Being possessive is highly unhealthy for a relationship. It is a sign of insecurities, doubts, mistrust, and it can be harmful to the relationship itself. In this post, we’re gonna talk about 5 easy ways to stop being possessive in a relationship.
Being in a relationship can be like a double-edged sword. It has both good and bad consequences. It can be good if we have a loyal and trustworthy partner. But if our partner has a trust-issues, it can ruin the essence of your relationship.
Jealousy and insecurities are the most common problem that a couple has to deal with. It can lead to possessiveness, which is a sign of an unhealthy relationship. If you have this issue, you need to stop being possessive and egoistic in your relationship for the sake of your relationship itself.
Possessiveness is something bittersweet for a relationship. Sweet, because it seems like you have a full control over your partner. Even though your partner doesn’t like it. Bitter, because it’s actually toxic and could ruin your relationship.
What Makes Someone Being Possessive In Their Relationship?
Possessiveness in a relationship can be caused by several factors such as past events and psychological problems. The tendencies of being possessive and controlling are sabotaging your relationship and your own happiness in general. Before we talk about the ways to fix it, we need to understand what makes someone being so possessive and egoistic in their relationships.
The fear of being left by someone you love drives you to become more controlling over them. Hence, you start to bind them in the most extreme way possible. You realize you have something bad in you that if your lover discovers it, they’d probably leave you.
I used to be a possessive person whose possessiveness was driven by insecurity. In my past relationships, I always hid something from them, which was my depression. But as time went by, I couldn’t hide it any longer. They figured it out eventually and none of those relationships survived.
The cycle went on and on for a long time.
Because of that, I decided to tell about my weakness to every potential lover who could end up in a romantic relationship. I let myself become vulnerable. Most of them left before it even started. But then, someone decides to stay and accepts me for who I am.
Surprisingly, this relationship turns out to be the most beautiful relationship that I’ve ever had. It’s all because she lets me be who I am and I don’t need to hide anything from her.
Jealousy in a relationship is actually a necessity. It is a normal feeling whenever someone is in a romantic relationship. In fact, it is healthy. It becomes unhealthy when the jealousy becomes excessive and starts to become life-restricting for both of you.
Here’s an example of excessive jealousy. You’re in an airplane with your partner and the stewardess give a smile at you and, by instinct, you smile back at her. Your partner gets mad and thinks you’re betraying her trust. As a result, both of you argued about this one unnecessary problem all the way until you reach your destination.
This kind of jealous conflict is indeed unhealthy and can end a relationship.
Possessive Personality Disorder (or also be known as Borderline Personality Disorder) can also be the main cause of excessive control. It is a pattern where someone who has this disorder is acting possessive towards people or things. This all is related to control issues, jealousy, and self-esteem.
It is a serious mental health problem. A person with a possessive personality disorder may suffer from an extreme feeling of worthlessness and an extreme fear of abandonment.
These are the symptoms of borderline personality disorder:
- Excessive crying
- Inappropriate behavior designed to get attention
- Enacting risky behavior to avoid feelings of abandonment
- Suicide Attempts
- Sleeping habits that change drastically
- Constant loneliness
- Poor decision-making habit
- Low self-esteem
- Constant mood swings
- Hopelessness and helplessness
Without proper treatment, the person with Borderline Personality Disorder is at risk of experiencing some unfortunate consequences such as a chaotic home environment, self-destructive behavior, job loss or job struggles, and some relationship conflicts like lost friendships and partnerships.
How To Stop Being Possessive in a Relationship
We’ve learned about the causes of why people act possessively. Now it’s time to fix it. One thing at a time would be beneficial to fix the overall problems. Keep in mind that a relationship will work if both people work it out. So you might need some support and understanding from your partner.
These following tips might help you to stop being possessive in your relationship.
1. Fix your insecurities
The main problem of any insecurity is not about what you are, but what you think you are. Fixing your insecurity is vital if you want to fix your possessiveness. To fix this, find something within you which you have learned to think of them as inappropriate.
Try to accept yourself as who you are, gradually. Start to talk about it with your closest friends. Some of them may not understand, but that’s okay. The point is to express the feeling that you’ve been hiding for a long time.
Some people may admire your honesty and courage for the sake of being who you are. And that, my friend, is awesome. People love what’s real.
In my case, it was my depression. I had hidden it from everyone for a long time. It was because I live in a country which had a low awareness of mental health problems. Our society believes that people who have mental illnesses are crazy or insane.
I’m too sane to be crazy. But too depressed to be normal.
