When someone you care about tries to tear you down, instil fear or self-doubt in your mind, whether that is a family member, friend or someone you’re dating, it can literally feel like a dagger to the heart.
We have all encountered those people who, no matter what, they just cannot seem to be happy for you. Instead of words of encouragement they always seem to find things that are “wrong” with what you’re doing or saying. They point out things that other people may not necessarily even think to notice or comment on. It’s almost as if they want you to feel insecure so that you don’t succeed. Their actions and words are subtle. Words of encouragement are quickly followed by phrases such as; Are you sure? That is not how I would do it. Maybe you should do (insert blank) instead.
These are the types of people who truly catch me off guard. They are life leaches holding on for dear life, living in a place of fear wanting to suck everyone else in with them. They don’t necessarily do it intentionally, but have you ever heard the term, “misery loves company?”
These are the people who don’t necessarily live for passion, success, growth and development, they live in fear and for comfort. How people choose to live their lives is their own business as far as I am concerned. It’s natural to be worried about someone you care about but to place self-doubt in another because it’s not how you would go about your life, is misguided.
Combating self-doubt in relationships, can be hard when the person you care about start’s picking away at who you are and the way you live your life. In my friends and family relationships I have encountered some fear and hesitation around the quitting of my corporate management job to pursue my writing and coaching career. I suppose their reactions most of the time came from a place of fear of my well-being. They wanted me to be okay and I was doing something that was in essence outside of the box, with no assured outcome. Some even tried to convince me to stay at my job or to become anonymous in my writing endeavours, despite my steadfast desire to pursue my dream.
In my dating relationships I have been lucky enough to say I have only encountered two individuals that ever intentionally/unintentionally tore me down. I remember one guy in particular trying to literally quiz me on anything and everything to watch me squirm when I did not get an answer right. It could have been a math question or the location of a country on a map; it didn’t matter. They were such obscure questions and he would do it in such a manner as to catch me off guard, by asking me out of the blue, in inopportune times. He wanted to prove a point to me, he was smarter and I was not. The less intelligent he thought I felt, the more inclined I would be willing to stay with him. He wanted that control because of his own insecurities.
I quickly learned how insecure he was. The act of him trying to break me down, really had nothing to do with me and everything to do with him and what he thought of himself. He thought that the only way to keep me was for me to feel as insecure as he was. Insecure people don’t leave.
When combating self-doubt in relationships, it’s important to understand that when someone expresses actions or words of self-doubt, belittling or fear towards you, it’s really not about you. It’s not even necessarily how they actually feel about you or what you’re doing, it’s entirely all about them.
How someone see’s themself really has an effect on how they approach the world and the people in their lives. Those that live in a place of fear or insecurity tend to project that on others. In my friends and family example, their response to me, is really coming from a place of love and fear. However, in my dating example, this is an abusive and controlling approach. It’s important to remove yourself from people’s live’s who use subtle (or not so subtle) manipulation techniques to provoke insecurity in you.
Instead of letting someone’s words or actions break you down or delay you from pursuing your dream, have compassion for them and continue to follow your gut. Combating self-doubt in relationships requires you to be extremely selective of the people you keep in your circle and if they’re not adding value and positivity to your life, have the strength to walk away.
Believing in yourself and trusting your gut through these moments will ultimately help guide you.