Tag Archives: fear of rejection

Thoughts on rebound relationships

 

broken heart photo

Thoughts on rebound relationships

Are rebound relationships a good thing or a bad thing? Can they work? Rational thinking would dictate that it is probably best to leave some space between the end of one relationship and the beginning of a new relationship. My thoughts on rebound relationships are that they can work under some circumstances but there is a higher majority of rebound relationships that don’t work out.

The reason for rebound relationships not working out are varied but the main reason is that the relationship starts in a dysfunctional place. Emotions aren’t neutral and one partner (or both) will be looking to fill a void. In essence they choose someone out of need rather than because they really want the relationship for the right reasons. A sense of urgency develops and needs can be compromised, standards lowered in order to meet urgent emotional voids left by the previous relationship.

When we act on emotional urges we tend to use different parts of our brain (the emotional part – amygdala and hippocampus) and we rationalise in a different way. What may seem a good idea to the emotional brain may not be such a good idea to the rational, healthy mind a few month’s down the line.

Of course, rebound relationships can take away some of the pain of a previous relationship breakup and focus our attention somewhere else. As a counsellor, I have seen people do this, only to end up back in therapy because they haven’t dealt with their underlying issues – looking for another person to fix them rather than them taking the time out to fix themselves and get into a better place emotionally.

It is always a good idea to ‘reset’ your emotional and healthy reasoning mind back to zero, so to speak. With a rebound relationship, nothing is reset and it can be likened to a train starting off from the station without being on the rails properly. A rebound relationship can be a plaster for unresolved trauma and pain.

I know someone who lost his wife eighteen months ago. He hadn’t fully grieved her loss but was emotionally needy and sought out relationships very quickly. He inadvertently wanted his new partners to be similar to his wife and was unable to tolerate differences between their behaviour and his ex-wife’s behaviour. A clear sign that he was not fully over the loss. No one can take the place of another and only by resetting our emotional state (by self exploration and some time out) can we be ready to accept a new person – good and bad.

Rebound relationships can however help someone to move on quicker, perhaps not necessarily in the healthiest way but it can speed up the length of time that one feels heartache. There will always be a danger though that the emotional connection in the rebound realtionship is damaged due to all the emotional baggage that has come into the relationship. Emotional detachment may exist. Comparisons tend to be stronger between the current partner and ex partner in rebound relationships and thinking and emotions may be distorted.

train photo

Where possible, get the train ‘back on the tracks’ in the station before leaving again for a new destination. Some people can do this fairly quickly and enter into a new relationship with robust stability. Each situation is different but the most important aspect is to work at feeling stable emotionally before starting something new.

Mandy X

 

 

How to overcome insecurity in relationships

 

insecurity

How to overcome insecurity in relationships

A lot of it is made up

Separate what is your imagination and what is reality. When you feel insecure, you will be on high-alert for any possible sign that your partner doesn’t love you. Be willing to detach slightly from this type of thinking as it can increase insecurity in relationships. More often than not, you will find that your fears don’t come true.

Accept uncertainty

You can never have 100% certainty in any relationship unfortunately, so get into the habit of accepting that there is some uncertainty that is just a part of life and a part of relationships. It isn’t something you can control so try to focus on something you have control over instead – like how you behave when you are with your partner. Work on being as confident as possible, even if you don’t feel it inside.

Flexible thinking

You may have a rigid idea of how someone should behave if they love you. When your partner doesn’t act this way, you automatically assume they don’t love you. Be careful as this thinking is terribly flawed. We all show our love in different ways. Learn to relax and accept that your partner may not necessarily show their love for you in the way that makes you feel loved. There are in fact, many ‘languages of love’, such as gifts, quality time, acts of service and so on. Be more flexible in your thinking to help you minimise your insecurity in relationships.

Stop Mind Reading

Be aware when you are making assumptions about what your partner is thinking. Mind reading is an unhelpful thinking style as it is not based on evidence. Make sure you see the difference between what is going on in your mind and the real facts of the situation. Perhaps your partner is thinking the complete opposite of what you are assuming.

