Jealousy, Relationship Sabotage, and the MOST Attractive Strategy for Dealing With Insecurities

Have you ever had an insecurity, a jealousy, or something that hurt you or made you feel threatened, but you didn’t know the right way to bring it up? If we’re not careful, constructive vulnerability can mutate into what I call “dumping.”

This video will reveal what you can do if you’re worried you’ve fallen into this trap, or are about to . . .

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Matthew:

Hello, everyone. We’re back for another video. Last week, we talked about red flags. Did you watch it? It was a video that struck a nerve with people. Anytime we talk about red flags, it always seems to strike a nerve with people. I think it’s because we really have that pain of looking back on past relationships where there were early signs that perhaps we should have paid more attention to, but didn’t, and in retrospect, we think, “My God, if I’d have just been more aware that that was a red flag,” or, “If I’d just been more in tune with myself and my needs, then I would’ve said something about that.”

 

Lily, on YouTube says, “I grew up in a very abusive and turbulent home. And for years attracted very mean and selfish men. I’m in my mid-forties and I’ve learned to protect myself by doing something that absolutely works. I ask myself, ‘Would you let someone treat your child that way? Would you let someone talk to your child that way?’Now I don’t have any children, but I imagine that if I did, I’d be very protective of them. And I have become my own parent in a way, the kind of parent I never had. And I watch out for myself now. It’s been a game changer.”

I mean, that is fantastic, Jameson. And we could do an entire video just on that comment. Luke says, “As someone who works in DV and SA, I think y’all missed one of the more obvious, but also scarier red flags moving too fast.” I think that’s a really interesting point. I have said for many years, when someone gets really radically into you very quickly and they seem to be taking you down a path faster than is organic to how much you know each other, that can be a little unnerving and something to watch out for because is it grounded in something real or are they just projecting or are they just someone who deeply loves the drama and the high of falling in love, but isn’t going to be able to sustain that when the real work of a relationship and investing in you begins.

And then there was a comment on Instagram from someone who said, “My newest red flag is men that won’t eat onions.” Obviously very diverse opinions.

Thank you for those comments. They’re informative and really elegant and articulately put. I was watching the video myself and I thought, “There is a criticism I could make of this video that I want to answer.” What’s coming up is me responding to a criticism I have of last week’s video. But I think you’re really going to love it because it goes deeper and it expands on one of the concepts in last week’s video.

Before we jump to that, big announcement time. Many of you know that the most popular thing that we have done in my organization in the last 18 months is the Virtual Retreat. So many of you missed out on it the last time. It was a massive, massive success. We changed 1300 lives, which was a record for us on the Virtual Retreat. We’ve never had more people, but word has gotten around and people are raving about this program. A lot of people were really upset that they missed it, but we have just announced the dates for our next Virtual Retreat. It’s happening from March the 18th to the 20th, 2022. And for the month of November, it is the best price you’re going to get between now and the event. There is a significant discount on the ticket price for this event. And it’s only available for the month of November.

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All right now, to the main topic of today.

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“Are your insecurities jeopardizing a potentially good relationship?” Now this came out of a video that we just released in the last week where I talked about people who bring … We want to be with a partner.

Steve:

You were talking about red flags, right?

Matthew:

It was all about red flags …

Steve:

Which is a hot topic on the internet right now. People are posting all those memes. What’s a red flag. What’s a warning sign. People are really looking out for those flags right now.

Matthew:

And we said one of the red flags is when we’re in a relationship with somebody or we’re seeing somebody when we bring something up that that is making us unhappy, they make us feel ashamed of it or they make us feel embarrassed for even saying it. Or they suddenly make us feel like we are not secure in the relationship because we’ve now brought this up. And the fear of that is, of course, what stops us, bringing things up. We get very afraid. If this thing up, am I going to lose my power?

