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Do Insecurities Impact Your Relationship?

Insecurities can greatly impact a relationship. When someone is feeling insecure, they can project or take these issues out on their partner. This can create animosity, negativity and sometimes even cause their partner to feel the need to caretake or feel responsible to improve the mood and self-esteem of their companion. This causes an unhealthy dependency dynamic in the relationship where one partner feels a constant need to reassure and uplift the other. 

If someone is feeling insecure, they cannot be fully present in the relationship or be able to tend to their partner’s needs. Insecurities are internalized negative thoughts that can often turn outward and become negative behaviors, such as jealousy, paranoia or anger. These negative behaviors are often played out in the relationship and create challenging dynamics, such as starting arguments due to being jealous or even feeling paranoid and checking their partner’s social media accounts or phone. These types of behaviors, especially when they are due to someone’s insecurities, can cause frequent arguments, unhappiness and overall distrust in the relationship.

When someone is feeling insecure, it can impact all areas of their life. They may feel inadequate with their job or career, have body image issues or feel insecure with their family relationships. This can then bring down the overall happiness and satisfaction of the relationship altogether. Insecurities can also impact the sexual health of a relationship, especially if someone is struggling with body image issues. They may reject sexual advances or close physical contact because they are not feeling good about themselves or their body. When a couple is faced with problems in their sexual relationship, this can often impact their overall feelings of intimacy and connection.

Some causes behind insecurities:

Insecurities and fears most often stem from issues within the person, their background, childhood, or any emotional baggage that they may be bringing into the relationship from previous partners or bad experiences. We all have times of feeling insecure regarding a variety of things, the issue occurs if someone’s insecurities take over and begin to impact the health of their relationship or other aspects of their life.

We can often bring past emotional hurt or pain that we project onto our partner or our new relationship that hinders us from feeling fully secure in the relationship. For example, if someone had the experience of being betrayed or cheated on by their previous partner, they may feel more fearful, insecure and have difficulty trusting new people in future relationships. Insecurities can also stem from something much deeper, such as depression or anxiety. It’s important that if someone is feeling insecure, they address these issues as this can impact all areas of their life. 

Projecting insecurities onto others:

Projection is a defense mechanism that people use by unconsciously externalizing difficult emotions and putting them onto others. When someone projects their insecurities onto another, they are “taking out” their emotional issues on someone else. They may target aspects of someone that they feel bad about within themselves. 

When someone is projecting their insecurities onto their relationship, it will often be messages that are unrealistic or untrue. It may feel like the blame is being shifted elsewhere. The comments are usually unrealistic to what is actually happening and are more about their deep feelings of insecurity than about the reality of the situation.

When insecurities are projected, the topic and theme are usually about issues that your partner may have previously discussed as bothering them or something that they are struggling with, such as body image issues, confidence, or family related issues. 

Projection is also seen in a relationship if someone engages in baseless or unsubstantiated suspicious or paranoid behavior, such as suspecting that your partner is cheating or attracted to someone else, when in fact, you are simply feeling insecure about yourself and the connection in your relationship.

Ways to work on insecurities:

Exercise and get active:

The research has shown that being physically active and getting regular exercise can greatly impact and uplift your mood. Exercise can also activate endorphins and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which also help to give us a boost in mood and overall happiness. 

Take responsibility:

You feeling confident is not the responsibility of your partner or the relationship so be sure that you take responsibility for your own self-esteem and self-confidence. This requires you to believe in you and believe that you can feel good about yourself without anyone else.

Communicate & be open with your partner:

Just because self-confidence is the responsibility of the person experiencing it, does not mean you should not have an open and honest conversation with your partner about how you are feeling. Being open with your experience and your emotions can help your partner to better understand your perspective and provide you support.

Understand the root cause:

It’s important that if you are feeling insecure, you gain understanding about where this issue is coming from for you. Perhaps you feel uncomfortable with your weight or body image or perhaps you’ve been cheated on in a past relationship and you fear the same with your partner. Spend some time reflecting on your situation and think about where these insecurities come from. Having this understanding can help you to navigate resolving and working on these issues. 

Let go of the negative:

Working to let go of negative past experiences can be helpful in moving forward and building self-confidence. This is especially true if you have had bad experiences in a relationship before or even just personally. Holding onto these negative things and having them directly impact your confidence and your relationship can be heavy and burdensome. Letting go can provide a sense of relief and give you a fresh start.

 

Engage in self-care:

Having a healthy self-care routine is essential in managing insecurities in a relationship. A self-care practice includes implementing coping strategies for yourself, such as meditation, mindfulness, exercise, yoga, journaling, listening to music, etc. Engaging in activities which are positive for yourself can help to boost your confidence and self-esteem


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If you’d like to read more on relationship topics and hear tips for couples, be sure to JOIN our free Facebook group called Love & Relationships. This is a free, but private and closed online support group that is listed under the Loving Roots Project Facebook page. The group is facilitated by Dr. Shelley Sommerfeldt, Clinical Psychologist and Relationship Coach and provides tips and inspirational material for couples and supportive discussions on challenging relationship-related issues.


Blog written by: Dr. Shelley Sommerfeldt, Clinical Psychologist, Relationship Coach & Founder of the Loving Roots Project, an online wellness practice specializing in personal growth, mental wellness, & relationship betterment.

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