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Insecurities make us cautious and guarded in our interactions with others. While in the long term, some of us might want our partners to help us overcome our insecurities by challenging them, a partner who triggers our insecurities right from the start is usually a detriment to the development of a healthy relationship in the short run. It is harder to be spontaneous with each other if our words and actions have to go through an extra “will this make me/them feel insecure?” filter every time.

A majority of people tend to naturally avoid people and circumstances that trigger their insecurity. However, some of us might not be very good at it, especially if we like a certain level of challenge from our partner. Someone challenging our competence, thereby pushing us to grow, can be incredibly rewarding despite making us feel temporarily uncomfortable. Naturally, such people might expect and even welcome a certain level of discomfort from their partners. This might make them likely to confuse the discomfort that comes from triggered insecurities with the discomfort that comes from challenged competence. If they aren’t careful, they might continue to nurture relationships that make them more and more insecure as opposed to more and more competent.

Being transparent about each other’s insecurities and evaluating the extent to which the other person might inadvertently trigger them goes a long way in preventing a relationship from becoming unhealthy. Contrary to what many movie tropes seem to suggest, the beginning of a relationship is the worst time to try and help someone overcome their insecurities. It is way more effective and healthier to wait until both of you feel reasonably safe with each other before teasing out each other’s insecurities.

Takeaway: A transparent exchange of each other’s insecurities might help avoid having to confront your insecurities too early in the relationship.

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