Building a healthy relationship requires a lot of effort, great emotional intelligence and a strong growth mindset. Both parties need to invest a lot of time towards nurturing and developing the relationship.
But what happens when you have a partner who has a lot of insecurities? What happens when they are always needy or doubtful or anxious? Your partner’s insecurities may not always be caused by you, but you certainly can work on helping your partner feel secure in the relationship. Here’s how :
Be quick with compliments and slow with criticism.
Most times, you might be quick to criticise but not to compliment. There is a tendency to judge and blurt out the mistakes or inconsistencies but there are very few words to compliment, recognise and support. Try to focus on compliments which are not merely physical. Thank them for helping with an errand or on their recent achievement and watch them glow with love and pride.
Leave mind games at the door.
Nothing destroys a relationship more than vicious, insensitive and pointless mind games. Keeping our partner guessing or waiting for an answer will only heighten our partner’s insecurities. For example, instead of taking a few hours to reply to a text, why not quickly let them know you are busy? If running late, be it 5 or 25 minutes, drop a short text to let them know. No one likes being taken for granted.
Communicate freely. Be a team.
As Asians, we live in an overly tolerant and submissive culture. Even as a kid, you may have been taught to keep your feelings and opinions to yourself. Along the way, you may have convinced yourself that keeping your feelings inside and dealing with things on your own is the best way to go forward. However, in a relationship, you should talk to your partner about your thoughts and feelings. Being open with your partner, asking for their opinions and support will definitely decrease your partner’s insecurities.
Act with interest and integrity.
Trusting someone requires a lot of effort, especially for people who have come from broken families or toxic past relationships. In order to make your partner feel more secure, you have to act with integrity. Be interested and available. You need to make an effort to include them in your life without shady behavior, lies and unnecessary drama. Remember, small things can make or break our relationship.
Learn about their attachment style.
“Attachment is a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects one person to
another person across time and space.” (Ainsworth, 1973: Bowlby, 1969)
We form attachments in the first 12 months of our lives. Your bond with your main caregivers i.e your parents influence your adult relationship behaviour and choices. For example, if you had a secure relationship with your caregivers as a child, as an adult you are more likely to find it easier to form new friendships, think clearly through difficulties and express your emotions in a healthy way.
As a starting point, it’s good to ask yourself what have I noticed about my partner? Does my partner anxiously call me when I am out without them? Or do they completely shut down when I have an argument? It is important to pay close attention to your partner’s emotional patterns. It will help you to learn more about your partners attachment styles which in turn will help you to make them feel more secure.