Insecurity is one of the most complex and annoying feelings ever. For some folks, it can come out of nowhere and you don't know why you're feeling so down on yourself. For others, it's there all the time. Insecurity sucks, and it can suck even more when you see someone you love experience it too, because it can feel like making them feel better is out of your control. But when your partner is insecure, there are ways you can help them through it. The first step? Try not to worry too much. The fact that you're wondering how to help in the first place is already proof you're a great partner.
First of all is knowing how to identify when a partner is feeling insecure, and according to relationship expert April Masini, there are three main ways to tell. Your partner might have "trouble accepting compliments," Masini says, or they might always try to "blend in" or continually ask "if everything is all right." If you notice that your partner is exhibiting any or all of these behaviors, they might be feeling insecure. So, what can you do about it?
Obviously you're not a magician, and you can't magically take away your partner's feelings of insecurity. But, as Masini says, "if you’re in a relationship with someone who has a problem, like insecurity, then you have a responsibility to do what you can." And really, according to Masini, doing what you can can be as simple as just being there for them.
Talk to them about it, but be careful, Masini warns. "You just have to make sure you don’t cross the line and start enabling a partner," she says. "For instance, if you see your partner not being able to take compliments, you can ask them if it is difficult for them to take a compliment, and be specific." Masini also says that expressing your emotions in this situation might help. "If they continue to not take your compliments, graciously, you can tell them it makes you feel rejected when they push back when you compliment them," she says. "They may not realize that this is happening, and it’s great information for them. It may also cure this problem." In short, be there for them, even if you don't fully get why they're feeling insecure.
At the end of the day, there's only so much you can do to help a partner struggling with feeling insecure. It can be frustrating to feel like you're doing everything you can for them to feel the love if they can't get there themselves. But don't feel like you're not doing everything you can, and that their feelings are all solely on you.
"If you’re dating someone who is insecure, ask yourself what you’re getting out of the relationship," Masini advises. Remember that you still have to take care of you, and notes that "if the insecurity of your partner is a big problem, you may not be a compatible match." Try and work together, and remind them that they're loved and that you're there for them. But also keep in mind that you can't hold yourself completely responsible for someone else's feelings. You deserve an equal relationship, one where both partners are equally there to support each other. Don't be afraid to let them know that.