This article first appeared on Your Tango and has been republished with permission.
We all have something we are insecure about, but when do insecurities become a problem?
Sure, you don't like how you look in a bikini or you think your laugh is ugly, but that's normal. What's not normal is allowing those insecurities to negatively affect and ultimately ruin your relationships. So how can you tell if your insecurities are wreaking havoc in your personal life and what can you do about it?
Merely having insecurities does not automatically make us toxic.
No, the issue arises when we let those insecurities overpower our better, sunnier sides that are just happy to see someone’s else success.
Insecurities are negative emotions that threaten to destroy us, others, and especially our personal relationships that are supposed to be watered by mutual goodwill. Feelings of insecurity can make us say and do things that are truly deplorable and destructive. But most importantly, insecurities can steal your personal happiness by deluding you into thinking that the world has a scarcity.
Insecurities will shroud your thousand good qualities from your very own eyes, and make you feel less special than everyone else on this planet. As a result, it can create a lot of resentment over time.
What, then, can we do?
Don't fall victim to your own self-doubt and unease! You can live a happy life if you allow yourself to accept your insecurities and work toward neutralizing them so they don't affect the relationships you cherish. Instead, take responsibility for how your insecurities affect you and those around you and work on changing that. There are, in fact, many steps we can take to handle our insecurities in ways that can create meaningful shifts in our lives.
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Here are four ways to manage your insecurities to prevent them from ruining your relationships.
1. Accept that you have insecurities.
Acceptance itself can bring many changes in your behavior. Accepting your insecurities makes you more alert when you are getting triggered, which will, in turn, reduce any unwanted and awkward incidents. Acceptance also forces you to hold yourself accountable for your own behavior and actions.
2. Take a step back and analyze why you have these insecurities.
Journaling can be especially helpful as it can reveal our thought processes. When we have the time and energy, we can come back to it and see where we are getting things wrong and where our strengths lie. Often times you will find that the area that makes you insecure can, in fact, be developed in your life.
Your negative emotions might subconsciously be a cry for help that, if you listen to and work with, might end up enriching your life. You may even find that you are unfairly judging yourself, causing your own insecurities. If you notice that you've been minimizing your own achievements and good qualities and magnifying someone else's, work toward seeing yourself in a more positive, more accurate manner.
3. Look toward the supportive people in your life.
Your biggest supporters can be anyone who sees all your strengths — your mom, best friend, coworker, or significant other. They can remind you of your good qualities and accomplishments when you are feeling down or give into your insecurities.
Don’t be afraid to reach out and share your feelings.They might actually be surprised to find that you think so little of yourself! Your friends and family have a better understanding of who you are as a person and what makes you so special. They see the best parts of you that you may overlook and can really help you work through difficult emotions and rebuild your self-esteem.
4. Send positive thoughts towards the person who makes you insecure.
This is tough one but it can be very liberating! I have personally tried it and, trust me, it works. There is something pure about wanting the best for someone else that actually ends up helping us as well.