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Better Relationships: 10 Fears You Should Overcome
by Arti Patel
The Huffington Post Canada
They say love is all about having the right chemistry with someone, but if you or your partner constantly live in fear, it could cause your relationship to short circuit.
Fears, especially the ones that come up in relationships, can be developed during experiences in our childhood or adolescence, says relationship expert and author of Love Me, Don’t Leave Me, Michelle Skeen. “This creates an internal working model that we use to predict relationships in our adult life.”
Skeen says these fears, which include everything from being judged to being alone, can keep people from building better relationships. If you find yourself falling into one of the categories below, Skeen says you should start by recognizing your fear. If you’re already in a relationship, it’s time to talk about it with your partner.
“Even though these profound fears are from the past, they feel very real in the present when we are in triggering situations,” she says “Intimate relationships are the biggest trigger because we often feel most vulnerable.”
While some fears may be impacting your current relationships, others could you holding back from getting into one. Skeen says if this is the case, you may want to reevaluate your expectations or give someone a chance, for example, before jumping to conclusions about the outcome.
Here are 10 common fears Skeen says people may have before or during relationships.
You Fear Rejection
What you tell yourself: “If I’m not perfect I’ll be rejected…”
If you’re constantly fearing rejection and hide your true self, psychologist and relationship expert Michelle Skeen says this may stop people from getting too close to you or knowing the real you.
You Let Your Emotions Get The Best of You
What you tell yourself: “I’ll never have someone who understands me/connects with me emotionally…”
Skeen says this is when you don’t share your vulnerabilities with others, because you’re worried about how they would respond. “You become angry and demanding when you don’t get what you need,” she says.
You Fear Upsetting Others
What you tell yourself: “If I don’t tolerate criticism or abuse I’ll be alone…”
Not only is this unhealthy way to maintain a relationship, but you may let people take advantage of you. “You are accommodating and compliant as a way to prevent the other person from getting angry,” she says.
You Have A List Of ‘Needs’
What you tell yourself: “ I’ll never get what I need from another person…”
When you have a long list of needs, you avoid relationships because you never feel like you’ll find someone who will fulfill these needs, Skeen says. “You resent others because you aren’t getting the love and understanding that you need.”
You Fear Getting Hurt
What you tell yourself: “People will take advantage of me if I let my guard down…”
Skeen says this is when you avoid getting close to others because you fear they will hurt you in the long run.
You Fear Coming Out Of Your Shell
What you tell yourself: “If people really knew me they would reject me…”
Skeen says some people may hide who they really are — their beliefs, thoughts, dreams — from others because they fear rejection for being themselves. “You may present only a superficial face to the world instead of allowing anyone to dig deeper,” she says.
You Fear Criticism
What you tell yourself: “I’ll never measure up to others…”
“You allow others to criticize you or minimize your accomplishments. Or, you overachieve to avoid criticism of others,” Skeen says.
You Fear Loneliness
What you tell yourself: “I avoid relationships because ultimately I’ll be left alone…”
Some people may focus their time and energy on work and/or extracurricular activities so they keep themselves busy, Skeen says.
You Fear Betrayal
What you tell yourself: “I can’t be vulnerable with another person because they will use it against me…”
If you’re constantly on guard for any sign of betrayal, you may lash out at others as a way to protect yourself, Skeen says.
You Fear Not Having The Perfect Person
What you tell yourself: ”I’ll never get the love I want…”
Sure, some expectations in a relationship are fine, but you should never go into one with a long list of must-haves. If you do, Skeen says this leads people to become angry or frustrated if they find partners who don’t meet their expectations.
Read it on huffingtonpost.ca