And as I was watching that video back in the last couple of days, I thought to myself, if I wanted to critique this video, if I was looking to say, “Well, actually what Matthew Hussey’s saying here is quite dangerous.” Here’s what I’d say. I’d say, “Yeah. But what about when you are with someone who keeps bringing this thing up that they’re insecure about, over and over again, and what they’re bringing up isn’t valid.” What they’re bringing up is, for example, rooted in a jealousy that’s not rational and they keep making my life hell over it. Is it really incumbent on me to continue to placate them, to continue to understand or show compassion? At a certain point, isn’t it on them to stop bringing this to me because it’s not a fair thing to bring to me?

Steve:

Right.

Matthew:

And there are plenty of examples of this. You could have the example of a guy or a woman getting jealous when their partner goes out with their friends. Maybe it has nothing to do with whether that person’s doing anything wrong is just that they have insecurity around that. Or maybe it’s to do with our partner working and we get insecure that they’re not contacting us enough when they’re working or that we’re not being reassured that they’re still thinking about us. We feel like we’re with someone who works very hard. And we would like to be texting during the day and hearing from them. But we are not hearing from them. It might be …

Steve:

I’m quite a bad during-the-day texter.

Matthew:

Right. Now, again, we fall into this situation where in a relationship someone could call you out and say, “I need that more from you.” And you can say, “But that’s not me.” So if someone kept bringing that up with you, at what point should they change versus you be understanding about it. We have lots of different scenarios that this can take place in, but I’d love to talk kind of from both points of view. When you are with someone who keeps bringing up something that is unreasonable or that you think is unreasonable, at what point do you say, “It’s no longer on me to be understanding. You keep bringing up the same thing which is unfounded or unfair, or to do with your demons, not mine.” I suppose, in a way, what we’re asking is, is there a point where too much vulnerability can occur? Is there a point where vulnerability gets worn out?

Steve:

Yeah. I mean it’s tricky right because people see ideal of a relationship as I can say, what I really feel. And maybe I do feel insecure a lot. And that’s the truth of what I’m feeling right now. But you also know every time, like you say, if your default mode is, “I feel insecure, I feel threatened.” You know that eventually will push someone away. They will be exhausted by that. And so is the answer that you look for someone as secure or insecure as you, or is it on you to suck it up a bit and say, “I’ve got to figure this shit out because this can’t be nice for someone to always hear that I’m feeling threatened or feeling … They didn’t text me for half an hour and I feel abandoned and scared.” Who’s the onus on here, because like you say, the vulnerability thing has been very emphasized and has probably been good to that, where it’s been emphasized in the culture more. But when does vulnerability become like, “You are just smothering me with your stuff and I don’t need to deal with that all the time.”

Matthew:

Well, I think that we have to start from the place of saying what a lot of people call vulnerability is not vulnerability. In other words, if I said to you, Steve, “You don’t text enough. And it’s because you’re not thinking of me. And because everything else is more important than me. And it’s really hard to be in a relationship with someone who just isn’t communicative.” That’s not vulnerability. What I’ve really done there is made you wrong about a lot of stuff. I’ve judged your level of communication. I’ve made an assertion, a statement, that I’m not important to you and everything else in your life is more important to you.

Steve:

Right. You’ve interpreted all my actions negatively and judged me.

Matthew:

And judged you. Exactly. And done it from an angry place with a tone. This is not vulnerability. Underneath all of that is vulnerability, but this is not vulnerability. This is brandishing our weapons. This is, I brought my weapons out here. I brought my weapons to the party. I didn’t bring my wounds to the party. I didn’t bring vulnerability. Because vulnerability would be actually telling you what I was feeling, how I was feeling, not necessarily judging you for your actions, but explaining how I’m feeling and what I’m scared about or what’s making me sad. In other words, vulnerability is about, I us, it’s not about judging somebody else.

