How to overcome relationship insecurity?

I have come to realize that I sometimes become too sensitive to critisism in my relationships with women. With just about every girlfriend I have had, they have said something about me that would upset me, then I become cold and distant and really want nothing to do with them anymore. For the most part, its usually about my appearance, usually height and weight. I stand at 5' 5" and have always been muscular but with a little bit of fat accompanying it. So, hearing comments from a partner about height and weight is usually something that always gets under my skin, pretty deep too. Additionally, hearing comments like "you couldve done better," or telling me "its ok," with a smirk on their face feels belittiling. All of it feels emasculating and belittiling to me.

Am I being too sensitive? Comments and critisism never seem to bother me unless its from a woman I am seeing. And recently, my current lady friend has made a few comments about me to me that got under my skin a bit, making me feel like i want to go cold and distant and not really talk to her. It almost gets to the point that i want to drink myself away because it bothers me so much.

I feel as though I shouldn't feel like this, like I should just brush it off and move on. But it bothers me and I would like to know if anyone has any advice on how to overcome sensitivity and insecurity in a relationship?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Two issues here. 1 obviously being that you are taking it a bit too personally since only women you're seeing can affect you this way, and you feel like resorting to alcoholism just because of it. The second being that you won't even talk about what's bothering you. If you feel like they make inappropriate comments, just say something like "hey, that was really rude/I don't like hearing stuff like that/don't be so insensitive/I'm not ok with you saying that stuff". Otherwise they won't realize that they've done something that hurt you, and you get to release your feelings instead of bottling them up (which will help you deal with them and prohibit you from becoming distant).

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    • Thank you for your reply.

      I do agree with you, it does seem necessary to talk to them about how it makes me feel. But I feel like bringing it up to them and saying that something little like that bothers me makes me look insecure and weak in front of them.

    • No it won't, you're just being honest. And if they have a problem with that, then maybe you shouldn't even be with them in the first place. Try to not date bitches.

Most Helpful Guy

  • It sounds like you're an incredibly sensitive guy. I was the same in my 20s.

    I had this odd paradoxical nature about me where I was physically tough but emotionally weak. I could do stupid daredevil adrenaline junky stunts but be emotionally hurt by a comment by someone teasing me and perhaps not even thinking twice about it for weeks. I was more afraid of a verbal conflict than a fist fight.

    It's only now that I'm starting to graduate to the "don't give a damn stage". I think this kind of sensitivity is often attached to high ambitions but still a perception that your success is derived from how others think about you. It was only by foregoing some of my hopes and dreams that I started to develop that "don't give a damn" mindset gradually.

    While the advice to try to develop this mindset is sound, I don't think you can do it in a short period of time. It takes a lot of years to go from this kind of sensitivity to where you want to grow cold and distant whenever your feelings are hurt, whenever you notice that reality and your expectations of it are starting to deviate.

    What I recommend instead is to look at your relationships like boxing. When people throw a punch, you only lose your footing and back yourself into a corner if you step back. Instead, step to the side and counter-punch.

    Try to do the most counter-intuitive thing possible. When someone hurts your feelings by teasing you about something, instead of stepping back, step to the side and forward. It's really awkward if a girl teases you and you return the gesture by hugging her and telling you how it makes you feel. You put her completely off-guard, to your advantage, and might even fill her with a sense of guilt. Act distant and cold and she'll wonder what the heck is wrong with you, maybe even think you're a jerk.

    So I recommend trying this. It's easier to overcome your immediate instincts in response to what happens when your fragile ego is shattered. It's harder to get rid of that fragile ego outright (it'll happen over time eventually, but it'll probably take a number of years).

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What Girls Said 14

  • We can all be sensitive to what other people say at times , but you have to prevent yourself from being defined by other people's opinions or remarks. If you don't , you'll forever take offense at what others say to you. You'll miss out on great potential friendships/ relationships.

    Usually when people are insecure they misunderstand the reasoning behind other people's comments. They assume everything is intended to hurt and insult them. When in fact, it's not at all.

    If someone intentionally says things to hurt you, then it's not about you it's about them, because some people hurt others in order to heal themselves. So cut toxic people out of your life, but overlook the things people say who genuinely care about you.

