“You got the 70% beef? Are you stupid or something? Did you not read the label? I never get that kind. I always get 80% beef. You’re such a dumbass.”
How do you think Jim feels as his wife berates him?
Probably like a turd floating in sewer water.
What is really going on here? Is getting the wrong beef THAT big of a deal? Of course not.
Serious arguments don’t arise from dishes around the house, how to fold the laundry or getting the wrong kind of beef. They’re surface complaints about deeper issues – they’re about conflicting intimacy needs and emotional expectations.
Most of our relationship expectations are formed in our youth during our relationship with our parents or caretaker. If your mom matched your emotional experiences, you felt heard and reassured. If she neglected your needs you either became frantic and anxious, or avoided her entirely. You might have even said mean things in order to create emotional space.
If you have an anxious intimacy button, you crave reassurance. When you don’t receive it as you expect, you unconsciously panic. Your mind becomes a targeted missile towards the person you want to be loved by. You can’t stop thinking about them.
The more this builds, the “crazier” you become. What if I told you, you could get the love you crave and not look back at your odd behaviors – the obsessive calling, making her jealous – and wonder why you acted like you did? What if I can show you how to become the confident and secure man that behaves in relationships, and it would actually get you what you want?
If you’re an avoidant, you run away the moment you feel intimacy . This can lead you to shaming the person you love or hurting them just so you can have the emotional room to breathe. The problem with avoidants is that they tend to fall in a cycle of failed relationship after failed relationship. What would you do if you could stop all this madness and finally have the relationship you always fantasize about?
Lucky for you, consciously working on your intimacy style or dating a secure person can change it. Studies show that our intimacy buttons are not stable for life, but can change if we are willing to work on it. The benefit of improving intimacy buttons towards being secure leads to behaving in a healthy way, as well as enhanced mental and physical health.
Isn’t that what you want? If so, proceed below.
Step 1: Prime the mind – Studies have shown that priming – or reminding one of security-enhancing experiences – can help create a greater sense of security.
Step 1.1: Secure Role Model – Think of the people in your life – past and present – and how they behave in their relationships. Is there anyone that was available, wore their heart on their sleeve, didn’t play games, and communicated vulnerably about their needs and feelings? The key is that this person has a secure attachment style and deals with conflict in a secure way.
My best friend Elise is someone who I find Secure. In our friendship, she is always available when I need to talk. She acts encouragingly and communicates with me in a vulnerable way. There are many times when I tell myself how lucky I am to have such a rock in my life. I never have a fear of her leaving me, and our friendship brings me security.
Once you choose someone, imagine how they behave in conflict and good times, how they behave when their partner is feeling down, and their overall outlook on life and love.
Action: Write out your secure role models. Step 4 in the Change Your Beliefs, Get The Relationship You Deserve Book in the Dating & Relationship Toolkit. Gain exclusive access to the toolkit below.
I know this sounds time consuming and mentally draining, but doing so provides you a secure role model. Something for you to strive for.
Step 2: The BS of Love. The next step is to evaluate our Belief System about love. By understanding the beliefs you have about love, we can identify your roadblocks; the thoughts, feelings and actions that prevent you from becoming secure and confident in love. Maybe you have a clear idea of which intimacy button you are, I know I used to be anxious, but now we will help you clearly see how your intimacy button affects your daily thoughts, feelings and behaviors in romantic relationships.
Psychologists and research in memory reveals that whenever we consciously retrieve a certain memory, we disrupt it. By doing so, we alter it forever. Like I expanded on in Removing Limiting Beliefs, our recollection of our past is not a direct image of the past like a photo album. It’s a creation of editing and reshaping throughout the years. In truth, our current experiences shape our past.
Action Step: Take a few minutes to create your intimacy inventory. Step 2 in the Change Your Beliefs, Get The Relationship You Deserve Book in the Dating & Relationship Toolkit.
By filling out the Inventory above, you are able to recall old memories and reexamine your past relationships with a new perspective. I can’t tell you how much the patterns I found help me realize how my behaviors and beliefs were destroying my relationships.
They were actually narrowing my dating market to people who wouldn’t make me happy. By viewing your old relationships through a new lens, you can start to change some self-sabotaging beliefs created by those memories. You can reshape how you perceive yourself as someone who is secure, and comfortable with intimacy.
It Never Ends
Despite our conception of reality and our inability to imagine a new future, changing any aspect of your life never ends. As Dan Gilbert puts in his Ted Talk, 1 “the only constant in our life is change.”
Becoming a secure person in life and love is a never ending process.
When new problems arise, when you feel irked, come back here and continue to do the work to become secure. Becoming secure is more than just handling conflict. It’s also about being comfortable with having fun because “you can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” – Plato