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Insecurity that pushes people away

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Old 06-26-2008, 08:15 PM   #1
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Insecurity that pushes people away

Does anyone have any advice about how to feel secure especially in relationships? I have a bad habit of becoming too clingy and insecure in relationships; ultimately pushing the guy away; and in turn when the guy gets more distant I get worse. Bad cycle I know. I know my insecurity stems from sexual abuse by my brother when I was a child and also past relationships. Usually my insecurity gets so bad that it pushes the guy to break up with me. It usually ends up where all we do is talk about the relationship because I need constant reassurance that he feels the same way for me as I do him. I know its my problem because I seem to run into the same issue with EVERY relationship. Its happening again recently where my ex whom I'm trying to work things out with is already saying "just relax". I try to explain why I'm insecure and what he can do to make me feel more secure but it seems to only makes things worse. I wish I could relax. I am an awesome girlfriend, but when this side of me kicks in it ruins things. I have been to counseling (years ago) and it seems that I can't get rid of this problem. I hate it about myself. I know I push people away but I have that "push people away to see how much they care" syndrome. I have high anxiety and its like I can't handle getting close with someone cause as soon as I do I start getting clingy and insecure and anxious. It really is getting to a point that if I can't change this about myself I don't think I'll ever have a relationship with anyone that is willing to deal with me. I want to change this so I can have a relationship where the guy does not leave. Its like I don't want the guy to leave so bad that I start causing him to leave by not relaxing and just having a good time with the relationship by accepting exactly where things are in the relationship. I have had exes tell me that if I would just chill and relax things would be fine and would have worked. I think I would have already been married by now if I didn't have this problem. I'm approaching 30 and can't keep doing this to myself. Does anyone understand/relate to what my problem is? Other than counseling (not an option right now; I am unemployed) what can I do to rid this bad behavior that ends up causing me more heartbreak and making me more insecure when the next relationship gets serious? Help!!! I really don't want to chase this one off and I already feel it happening and it then makes me even more clingy..which I don't want to be anymore!!! So tired of the cycle. Ready to self improve. What to do? How to relax and causing men to be distant with me?!?! Any good advice? Thanks!

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Old 06-26-2008, 09:47 PM   #2
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Re: Insecurity that pushes people away

Everyone has different personalities and preferences in a relationship, so you're not necessarily in the wrong in how you are. Especially with the betrayal you received from your brother at a young age, it's no surprise that you quickly attach to your relationship partner. Some couples are fine with seeing each other every day for instance, some every few days, some once a week, etc.

I think a good start is to have friends, interests hobbies and generally just a life outside of the relationship. Being unemployed is probably not doing you any good with trying to repair things with your ex as it gives you all day to sit and think, but I don't think I need to tell you that. In my past relationship I couldn't find a stable, full-time job for about 9 months after graduating college and it took a huge toll on my 3-year relationship since I was so unhappy and unproductive, and literally had nothing to do with my days. I constantly worried whether or not she thought I was a bum, or when she was going to get fed up with me having no money or stability. I put every second of my time into worrying about us and it eventually put a wedge between me and her.

I'm now in a new relationship and I've moved out, have a good job that fills up most of my day as well as good friends and hobbies on the off days where I don't see her. It's the best relationship I've had so far since I'm so happy in all other aspects of my life and don't have anything to really stress or worry about.

Another thing is finding someone generally similar to you in what they are looking for from their partner. I have no problem admitting that I'm fairly affectionate/emotional for a guy, and I prefer to see each other about 4-5 times a week. She is the same way, and doesn't mind spending a lot of time together as long as we both have a couple of nights a week for friends or other responsibilites. If she wasn't very affectionate or more of a non-romantic, or was more of an independent type of person who was unavailable a lot then there's no way I could deal with that.

Hopefully things work out for you, you seem really in touch with who you are at least and actually realize that this is an issue for you, the next step is just taking baby steps towards improving yourself and realizing that your partner is with you for a reason: because they see you as special and having the qualities that they want in a relationship partner. If they didn't want to be with you then they wouldn't be, so don't overstress or overanalyze trivial things.

Old 06-26-2008, 09:59 PM   #3
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Re: Insecurity that pushes people away

Originally Posted by CyberNick View Post
Hopefully things work out for you, you seem really in touch with who you are at least and actually realize that this is an issue for you, the next step is just taking baby steps towards improving yourself and realizing that your partner is with you for a reason: because they see you as special and having the qualities that they want in a relationship partner. If they didn't want to be with you then they wouldn't be, so don't overstress or overanalyze trivial things.
Thank you. You really put things in perspective for me. And yeah, not working definately gives me time to obsess over the relationship instead of being too tired from work to do so 24/7. It is worse right now; but it also gives me time for self-improvement which is needed as well.