    This isn't about what they think about you , it's how you perceive yourself. People are only responsible for what they say, they are not responsible for how you respond to what they say. You are, because you are the one in control of your own thoughts. Insecurities are caused by your own thoughts, so change the quality of the way you think. It is a challenge, but with effort and motivation... it is achievable.

    Work on improving what you can change, and try to accept what you can't change. As long as you know who you are and comfortable with who you are... you will never be vulnerable to what other people say to you or about you. 😊

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  • Wow... and I thought only females felt exactly this way!! Sir, you are most definitely NOT! alone. Let me cut to the chase and say there is no option but to sit your lady friend down ASAP, and explain gently (or more firmly, if she doesn't take you seriously) and clearly that comments about you have bothered you and continue to bother you. It is a MUST you explain how you FEEL... we women respond to emotion from a man MUCH more than intellect. When she sees how truly bothered you are (which does NOT make you weak in ANY way!), her first response should be one of care and concern and wanting to know more. She should be receptive to how her comments make you feel and what you'd prefer not to hear and what would be more helpful, instead. By throwing in some positives about how she really DOES make you happy/feel loved, she's going to be much more receptive. If any woman uses comments as sadistic, cutting language, she is NOT for you! Something to take into consideration might be her REAL motive behind saying these critical remarks - she could feel insecure about her OWN self (even much more than you do!) and feels better when she puts you down, feeling a false sense of power and control. Try to use your best judgement and truly assess (with emotions, intent and logic involved) if she's going to help or hinder you, as you move forward with your life. I truly wish you the best. :)

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    • "women respond to emotion from a man much more than intellect" i don't know.. no tall females ill say

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    • thank you you two! :)

    • @lacorine197 You're very welcome! :D

  • I actually think it's pretty common in relationships, because when we feel judged by those we love and by those who we are supposed to feel safe with, it's very hurtful.

    First off, are YOU happy with your height and weight? Or does a part of you feel like you could workout more and eat healthier? If YOU are satisfied with the man you are, then comments like that shouldn't bother you as much as they do.

    On the other hand, why just those particular comments... but not other comments coming from a partner?

    Sometimes the surface level we see isn't really what is bothering us, but when we peel back a few layers by continuing to ask "why"... can help get to the real cause of what is bothering us.

    At the end of the day, you can't really help how you feel when criticized (for the most part) but you CAN help how you respond to it and to what degree you let it affect you and your relationships. Have you mentioned to your partners that you don't appreciate they way they criticize you and try to work it out? It's possible they don't mean to come off the way they do. After all, a girl isn't going to choose to be with you if she isn't attracted to your appearance or personality.

    I'm sensing that there is a deeper reason those comments bother you, but you need to continue to ask "why" before being able to overcome it. We all have insecurities and that's perfectly fine. But how we handle them is what makes us weak or strong.

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  • hmm there are a few things here.
    1. yes you might be on the sensitive side. although I don't know anyone, who doesn't care about stuff like this.
    2. you seem to repeat a pattern with the women you date and their fixation on superficial beauty.
    3. you do not communicate clearly that you feel bad about a certain comment

    I would suggest to think about the reasons this seems to happen again and again. Understand if you date the wrong women or if it is really just a little bit of overreaction on your part.
    Then you have to start communicating. Just shutting down like a clam will not solve anything and much else clear up any misunderstanding there might have been. Maybe a comment is made with the best of intentions and has nothing to do with the quality of the relationship.

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  • Men are taught to "be tough and get over it". In reality, it's completely natural for anyone male or female to feel this way. Tell them in a nice matter that it actually does bother you, because sometimes women are so used to men giving off this tough we don't care vibe that they forget men also have feelings and insecurities.

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  • I feel for you because we all have our insecurities. I tend to be so harsh on myself. But it seems to me you have to ask yourself if this girl really loves you. The things you're insecure about might not even be important to her. Rather than cutting her off you should really try talking to her.