Focus on your good points

Remind yourself of all your positive points. Often, insecurity comes from not having enough confidence and self acceptance. Regularly remind yourself of how lovely you are and why anyone would be lucky to be in your company. Really – it’s important to speak to yourself in this positive manner as often as possible.

We can all feel insecure at times. Try not to focus on those negative thoughts that leave you fearful and anxious. Instead focus on what is going well and on what you can control. Remind yourself that you will cope with whatever comes your way. We cannot control other people in our lives, all we can do is control how we think and react to others. Learn to let go and enjoy life more without trying to control everything around you. Go with the flow a little more. Be philosophical and learn to trust the process of life more – that things are unfolding as they are meant to.

Mandy X

 

20 Things most of us have in common

 

group of people photo

20 Things most of us have in common

1) Self-doubt

2) We all seek external validation

3) We all want to be liked

4) We need connections with others

5) We have all experienced heartache in some form or another

6) We have all experienced rejection

7) We have all experienced failure

8) We all have random crazy thoughts

9) We are all works in progress

10)Wwe will all engage in some type of behaviour that surprises us

11) We are all chugging along day-to-day-no one has all the answers

12) We all feel like outsiders at some point in our lives

13) We all experience anxiety to a greater or lesser degree

14) This one is anecdotal and I’m not sure that everybody has this in common but many of us do not know what will make us truly happy

15) We are not confident 100% of the time

16) It is impossible to be happy 100% of the time

17) We overestimate the abilities of others and often believe they know better than we do

18) We are often our own harshest critic

19) Our upbringings have effected how we see the world

20) We find it hard to be mindful and live in the present moment, our minds often going to the future with “what if” thinking.

We aren’t so different from each other and when we believe this and reach out more to others we can begin to enjoy rewarding relationships and feel connected.

Mandy X

 

How to stop living in fear

 

freedom photo

How to stop living in fear

I have spent a large part of my life living in fear. Fear of being broke, fear of rejection/of being alone and fear of failure have been constant companions for the most part. It has consumed me at times: Should I make this decision or that one to avoid my fears coming true? Should I act this way or that way to secure a loving relationship? If I choose that will I end up happier in the long term? The problem with this is that we spend a large amount of time worrying about  “what ifs” and many of my theories on the best course of action have not always been correct, especially when it comes to second guessing how someone else will react. I know I am not alone in this as I have many clients as well as friends who deal with the same fears that I do.

Fear is useful if it makes us more cautious and helps us to think through possible scenarios before acting but humans seem to have a tendency to over analyse situations and cause themselves a lot of unnecessary grief in the process.

1) See life as an adventure

Many of us live a fearful life – perhaps initiated by our parents constantly telling us to be careful and be cautious. Perhaps it’s partly genetic but you do have a choice. You don’t HAVE to life a fearful life. Of course, there are times to be more cautious but being brave and getting on with life is just as important as being cautious. Some of us take caution too far and stop living in the process..ending up with a life full of “what ifs” and regrets.

2) Keep fear in perspective

Many fears are unfounded. We catastrophize and imagine things to be worse than they are. Nine times out of ten, we we break the fear barrier and do it anyway, we realise that our fears were far worse than the actual event.

3) Watch your thoughts and attitude

Your thoughts and attitude to life influence the heights you will attain more than anything else in life. If you believe the world is a scary place and that people will trick you when possible, you will live life and behave in ways that are in line with these beliefs. If you believe that death comes to us all so why not make the most of time we are living..you will probably grab more opportunities than others.

4) Stop thinking, start doing

Stop over analysing and get to it. Do a risk assessment and go for it. There will never be the perfect time and there will never be a time when absolutely everything you consider confirms that the decision is right. There are no guarantees, there will always be unknowns…Get used to it and work around it but most of all take action. Too much thinking can lead to no action at all.

