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Does Your Relationship Make You Anxious?

“Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have.”

– Robert Holden

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling that forms the basis of us as human beings and is an inevitable part of us. Whenever we feel anxious because of external situations, from people, known and unknown, situations that are new or out of our control, often tend to drive us crazy because that little voice in our head keeps coming to the forefront as the driver of our thoughts and feelings. It feels like our brain is firing millions of signals every hour, making it incredibly difficult to make a clear, educated choice in a crisis. Simply put, anxiety is our body’s natural reaction to stress. It is anxiety or fear of what is to come. Going to a job interview or giving a speech on the first day of school, for example, may cause anxiety in certain people.

Attachment Styles And Their Role In Forming Relationships

New relationship anxiety is very common as there is a sea of uncertainties that are yet to be explored. Not only our attachment styles but also the critical inner voices we have about ourselves, our partners, and our relationships are created by the early attitudes we were exposed to in our families or society at large. Sexual stereotypes, as well as attitudes held by our significant caregivers about themselves and others, can enter and impact our current perceptions.

As a new born, it’s critical to have a strong emotional and physical bond with your primary caregiver, the person who makes you feel safe and understood. If you were fortunate enough to have someone respond to your screams and understand your growing physical and emotional demands, you most likely formed a secure connection. On the other hand, if your caregiver was unable to consistently comfort you or respond to your demands during your infancy, you are more likely to have had a failed or insecure attachment. However, there are even further variations of attachment styles that impact all the genders in forming an identity throughout our lifespan.

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Anxiety in Relationships

Something as beautiful and deeply rooted as the feeling of being connected and belonging has its basis in evolutionary changes and adaptations that lead us to count on our partners for long-term companionship. It is indeed one of the most rewarding feelings to love someone and, in turn, receive the same in return. However, relationships, like many other bonds and factual situations, also fluctuate on a spectrum of having their own happy and sad moments.

However, when one feels relationship anxiety, it may well be dependent on multiple factors and the timeline of their relationship. Every relationship necessitates trust, tenderness, patience, and vulnerability. People who suffer from anxiety frequently have these in abundance and will generously give them to the relationship. The problem is that anxiety can sometimes weaken them just as quickly. Often times, you might also complain and be aware that anxiety is ruining your relationship with the other person, particularly if it is of a romantic nature. Anxiety can manifest itself in numerous ways and be extremely difficult to address as naming it merely brings in a lot of discomforts because there seems to be a lot of work to do and healing takes a lot of time and energy.

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Signs of Anxiety in Relationships

Have you ever wondered why these changes feel challenging and what could possibly be the reason for it? While it is almost true that most of us go through a rough patch due to anxious feelings, it might actually be very difficult to identify potential causes of anxiety in a relationship. Through certain common markers, it can be identified as follows,

  • You are constantly checking up on your partner.
  • You question them and are doubtful if they love you the same way anymore or not.
  • You find yourself fighting with them as a way to allow them to show love to you.
  • You overthink and ruminate about every conversation you have had with them.
  • You feel a loss of peace of mind when you are together.

Overcoming Relationship Anxiety

A majority of help comes directly from the aspect of therapy and therapeutic ventures.

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Moreover, there are some common tactics that help us to draw in some positive light in our relationship.

  • Practising a healthy communication pattern: The first and foremost step is to develop healthy communication. Instead of expecting the other person to gauge and know what you are feeling, you should be proactive in sharing, because sharing is caring, not just for the other but for oneself, too!
  • Being open to each other’s negative sides: Accepting the other person helps us to deepen the bond. Anxiety might make us do, feel, or think in ways that aggravate a small event in our head or in reality. Being open also allows us to address our differences and grow in the relationship.
  • Establishing healthy boundaries: Cultivating an understanding, open-minded relationship, backed by genuine care and conversation enables helping behaviour in a loving relationship.
  • Maintain one’s identity: There has to be complete transparency on both sides as it would help you to see them for who they are and so would they.
  • Don’t shy away from showing your vulnerable side: Be mindful of what you have on display and keep it as real as you can, because relationships are the places where we can be ourselves without any barriers.