Like I mentioned earlier, things are different now. I have no problems with any conversation around depression. In fact, I start to enjoy this topic. It helps to raise awareness of mental health problems. At least in my circle of friends.
And the best part of all was, many of them admired my courage to express what I had hidden for a long time.
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2. Try to put yourself in their shoes
Yep! Try to be more empathetic to your partner. In general, try to have more empathy for the people in your life.
Imagine this, and try to figure out how this would feel if it happens to you. You’re a busy person with a high needs of social interactions. Your job demands you to meet a lot of people in a day. And you have to make some calls to your clients even in your day off.
At one random night in a bar, you meet a beautiful girl. You’re both falling in love with each other and start dating. You think she’s the perfect match for you. But as time goes by, she starts to reveal her true color.
She gets jealous whenever you make calls with your clients. Or gets mad when you attend a meeting where your female co-workers are also there. Basically, she demands you to have interaction only with her.
Yeah, that’s the feeling that I could imagine.
Being over possessive in a relationship is never cool. It’s not sweet nor romantic.
To be honest, I had been in this kind of relationship once. I lost my job at that time because I prioritized her demands. That was the foolest mistake I ever did. I don’t want to share any further story of it because it was a shame.
But you get my point. The essence of a healthy relationship is to understand your partner’s needs. Including their need for social interactions. You need to understand that it is completely natural and harmless.
3. Learn to build the trust
Continuing from the previous point, building trust is the next step to get rid of the possessive trait in a relationship.
Overthinking and paranoia is the early killer of any relationship. Both can lead to doubts, fights, and even the end of the relationship itself. These are dangerous things to trust. But don’t worry, there’s a better way: trust your partner instead.
I know it’s easier said than done. I’ve experienced and struggled with this before.
But bear with me.
I want you to ask yourself what’s the good and the bad behind those thoughts. Most of them recurring because you’re not trusting your partner enough. You always wonder what is he/she doing at the moment, or is he/she spending their time with the wrong people that may harm your relationship.
And here’s the cure: text/call your partner. Ask them about what are they doing.
There are two possible responds. The first is they’ll tell you the truth. The second is they’ll lie to you. Both responses are good for you.
But… How come?
Because there are only two types of a partner in this world: the liar and the honest one.
If your partner is the honest one, then it’s good for you. But if your partner is the liar one, you should learn to part ways with them. I know I’m supposed to give some tips about how to stop being possessive in a relationship. But if your relationship may cause harm to you, I won’t risk that. I want you to surround yourself with people who are good for your mental health
I believe if you find someone who can be trusted, your instinct will tell you that he/she can really be trusted. You’ll be able to overcome your overthinking and paranoia naturally. Even without you trying.
4. Raise your self-esteem and self-worth
Low self-esteem could cause you to be overly possessive in a relationship. People who have low self-esteem constantly worried about the beliefs that they are not good enough. You fear to be easily replaced by someone better.
The doubts that come from the low self-esteem and low self-worth make you act in ways which would drive people away. As a result, you’ll have even lower self-esteem. This cycle can go on and on if you don’t start working on it.
The following are possible ways to do to help you raise your self-esteem:
- Spend more time with supportive people and less time with destructive people
- Stop aiming for perfection.
- Fight your inner-critic.
- Start cultivating the attitude of gratitude.
- Handle mistakes and failure in a positive way (Also read: The Benefits of Failure To Help You Achieve Your Goals)
- Be kind to yourself and others.
Being active on improving your self-esteem would be beneficial for you and your partner. Remind yourself that you are unique and valuable.
5. Keep yourself busy
I say this again, overthinking kills relationships. When you don’t have anything to do for quite some time, you may start to overthink about your partner. Hence, you start to be so possessive in your relationship.
To fix this, you need to find some new activities to keep you occupied. It could be a hobby or work.
Below are some new activities you can do:
- Find a good book
- Make new friends
- Learn a new language
- Take long walks alone
- Learn how to cook a new recipe
- Do yoga and meditation
- Watch TV series
- and some other countless number of activities
Spend less time checking your partner’s social media page can also be helpful. Most overthinking occur because you are obsessed with your partner’s life. Being supportive and being possessive are two different things. Now, ask yourself this. Are you a supportive partner or are you a possessive partner?
You can also make a new goal. It can be as simple as learning how to play an instrument or learning how to cook. It would be better if you are committed to chasing your bigger dreams. These new activities will keep you busy and occupied. This way you will think less of your partner’s daily life.
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