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  • I am quite similar in the sense that I can't forget what dates or other halves have said to me that hurt before. I wouldn't say I'm bad looking or too outta shape either. I'm late 20's, size 10. But so many men even are very healthy conscious and keep saying that I eat bad things sometime and that I say I would like to loose a bit of weight, then remind me about it when we get dinner. Making me feel shit.
    Anyway, from all the dates I have been on, only a few men would tell me that I am fine how I am and that I don't need to change and that I am gorgeous. The rest would make me feel insecure and not good enough.
    Some people like meat some don't. Personally I like men with meat on them and always make the other feel good about themselves and I love how they look and I tell them a lot.
    There are also people who criticise you a lot: they are not compatible with you and not right for you.
    Say your piece, bin them off, move on.
    Stuff like that is what your significant may tell you when you've been together a long time. At that point they are genuinely love you and just care for your health.
    There are people who say things to your face and some that don't.
    Bottom line is, go with who makes you feel good about yourself and loves you for you and your flaws. Tell hurtful ones, that what they said hurt and then bin them off. They at least would come out of it knowing that they can be hurtful with words, and then you may save another guy from going through the same.
    None of us are perfect. Remember that.

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  • You shouldn't feel like this. As long as you are happy with your own body, no one else should be able to make you feel bad. Unfortunately, however, criticism is one of those aspects in life in which we cannot escape. So, you may just have to take it with a grain of salt.

    Either learn to ignore it or accept it and use it to better yourself. But, whatever you do, make sure it is your decision and that you are happy with it...

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  • You need to become secure within yourself. Love yourself. Get to know yourself and improve whatever you feel needs improvement.

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  • You are afraid of knowing your own faults

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  • time is really the only thing that fixes that.

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  • No, I would do the same thing, I'm much taller than most of my friends so it really bugs me when they make jokes about it and I get really mad and stop talking to them for a while, but they think it's innocent fun

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  • You are a worthy person and do not put yourself down like I always put myself down and I had been adviced to stop being so insecure about myself and relationship with people in my life. You will do good. I depend on my security when I read the Chrisitan bible and believe on Jesus. I would do exercises and engage myself into school organization to overcome my insensitivity and insecurity. Please do not drink alcohol nor smoke nor do anything else crazy that is destructive because you will be more insecure if you do these things such as drinking alcohol. Think positive and I advice myself to think positive as well. Have a blessed year and God bless you!

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  • Sensitivity and insecurity Will always be in a relationship because we are human after all, the most important thing is how we can overcome them.

    First of all, Know yourself, a task which is going to be for life, because we always change and it is hard to Know yourself 100%. However, you Will Know yourself better than anyone else That you won't believe nor care what others Will say about you.

    If you are in a relationship, then relax and be yourself. Of course, you Will make mistakes, but also your partner as well, because no one is perfect, and making mistakes and looking for solving them is part of life. Just remember to be honest and open your heart.

    If the relationship doesn't work, then That could mean That she is not for you. Don't lose courage and keep working on being better by knowing yourself, work in yourself in both body and mind.

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What Guys Said 12

  • You are reacting to criticism and not in a good way. Don't worry, it's natural when you get a little pissed at being criticized.

    What you really need to know is that there are only 2 types of criticism. The correct one and the incorrect one.

    If what they said is incorrect then you just smile and move on. Only a fool sticks around to argue with an idiot who got it wrong in the 1st place. You have things to do, places to see, plans to make, don't stick around arguing with nutcases in the middle of the street.

    If what they said is true then you will feel hurt. Yeah, they hit you where it hurts and they laugh at you too. You can get pissed about it and deny it, argue about it, bargain with people, get depressed over it or cry to your teddy bear. However, at the end of the day, the truth still sticks around and you either have to accept it for what it is or get out there and try to change.

    If you are fat then you are fat. You can't change that fact no matter how much you try to deny or get angry about it. You have 2 choices: get fit or stay fat and do something else.

    Always remember this: People can criticize you about anything. They may or may not have a point. What important is what you choose to do with the correct criticism. Everything else don't really worth noticing.

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  • You have to really focus on being indifferent like not just acting like you don't care... really not caring. Just focus on letting go of caring at all from even thinking about it to the extent that it makes any difference to you if the girl says something rude to you or even nice about you. you can't care selectively and i mean it's ok and natural to care a little if they are being rude but not to the extent that you can't brush it off easily and feel like it's just her trying to be rude

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  • Well, sometimes criticisms are reasonable. But you're a man and you deserve to be treated with respect. You don't deserve to be stepped on and then told to be a man and put up with "constructive criticism", which is just another name for verbal or emotional abuse. It's normal to have some rockiness but a history is a sign..
    You might be too sensitive and unreasonable - you just have to ask yourself how to balance relationships out over time. If you can't do that then you must leave to maintain your sense of integrity in yourself.