We have all sorts of programs that can help people with that. But let’s just step out for a moment. Let’s say someone is bringing it in a vulnerable way. Let’s some say someone is coming to you and saying, this is how it’s making me feel. And I’m struggling. I’m sad. I’m upset.

Steve:

Yeah. They’re being honest about insecurities they have.

Matthew:

Yeah. Let’s say they are doing that. Well, there’s still potentially a point at which that starts to wear thin. In the video that we just released, which I would encourage everyone to go and check out. It’s on all of our feeds, or you can actually go and watch it on the blog, on the brand new howtogetthe guy.com website, which we should say.

Steve:

Give that baby a click.

Matthew:

We have a brand new website for you to check out; howtogettheguy.com. If you put forward slash blog, you’ll go and see that video on the brand new blog. But in that video, I call this dumping. There’s vulnerability and there’s dumping vulnerability becomes dumping when we restate the same vulnerability over and over and over and over again, without actually doing anything about it.

So I don’t just tell you, “I’m not feeling sexy right now. I’m just going through a bit of a phase where I don’t feel sexy.” It’s telling you you that five times a day and expecting you to make me feel better every single time I say it. Now, I’m not taking responsibility for my feelings I’m making you responsible for my feelings. I’m saying, “It’s your job to make me feel better every time I feel bad.” That’s no longer vulnerability abdicating responsibility. I’m dumping my responsibility for how I feel onto you. And that’s what starts to hurt relationships.

Look, you raised an important point. Should we just find someone who is the same as us in some way?

Steve:

Like they’re same level of confidence or lack of confidence as us.

Matthew:

Right. But by the way that doesn’t really save us. All that means is we’re both going to be complaining to each other about the same things all the time. It doesn’t save us from having to deal with these issues. It just means I’m going to bringing you a lot of these issues and you are going to be bringing me a lot of these issues. They don’t cancel each other out. Where you go, “Oh, well, we’re both super insecure about this so neither of us suffer.” No. What it means is we’re in a situation where both of us … If it’s jealousy, for example, it just means we’re now in a relationship we’re both of us get really jealous all the time.

Steve:

Or we both scared the other’s going to dump us.

Matthew:

Exactly. That doesn’t solve the problem. What I believe is not that we have to find someone who is … You have to find out someone who’s chilled out in all the ways you are chilled out. Find someone with all the same confidence as you. Of course, that helps. Being with someone who has lots and lots of issues about lots of different things is more work than somebody who’s figured out a lot already in their own personal life.

Steve:

Who’s just more comfortable in themselves.

Matthew:

Exactly. But there’s always in a relationship going to be things that come up. I’m a big believer in something coming up is important. When something comes up the moment somebody expresses a vulnerability about something they’re insecure about, something that’s affected them, something that’s worrying them that can actually be a really beautiful moment, especially early on in a relationship. Because it builds trust. What you are saying is, “Hey, I’m showing my neck first.” You know what I mean? Like, “I’m showing you that I trust you with these feelings.” And when I do that, it’s like laying my weapons down. I’m inviting you to do the same. That not only breeds trust it. It gives you a license to show your vulnerability.

Steve:

And by the way, some people have been burnt doing that. Which is why some people will be listening to this going, “I’ve said it before and someone’s shown they’re really turned off by my insecurity.”

Matthew:

Well, listen. That’s why it’s called vulnerability. It’s not vulnerability. If you don’t expose yourself. In boxing, every time you throw … You can’t throw a punch in boxing without opening yourself up to a punch. This is very important. You cannot throw a punch without opening yourself up to … If you stand there with your guard up all the time, then you’re protected. But then you can’t win. You’re not boxing. Anytime you throw a punch, you expose yourself. You are making yourself vulnerable. The same is true in a relationship. Anytime you show a vulnerability, you are honest about your feelings, you are honest about who you are, you’re exposing yourself.

