Sometimes love is scary. Especially so for a person who wrestles with insecurity. Past pain, trauma, or heartbreak may have planted seeds of self-doubt or distrust that make relationships difficult and short-lived.
If you’re the partner of an insecure person, the struggle to ease your partner’s insecurities may be formidable. You’re right to recognise the challenge. But you needn’t give up too soon.
If you’re willing, there are ways to help your insecure partner relax in your relationship. If you’re diligent, you may soon find that you can help your partner feel more confident, and able to enjoy a mutually satisfying connection long term. Try the following five tactics:
1. Communicate: Give your partner the freedom to be vulnerable.
Talk to your partner. Ask questions first and listen well. Acknowledge that your partner’s insecurities may have resulted from childhood trauma, past relationships, or feelings they don’t really understand. The idea is to be consistently compassionate and understanding.
More than anything, be honest and keep communication lines open. Insecurity has a way of playing on your partner’s fear of abandonment. If you pledge to be available, do so. Keep promises to check in, or drop by, if you make them. Honor your own need for autonomy, but make a concerted effort to limit a lot of “dead air” between you. Let your partner know often that you care.
Relationship counselling together may be a good place to invest your time, if you need help or insecurities persist.
2. Accommodate: Be emotionally available and vulnerable to your partner.
Anyone in a relationship with another person seeks reassurance at some point. Insecure partners appreciate frequent praise and crave reassurance. He or she will also feel greatly supported by your efforts to be sensitive, kind and patient during anxious moments. Try to pay attention, and weigh thoughtfully, his or her concerns. Avoid being dismissive and provide extra measures of loving reassurance.
Additionally, be sure to reveal your own vulnerable emotions. Reach out when you know your partner is struggling and share your own concerns. Refrain from making your partner the one with “the problem.” Build rapport and deepen your connection by simply being open, supportive and forthcoming.
3. Validate: Actively support your partner.
An insecure partner needs support, but may not trust it to be consistent or genuine. He or she needs you to be attentive and helpful without being overbearing, condescending or controlling. You don’t want to send the message that you see your partner as incapable or inadequate.
Validate and celebrate his or her efforts to work through trouble spots, resolve conflicts, or overcome shortcomings in positive ways. Remain supportive without taking control.
4. Motivate: Actively encourage your partner to pursue their own interests.
Insecurity often holds a person back, even from the things and activities they enjoy. The fear of failure, humiliation, and rejection loom large in their lives.
If your partner is reluctant to pursue interests of his or her own, gently nudge him or her toward independence. Use a soft touch verbally, and remain reassuring. Let him or her know that you’re excited to see him or her pursuing goals and dreams that support personal happiness.
5. Initiate: Seek out your partner physically.
Generously show your partner affection. Studies show that touch is immensely reassuring. Hold your partner’s hand in public, look at him or her often, smile warmly.
If you are aware that he or she is wrestling with insecurity born of infidelity in a past relationship, or parental distance, offer considerable affection privately too. Always be a safe place to come for physical comfort and soothing connection.
If you or your partner are insecure in your relationship, couples counselling can help. Call Neil Ward Counselling on 07979 860 711today.counselling