Old 06-27-2008, 02:54 AM   #4
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Re: Insecurity that pushes people away

Good points by Cyber. You need to find someone who's similiar to yourself.
Of course, If more people did that, this board would be almost empty.
Everyone you date will not fall in love with you. If they do. It may not happen overnight.
After explaining the reasons for your issues. The person should become more understanding. If not, move on.
No harm to do that.

Old 06-27-2008, 05:06 AM   #5
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Re: Insecurity that pushes people away

Originally Posted by elatedgiraffe View Post
... What to do? How to relax and STOP* causing men to be distant with me?!?! Any good advice? Thanks!
* I think this word was missing here, or some other similar word, right? So I have inserted it here myself. Forgive me for not having asked your permission to do it.

........................................ ........................................ .......................

I don't know if this is good advice, but anyway...

It's a great thing that you recognize that you have a problem. But this is not the end of the world. Maybe this is the way you are rather than a real problem.

I don't know what kind of sexual abuse you suffered from your brother. This is terrible. Or rather, that was terrible. Don't let this past event mould your present and your future. Stop thinking and behaving as if every man you meet is going to do the same. You are stronger now and in no way you will allow this to happen again. Just don't let this pattern guide your steps.

I agree with the other posters. Basically you may need two things:

1. Find a goal in your life. Fight for it. Prepare yourself for it. Acquire discipline. You don't need to excel at it, but you must have something where you can employ your time, intelligence, experience. This is perhaps even more important than having personal relationships. No, what I mean to say is good personal relationships are likely to follow when you have a goal in your life and invest into it.

2. Associate with people who share the same goal(s). They can even be different from you in terms of personality or temper, but when you share a goal with someone, these differences seem to fade away.

We all feel insecure in life. Show me someone who never felt that way, and I will give him or her all my fortune.

The trick is that you can do things even when you feel insecure. Insecurity shouldn't be an excuse for paralysis.

Old 06-27-2008, 05:51 AM   #6
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Re: Insecurity that pushes people away

You recognize you have a problem which is huge in and of itself. So many people go through life with similar issues and never see that it is of their own "doing" and blame everyone else around them. I really commend you for seeing this and trying to be so proactive.

I know counselling is off the table due to unemployment, but I do want to suggest that when you get into another stable job that you give it another go. It certainly couldn't hurt.

I think instead of focusing on relationships right now you need to focus on you and work on becoming happy with you. Make a life that makes you happy regardless of whether or not you have a man in your life. When you get to that point, then start dating. But you need to keep that life you created and not make your life all about the guy in your life. A relationship should compliment your life and not take it over, does that make sense?

Everyone has insecurities. The worst thing you can do is tell the guy in your life "this is what you can do to make me secure" because there is NOTHING he can do to make you secure. Security has to come from within.

Old 06-27-2008, 07:30 AM   #7
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Re: Insecurity that pushes people away

Exactly, recognition of the problem is the first step to altering your behavior. I have to say that I am exactly the same. I also suffered abuse and a lot of loss in my lifetime and sometimes I really feel like I self-sabotage relationships as a form of protection. I was unceremoniously dumped last summer by someone I know really did care for me. For a majority of the relationship, I was very insecure and self-deprecating. Towards the end he even asked how could he love someone that didn't love themself? That stung like nothing has ever stung before because I realized that I had so much work to do and that he had stuck by me for a long time with me making no effort to make things better in my mind. I mean, he stuck it out with me for a long time and he saw that I wasn't getting any securer.

Cut to my relationship now. It is still very brand new but I feel a great connection with this person. Early on I shared some self-deprecating stories and he told me "no." He said "I love you and the more you criticize yourself the more it seems like you do not believe that I truly care for you". And that was when it finally sunk in. The fact that I was not loving myself or taking care of myself in the way I need to, sent him signals that I wasn't taking his love seriously or that I had doubts of some sort about us.

How to stop the behavior may involve a lot of self-reflection, tough love from others that care about you, counseling, reading books and coming to forums like this. There is an element of self-fulfilling prophecy to this -- don't do it to yourself out of fear. Let love in, respect it and yourself and re-examine how important your relationship is to you. If it is very important or the most important thing in your life, then treat the relationship with respect otherwise suffer the possible consequences like I did.

