“Please, clouds, don’t rain!” Not going to work, is it?
And neither will trying to reassure someone who just can’t be reassured. They will go on fretting, no matter how you plead.
Chronic insecurity in your relationship is a major problem. Why? Because relationships really, deeply matter. Your health, your wellbeing, your happiness affected by your relationships more than any other factor. And your most intimate relationships have the biggest effect of all.
It’s not just the insecure person who suffers
Feeling insecure in a relationship is horrible for the one who is feeling the insecurity. The burden – of fear and obsessive thoughts, of feeling powerless, of awful awareness that all this insecurity may actually itself be destroying what you treasure most – can feel pretty unbearable.
But it’s also tough for the person on the receiving end of all that insecurity. The truth is that being involved with a really insecure person can be hell.
This article highlighted what a common problem insecurity is
I wrote an article a while back on overcoming insecurity in relationships and was inundated with feedback from all over the world. The scores of comments on the article itself were just the tip of the iceberg. My inbox overflowed with hundreds more private emails from people wracked by feelings of relationship insecurity.
That article, which explores the reasons for insecurity and offers practical tips to help overcome it, eventually became the springboard for the development of the new 10 steps to overcoming insecurity in relationships course. My article was mainly addressed to those who are themselves feeling insecure in a relationship; but I also got – and still get – hundreds of emails from people who have extremely insecure partners. A common recurring theme of these accounts is how isolating it can feel to find yourself in a relationship with someone who is deeply insecure. And this is one major reason why extreme insecurity can be so damaging.
Why reassuring your insecure partner is almost a lie
Because ‘reassurance’ is what insecure people want most, and anyone can say reassuring things, it’s all too easy for partners (and friends) to offer reassurances that everything is “really okay” in the relationship even when it isn’t.This is a kind of denial. And – ironically – the reasons it might not be okay are often the product of the insecurity itself.
Sometimes the only genuine problem in a relationship is the emotional insecurity of one partner and the effect that has on the relationship as a whole. But it’s easy to fall into a pattern of always pretending everything is fine, even when the insecurity becomes really damaging. Such pretense becomes isolating and can drive partners further apart. This is how insecurity can damage or even destroy the relationship.
Relationships thrive on intimacy, and intimacy stems from feeling you can safely be yourself with your partner. So what does it feel like to be in a relationship with a very insecure partner?
Worrying about relationship breakup creates it
Insecurity stemming from a fear of losing intimacy can actually bring on that loss of intimacy. Jake, a former client, described it like this:
“I actually feel totally disconnected from Sara now. She doubts my every word, doesn’t believe me when I say I’ve been working, and constantly misinterprets what I say. It’s driving me nuts! And the angrier I get, the more insecure she gets. I can’t win! I’ve tried being sympathetic, but now everything has to be on her terms, I have to ask myself all the time – is this going to upset her or not?”
Jake told me how he had started to feel very lonely in his relationship, like he had no one to talk to, because “Talking to Sara is like walking on egg shells – will I say the wrong thing? Will she take it the wrong way?”
He, like many who are close to someone so insecure, found himself getting more and more emotionally distant from Sara. He felt less able to speak to her about how he felt, and less able to relax around her. Loneliness isn’t about being alone so much as feeling alone with others – because you feel misunderstood by them – and that’s how Jake now felt with Sara. He’d begun to feel trapped, finding it hard to be around her but also hard not to be around her, because he knew how painful it was for her to be wondering where he was or whom he was with.
The painful truth is that insecurity can lead to the death of intimacy in a relationship – the fear of losing something can actually bring about that loss. Trying to force intimacy or love – demanding to know how someone feels, what they are thinking, who they’ve been talking to, what they are doing – can just drive them further from you.
So what should you do if you are in a relationship with a really insecure person?
How to tell if you have a truly insecure partner
It’s vital to figure out whether the person you are with isgenuinely excessively insecure. Some jealousy and insecurity is actually normal in most relationships from time to time – especially in the early stages. Insecure people are often insecure about their insecurity, because they instinctively know how damaging it can be. But if insecurity is a constant and central feature of the relationship then, yes, it is a problem and a potential cause of breakdown. Of course you can reassure your partner, reason with them, and be gentle and loving toward them, but it’s important not to make too many adaptations for them. This was the mistake Jake made. He had completely stopped spending any time with his friends without Sara. He rang her on the hour, every hour, when he had to work late. He told her he loved her so many times a day that it was more like a chore rather than a genuine expression of how he felt. And after a while the relationship no longer felt real to him.
If the relationship becomes all about reassuring and not upsetting the insecure partner, you and your needs get sidelined to the point that the relationship can start to feel meaningless for you. Jake and Sara’s relationship only improved once Sara herself addressed her insecurity, and learned to trust and relax more with not “having to know” what Jake was thinking or doing all the time. Her self esteem improved and, in turn, he then felt more valued, and no longer trapped or forced to behave in prescribed ways. At last he was being listened to and respected again.
If your insecure partner has enough insight to know they need to change, then you really can encourage them to make those changes that could make such a difference for both of you. Ultimately, no one should have to be constantly “on call” to their partner, or emotionally isolated by them. Good relationships are reciprocal, not one-sided. They flourish when partners trust each other, accept each other, give each other space, forgive each other for failings – and enjoy each other. You and your partner both deserve that. Read more about 10 Steps to Overcome Insecurity in Relationships by Mark Tyrrell
Hypnosis is popular for many physical and psychological conditions. Hypnotherapy for weight loss has been successfully utilized by many people over the years. It is among the mind-body strategies that facilitate weight loss.
