A PICTURE OF INSECURITY - Insecurity is no fun. It’s that nagging feeling of angst and anxiety, of being unsettled and worried. You feel helpless and that you don’t measure up to a person or situation, lacking a sense direction or confidence in how to approach things. Like in the initial stages of dating, a single gay man’s insecurity might look like…”Does he like me?” “Why hasn’t he called me like he said he would?” “Will he still be around even after we’ve had sex?”
Again, there’s nothing abnormal with these thoughts—it has more to do with their extent and severity and how much they are interfering with one’s quality of life and relationship. This article will offer some suggestions for managing this harmful emotion so it doesn’t sabotage your relationship and cause undue stress for your well-being.
CULPRITS OF THE MADNESS - Insecurity can stem from many different sources and is highly individual. Maybe you were raised in a family who didn’t give enough positive strokes and you were made to feel “less than.” Maybe you have a history of abuse. Perhaps your experiences with men in the past have burned you and now you feel suspect and untrusting to let your guard down.
Low self-esteem plays a big role. Maybe you have attachment difficulties, fears of abandonment, commitment phobia…the faces of insecurity are diverse. There are, however, two particularly strong forces that can befriend insecurity that you should be aware of and intervene before too much havoc occurs.
If your assumption is incorrect, you now have a whole host of other problems to contend with. Mindreading is a byproduct of insecurity and contributes to its madness. The solution is to always check things out with your partner to ensure you’re “on the same page.” Prioritize what’s most important and share your perception as an inquiry rather than a fact.
The solution here is to identify any emotional wounds from childhood, the past, or previous relationships and learn to grieve them so the issues don’t keep getting displaced into the relationship with your current partner. Take responsibility for “stuff” that’s really your own. Remember that your partner is not your “ex”, for example; they are both very different individuals with unique personalities, philosophies, and values.
Learn how to cope with these triggers when they get activated and channel those feelings into more productive outlets.