How to transition between loved ones without feeling insecure
Posted Sep 24 2012 7:03pm
photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.Do you find yourself tuning off from the person you are with when you know there is going to be a temporary break in your relationship?
Is your mind already thinking about the next person or group you are going to be meeting while you are still with your current friend or partner? Then you are probably trying to protect yourself from the pain of separating before it happens by shutting it down while you still have power over it. You may get a sense of control by turning the tap off rather than waiting for it to run dry. But you end up depriving yourself of the love and security that is available for you to enjoy and stock up on.Without a store of love from your significant others tucked away inside you the moment of transition can be bumpy and lead to a sense of uncertainty and insecurity.The next set of connections you make have to fill you up again so that you feel secure and don’t pine for the attachments you have just left. That’s a tall order just waiting to fail. The disappointment comes just in time for you replace them with your first set of attachments that now look like saviors.The rule is that whoever you are with has to make you secure and at the moment when you know you have to leave, you transfer that job to the next person before the break to make it a seamless transition. Risky business! You could end up with zero security because like Justine you don’t have a safety deposit box to keep your valuable sense of security. You entrust it all to others and end up the loser.photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.Justine noticed that she was experiencing highs and lows in her life as she transitioned from working in different places as a freelance researcher for online magazines.This time was no different. She had enjoyed her stint in a hard news outlet and now she was moving onto an opinion blog setting. She was excited to meet up with old colleagues and friends.A week before the transition she cooled off and refused invitations to lunch or to see a movie. Justine withdrew from chatting about office politics and everyone’s love life. Her passion for hits on the stories she and her colleagues worked on waned. The intimacy she had established with one or two close comrades felt so oppressive that she payed lip service to the conversations they had.
photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.Her friends and colleagues felt the wall going up and were upset at being marginalized.They tried to reconnect and stay that way up until the last moment, but Justine resented the effort she had to put in and showed it! The connections diminished, leaving Justine with her anticipated new friends to feast on – in her imagination.At first it was a relief and exciting to have something fresh to look forward to. After the initial reunion Justine crashed. Her energy levels plummeted and it was hard to get her normal rhythms going again.It was almost as if she had gorged on her new connections having put herself in starvation mode before leaving her previous set of colleagues and friends. Now she was so full that she had to sleep it off and feel somewhat hungry again before she could reconnect and enjoy their company and caringSometimes Justine felt a twinge of regret when memories of her previous set of friends flooded her senses. But in the blink of an eye Justine’s fear of being disloyal to those she was with made her shut down the memory. She was terrified that she was distancing herself from her current friends and that she would lose them, while having nothing else to put in its place. Justine lived in a precarious emotional world that heightened her insecurity.But she has a way to be secure without giving up any relationships while feeling loyal to them all.
. Justine doesn’t have to prematurely sever ties with her loved ones and friends just before meeting others. She can enjoy every last drop of connection and store the memories, sensations, pathos and shared experiences as food that nourishes her to maintain a balanced and secure emotional self.
The memories come and go, ebb and flow like waves on the beach. They keep her hydrated with love and nurturing so that she isn’t starving for security from others.
Getting in touch with memories of friends and loved ones while with another set of loved ones is normal. It isn’t disloyal, but rather an act of connecting all the dots in her life so that she is permanently supported and secure.
So like Justine you too can give yourself permission to carry what is rightfully yours with you at all times and dip into it when you need to feed and hydrate yourself with security. The essence of feeling secure and therefore available for healthy relationships is to keep and use these memories as a living organic emotional buffet table – but one which lives inside you. It’s your resource and you can access it any time. What a great way to relieve yourself of the fear that any important connections are going to get lost, broken or withdrawn if you are with others.You might also like How to hang onto good feelings Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. There is no liability on the part of Dr. Raymond for any reactions you may have while reading the article or implementing the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Raymond.