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The Insecurity Blanket: Pillow-Talking Your Worries Away
- By Luigi Di Serio, edited by Aaron S. Bayley

Are you looking for an effective way to improve your intimate relationships?  The insecurity blanket is a semi-revolutionary yet simple tool , which can do just that. 

But first, it’s important to establish the most common causes of bad relationships, break-ups, and unsuccessful dating. 

1.  “I never date” + “I’m worthless” + “I’m broke”

Men that have low self-esteem and lack monetary stability in their lives are generally terrible at courting the opposite sex, and as a result rarely date.  When they do, their relationships don’t progress positively:  Jealousy, fear (of commitment) and uncertainty make the relationship sour faster than the sun's effect on un-refrigerated milk. 

2.  “What he doesn’t know can’t hurt him”

In marriages and long-term relationships, financial troubles, pride and dishonesty are the proverbial nails in the coffin of courtship.  Hiding your $400 pair of designer boots may seem harmless at first, but an accumulated VISA debt can and will lead your husband to wonder what other things you are hiding from him.

3.  “I’ll bet something’s going on between my girlfriend and that guy that she works with…”

Assuming that your girlfriend is being unfaithful is the least effective way of figuring out whether or not she actually is.  Entrapment may be more effective, but is illegal in most countries.  The point is, feeling and acting jealous will only brew resentment towards her, and eventually lead to fighting and resentment on both sides.

So what do these unattractive characteristics have in common?  What is the common denominator shared by these courtship-killing culprits?

In one word:  INSECURITY.

Lack of self-confidence (“I can’t discuss politics with these people because I’m not smart enough”), low self-esteem (“I don’t deserve this girl - she’s way too pretty for me”), financial instability (“I can’t afford this jacket, but I’ll buy it anyway”) and uncertainty about the future all stem from one’s insecurities.

If you’ve taken an introductory psychology course, you’ve probably heard of world-renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) and his Hierarchy of Needs.  In it he ranks the needs of a human being, from lowest to highest: 

(1) Physiological Needs (air, food, water)

(2) Safety (for children, their parents give them a feeling of safety)

(3) Love and Belonging (this is why we give affection, because we innately seek affection in return)

 (4) Self-esteem (when the first 3 needs are met, we can begin to seek a way to gain self-respect, and respect from others, and eventually a sense of self-confidence)

(5) Self-actualization (knowing yourself, and feeling the need to do what you’re “Born to do” – an artist will paint, a writer will write, et cetera)

The need for safety is a basic one, and according to Maslow (and to most psychologists) must be fulfilled before moving up the ladder of needs.  But we live in an urban jungle, not an actual jungle, so it’s largely psychological.  Safety doesn’t mean shelter from a predator; it has to do with securing stability and consistency in a chaotic world.  We need the security (which a home and family provides).

Maslow believed that this need was so powerful that it often drove people toward organized religion. Religion and a strong faith in higher power give us a sense of security with the promise of a blissful afterlife.  Believing in God gives one a feeling of certainty and security.

If a person lacks certainty and security, they will become insecure.  And when an insecure person decides to tackle the constant battle of being in a relationship with another person, they will point their finger and blame the other person (when everyone knows that blaming is never an effective method of problem-solving), they will act jealous and they may become deceptive in order to attain the information that they suspect if being hidden from them.  They behave in this apparently idiotic manner in order to gain stability.  Kind of ironic, isn’t it?  But stability is an intrinsic necessity, and an important survival skill. 

We’ve all behaved that way at one point in our lives, because we ALL have insecurities.  The world is filled with uncertainty, and unpredictability is what makes life so interesting!  What’s not-so-exciting is the fear that you will not have enough money to support your family.  So you budget scrupulously, you work overtime.  You don’t sit around acting vulnerable and helpless, and taking out your problems on other people (least of all, your partner).

In relationships, insecurities create an unstable environment.  If the soil isn’t rich with esteem, the relationship will not blossom into a beautiful flower.  Get it?  Plus, nobody’s attracted to a wimp.  Can you imagine two insecure people in a relationship?  You probably can.  You know that couple that fights all the time in front of all of their friends, and never seem to resolve their disputes?  That’s them.  If they’re both a little overweight or have serious emotional issues, then they’re even more likely to be insecure.  Simple math tells me that the chances of their relationship lasting are slim to none, and slim just left the building.

So here’s my (proven effective!) solution to this pesky little problem:  It’s called The Insecurity Blanket.

Rather than acting like an emotional basket case when a problem arises, it’s better to share your insecurities before they become an active problem.  Put aside your pride (The deadliest of the 7 Deadly Sins…  and commonly known as “The root of evil”) for about 20 minutes, and talk frankly about what fears lurk in your subconscious.  You can admit to your girlfriend that you get jealous when you see her strutting around in a mini-skirt and guys flock to her as though she were a walking beer tap.  Trust me, she gets jealous too.  Every time a girl giggles at one of your jokes and touches your arm affectionately, she feels the urge to grab that girl by her ponytail and fling her violently into the wall.

Better listening = better communication = better understanding, which paves the way for more intimacy (READ:  better sex!).

Insecurity Blanket How-To

You can’t just blurt out something like:  “I hate it when you act slutty!”  Heed caution with the words you choose, and most importantly is the location which you choose to divulge these thoughts.  Mutually decide on a time and place each week or month for both of you to lie down beside each other and share each other's concerns, fears, and personal insecurities.  You can do this in bed, laying under the covers together, hence the title of the exercise – the Insecurity Blanket.

A "security blanket" is a colloquial term used to describe something that someone uses to dispel anxiety.  The “IN-security blanket” is a metaphor for an intimate place where two people can share their personal insecurities without fear of being judged or ridiculed.  In other words:  Location, location, location!

Hara Estroff Marano of Psychology Today Magazine says:  "Sex is good.  Pillow talk is better.  Sex is easy; intimacy is difficult.  It requires honesty, openness and self-disclosure, confiding concerns, fears, sadness as well as hopes and dreams".

This is why if you and your partner seek shelter underneath the "insecurity blanket" at least once a month, your personal insecurities will not compound into resentment towards your partner or your relationship, and make for a blissful, happy life together.  Isn’t that why you’re in a relationship in the first place?

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