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How can you effectively deal with other people’s insecurities?
What if you and your partner decide to explore open relationships, but when the opportunity to act on this arises, your partner goes a bit kittywompus and becomes extra clingy and uncertain about it? Or maybe you can tell they aren’t feeling so good about it because they pepper you with questions about every interaction.
What if you decide to start a new business, and your business partner becomes very nervous that you might lose all your money? Perhaps they take all the joy out of the business by second-guessing every decision.
What if you pick a university major you like, but your parents seem more interested in talking you out of it, worrying that you won’t make enough money to support yourself and have a good life? What if they even bribe you by offering to shoulder more of the costs if you switch majors?
What’s an intelligent way to handle these situations?
Resisting Resistance is Futile
The Borg had it right all along. Resistance is futile. Moreover, it’s even more futile to resist resistance.
If someone in your life is feeling insecure, let them. If you resist their insecurity, then you’ll have problems. If you accept it, then their insecurity will soon become unnecessary.
Say to the other person, “Your feelings of insecurity create no resistance in me. It’s not a problem for me at all if you’re feeling insecure; I’m totally fine with it. I still choose to love you (or work with you, enjoy your company, eat blueberries off your nipples, etc.) regardless of how insecure you may be feeling.”
By not resisting their insecurity or trying to make it go away, they’ll soon realize that if their insecurity won’t scare you away, then perhaps they no longer need it. Maybe they can simply welcome the connection with you without worrying so much. And this actually helps them feel more secure.
I think this is a nice example of how detachment works better than clinginess, neediness, and attachment. If you resist others’ bouts of insecurity, then you’ll just perpetuate it. Try making someone wrong for acting insecure, and see what that does to their insecurity; it only makes it worse. And wallowing in their insecurities with them is just as ineffective.
Of course other people’s insecurities are just reflections of your own. If someone else is feeling insecure with you, that’s a hint and a half that you aren’t secure in how you’re living or in what you’re getting into. When you get secure, the people around you feel quite secure as well.
When you’re truly secure, then other people’s insecurities won’t bother you, and your not being bothered makes it unnecessary for them to feel insecure. If you can be comfortable with their insecurities, then they know you’re comfortable with all of them, and hence they soon lose interest in being insecure.
Allowing People to Explore the Well
When people around me share their feelings of insecurity with me, I imagine myself holding a rope while they explore the bottom of a well. I don’t go into the well with them; I hang out at the top. I don’t try to talk them into coming back out of the well. I don’t have a problem with their choosing to explore the well. If they want help getting out of the well, I’m happy to use the rope to help pull them up, but only if that’s clearly what they want and they’re cooperating fully. I’m not going to try to pull them out if they resist that, nor will I offer to help them up unless they request it.
I’ve been in that well before, so I know what it’s like down there, but I don’t see the point in re-exploring it with each new person who invites me. I prefer to decline those invites, but I’ll hang out at the top of the well in case they need help getting out. If I see they’re going to be a while though, I may go off and explore elsewhere, letting them know to give a loud shout when they’re ready to come back up.
In the past I tried doing the opposite. I would go down into the well with the person. Then we both get stuck, and it’s much harder to get ourselves out. Or I’d try to talk the person out of the well, which they’d vehemently resist. Or I’d berate them for going down there in the first place and abandon the well.
Now I see that when someone else is choosing to explore the well, I notice that it’s really a part of me that’s doing that. If I resist that exploration, I get stuck. If I simply allow it without resistance, it speeds along pretty quickly, verifying that there’s nothing new to see down there, and very shortly we’re topside again.
Yesterday Rachelle and I had an interesting subjective reality style conversation while strolling around Osborne Village in Winnipeg… and while enjoying a delicious bowl of red curry soup. I love manifesting curry!
We talked about what directions we might explore in our relationship and possible insecurities that may arise. What if we slept with other people more often than we did with each other? What if one or both of us had more threesomes with others than we did together? What if we traveled more with other people than we did together? What would that mean for our relationship? Does it mean we’re less close? Does it mean we’re not really a couple anymore?
With each identification of possible insecurities, it became clear that there was no need to resist it. That would simply manifest unnecessary blocks to our growth.
I realized that any potential insecurity I saw in her was simply a reflection of my own issues. I was resisting her potential resistance, and I already know from experience that doing that sort of thing is a dead end. This shifted my thinking pretty quickly, and I realized that regardless of how much or how little we connect with others or what we do with other people, or how either of us felt about that, there was no need to resist any of those potential reactions.
I like Rachelle enough to know that no matter how much insecurity she might express about what I’m doing, I can still choose to love her and enjoy our time together. My relationship with her isn’t dependent upon her feeling secure all the time. And interestingly, this makes her feel much more secure in our relationship.
I also know that she can choose to do whatever she desires to explore her own happiness, and I’m not going to feel insecure about that. I’m delighted to see her happy, with or without me present. If I welcome her to reconnect with me again and again no matter what she enjoys doing with others, then we’re likely to continue enjoying many delightful times together.
How can you feel insecure in a relationship when you see that your insecurities won’t push your partner away? Isn’t it nice to know that when you or your partner chooses to explore the well, the other will patiently hold the rope?
You can experience some tremendous growth by exploring your reactions to others’ reactions. The only insecurities you can effectively resolve are your own, but those are the only ones that really matter. As you learn to accept and allow other people’s insecurities (i.e. your resistance to their resistance), you release incongruent and misaligned thoughts, feelings, and beliefs within yourself. And soon you’ll see the people in your reality feeling increasingly happy and secure in your presence.
Enjoy the blueberries! 😉