Do you find yourself struggling with anxiety related to social interactions and relationships? Do you feel you are being ruled by your insecurities and fears? This is a common problem that people encounter, getting in the way of creating the meaningful relationships (both platonic and romantic) that they desire. Here are some strategies that you can use to help you overcome your insecurities and be better able to pursue relationships.
Remind yourself of your positive qualities
A lot of times when we are feeling insecure, we lose our confidence and forget what we like about ourselves. The insecurity can take over and, on some level, we may even feel that we don’t deserve to be loved. To counter that, write a list of your positive qualities, including character traits, physical looks, and accomplishments. When the insecurity is so strong, it can be hard to assemble that list. Therefore, do it preemptively, write it before the insecurity hits you hard or ask close friends/family members for help. It can also be beneficial to have a mantra about yourself, for example, “I am a good person and deserve love.” Wake up in the morning and go to bed with your mantra and/or your positive qualities list. When you find yourself sinking into negative thought patterns, stop yourself and repeat your mantra and review your list.
Do something that makes you feel good about yourself
When you are feeling down and bad about yourself, doing an activity that makes you feel good can help counter the negativity. Make sure it is a positive activity, anything from getting a massage or a manicure, to volunteering for a charity. Engaging in an activity that helps you feel relaxed will make you less vulnerable to insecurities and negative thoughts. Doing something that helps others can also have the same impact because you leave these experiences feeling more positive and productive.
Stop worrying so much about what other people are thinking
Rather than concentrating on what is going through someone else’s mind, turn the focus back onto yourself. Make sure you are checking in with yourself and your feelings. Ask things like “do I want to be in this relationship?” “Are my needs being met?” “Is this person worthy of my love and kindness?” If the answer to these questions are yes, trust yourself and your feelings.
People can get into the habit of reading into everything other people do and thinking about what that means about you and this person’s thoughts about you. When you think something is true, you will often find facts to prove it, even if that means stretching the facts. If you believe people don’t like you or have nice things to say about you, you will find evidence to support that. So, stop looking for that, go back to the previous step and focus on your feelings and needs.