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How can I make my insecure girlfriend feel more secure?

Tagged as: Health, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (17 December 2010) 4 Answers - (Newest, 18 December 2010)
A male United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

I am trying to figure out a way to make my girlfriend feel secure about herself. When I first met her, and we started dating, she seemed perfect, confident, nice, smart, beautiful, everything. The way that I love who she is hasnt changed, (and all of those things except confident are very true about her) but what has changed is my ability to see how insecure about herself she is. I try to go out of my way to always tell her how special, pretty, and smart I think she is. She appreciates these things, but then it seems that all she ever wants to hear from my mouth is compliments. She is always comparing herself to everybody else, which is obviously human nature, but then she has such deep feelings about how she cannot measure up to other people, and it is killing me always trying to get her to feel good about herself. I love making people feel good, especially her, but it is to the extent that our conversations are usually of the following nature:

"Im the best girlfriend ever, arent i?"

"yes, i could not wish for more"

"im the most beautiful, arent i?"

"of course, thats why i always call you gorgeous"

"i am so smart, arent i?"

"well were able to figure a fabulous solution to___situation"

or something like this:

"i dont have any friends, everybody hates me"

"i love you so much! and remember what your mom did for you the other night?"

"well, you and my mom are the only people in the world that even notice me!"

These conversations are much more frustrating because of how frequently I do compliment and reassure her of everything. Sometimes I feel like I am not doing a good enough job, and that really upsets me.

She has friends, but admittedly not a lot. i feel like if she were more secure about herself then she would have more friends. And also one of the most prominent characteristics of hers that I believe to be caused by her insecurity is immaturity. Sometimes she just acts like she is a little child, which I do not understand at all. It's as if she thinks it is ok for small children not to be noticed and not to feel secure so she tries to make herself into one so that she can be those ways. We all love to act like children sometimes, but she just does it to an extent that I think it has to be a solvable case of insecurity. Please tell me what you think about this, and how I can approach fixing it. Any comments or suggestions are more than welcome.

View related questions: insecure, notice me

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A male reader, LovelessAct1 United States +, writes (18 December 2010):

I've been there, man. I really appreciate a confident woman who knows she's amazingly beautiful just the way she is, and when I'm in the company of someone who finds endless things about themselves to complain about I get easily annoyed.

Seeing as I have been similar situations, I feel no guilt in telling you to stop reassuring her of herself. I know how hard this is, because I too love to make the girl I'm with feel special, wanted, loved, and beautiful; however in your girlfriend's case, you're not helping her. Like you said, she's acting like a child. This whole thing is a desperate strive for attention.

It may because, like you said, she doesn't have many friends. This may leave her wanting more people interested in her life and leads her to grasp for attention from you in the best way she knows how; continuously doubt herself and obsess over her faults. At this point its a vicious cycle: not having a lot of friends leaves her feeling in need of attention, but she can't make friends because she's consistently complaining about herself. No one enjoys being around someone who's always like that.

Like one of the posters said, she may need some counseling. Whether she actually does have immense self esteem issues or is just a child suffering a temper tantrum because of the lack of attention she gets, she needs help in dealing with it. I'm afraid you'll need to stop showing her that she can get all her attention from you. You can still compliment her occasionally, but when she is constantly asking your opinion of her, just tell her that she should know by now how you feel about her and leave it at that.

I feel for ya, trust me. Best of luck.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (17 December 2010):

She needs counseling. If you want to stay with her long term, e.g. marriage, then you should insist and go with her to couples counseling.

This is important, because no relationship can survive long term if one partner is unable to get reassurance due to their own insecurities, it leads to stress, infidelity, etc, etc, because the insecure partner is in need of reassurance and will get it from wherever they can, and it won't always be from the partner they are with.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (17 December 2010):

I agree with Zayla. You can't make her feel secure about herself. She has to do it herself. And yeah, you're probably right in that she's not very mature, but I'm assuming that she's also not very old. If she's 18-21, she's little more than a child. And I think that many of us females are insecure in this world of photoshoped, anorexic models. We come to feel that we don't measure up to these unreal standards of beauty.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (17 December 2010):

Making her feel "secure" is NOT your is hers and hers alone.

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