Do You Deliberately Create Insecurity in Relationships? - Teal Swan Articles - Teal Swan Jump to content

Do You Deliberately Create Insecurity in Relationships?

Relationship security is the holy grail of relationships. In each one of our relationships, we are working to achieve it. Relationship security being a state of safety, certainty and confidence about each other and about the bond between you, which brings about a natural state of ease, relaxation and wellbeing. Relationship security is not something that just happens, you have to actually actively create it. To learn more about this, you can watch my video titled: The Biggest Mistake People Make about Relationship Security.

When we don’t have security in a relationship, it presents a real problem. The parts of ourselves that protect us from the other person come to the forefront and usually destroy the relationship instead of make it better. We enter into a state of distress, causing us to literally become unhealthy on a mental, emotional and physical level. Our self-confidence, self-worth and estimation of our own lovability takes a nose dive. Our energy levels, motivation and productivity are decreased. We default to dysfunctional behaviors and coping mechanisms to try to manage the fear and pain we feel. And the list goes on and on. 

At face value, it seems like all we would be doing is trying to create relationship security and preserve relationship security at all costs. But this is not the case. In fact, one of the most under recognized subconscious patterns is the pattern of deliberately creating insecurity in relationships.

There are many reasons why a person would deliberately create insecurity in a relationship, but every one of them boils down to a person feeling like the only way to get a specific need of theirs met, is to create insecurity in that relationship. To understand more about this dynamic in general, you can watch my video titled: There is No Such Thing as Self Sabotage.

So that you can understand this better, here is an example. Cara has three very close friends. But she is ruining those friendships. She has a nasty little habit of having a breakdown every so often where seemingly out of the blue, she cries about feeling unsatisfied in the friendship and wants to go spend time with other people instead of spending as much time with them. This usually results in a four-way conflict where everyone ends up crying. The truth isn’t what Cara is saying, she doesn’t really want to spend less time with them and more time with other people, so why is she saying it? Because whenever Cara happens to feel bad about herself, or fears that people will get used to her, Cara pushes people away, so that she can make sure they don’t take her presence for granted. And so that she can test whether they will either not care, or whether they will pull her in. If they say things to pull her in and act miserable about the idea of losing her, she feels good about herself again. Her sense of self-worth rises. When Cara destroys the security her friends feel in the relationship, they react in a way that helps Cara to avoid her fear of being taken for granted. And that meets her need for self-esteem. Cara spends months trying to build relationship security, only to destroy it in a matter of minutes. And of course, Cara feels like crap when she does this, because she has to live with the loss of security in her relationship with her friends. But the reality is, Cara’s need for self-esteem and to avoid the feeling of being taken advantage of, is more important to her than the feeling of relationship security and is more important to her than whether her friends suffer or not.

To give you another example, Tobias has been dating a woman for a few months now. He has been working on getting closer and closer to her, and helping her to feel that she can rely on him. She has been spending the night at his house often enough lately that she decided that she would leave a bag with some of her toiletries at his house. When Tobias went into the bathroom and found the toiletry bag, he panicked. He felt furious and passive aggressively threw it in the trash. When she showed up later that night and looked everywhere for the bag, only to find it in the trash, all the security she felt with him vanished. She confronted him on it and at first, he denied doing it. But then admitted that it made him upset that she just assumed she could move something into his house. And just like that, all security they were building up, was destroyed.

What had happened is that Tobias experienced enmeshment trauma in his childhood. He wants closeness with a woman, but he also doesn’t. When he gets close to a woman, inevitably he hits a point where he suddenly feels like he is going to get swallowed up and suffocated and controlled and like his life has to be all about pleasing her. So, he destroys the security in the relationship and all sense of closeness to establish a sense of separation again. Doing this causes him to feel a sense of his own identity and boundaries again. Tobias’s has no clue how to have healthy boundaries and how to have both closeness and autonomy in a relationship. So, currently, his need for autonomy and boundaries is more important than his need for relationship security. And he is willing to destroy it to meet those needs.

Like I said, a person might destroy relationship security or create insecurity in a relationship for a great many reasons. To give you an idea of what I mean, they might do it for the sake of increasing their own self-esteem, to force someone else to pull them so they can feel wanted, to push someone away so they can establish a sense of autonomy, to gain the upper hand in a power struggle in a relationship, to force someone to do what they want and cater to their demands, to prevent people from taking them for granted, to deliberately punish someone or cause them to suffer, to be the one to destroy a relationship first because they think it’s going to end anyway, and they’d rather not be the one being left or being hurt first. To protect a secret they are keeping. To avoid the fear that when someone gets close to them, that person will decide they are bad and won’t like or want them. To try to force someone to stop doing something that is hurting them. To scare someone into meeting a need they have. To mitigate their feelings of jealousy. Or to cause someone to act in a way that creates relationship security for them. And this list could go on and on.

At the end of the day, if you are doing something to create relationship insecurity, you need to face the part of yourself that is getting something out of doing so. You have to look at the consequences of what you are choosing to prioritize over relationship security. The biggest consequence of course being that you will not be able to build security in a relationship. In whatever relationship you happen to be in, you need to ask yourself: What are the various consequences of not being able to create security in this specific relationship? From there, you have a choice to make regarding whether creating insecurity in your relationships is worth it, regardless of the short- and long-term consequences, because you are getting something you value more out of doing it.

So often, when we are engaged in a behavior like destroying relationship security for the sake of some need we have, or for the sake of protecting ourselves from something we are afraid of, we are going about getting a need met in an in-direct and manipulative way. And so, we have to realize that the door is open to meet that need we have or to protect ourselves from whatever we fear in a better way and in a much more direct way. 

Can you recognize the way (or the ways) in which you deliberately create insecurity in your relationships? And can you recognize WHY you do it?


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