Old 06-27-2008, 08:32 AM   #8
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Re: Insecurity that pushes people away

You guys are right. I need to refocus myself a little. I woke up this morning with a new attitude and I've also done some web searching on insecurity that hit the nail on the head for me. My ex should not be my focus right now. In fact, hes the one who came back and he needs to prove himself right now. The last thing I need is to focus on him, us, and causing insecurity. He is on the road alot. 3 weeks this time so I have some weeks to re-focus on me. Its kind of nice right now with him coming to visit every so often and me left to focus on me right now; looking for work; going to interviews, etc. I think right now I will do that and put the ex on the back burner for now. Once I get myself more established and get a job again I probably won't feel this insecure. I am going to see some friends this weekend which will be good to take my mind off things. If my ex is not willing to be patient with me right now then its his loss. If he wants me back bad enough and is the right guy for me then he needs to be more understanding; which he has been; but it is starting to wear on him. Whatever. I want to love me first right now; then when I'm secure with myself I won't be insecure about losing everything around me. I used to think putting myself first was selfish, but now I see the importance on it. I need to get to a place that as long as I have myself I'll be just fine; rather than as long as I have this guy I'll be fine. Thanks for all the advice people!!! I think good changes are ahead for me and as for the ex; if its meant to be it'll work; if not; whatever I'm fabulous anyway

Old 06-28-2008, 02:10 AM   #9
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Re: Insecurity that pushes people away

I can relate to you.

I am of the same nature but it has gotten out of hand.

Fortunately, I am with someone who has been extremely patient with me and helpful to try and help me through this. But at the end of the day, it is something only I can really breakthrough.

Do not become too consumed with how you will not help. Start to think of it from his point of you and you may be able to start reasoning through how your feeling. Admittedly, you have some underlying issues behind why you are acting this way and these things should be addressed but what I have come to learn is..clinginess and insecruity is a learned behaviour and is hard to shake off even if "all is well" in your world. You have to re-train all your thoughts to start thinking more securely and positive.

You may find that when you try to change, you get harrassed by all this negative thoughts that just beat you back into the same place you started. If those thoughts arent dealt with, no matter what, you will always fall.

For me, it has become a moment by moment thing that I have to address. Every single day, every single thought...I have to reason through before I do or say anything that could harm me or the relationship.
In my relationship, in the beginning for a very long time we allowed each other to check each others phones and made it a "rule" that you could not delete any messages unless the other person knew...what we didnt realise was this was actually feeding our fears so we dropped it. For awhile, I struggled with this, even though I knew it would be better for me in the end. I continued to check his phone secretly..but the guilt would eat at me and make him feel untrusted and like a culprit.

So, now..everytime I get a thought that says "check his phone" I tell myself that I have no right to just invade another persons personal space.

That is an example.

Everytime you feel a negative thought coming on, challenge it and force yourself to move on. will become second nature and you will be a much more secure person.
Great beauty and virtue rarely dwell together.

Last edited by Baby_hands; 06-28-2008 at 02:13 AM. Reason: incorrect spelling

Old 06-28-2008, 07:05 AM   #10
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indychris HB User
Re: Insecurity that pushes people away

ela..., You are headed in right direction. That is terrible about your brother, so many bad people there. I was in group 7 ladies and me, 5 from sexual abuse and rape. You had no control over his actions and the past you can not change. But your future....... wow!!!! That you can and I think you are about to have a fantastic one. That job thing, well I wish I could hire you but.... I think job will help you more then anything right now, and as for clingy, well I would love to have a clingy gal but she better have more to offer then that, and your a smart young lady you know that. Now please listen to me this is very important. You see the signs from your past and that special person is telling you something, slow down, slow down please slow down! You need to hear him. Try making some goals of things that, "You Can Do", for yourself. Be real selfish too. (Smile) just kidding "a lil bit". Do make at least one fun one, like flirt a little with with some one in a fast food place or something, just walk up to a table and ask if you can sit with them and smile. Who cares if they say no, I don't, but allot of times they say okay and that is the fun part. (That is one I like, I do it everyday) 3 of them to get that job, really lets get that job or work toward it. and one... well I don't want to know about that one. (Smile) Now really do it and write them down and look at them every day. You might not get any of them done and that is okay but try too. Now about your Mr. Man... well I think you need to not just give them some space but also tell them that you are. Just say something like.....I have been thinking and please don't feel like I don't love you if I don't pay a lot of attintion to you for a while but I am going to be spending as much time as it takes to get a job. I need one real bad so I can be more independent and (misspelled word sorry, it is underlined back there in RED. I wish it would just spell it for me. I think I am real smart, just can't spell and it does inbarris me. darn it did it again. I think that the good things that are going to happen to you involve the job you are going to get. Also you do need to give him that space. Don't worry if he is your true love it might make him love you and show you more, and if not his loss you will know. But that job.......
Hope to here more from you.