Steve:

But some people specifically, even men might be like, “I’m not doing that sh*t because I know what happens. If I go and expose like something I’m feeling and it gets rejected that’s a turnoff for them. I’ve started a chain of events where they’re going to get less attracted. I’m on the back foot. Why would I even bother exposing myself? Why would I even bother being honest?”

Matthew:

I think this is a really important subject to talk about with men in general because it is true. Men are told to be vulnerable and I’m a big fan of Brené Brown and her work. But I think that there’s an extra hurdle for men to overcome in that work. That I am being told that being vulnerable is a good thing, but I live in a world where sometimes I feel like being vulnerable is actually the opposite of what a woman wants. That if I am vulnerable, she’s going to find me less manly, less attractive, less in control, less bold, less confident. And she’s going to suddenly … I’ve devalued myself in relation to other men who seem in infallible.

Steve:

And he might be this confident guy in loads of areas, but he’s like, “I show a chink in the armor, I show weakness here, it’s going to get pounced on.”

Matthew:

Now, the truth is what that means is if someone pounce is on your weakness in that way … Again, providing that weakness, isn’t your go-to every day. That’s what will come onto. But if you show vulnerability, which is not the same as even, it doesn’t necessarily mean showing weakness, it’s just being honest about times where you don’t feel as secure or when you are feeling something that has hurt you or when you’re feeling sad.

Steve:

You’re struggling with something.

Matthew:

You’re struggling. If you show that to someone and they pounce, or they leverage that against you, then you’re not with an emotionally mature person in a relationship. You’re not with an emotionally mature woman in a relationship. You kind of, even as a man, you have to say, “That’s a big red flag.” If the first time I show that I’m not this perfect superhero of a human being this person can’t handle that then I’m with someone who’s looking for a kind of man that doesn’t exist. And that’s a reflection on their lack of maturity and their lack of evolution because they’ve not actually understood … They still don’t understand men. Let that person go and continue to look for someone who doesn’t exist. This is not someone I want to be in a relationship with.

But for men and women alike, repeating a vulnerability over and over and over again, this is what I think is, I suppose, the crux of what I want to get to with this episode. Repeating a vulnerability over time, whilst not taking responsibility for improving it, that to me is what harms a relationship. Initial vulnerability improves the right relationship. Repeated vulnerability over time, with no progress, no movement, can damage a good relationship.

If you take the example, I don’t know, of someone who does get jealous, but they get jealous over irrational things. It’s not that you are expecting that that person’s going to work that out and then one day they’re never going to be jealous again. That’s unrealistic. And in a way, the right relationship, we should be more compassionate and understanding towards our partner. We shouldn’t expect them to just … Whatever is the issue they’ve just worked out completely and it never returns. That’s not a realistic thing to expect of someone. But in a team … And a relationship is a team of two people. In a team you want to see your partner trying. You want to see the movement that this thing that you keep getting jealous of this time … Oh, but this time you wanted to get jealous and I saw that you actually decided to …

Steve:

You tried a different approach.

Matthew:

Yeah. You tried a different approach. You didn’t bring me that this time. I can see you trying. And trying might be, I’m out with my friends. And I know you get jealous. So I’m going to shoot you a message in the middle of the night to tell you I’m thinking of you. Or I’m going to let you know how my night’s going, because I just know that that will put you at ease. That’s my trying. Your trying is that you don’t make me feel like I’m doing something wrong simply for spending time with friends or spending time away from you. It doesn’t mean you’ll never get jealous again, but it means I can see you trying.

That, to me, builds relationships. And what we have to ask ourselves. If you are in a relationship with someone who keeps bringing … They’re dumping. They’re no longer being vulnerable. They’re dumping. They keep bringing you the same thing over and over and over again with no progress, you have to start having a different standard for the progress you accept. You have to remind someone that this isn’t about being them being perfect. Imperfect progress is still progress. But if there’s no progress, then we have an issue because now you are not being a good teammate to me. And if you are the person who’s dumping, and when you are honest with yourself, you say, “You know what? I’m no longer being vulnerable. I’m dumping. I keep bringing them the same thing over and over and over again. And with no different approach with no evolution.”