5) Know what you’re good at as well as your inherent worth

When you know what you’re worth and trust yourself you will be far more eager to get out of your comfort zone. We do the most growing as a person when we are out of our comfort zone. Unease and a lack of safety can feel awful but the upside of that is a huge surge in your confidence and abilities to cope with whatever comes your way.

Mandy X

5 Things You Could Stop Worrying About

worrying photo

5 Things You Could Stop Worrying About

I like to think of worrying as unnecessary mental torture. We experience something like 50 000 thoughts per day (some estimate the figure as much higher – around 80 000 thoughts per day) and up to 80% of these thoughts are just random thoughts that do not have a particular purpose, other than to make us fret and raise our blood pressure. One of my favourite sayings about worrying is “worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere”. Many of us mistakenly believe that worrying helps to keep a safe and in control. Now I don’t know about you, but I can think of many times in my own life where I have worried and planned and my expectations have still been s thwarted. It is simply not true that worrying can keep you safe.

Constructive, focused worry is a different story. This is when we make a concerted effort to problem solve and to set goals for ourselves. This post is more about worrying for the sake of worrying. Common examples: “why hasn’t he/she called me back? Is it something I have said?”; “They seem to have the perfect life while mine is falling apart”; “what if I embarrass myself at the party this weekend?”; “What if I end up alone with no one to care for me?”; “What if I get an illness… What then?”…

The list goes on and so we churn anxiety provoking thoughts around in our minds constantly.Your mindset governs your actions which leads to your results in life. Fill your mind with positive productive thinking and the world around you will start to change.

I have seen so much evidence of how unproductive too much worrying can be. It creates anxiety and tension and can lead to depression, often due to the fact that we buy into our subjective reality. Separate thoughts from reality. Look for the evidence instead of assuming all taking things personally.

Here is a list of common worries that are pretty much futile:

1) What others think of you

This is easier said than done, I know.If you think about it, what difference does it really make? It is impossible to please everybody so get into the habit of pleasing yourself. It is your life not theirs. Accept that there will be people that love you and there will be people that love you less. It’s no big deal. Keep on doing your thing and stay true to who you are instead of trying to change to please others.It rarely works.

2) What ifs

Oh my goodness, when we get into this way of thinking it could be never-ending.The nature of life is precarious-the quicker we accept this the faster we can get on with living our lives instead of trying to predetermine every possible glitch before it has happened. We could all easily get sucked into “what if” thinking that if you find yourself doing this, remind yourself that all possibilities are possible!

Mindfulness is a good way to counteract “what if” thinking. Be in the moment and engage your senses.Really listen, observe, taste, touch and smell your immediate environment. Be as fully present as you can. The more we engage our five senses the less time and minds have to wander off and worry aimlessly.

3) Failure

When we allow the fear of  failure to overwhelm us, it can lead to paralysis.we fear making the wrong decision and end up procrastinating and not making any decisions. We become frightened of life. This is where it is very important to watch your beliefs around failure. What does failure mean to you? A healthy attitude to failure means that you never see yourself as a failure. Perhaps things that you try to not work out, but that’s okay. Life is inherently a trial and error process. Relish the fact that you are on the crazy ‘rollercoaster of life’ and that you are learning as you go.When I fail and I may feel disappointed but I also feel that I have learned something to help me move forward.

4) Rejection

Being rejected can trigger all sorts of fears and insecurities within us. It makes sense then as to why many of us will do anything to avoid being rejected. We naturally assume that we are not good enough but we also need to consider what else is going on and we get rejected. Rejection is unfortunately something that we all experience. It is not true that every person that has ever been rejected is not good enough. I can think of people who seem to have it all and still get rejected. they are beautiful rich and famous and have everybody clamouring for their attention. It is not at all about not being good enough, it is more about incompatibility.It serves no purpose to talk yourself in a downtrodden manner.If you have been rejected, see it as a sign that that person was not meant for you. Be optimistic about the idea that the right person is still out there waiting for you or looking for you. People with high self-esteem tend to deal better with rejection. If you find rejection overwhelming it may be a good idea to work on your self-esteem and learn to love and accept yourself. It’s an odd phenomenon that other people tend to treat you the level that you treat yourself.