Old 06-28-2008, 10:15 PM   #11
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Re: Insecurity that pushes people away

I agree with all the people who say to stop focusing on it so much and focus on you. I am a very clingy person also and I always want to be with my partner. Back when we were dating, I would get so sad if he wasn't around and would start thinking that he didn't want to be with me and that he was having more fun wherever he was and that he just didn't need me!

First thing I've learned, everybody needs some personal time to do what they enjoy. EVERYONE, even YOU!! So, when you get into a relationship, especially at first, allow the guy some personal time to do his thing and at that same time, you do your thing, whatever it may be. Go to the gym, go shopping, something! Personal time is important for relationships I think. I am still learning to give my husband personal time, but when he has it, he is more ready to be with me when he is done. Absence makes the heart grow fonder....

Also, and I struggled with this as well, make YOU the focus. Everything you do, should benefit you in some way. Start working out and build some self-confidence back. Getting a job is definitely a plus. It gives you something to focus on, and makes you feel important and needed, which you need.

Make some decent friends and go out. Socialize. that one is hard for me because I HATE making new friends!! I don't like it at all and I get very shy and worried that they don't like me bec I'm not thin enough, or pretty enough, or my clothes are funny... but if you can make some good friends like I have, who you can be yourself with, it's great therapy!

Make some goals and work towards them! You can do it! Learn to believe that you don't NEED a man to complete you or make you happy.... you may WANT one, but you don't NEED one!

Old 08-01-2008, 09:34 PM   #12
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chiarrai777 HB User
Re: Insecurity that pushes people away

I would love to know what has been working for you and which websites on insecurity were best. I too have suffered this my entire dating life. I never honestly knew why I did it until the boyfriend who just officially dumped me 3 days ago but that has been on/off w/me for 3.5 yrs said those words. He knew it and I didn't but he never knew how to discuss it with me. I in addition to being clingy/needy get the fight or flight mentality and can have a rather sharp tongue. No one will deal w/these issues nor should they have to. I do not know where my behaviors come from as they have been there since day 1 of dating. Thank you all for your words of advice. This seems like a WONDERFUL outlet.

Old 08-02-2008, 02:23 PM   #13
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Re: Insecurity that pushes people away

Just do some searches on insecurity. I can't remember what sites I actually went to. Communication is also important. I found that in my present situation that talking with my significant other about why I act the way I do sometimes, etc. gives him more clarity on how to help me and we have really started to grow together, learning one another and the insecurity is something I know I have to work on and have been working on. Nothing he says or does will make me more secure and I was looking at him to fix this. I have to find that security within myself. Its a catch 22. You are so scared to loose that person that you ultimatately push them away by becoming clingy. So since I really want to make this work then I know I had to make some changes. The best part about talking with him about it is that he then opened up his insecurities to me. We realized we both have the same insecurities and it made me so good to know that I'm not the only one. We are all our worst enemy..we all have insecurities and to know that he felt insecure as well brought us closer and me more relaxed; which was much needed.

Old 08-04-2008, 02:38 PM   #14
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Re: Insecurity that pushes people away

Thank you. Are you still w/the divorced fellow who has children? I ask because oddly enough my situation w/the on agian, off again bf is the same there too. He called on Sun which was a HUGE shock since on Fri he asked to have no contact. I have not called him back as of yet since I do not know what to do.

Old 08-04-2008, 03:41 PM   #15
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Re: Insecurity that pushes people away

I am still seeing him. He works on the road in order to make some serious money to get some things paid off so he can recover and make a fresh start from the divorce. Plus he is now trying to get full custody of his kids and needs to get a place and in a job where he will be able to do so. He should be working on the road for a couple of months more and then he is planning to get a job and place here. I have only been able to see him a couple days out of the past 2 months which has been hard but its good cause it gives me time to sort things out in my head---maybe too much time. So we aren't really together and although he wants me to wait on him he also understands that its my choice to wait on him or not. So its a day by day thing. I love him and hes like my best friend but until we can be a traditional couple I keep my options open as well. I have a good feeling things will work out but it takes time and its hard. Whats going on with your situation? Why did he say he didn't want to see you and now he does again?

Last edited by elatedgiraffe; 08-04-2008 at 03:43 PM.

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