Doesn’t mean we’ll never argue about it, but are the arguments getting a little more sophisticated? Are they an argument where it has the echoes of the old issue, but it there’s movement. If I’m not having a different kind of argument about this, if it’s always the same one, then I’m not taking responsibility for that movement. And I am going to eventually harm the relationship. It is going to, over time, hurt the relationship if I don’t improve this. And this is a very important point, ladies and gentlemen, out there, when you feel something as a reflex response …

Our feelings, Steve … I’m a big believer, we don’t choose our feelings. If I say something right now and you feel something, you didn’t choose that feeling, did you?

Steve:

No.

Matthew:

You just felt it. It was an immediate feeling you had as a result of something I said. We don’t choose our feelings, but we are responsible for what we do with them.

Steve:

Yeah. It’s almost like that Daniel Kahneman thing of system one brain, system two brain. System one is the animal, reactive thing. And in system two is the longer thinking.

Matthew:

Yes. And if you say none of us are responsible for our reflex feelings, but if you abdicate responsibility for them by dumping them on somebody else the whole time, instead of improving your response to those feelings, you’re not being a good team player. You’re not being a good partner because you’re choosing no progress over imperfect progress. And sooner or later, our partner is going to look at the kind of teammate they have. And say, “I don’t know if this is the kind of teammate that I want in my life.”

Steve:

And good partners are not dumb. If it’s a good partner you have, who is mature, people do tend to judge on the averages of things.

Matthew:

That’s right. That’s right.

Steve:

They don’t always judge on single isolated incidents. They notice the averages of your behavior.

Matthew:

Which is why, Anne Lamar, a writer I love she wrote, “All truth is paradox.” In other words, for every truth, there’s a counter truth. Is it true that being vulnerable should improve the right relationship? Yes. Is it also true that if you are just vulnerable in a relationship, but without improvement ever that can harm your relationship? Yes. Both things can be true. But what we are looking for is to say, “I want a relationship where I can be vulnerable without thinking that me being vulnerable the wrong way once is going to make them dump me.” But I also want to make sure that the average of my actions over time paints a picture of someone who’s good to be in a relationship with.

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Matthew:

I hope you enjoyed that video if you haven’t already, I’d appreciate if you liked the video and subscribed to the channel. Hit the like button. Hit the subscribe button. Leave me a comment. Let me know what you thought below. I want to read more comments. I want to make a habit of reading more of your comments. I will be reading the comments below. Leave us a comment. And I look forward to seeing those.

And of course, if you want to the Virtual Retreat, I really hope you will. It is the event of the year. And if you like me as a coach, if you resonate with my philosophies on things and you want to take a much deeper, more immersive journey with me, this three-day program is where it’s at. I want to go on a bigger journey with you. I hope you’ll join us. Go to MHVirtualRetreat.com and I’ll see you next week.

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12 Replies to “Jealousy, Relationship Sabotage, and the MOST Attractive Strategy for Dealing With Insecurities”

  1. I appreciate the vulnerability discussion. Please continue this topic. For someone who struggle with vulnerability, hearing more examples and understanding the feelings behind it from both sides helps build that vulnerability muscle.

  2. I had an ex who couldn’t see that he was dumping. It was so much pressure always thinking about whether a particular thing I said or how I express admiration for my favourite celebrity would set him off. You’re right about the exhaustion, I left because I felt that nothing I did would ever be good enough.

