All human beings have insecurities and anxieties. In every aspect of our lives we find something to worry about… our jobs, our health, our families, our friendships. What’s more, we can’t help but really delve into our everyday anxieties.
We analyze the causes, the underlying factors, and the what-ifs. We speculate about every possible outcome of the situation that concerns us, regardless of how ridiculous it may seem. Humans are pretty negative beings. We expect the worst… it’s in our nature. We are all slightly paranoid.
We are no different in our relationships. Even if it’s running smoothly and you’re happy, what if things change? You’re constantly on the lookout for signs of failure. What if your partner cheats? What if they leave you? If heartbreak is a possibility, you want to prepare for it. It’s all about self preservation!
But, in doing so, aren’t we just tormenting ourselves? Your insecurities and these thoughts of so-called “self preservation” may even become a cause of relationship breakdown. Unnecessary anxiety and paranoia can make us behave in peculiar ways. Surely, choosing a positive outlook on your love life and simply enjoying every happy moment will give you a healthier foundation for your relationship.
How can you avoid relationship paranoia?
It’s time to rid yourself of your relationship paranoia! Take a look at these 8 steps, and go forward with a more positive outlook on your relationship!
#1 Choose positivity over negativity. We often tend towards negative thoughts when we are feeling paranoid and insecure. It’s a defense mechanism. We subconsciously prepare ourselves for the worst possible situation, but in doing so, we cause ourselves unnecessary stress because our worries are almost never true.
So, if we attempt to dismiss our negative thoughts and choose more rational thinking, we stand a chance of combatting our paranoia. Try to look to positivity unless you have a real reason to do otherwise! Choose to take your partner at their word, rather than making negative assumptions about the things they say or do.
Take your worry or concern and try your utmost to turn it into a positive thought. If you are usually concerned when your partner is out without you, try focusing your emotional energies on hoping that they have a good time rather than worrying that they might be doing something untoward. [Read: 10 subtle signs that you’re thinking too negatively]
#2 Don’t make assumptions! So, your partner isn’t replying to your messages, you might assume that they are losing interest, maybe they are mad at you for some reason, or perhaps they are hiding something…
The truth is, you can’t be sure that any of these thoughts are true, so why worry? More often than not, there is a simple explanation, and when all becomes clear, you will wonder what you were worrying about in the first place!
It is more likely that their phone has run out of battery or it’s on silent. Always give your partner the benefit of the doubt and assume that there is a simple explanation before you make assumptions about their behavior.
#3 Don’t read between the lines. One of the main causes of my own paranoia are the times when my boyfriend is quieter than usual or acting “different” in some manner. He might be behaving less affectionate than usual, or isn’t as responsive in conversation. I often deduce that I must have done something wrong, or that he is less interested in me today than he was yesterday. When I ask him what’s wrong, he either says “nothing” or explains that he’s tired. But, I still can’t help but read between the lines, something must be the matter!
It’s easy to forget that we all have mood swings, we all have bad days, and we can all be irritable when we are tired! Yes, body language is an important tool for communication, but if your partner is quieter and more closed off than usual, you shouldn’t instantly surmise that it is something that you have done.
Ask about their well being, and if they tell you that they are tired or have simply had a bad day, take their word for it. If you interrogate them for the imaginary underlying reasons for their behavior, they are only going to feel more irritable!
#4 Turn off your phone and computer. You may think that constant texts will give you comfort when you are feeling paranoid or have concerns about your relationship. In truth, they are not helpful at all. You’ll just appear needy, which may even push your partner away.
If you spend hours “stalking” your partner’s social network profiles, you are only feeding your own anxieties. You are subconsciously looking for incriminating evidence, which is completely counter productive! And then, when you find nothing at all, you wonder what they could be hiding.
Remember, space is important, give each other room to be individuals. You don’t have to be involved in each other’s lives, 24 hours a day. Put the phone down or close your laptop. Take a time out. Promise yourself not to text or look at a social networking site for a set period of time.
When you create boundaries for yourself, you might expect to feel vulnerable and helpless, but you’ll actually start to feel more empowered and free. [Read: 12 things you do that will make him think you’re a stalker]
#5 Distract yourself. When you are at home worrying about what your partner may or may not be doing on a night out with their friends, are you actually just jealous that your partner is having fun without you?
Accept that you are not the only person in your partner’s life, in the same way that they are not the only person in your own! We are all influenced by so many people in our lives. Friends are important for both of you, and it is important to spend time with them.
If your partner is out with their friends, why not go out with your own? It’s far better than sitting at home creating unrealistic scenarios in your head. Distract yourself, forget about your worries and exchange stories with your partner afterwards.
#6 Accept that your partner will develop friendships with members of the opposite sex. When your partner mentions a friend who happens to be a member of the opposite sex, you can often suppose that there is something that must be going on. I mean, we’ve all seen “When Harry Met Sally.”
But this is the real world, and it is perfectly possible to have friends of the opposite sex! After all, I’m sure you have your own friends and acquaintances whom you would never dream of viewing in a romantic or sexual light.
Be of the opinion that it is a perfectly innocent relationship, unless you are given real reason to believe otherwise. Why not try to get to know this friend with an objective view, and without displaying any feelings of suspicion or jealousy? You will quite often find that they are quite keen to meet you! Your worries will disappear, and you might even feel quite bad for viewing this person in such a negative way. [Read: 6 little ways to stop being so jealous]
#7 Learn to recognize when you are acting paranoid. We don’t often realize when we are acting paranoid. We overreact and regret it afterwards. At the time, we are so caught up in our fears and worries that we don’t realize how our behavior might be perceived by others, including our partners, until after the event.
To combat this, attempt to be mindful of the way you react to situations that usually trigger paranoia. If you react without thinking, you will often choose the wrong reaction, which will only make the situation worse. Give yourself time to reflect in an objective and rational way before deciding the best and most appropriate reaction.
Almost always, your feelings of paranoia have no roots in reality and you will realize this if you give yourself time to think. You might even decide that no reaction is necessary and you’ll forget all about it.
#8 Talk through your insecurities and trust issues with your partner. Fight your paranoia at its core. These anxieties generally arise because we have insecurities and trust issues. We choose not to talk about them for fear of feeling vulnerable, looking silly, or because you can’t find an explanation as to why you feel that way in the first place.
Take a leap of faith and talk your insecurities through with your partner in a rational way. They will most likely put your worries to rest! Being open with your partner should be the number one priority. We all have worries and insecurities, and talking them through is the best way to combat them. As they always say, honesty is the best policy. [Read: 9 effective ways to stop being so needy and insecure]
It’s time to stop being so paranoid about whether or not your partner is cheating on you or whether things might change. Yes, heartbreak is a possibility, but isn’t it better to free ourselves of the hassle of worrying about it and actually enjoy our relationships when the going is good?
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