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Three Ways to Alleviate Insecurity in You or Your Partner

Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD - Blogs
By Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhDPsychologistNovember 09, 2011
From the WebMD Archives

Relationships can infuse life into your life. In the best of circumstances, they support and encourage the partners to follow their dreams, be happier in their lives, and feel more confident. But for those who are riddled with insecurity, their relationships can feel more like quicksand than a solid, safe base from which they can grow. The smallest possibility that their partner may be slipping away from them can send them into a panic. Fortunately, this is a problem that both partners can help alleviate.

There are three actions that insecure people and their partners can take to help the insecure partner feel more secure in the moment and to develop a greater sense of security over time. These are:

Insecure partner: Choose an emotionally available partner.
Secure partner: Be emotionally available.

Everyone needs reassurance at some time or another. Likewise, insecure people are helped a lot by their partner responding sensitively to their distress. For their partners, this might mean allowing them to check in when they feel the need, reaching out to them when they know they are struggling with particular fears, or simply being supportive and comforting when they are distressed.

Insecure partner: Choose a partner who can be helpful without being controlling. Ask for support for your own efforts, clearly stating that you do not want your partner to take over.
Secure partner: Be supportive without taking over.

Insecure people are at risk for feeling inadequate, incompetent, and generally unsure of themselves. Because of this, they are helped more by partners who support their efforts than by those who get the job (whatever it is) done themselves. This kind of support enables them to develop confidence and improve their abilities while being able to work through problems or weaknesses with a positive mindset.

Insecure partner: Find a partner who is actively encouraging.
Secure partner: Actively encourage your partner to pursue interests.

People who feel insecure are likely to be tentative in pursuing interests, goals, and dreams because their fear of problems or failure looms large. However, their happiness is in part dependent on these pursuits, just as it is for everyone else. So it is particularly important for them to have partners who encourage and continue to support them in these areas.

If you are insecure, try the above advice. Find an emotionally available, supportive, and encouraging partner to help you develop a greater sense of security.  If your partner is insecure, try offering these things and watch how it benefits your partner and your relationship.

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About the Author
Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD

Dr. Becker-Phelps is a licensed psychologist in NJ and NY, and is on staff at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Somerset. She is dedicated to helping people understand themselves and what they need to do to become emotionally and psychologically healthy. She accomplishes this through her work as a psychotherapist, speaker and writer. She is the author of Bouncing Back from Rejection and Insecure in Love.

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