5) The Past

Yes, I am going to say it. That old cliche-the past is done and it cannot be changed. Mistakes have been made and there will be regrets but wasting mental energy and looking behind you will not only exhaust you but also leave you feeling emotionally depleted. Use the past as a learning tool and remind yourself that everyone has skeletons in the closet. The power rests with the present moment. Not in the past in neither in the future. Hang on to your fond memories of the past and maintain a sense of humour about it less than fond memories.

 

What we tell ourselves on an ongoing basis, whether it be good or bad, right or wrong reflects not only what we think but also how we feel and act. This can directly influence our results in life. Learn to stop worrying and let stuff go. It takes practise and self awareness but it’s worth the effort.

 

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

 

Mandy X

 

Photo by symphony of love

Photo by Evil Erin

Jealousy

Jealousy

Jealousy

Jealousy is a negative emotion and stems from insecurity. It very rarely ends positively. Jealousy creates a distorted reality and creates tension and unhappiness in relationships.

If you are in a relationship with a jealous person, the jealousy is their issue, not yours. I am not referring to examples where there is evidence of cheating – negative emotions associated with this are justified. I am referring to jealousy when there is no valid reason to feel this way.

Jealousy can lead to an invasion of privacy – snooping through mobile phones, emails, personal belongings. It is one of the most destructive things in a relationship. When an innocent partner is under suspicion they become resentful and the love feelings begin to erode.

You can’t have a relationship without trust. Dealing with jealousy is vital – figure out what is causing the jealousy, go for counselling if necessary. If the underlying causes are not dealt with the relationship will be less likely to last.

Jealousy is a reaction to a perceived threat and affects roughly one third of all couples coming for marital counselling. People can do the strangest things when jealousy gets a grip and all rational thinking can dissolve in an instant.

One middle-aged wife whose husband left her for a younger woman kidnapped the other woman at gunpoint, shaved her head, stripped her naked, covered her with tar and feathers, and released her at the city dump. The story was repeated over and over again–with great delight–by women who identified with the revenge of the deposed wife. Is jealousy a form of madness, then?

Jealousy lies somewhere in the area between sanity and madness. Some jealous reactions are so natural that a person who doesn’t show them seems in some way “not normal.” Others seem so excessive that one doesn’t need to be an expert to know that they are pathological. A classic example is the man who is suspicious of his loving and faithful wife that he constantly spies on her, listens in on her phone conversations, records the mileage in her car for unexplained trips–and despite her repeatedly proven fidelity continues to suspect her and suffer from tremendous jealousy.

Most of us have some unresolved conflicts we carry from our childhood. We experience these conflicts as vulnerabilities, insecurities, or fears. When we fall in love and our love is reciprocated, these vulnerabilities, fears, and insecurities seem to vanish. We are loved despite our imperfections. We feel whole; we feel safe. But when this love is threatened, the fears and insecurities that we thought had gone forever come back in full force. If this person whom we love and adore–the person we thought loved us despite our flaws–is going to leave us for another, then there is no hope for us, ever! We no longer feel secure even in those things we previously loved in ourselves.

Dealing with jealousy can be a long process but it is possible. Understand your triggers and realise that often our triggers are emotional and often on an unconscious level. What we perceive may not be what is really going on. Try to challenge thinking regularly and look for evidence. Act stupid and have faith that your partner is innocent until proven guilty. If you don’t you will torture yourself with thoughts and worries, many of which (if not all) may be completely irrational.

Keep a check on reality, understand your own fears and insecurities and you will already be making positive progress.

Mandy X

Reference:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200910/romantic-jealousy

Romantic Jealousy: Understanding and Conquering the Shadow of Love, by Ayala M. Pines, Ph.D. Copyright (c) 1992 (St. Martins Press).