep tabs on their ex-partners on social media. This can result in unhealthy disagreements and deeper insecurities.
Because social media is a notorious relationship killer, there’s reason to be skeptical of the ease with which infidelity can occur through networking sites. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the word “Facebook” appears in one-third of divorce filings.
According to a Divorce-Online UK survey, one in every three divorces is the result of disagreements over social media. That being said, being consumed by every new ‘like’ on your friend’s photos or being; acutely aware of anyone who is conversing with them is not a healthy way to live.
5. paranoia and skepticism about your partner’s whereabouts
Constantly questioning your partner’s whereabouts and intentions can be exhausting for both parties and can sour your relationship. Unfortunately, when you are insecure, trusting your partner is the most difficult thing to do. When you’re having a disagreement with your partner about their true whereabouts; remind yourself that if they’ve never given you a reason to doubt them, you shouldn’t. This is one of the signs of an insecure man in love; insecure husbands are more likely to exhibit this behavior than insecure wives.
6. The requirement for constant reassurance
Is my appearance appealing? Do you have feelings for me? Do you want to accompany me? Are you being honest? Why do you like me in the first place? These are all questions that you must practice if you are insecure about yourself and find yourself constantly seeking; reassurance from your spouse for validation.
Excessive reassurance seeking by a partner can be an indication of attachment anxiety-related depression. Look at what this study discovered in this regard. So, while some reassurance from your partner is expected to make you feel special in your relationship; it should not dominate your conversations. If you are depressed or require frequent reassurance; counseling may be a great way to get to know yourself better and learn to love who you are.
7. You dislike being left alone.
If you’re in a bad relationship, being alone is your worst nightmare. The silence is eerie. You’d rather be anywhere but alone with your thoughts. This fear of being alone may also cause you to remain in an unhealthy relationship; that does not deserve your time or attention. Seek counseling or confide in a friend or family member who can provide you with an outside perspective on why; it is better to be alone and learn to love yourself than to stay in a toxic relationship.
8. You avoid conflict.
When you have insecurities in your relationship, you may avoid confrontation like the plague, even when it is necessary. This is because you are afraid that your companion will abandon you at the first sign of opposition. If you want to have a healthy relationship, you must communicate openly. This entails bringing up uncomfortable topics and sharing your thoughts and feelings.
If you are constantly suspicious of your partner and feel the need to inquire about their whereabouts, with questions such as “How long were you gone?” and “Who were you with?” it is a clear indication that you are insecure in your relationship. Work on establishing trust with your partner and setting goals centered on getting to know yourself better. Your partner cannot remove your insecurities; only you can do so.
What Can You Do to Overcome Insecurities?
If you find yourself to be the insecure one in the relationship, here are some things you can do to overcome your insecurities (or help your partner overcome theirs).
The first step in overcoming any problem is to recognize and acknowledge the existence of one. If you don’t even realize that your insecurities are affecting your relationship, or worse if you don’t realize that you’re acting insecure in the first place, there’s no way you’ll ever be able to move past it, and those insecurities will just be a recurring problem.
It is not enough to simply be aware of a problem if you are unwilling to take action to address it. You must increase your self-awareness of your own emotions if you ever hope to improve the way you feel and act in certain situations.
2. Honest and Open Communication
Whether you or your partner has insecurities, one of you will inevitably bring them up at some point during the relationship. The main question here is when and where it will happen. Or as an open discussion in which both parties can speak freely without becoming defensive or offended?
Without a healthy line of communication with your partner, feelings of frustration and negativity will only build up and worsen with each additional ‘episode’ of insecurities that occurs, causing the relationship to slowly deteriorate.
3. Consult with a Professional Therapist to Address Deeper-Rooted Issues
Unfortunately, self-help does not resolve all issues, and some people’s insecurities are so deeply ingrained that professional assistance might require before any progress can be made.