Hypnotherapy is commonly conducted by a trained professional who knows how to get the subject into a deep hypnotic trance, then gently rouse them from the relaxed state.
An alternative for audio hypnotherapy is listening to a professionally recorded audio that not only provides sounds to bring on the desired relaxed states but likewise includes directed steps and mental imagery including positive self-suggestions, providing a complete hypnotherapy session any time the subject chooses, simply by listening to the recording while relaxing.
Fear of hypnosis takes different forms, but basically it is the fear of revealing one’s true feelings. An employee, for instance, at a gathering which included the employer he dislikes, would never volunteer as a subject for hypnosis if the occasion arose. He would be afraid he would do or say something which might endanger his position. Hypnosis for him would be “dangerous” because he would be afraid to take the chance.
The truth is, however, Read more
One objection to hypnosis is that the results are temporary as well as symptomatic. It is well to remember that most medical therapy is specifically directed to symptom removal.
How permanent is most medical treatment? Once you couple hetero-hypnosis with self-hypnosis, you afford the patient the opportunity of utilizing suggestions for his own benefit any time they are needed. This, of course, can make symptom relief permanent.
As an example, I would see no harm in teaching a patient self-hypnosis for symptomatic relief from a problem of insomnia. It would certainly be better than physically depressing the higher brain centers with sleeping pills to produce unconsciousness every night.
One of the objections that you hear to hypnosis is that it can be dangerous in the hands of those not trained in the psychodynamics of human behavior. Inasmuch as psychiatrists and clinical psychologists are the only ones who are thoroughly trained in the analysis of human behavior, this objection, if valid, could limit hypnosis to a comparative handful of therapists.
Fortunately, it is not valid. This was proved several years ago when the “Bridey Murphy” craze gripped the country. Despite the fact that thousands of amateur hypnotists were practicing hypnosis, little or no harm resulted. I have personally instructed several thousand medical and non-medical individuals and have yet to hear of a single case where a crisis was precipitated or anything of a dangerous or detrimental nature occurred as a result of hypnosis. I have also taught several thousand persons self-hypnosis and can report the same findings.
A problem in hypnotizing a subject may exist even though the person consciously wishes to be hypnotized. Unconsciously, there may be a poor interrelationship with the hypnotist which can create an unfavorable climate for hypnosis. When this is the case, the subject doesn’t respond until such time that he relates well to the hypnotist. Even the most calculated procedures will fail until a positive transference relationship is established.
I am sure that you sometimes have said, “For some reason I don’t like that person.” If pressed for an answer, you’ll usually reply, “I can’t explain it, but I just have a feeling about him.” Actually, your subconscious reactions are influencing your thinking and you “feel” a certain way. The same thing takes place in business transactions. You either like or dislike the proposition presented to you. You may say, “I have a certain feeling about this deal.” You may not be conscious of the reasons, but your subconscious has reacted automatically because of previous experience along similar lines.
A popular opinion about hypnosis is that the subject surrenders his will to the hypnotist in the process of being hypnotized. Furthermore, many believe that once the subject is hypnotized, the hypnotist has complete control of the subject and the subject is powerless to resist suggestion.
Both beliefs are erroneous. I believe the first misconception comes from seeing techniques where the hypnotist requests the subject to look into his eyes.
One question that arises is: “If I’m under hypnosis, how can I give myself suggestions?” During the hypnotic state, it must be remembered, the subject is always aware of what is going on. He hears what is said, follows directions and terminates the state when told to do so.
In the self-hypnotic state, the subject is in full control. Therefore, he can think, reason, act, criticize, suggest or do whatever he desires. He can audibly give himself suggestions, or he can mentally give himself suggestions. In either case, he does not rouse from the hypnotic state until he gives himself specific suggestions to do so. Many feel if they audibly give themselves suggestions, they will “awaken.”
Suggestion plays a tremendously important role in our daily lives. It begins from naming the baby with an appropriate name to securing a suitable place for interment. I would like to call the reader’s attention to a fascinating book dealing with the unconscious reasons why we do many of the things that we do. You will be intrigued with every page of the book. It is called The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard.
My contention is that we are all suggestible and, therefore, being hypnotized or hypnotizing ourselves is just a matter of increasing the suggestibility that we already possess. Doesn’t the hypnotist begin by suggesting relaxation? Doesn’t he usually begin by requesting the subject to fix his attention on a particular object?
Hypnosis has been defined as a state of heightened suggestibility in which the subject is able to uncritically accept ideas for self-improvement and act on them appropriately.
When a hypnotist hypnotizes his subject, it is known as hetero-hypnosis. When an individual puts himself into a state of hypnosis, it is known as self-hypnosis. In both cases, the subject has achieved a heightened state of suggestibility. Even in hetero-hypnosis, the subject really controls the response to suggestions. Actually, all hypnosis is really a matter of self-hypnosis. The subject enters into the hypnotic state when he is completely ready to do so. This may require from one to many attempts before it is achieved. Even if the subject insists that he wants to be hypnotized immediately, he may be resisting hypnosis unconsciously.