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Are You Too Low-Maintenance in Your Relationships?

It’s a good thing to be able to get along with others and go with the flow. Having the ability to adapt and be flexible with little complaint is a welcome relief when compared to attention-seeking, needy, and inflexible individuals. However, it’s important that low maintenance people are not confused with someone who is unauthentic or those trying to please others to be accepted.

When low-maintenance is rooted in fear of abandonment or rejection, it destroys relationships. For example, if you’re not honest about your need for affection or attention due to fear of coming across as needy, you’ll hide a part of you that’s necessary for intimate connection. Unfortunately, this happens to many people who act low maintenance when, in fact, they feel fearful that their feelings will be dismissed.

Fear-induced low-maintenance begins in childhood. Usually, parents downplayed or withheld attention when the child needed emotional support. Some examples include:

· Minimizing feelings by saying, “It wasn’t that bad,” or, “Stop crying, you’ll upset your mother.”

· Teasing the child by mimicking an ambulance sire when they cry. It may seem funny to the parent, but the shaming is at the child’s expense.

· Acting as if hurtful comments were a joke or saying, “We can’t play together if you can’t take a joke!”

There may also have been abuse, teaching the child to walk on eggshells and stay small and quiet. In all these scenarios, children learn that their parents cannot handle their true emotional needs in a loving or nurturing way. The child grows up to be an adult who withholds, rejects, or denies having emotional needs or needing reassurance. They may seem strong to their partner, but they’re fragile inside.

If you grew up feeling low-maintenance, the question you have to ask yourself in a relationship is, “Is my low-maintenance nature a reflection of who I really am or is it rooted in fear?” If your low-maintenance due to fear of rejection or abandonment, these suggestions may help you face your fear.

1. Remember that everyone gets rejected. No one likes to be rejected, but it’s part of life. Living a life where you can be honest with your true feelings is more important than living a lie.

2. Rebuild your self-worth and confidence. When your fear keeps you locked in to being low-maintenance instead of honest about how you feel, you lose the sense of who you really are. You also lose confidence and self-worth. These two exercises can help you rebuild.

· List tree times you felt most proud of yourself.

· Remind yourself of the positive qualities you offer your partner.

3. Be aware of your self-talk. Part of what keeps fear scary is the way we talk about it. We make it a devastating, crippling prison. Challenge yourself to repeat positive quotes, reframe negative situations to be more hopeful, and challenging prospects. Remember, no one dies of fear, but they do limit their lives until they face it.

4. Seek mental help counseling. The quickest way to work through past pain is with the supportive care of a mental health professional. It is an essential part to healing the past, grieving what you didn’t receive as a child and moving forward into healthy relationships.

Many things that happen to us as an adult, began as a child in our parents’ home. You cannot go back and undo damage; however, you can gain awareness, making you more understanding, compassionate, and confident. Take positive actions to re-parent yourself and raise your children in a healthy emotional environment.


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