Friday, January 7, 2011

The Insecure Partner

    Brian Rzepczynski, Certified Personal Life Coach, is The Gay Love Coach: “I work with gay men who are ready to create a road map that will lead them to find and build a lasting partnership with Mr. Right.” To sign up for the FREE Gay Love Coach Newsletter filled with dating and relationship tips and skills for gay singles and couples, as well as to check out current coaching groups, programs, and teleclasses, please visit
Posted: 05 Jan 2011 10:12 PM PST
1. Keep a journal of your triggers. Anytime you find yourself getting anxious or insecure, write down the situation, the feelings you experienced, what you were thinking, and how you acted. This running log will help you discover patterns behind your projections so you can more readily short-circuit them in the future should they happen again. Try to write about where your insecurity originated, what your insecurity looks like, the types of beliefs that feed this feeling, the consequences you’ve suffered as a result of its existence, and create a vision for how you will look as a man with a secure base.

2. If you find that you project another person from your life (an “ex”, your father, etc.) onto your partner, make a list of all the reasons why your current lover is not like these individuals. Write down all his good qualities and why he’s a good partner choice for you thus far. This will help keep you centered in the here-and-now, not the past.

3. Changing these patterns takes time, so develop the art of patience and realize that these negative feelings you have may take a lot of time to diminish. Learn a variety of relaxation techniques that you can use to help de-stress yourself whenever the anxiety hits. Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualization are good ones to start with. Become more attuned with your body and recognize the physical sensations you feel when anxiety strikes so you can utilize your coping skills before the feelings magnify and get acted-out. 

4. Practice thought-stoppage techniques. Get skilled at tracking your thoughts and identifying which ones are helpful vs. hurtful for you. Negative anxiety-provoking thoughts can be stopped dead in their tracks by snapping your wrist with a rubber band and immediately redirecting your thoughts to more positive self-talk. Sounds weird, but it can help break you out of the trance that anxiety can create and gives you a split second to change the course of your thoughts.

5. Affirmations are positive/motivational quotes, sayings, or statements that can keep you centered on good things. Create your own affirmations and write them down on index cards. Anytime you get into a funk or find yourself unable to control the negative thinking, pull out your cards and read them aloud.

6. If you find yourself unable to control the whirlwind of emotions when you’re with your partner, delay your responses to him and leave the room until you’re able to calm down and get more focused with a positive perspective. Taking this “Time-Out” will help get you more grounded and avoid any potential conflicts that could harm the trust in your relationship. Schedule a time with your partner to discuss the matter when you’re both more composed and able to really hear each other.

7. Manage your worries by identifying things you can vs. cannot control. Channel your energies into the things you do have control over and learn to “let go” of those you don’t.

8. Get out of your own head! Anytime you have the swirling, negative thoughts, take the focus off of yourself by doing something behaviorally that will benefit or attend to your relationship in a positive way. Do something for your partner that you know he would enjoy. Surprise him, seduce him, anything to break out of the self-absorption so you can do something productive and affirming for your boyfriend and relationship. Be creative!


Those are just a few strategies to get you started. Keep these tips close whenever you feel triggered, as they just might help stop the chain reactions you feel so you can redirect yourself to a more healthy mindset and behavioral choices. To overcome insecurity, you must be willing to take the risk of being vulnerable, develop more humor and light-heartedness, and increase the communication between you and your partner to move in the direction of strengthened intimacy and connection. You can do it!
© 2007 Brian L Rzepczynski


Anonymous said...

Writing stuff down, as suggested in the first point of this piece, is that a common self-help tool used in your field Justin?

I have to say it works for me, nit just emotional stuff/problems that I need to work through, I've long used it for anything that I am not able to see clearly.

I find the act of writing it down almost as good, perhaps more sometimes, as good as talking something through with someone.

It is a part of my life. Perhaps more people use it than I am aware?


JustinO'Shea said...

Yes, writing things down, journaling,is a commonly used tool. . one, as you affirm, which is very useful first off, to clarify ideas, feelings. . . it gets things "out of the darkness into light" so that I can better know what I am feeling, etc.

Objectifying issues often makes them less threatening and this makes me more ready to own and take responsibility for them.

What I can admit/say to myself, to God and to another human being, as in sacramental confession in some churches, sets me on the path to reconciliation and healing.. . both often goals of a therapeutic relationship.

And, Greg, as you say, you've discovered these valuable tools to wholeness by yourself, whereas some only find these thru therapy at the cost of big bucks. . .


Anonymous said...

I found the method when trying to solve technical problems. The mere act of forming into words and sentences seemed to clarify it somewhat and led to logical conclusions more readily.

I have no idea when I started applying it to emotional or relationship problems, but it works for me.

It's like when you are trying to describe a problem situation, be it technical, personal, relationship, argument a friend and as you are verbalising it, the situation often seems to crystalise into perspective and solutions present themselves before you've even finished talking, sometimes. And yet I'd been pondering and worrying them in my mind for some considerable time.

Afterwards it often seems comical that the answers were so hard to find.

It reminds me of an accident I had when I sustained head injuries and could not read for some weeks. I knew what the individual words were, I could say them and I knew what they meant, but the sentence was difficult, very difficult to put together and work out what it was saying.

I'd look at the sentence, the words, and read them over in my mind, over and over and perhaps, if the concept was simple I could just get the meaning...things like "the cat sat on the mat" were damned near impossibleto understand.

One day. out of sheer frustration I blurted the words out in a sentence...and the meaning became clear!
I then started reading out loud and realised I could understand what was being said. Some times it took a couple of tries, but hallelujah!

My eyes would not track automatically from the end of one line to the beginning of the next so I had to use a ruler or finger to assist, but I was reading again.
The funny thing was that no-one, not even my parents realised.

So, for the next several months I read stuff out loud to myself. I had to do this quietly at work so no-one would know. At worst they thought I was just mumbling to myself....I tended to close the office door cos I didn't want them to think they had a crazy working with them, ha! But eventually it all came back.

I was happy, I'd solved it myself and I think that realisation made me more determined to always work hard to solve my own problems, there is always a way, if you really want to find it.

That's what I believe, I believe in myself.

Greg in Adelaide

JustinO'Shea said...

Good explanation of difficult situation. . .I really like your sharing: these are "real words" about a process of recovering abilities which we take for granted.

And makes us realize "how wonderously we are made". . .and how quickly sometimes the 'function' stops or the wires get crossed. . when I wiped out biking --without a helmet. . ts..tsk..tsk. -- I had no idea who my best friend was; a total stranger.

Thanks, Greg.