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Insecurities & How they Contaminate Relationships

insecure, insecurities, insecurity, relationship, relationshipgoals, couples, communicate

Insecure? & How it Contaminates Relationships Episode #41

Insecurities are something everybody has & everybody struggles with. Parents most often unwittingly contribute to them or can even intentionally pile on doubt to growing egos. Situations like being bullied in school, having a boss with a personality disorder or a very emotionally abusive boyfriend can all add to insecurities. We humans can be very fragile craft.

 

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Being insecure means being easily fed by fears when we believe we are misunderstood. Understanding is usually a complicated business which we very easily simplify & end up in a sea of misunderstandings. Seeing each other accurately is not done well if insecurities are lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce.

Insecurities test even the best of us & they contaminate our ability to see clearly.

We are all always both good & bad. Growing up is to be more alert to how our dark side interferes in relationships with others. Self awareness all too often is a vanishing commodity. Self awareness is accepting our dark side & recognizing how to rein it in. Denial or pretending is at an all time cultural peak, which means ignoring our dark sides and acting as if truth doesn’t matter.

When you have a partner willing to give you honest feedback the normal thing to do is laugh like it’s absurd, shout more loudly to erase what was said or ignore it altogether. Relationships have the ability to take growing up to the next level if you are willing to listen to a partner who risks honesty. That truth that they share can be the pinch to set you on a path of deciding to be a better person.

Growing up is honestly facing painful situations. In the last episode I talked about giving your partner the benefit of the doubt, this includes listening to honest feedback that makes you wince because it gives you a peek into your own dark side. Relationships offer you the opportunity to be more aware, to change & grow.

Change is an arduous path & I have been grateful over the years for those authentic moments that made me wince about me. I am a better person because of the honest feedback from those I love. I have many very distinct memories that still can make me wince when I look back & I’m proud of the growing up I achieved because I listened.

The biggest test for whether or not there is respect in a relationship is if you allow someone else to influence you to be a better person. If your partner is not allowed to influence you then I believe there is a lack of respect. It takes courage to hear the words of truth a partner says. It takes courage to say the truth. Hiding the truth & pretending it would hurt them to hear it is most often an action that lacks respect.

If you think about it, exaggerating our insecurities can be a way of hiding the truth from ourselves. When we swim in a sea of insecurities and avoid change, it’s a way to hide from life. If you are lucky enough to have an honest relationship, then you have the opportunity to grow. An honest relationship means saying & hearing things that might be hard to hear or say.

We all love to be drunk on the certainty that we are good & loved. It’s harder to embrace the uncertainty of learning how we step on each other’s toes and the messiness of how we are unlovable.

In episode 40 I talked about the stories we tell ourselves about who we are. When we exaggerate our insecurities so we no longer have faith in ourselves, it’s a way that we lack self respect. Respect is crucial for all relationships to continue. So our stories about who we are or who our partner is needs to incorporate our strengths & weaknesses. You never really know someone or love someone until you know more about the whole picture of who they are; the good & the bad.

Insecurities keep people trapped in emotionally masochistic relationships. The ugliness dished out can become a consistent diet of penance for someone who can’t see past the awful story they tell themselves about who they are. So insecurities can be indulged to an exquisite level of pain that becomes weirdly comforting like a medieval priest beating themselves with a cat of nine tails.

OR

Insecurities can be completely ignored & denied. There is a weird comfort in not growing up to honestly recognize how we need to change to be a better person instead of spilling over onto others. You trap yourself in the belief that people have to love you no matter what.

Insecurities are powerful. We get to decide to integrate them and make them bearable or not.

The two best examples of the power of insecurities in relationships were in Season 1of the the amazon prime show: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The first is when Miriam’s husband bombs in his stand up comedy routine & his shame feeds his insecurities so deeply he can’t face his wife Miriam. The second takes place in the last episode where his insecurities fill him completely and he sees her as too good, too much for him & he can’t keep his sense of self intact. These moments are so human, real & truthful, what a terrific show to capture them so unflinchingly.

Insecurities can rob us in our own lives & in our relationships.

We all struggle with times of insecurity and this is ordinary. You also can not let insecurity win the battle. It’s your job to tame your insecurity, not indulge it and instead make it a bearable load. Self doubt has to be a part of you & at the same time, not erase who you can become.

My challenge for you today: Think about the last time your partner gave you some honest feedback, did you interrupt it or erase it’s impact in some way? If you can’t remember the last time then ask your partner to tell you two things they like about you & two you could improve. You can also do the same for your partner. Another question to ask yourself, have you let insecurities pile up & stop you from risking new possibilities? Do you know your own dark side & what you need to improve? Do you respect your partner enough to let them influence you to be a better person?

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