    Someone who really cares about you as a person is going to be considerate of your feelings and emotions.

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  • The fact that this happens often says a lot about the quality of women you go for or attract.

    A "perfect", structured and "undamaged" lass would never criticise you in such a personal way. Whether it's about height, size, weight...

    I used to be quite skinny at one point in my life. I'm quite athletic now, and very happy about it, but I used to get comments about it from the girls I was dating and it seriously brought me down. I guess those very comments were the reason I decided to eat more and hit the gym, but nevertheless, it wasn't nice to hear.

    I can sympathise with you and how you feel when a girl you're courting nags you about your weight/height.

    I think it's best you avoid these type of women all together.

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    • "A "perfect", structured and "undamaged" lass would never criticise you in such a personal way. Whether it's about height, size, weight..."

      Nope.

      I'm one of those awkward brutally honest people. I married another one.
      No elephants in the room, here; if there's bullshit, it gets called out on the carpet.

      I'm a fitness competitor, he's a former stage performer who's still holding onto the physique. Each of us appreciates the honesty -- and the brutality.

      Goes beyond the physical, too. I LOVE the fact that he can call me out, on the spot, if I'm being a bitch. Calmly, matter-of-factly, authoritatively. Puts me in my place.

      Tough love approach.

      Some people LIKE honesty. Nuts, huh.

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    • ^This is the kind of women I talk about.

      If you find someone that can take your "criticism", good for you, but men like me can't be bothered with it.

    • @redeyemindtricks Yes , I'm now one of those same no BS single dads , sounds like your own dad did a good job , aiming for the same result , but no-one is perfect... some still THINK they are , however !!

  • You are weak with yourself. If one of you is weak the other will suffer no matter how strong. Work on who you are and take it from there

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  • Just tell yourself, in 100 years you'll be dead and in the ground. In a thousand years nobody will know who you were. In a couple million your problems definitely don't amount to crap. You spend most of your existence waiting to be born or dead, why let a few comments about your height bother you right now?

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  • Ever heard about not giving a fuck?

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  • Eventually you realize that you get criticisms, no matter how good you are doing.

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  • Im the same dude. can't take criticism for shit, and it usually pisses me off. I understand the belittleling part as well. My suggestion is just to learn to take things with a grain of salt. This should help the overall emotions you feel during the timme. Also, If you feel like you are guna burst out and react to criticism, stop yourself, and just walk out. Then think about what the other person said. Thats what im doing at least

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  • First, I have to compliment you as many girls and guys don't get past the "lust phase" but sounds like you committed for a long haul in one way or another.
    Remember the one you love will likely saw the rawest shit to you. Also, you push her buttons and she pushes your buttons which sounds like it's a weight physical appearance insecurity. So, she pushes it when she wants your attention and get her point and you likely do the same to her when you feel the same don't you?
    If you want to get over anything like this you have to be empathetic and listen, all women want is to feel desired and cared for in a relationship like yours and when they don't feel that way, they push buttons.
    Communication, sympathy, active listening, respect and being brutally honest but respectful will solve it

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  • what's happening to you is a thing I once had buddy. I don't know know what to call it, yes sensitivity is one part of it though. it so used to happen that if ever I even got the vibes that a girl didn't want to be around, I wouldn't speak for weeks, but here's the catch. after those weeks when I did, I realized I had been only "overthinking". I still do it, but I don't call it overthinking because till date it literally has me aptly predict the forecoming. funny but true.
    Anyway, my point is, you are loosing a bunch load of confidence and self esteem. although the best thing to do is to only be what you are but if you're heart's telling you to perhaps change looks or change yourself then do it. don't let it eat you
    sometimes in a relationship, you just got to hear those things. but don't react. let it be. she'll realize you're more on the inside. she'll come back, perhaps apologize.
    Best of luck!

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  • There may be things you need to forgive yourself over. Some of those things I suspect you had no blame in but blame yourself.

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