Feel secure in relationshipsmore particularly in the intimate relationships, is essential. If you don’t feel safe and are always walking on eggshells, not only will you always be anxious, but it can set you back – you’ll periodically feel resentful and explode – or you’ll adopt the role of martyr and end up by exhausting you. More importantly, you will never get what you really need – never a place where you can be yourself. Let go of that anxiety or those masks you are wearing and lean into a relationship where you feel loved, loved, and accepted.
What actually creates this security feeling varies from person to person. What we need most often reflects what we didn’t have in our childhood, the wounds that remain. Here are some of the common, often interrelated needs:
1 – Acceptance
If you grew up in a family where anger was constant, where you always felt criticized, where parents or others were unstable, where you felt micromanaged, you might be anxious about such strong emotions and become hypervigilant. You may have learned to “be good” or to stop to avoid feeling attacked, and these ways of coping may continue into adulthood. More sadly, if you still spend so much of your energy building a life that keeps others at bay, you may never have the opportunity to find out who you really are.
2 – Feeling heard rather than feeling rejected or invisible
This can obviously go hand in hand with the former – but that feeling of invisibility can arise even when it wasn’t. Maybe your parents didn’t push you away or control you, but instead were self-preoccupied or neglectful. You felt that it didn’t matter what you said, what you felt, what you needed. Your voice and your opinions were never listened to, you were insignificant and, again, you probably questioned yourself, got angry or closed yourself off to others. As an adult, your sense of security takes the form of feeling heard, of being considered and appreciated rather than being rejected.
3 – Have other people you can count on
If you grew up in a family where you couldn’t rely on your parents or significant others – perhaps because of mental health issues, addictions or other issues – then you’ve learned that you can’t not rely on others and trust them to give you what you need. The result may be that you come to depend too much on someone who seems capable of becoming a “caregiver”, or more likely that you develop a position of self-sufficiency – there is me, and there is me, and I take care of me ; you never lean on others because you are afraid that if you do, you will fall.
4 – Work together as a team
In this scenario, chances are you may have had parents who had little connection to each other, parents who were very independent, sometimes in their own bubbles and basically lived parallel lives, or parents who believed in creating empowered children. What is often left is less a life of anxiety and more a life of loneliness and isolation. The need as an adult is to have the opportunity to feel that you don’t have to do it all by yourselfto see that people are ready to help, and in your intimate relationships that you are connected, that you share the same vision, that you work together towards the same goals.
5 – Have someone able to take charge
If you grew up in a chaotic family where no one was really in charge, where the children often had to fend for themselves, you might want to have a strong partner who can take over, who is equal to you in your ability to lead and manage difficult situations. Security for you comes from this reliability, this teamwork, this feeling that someone has your back.
It’s time to get what you need: what do you need most to feel safeto stop being afraid, to feel that you can let your guard down and invest yourself even more in your relationship?
Can you overcome those fears of little children and do now what you naturally couldn’t do with your parents – talk and say what you need, stop being the martyr, stop walking on eggshells, etc. You can, even if you have to take baby steps, even if you need support. What do you have to lose? If not now, when ?