“Do You Do This, Too?”

Lots of women have a special way of being – that is behaving – in relationships. Do you? 

It's like they suddenly revert back to an earlier version of themselves. 

It's an anxiety thing. 

It's as though everything they've learned, all the wisdom and expertise they've acquired over the years, doesn't exist. As though they do relationships from some small, needy place in themselves, rather than from their confident, mature, wise self? 

Ah but, Annie....” you might say. “That's perfectly normal, isn't it? That's because when it comes to affairs of the heart there is so much riding on getting it right.” 

I see. 

There's so much riding on it that... you have to give your anxiety its head, right? 

Let's look at this a little more closely. You want something in your life – most commonly, your relationship – to be a certain way. And you're not too confident about it being that way. So, what do you do? You go right into your head and you worry about it. You focus on the anxiety which tells you an absolutely beastly story about how bad things could get and... 

Not only do you let that story influence you in the way you interact with other people, but you expect other people to respond to your anxiety, too. 

In fact, you do your level best to make them respond to your anxiety. Even though your anxiety may not make a lot of sense to them – or even any sense, at all. 

Your anxiety is not the most intelligent, socially accomplished part of you, is it? 

If youwere able to put your anxiety back into its little box, where it belongs, what would be different? 

How would you behave instead? 

What difference do you think that might make to the outcome? 

You are so much more than your anxiety. Isn't it time you learned how to be free of that anxiety so you can have the life and the relationships you desire? 

2 replies
  1. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    I think there is a lot of truth to what you have said, but would like for you to expand on this observation, and offer some examples, especially how a woman might expect others to respond to her anxiety. It is not clear to me, which might well mean I don’t have as much insight as I need.

    Reply
  2. annie
    annie says:

    Hi Elizabeth, thank you for that. You are absolutely right.

    I probably should have said; “you do your best to make them INDULGE your anxiety”. It’s as if you the anxiety takes over to such a degree that you need them to take your anxiety as seriously as you do. Obviously, we’re not talking ‘you’ specifically.

    To give you a very simple, if silly, example. When you say to a partner/loved one:

    “Does my bum look big in this?”

    generally speaking, it’s a serious concern. Which means you need your partner to take it seriously. Heaven help them if they say the wrong thing. (And they usually do manage to put their foot in it, somehow!!)

    In reality, however, whether a bum is bigger or smaller is far less important than how the person feeling about themselves. Who do you know who is capable of saying?

    “I’m really worried that my bum looks big in this, and I feel absolutely wonderful”

    It doesn’t happen, does it.

    So, anxiety causes us to focus on a symbol, or a symptom, and then we demand a partner’s indulgence of that anxiety. His reassurance is merely indulging that nasty feeling. It’s not focusing on the underlying problem, and it’s not helping to make the Bum-Worrier feel truly loved and lovable.

    Best,

    Annie

    Reply

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