If you or your partner’s insecurities are linked to more serious issues, such as a poor childhood upbringing or experiencing a specific incident that may have caused severe trauma/anxiety! The two of you will simply not be able to overcome these issues on your own, and a professional therapist should be enlisted to assist.
How to Overcome Insecurities in a Relationship
There are several strategies and steps you can take to address your self-doubts, depending on where they come from.
1. Master your inner self-critic.
People who have a strong inner critic understand how difficult it is to silence the annoying voice that is putting them down. This little voice can be so persistent and convincing that we accept it as our reality. Because it can be so loud at times and so deeply embedded in our thought patterns, the solution is not to turn it off; it is frequently impossible.
Instead, listen to what the voice is saying and then actively defend yourself. Stop firing insults at your inner critic and treat it like a misbehaving child you’re trying to teach how to be civilized. This way, you’re becoming aware of your self-defeating thoughts, taking a step back, and then actively attempting to reframe them. It enables you to reject harmful attitudes toward yourself and accept a more realistic perspective as an accurate reflection of who you are.
This type of self-talk can feel a little unnatural at first as if you’re faking it. However, with perseverance, it usually begins to feel less and less like labor and more like something genuine.
2. Make a list of your strong points
It can be beneficial to make a list of all your positive characteristics as an emergency boost to your self-esteem. In a relationship, this list represents what you bring to the table. This is not the time to be modest; instead, be inventive and record every positive detail you can think of. Maybe you have a beautiful smile or are a good kisser.
You may not have a smoking hot body, but you are supportive and make your partner feel valued. Or maybe you’re not that funny, but you’re trustworthy and a fantastic cook. Nobody is flawless. But it’s important to remember that you don’t have to be perfect to be loved. Imperfections are what distinguishes us as humans. Learn to appreciate your individuality.
3. Let go of the conditions you imposed on yourself in order to be loved.
The underlying belief: “They will only love me if I am this or that” is often seen behind insecurities; in relationships, and it is what fuels self-doubt further. On some level, holding this belief sends a message to yourself that you are not truly loveable; at your core, for who you are, but that you must earn love by doing certain things and behaving in certain ways. You, however, do not. We select our partners, and our partners select us.
Of course, investing in a relationship is necessary for it to be healthy. It is necessary to put effort into your partnership in order for it to thrive. It’s important to do nice things for your partner, to show respect and affection, to build trust, and to make them feel safe and valued. However, you are not required to do certain things in order to be a person worthy of love. There is a distinction between the two.
4. Communicate openly and effectively with your partner.
It’s critical to be clear about what you and your partner both need in a relationship and to talk about realistic and reasonable ways you can help each other meet those needs. Be aware that this type of conversation necessitates both partners letting go of defensiveness and assumptions in order to be kind, honest, and open with each other. Intimacy creates a safe environment in which you can work together to overcome insecurities and meet each other halfway.
This is not always easy, especially if there are persistent problems and frustrations in a relationship; however, it is possible with mutual effort.
Coping with insecurity in a relationship can be difficult because it necessitates confronting your core beliefs and making a concerted effort to break the patterns that have influenced your thinking for years. It is, however, possible with consistency, self-reflection, and effective communication with your partner.
Insecurities are a universal experience, but not everyone feels insecure to the point where it interferes with their life and ability to function. If insecurity is having an unfavorable impact on your mental, social, or physical health, it may be time to take action and seek professional support and assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can insecurities ruin a relationship?
When your insecurities prevent you from fully trusting your partner, it makes it difficult for you to open up emotionally, which can seriously stifle the growth of your relationship. “This could harm the relationship because it limits the amount of emotional intimacy you’ll be able to share.”
What are personal insecurities?
Insecurity is characterized by a sense of inadequacy (not being good enough) and uncertainty. It causes worry about your goals, relationships, and ability to deal with certain situations. Everybody experiences insecurity from time to time. It can appear in all aspects of life and be caused by a variety of factors.