by Brad Alexander
Dealing with a jealous and insecure boyfriend can be a challenging ordeal.
On one hand you may decide it’s not worth the hassle and walk away. But all men have a little jealous insecure streak to some degree. If you think the relationship is worth a shot then don’t give up. Instead make sure you employ some strategies to ease his insecurities and make him feel more comfortable.
Ultimately he will have to overcome this in his own way and in his own time. But you can make the process easier or harder depending on how you react. Follow these steps to make sure you ease a man’s insecurity.
1. Reassure Him
An insecure man will worry that he isn’t good enough for you. He will be afraid that you will be whisked away by the next man you meet. He is constantly afraid that you will think other men outperform him in every way. This is a self esteem issue he needs to deal with, but you can help by reassuring him of your feelings and letting him know what it is about him that you love. Don’t stroke his ego to the point where he needs reassurance all the time, but a few regular and well timed compliments will help put him at ease.
2. Understand His Fears
There are three main fears that drive insecurity – the fear of not being good enough, the fear of losing you and the fear of being humiliated by either of the above. All men have these fears to some degree, but for some people they exist much closer to the surface. Talk about these insecurities with your partner so you understand his fears. Share some of your own. Often insecure men think they are the only person in the world who feels like that, so opening up with your own fears will help him realize he is not alone.
3. Do Something To Make Him Feel Loved
You don’t always have to reassure him with words. In fact actions speak much louder than words. Do something that shows him you love him and this will reassure him and put him at ease. Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages outlines five different ways to demonstrate love: acts of service, physical touch, gift giving, words of affirmation and quality time. Figure out what his love language is and make sure you act on it to let him know that you care.
4. Avoid Criticism Or Frustration
It’s easy to get frustrated and be critical of a man’s insecurity, but all that does is make it worse. If you have committed to making the relationship work despite his insecurity then you need to avoid criticism at all costs. Be as understanding as you can and work with him to build his self esteem. Ultimately the only person who can change is him, but your support, reassurance and lack of criticism will make it all the more easier.
5. Build Trust
Trying to remove a negative emotion can be difficult and frustrating. One effective technique is to ignore the negative and focus on building the positive. As the positive emotion grows its negative opposite one shrinks by default. The opposite of insecurity is trust and the more trust you can build the more it will deflate jealousy or insecurity. Be clear and sincere in your intentions about the relationship. Do what you say and mean what you say. Be dependable. Trust takes time to build but you should encourage it as much as possible.
6. Don’t Try To Change Him
Pressuring him to stop being insecure won’t work as he has to come around to the new way of thinking in his own time. But you can support his personal development as much as you can. A relationship by its very nature is a shared journey of growth, as our flaws are highlighted and we have to work to overcome them. If you see the situation as you supporting his growth it will be much more productive than you seeing yourself as trying to change or fix him.
7. Be Attentive When Around Male Friends
One of the biggest causes for insecurity and jealousy is the fear that you may fall for the other males in your life. This could be friends, colleagues, ex boyfriends or even strangers. When you are talking to male friends you can put your man at ease by keeping him close and being attentive. Include him in conversation, introduce him as your boyfriend and even hold his hand. By demonstrating clearly (but not over the top) that he is your man he will feel a lot more comfortable. He doesn’t want to be awkwardly standing to the side worrying or feeling threatened.
8. Invite Him Out Socially
Guys like to meet your friends, particularly the male ones they might be insecure about. This makes them a known quantity. Fear of the unknown is a cause of insecurity so if they can put a name to a face then it will help put them at ease. Once the people he sees as potential adversaries are known, they become less threatening in his mind and the potential for jealousy will be greatly reduced.
9. Text Him When You Are Out Without Him
Insecure men cannot help but think of the worst case scenario. If you are out with the girls his worst fear is that you are going to engage in some drunken flirtation and end up with another guy. So instead of letting him sit at home sweating, send him a text in the middle of the evening to let him know that you miss him and are thinking of him. Don’t let him demand constant updates but one or two texts in an evening can ease the fears.
10. Allow Him to Be Confident Around You
Don’t push your guy too far outside of his comfort zone early on because he doesn’t want to be seen to be weak in front of you. Instead make sure you do things that he is good at and confident at, so he can show these traits to you. If he has a particular hobby that you can do on a date, then encourage it. Not only will he enjoy it and you will show you are interested, but he will feel more comfortable and at ease by showing you his prowess in something where he is comfortable.
11. Maintain Boundaries
There is a fine line between putting a man’s insecurity at ease and capitulating to petty and needy behavior. You want to be caring and supportive without building dependency. After all you want your man to be strong and confident. Make sure you maintain some boundaries and don’t let the insecurity and jealousy dominate your relationship and don’t cater to his every whim. Think of yourself as helping wean him off these insecure feelings rather than accommodating weakness.
Brad Alexander is a relationship writer, helping men to overcome their insecurities and experience better connections with women. Many women also visit his site because they say it helps them understand their man. Read more from Brad at his website Badass Young Men or follow him on Twitter@badassyoungmen.