  3. “Diverse comments” as a reaction to the onion red flag, too funny! . Agreed that dumping insecurities is a problem in a relationship. If a man shares of himself, that is actually great. However, there is some truth that if all you do is share insecurities, a woman who is mature will see that as an issue that you are not taking responsibility for yourself. With this texting thing, to expect your partner to text you all the time is a bit unreasonable, especially if he is working. It is important to respect your partner’s autonomy and have your own life like work, hobbies, etc. As for jealousy, if your partner is an attractive person from within, they have a purpose, are happy, kind with others and not too shabby on the looks department. Well, they will attract other people, but who cares? Obviously if they are with you, then that is all that matters. Jealousy is an emotion that comes from fear of not feeling enough from within. You need to work on yourself if you are a jealous person. Trusting your partner is very important.

  4. To me the major difference between a good level of vulnerability and a bad one is, is it sponteanous and honest or a permanent problem and has a manipulative quality.

    Like, the “I feel bad and it’s the other person’s fault”attitude is often nothing but the attempt to manipulate people emotionally.

    But if it is a prompt reaction to something real it is very charming and endearing. Like, when we were speaking in a group about bad past experiences with a certain type of difficult exam during university time, a friends fiancé – a huge “manly” guy, volunteer firefighter, hobby boxer, pretty tough and all, joined in the conversation and was like “oh, I remember my exam, they made me feel bad about myself by saying this and that and I felt so hurt..” and he told us the whole story and his feelings, and that was such honest moment. (And made me immediately raise my standards concerning emotional maturity in men :D)

  5. This video was an eye-opener – thank you! I was in a LDR for about 2 years, and kept getting told he was coming to be with me. The longer it took for him to make the commitment, the more insecure I became. So there were 2 issues – his unwillingness or inability to make a decision, and my “dumping”. I’m not sure if I want to repair the relationship, but if the opportunity comes along I now have a better understanding of what my part was in our break-up.

  6. Matthew. This video came to me at the right time… after meeting (texting & talking) i met this guy online. He seemed so perfect..like an answer to prayer.
    Long story short. He had to go back to his home in.another state for the weekend to pack. I hadnt heard from him all day, which was highly unusual. .alot of things entered my mind. Long story short, he called me…he had been sick with a.cold, turned his phone off bc of spam calls.. yes, he sounded terrible.!!!!….
    Thank you for this video….!!!
    Judy.

  7. Sometimes old experiences shakes my understanding of the situation here and now. Sometimes my feelings take over and I feel like I fall deep down into a dark cave. I can feel the fear of losing love like a silent car crash. I remember the shadow in the room and the silent screem in my head. The scene of someone you thought you could trust breaking it in front of you. The only thing that helped me was to have a different experience. Falling in love and being loved back. I still have that in my life.. I still meet that in people around me if I just tune into that channel..

    I want to allow more love for the people around me and find an emotional button for remembering that it’s possible to bring light into the darkest rooms. My emotional button will be new leaves on a tree. And the old leaves will remind me of what I have to let go. I also want to keep the car crash as a reminder of a difficult experience… I hope these symbols will help me remember my previous strenght and how to overcome fear in the future.

  8. Mathew
    This came at the perfect time for me. The nuance of looking at insecurities as vulnerabilities – bam

    In my small company I work predominately with men . I’ve been sharing your wisdom with my team . I find if I can explain it to someone else I learn what parts I am unclear on.

    Vulnerability I thought was in allowing people to see the real you, the imperfect you . This allows others permission to be imperfect.

    Listening to you and Stephen I realize that you can’t be authentic without being vulnerable .

    What you said takes away the guilt of receiving the punch.

    In boxing
    Every time you throw a punch you open yourself up to a punch …

    When you throw a standard or boundary your being vulnerable in putting who you want to be out there. In unhealthy relationship this results in retaliation.

    Instead a healthy relationship when your throw a punch you get genuine listening and movement

  9. After my marriage where any sort of vulnerability was stomped on, I am finding it REALLY hard to be vulnerable again. I had a new relationship but after being conditioned to not feel emotions as they come up I just couldn’t be vulnerable and share those feelings, even to a partner I knew to be the opposite. Seems it is very deeply seeded now. Not sure I’ll ever get past it

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