In 1978, a pair of psychologists named Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes proposed
the idea that people often believe their skills and abilities to be fake, which leads them to
assume that they don’t deserve any of the accomplishments that they’ve been credited with.
Referred to as “Imposter Syndrome,” this misguided belief has been found to affect nearly
everyone, whether it be in terms of their achievements in school or the workplace. In fact,
research even shows that at least 70% of the world’s population has experienced this
phenomenon at some point in their lives, which is why it’s safe to assume that there are a
lot of individuals out there who credit their success to sheer dumb luck.
Imposter Syndrome may be most commonly associated with academic and professional
insecurities; however, experts now claim that it can also be seen in relationships and dating.
“This is when there’s this internal false belief that you’re not enough for your partner,” says
Moraya Seeger DeGeare, a licensed marriage and family therapist based in New York. “It’s
the thought that, ‘If I show up as my authentic self, this person is going to reject me, and I’m
not deserving of this relationship.’”
DeGeare further adds that, “Because you have this false belief that you’re not enough,
you’re going to show up differently. It’s actually going to limit your intimacy in your
relationship if you really aren’t addressing this idea that this person deserves someone
It’s clear that Imposter Syndrome leaves debilitating and long-lasting damage on a romantic
relationship. But how exactly can you get out of the lies perpetuated by your mind,
navigating dating and romance without feeling like a fake?
Acknowledge the Signs
The first step towards solving a problem – whatever it may be – is to recognize that it exists,
in the first place.
Because of this, it’s important that you take note of thoughts and behaviors that indicate
Imposter Syndrome, such as sabotaging relationships that are going good, playing “hard to
get,” and believing that you aren’t good enough for your partner.
Increase Your Self-Esteem
According to experts and psychologists, the root of Imposter Syndrome is a lack of self-esteem, which is why boosting this should be your priority. There are many ways to increase your self-esteem, although popular ones include practicing positive daily affirmations, setting small goals for yourself, and talking with a licensed therapist.
Communicate with Your Partner
More often than not, the debilitating thoughts and misguided beliefs that come with Imposter Syndrome happen only in your head. Not only are they completely baseless, but they’re exaggerated and blown out of proportion too.
There’s a huge chance that your partner actually thinks the world of you, so allow them to give you assurances that your fears and insecurities are imaginary by directly bringing these up. You can even address the things they do that inadvertently trigger your Imposter Syndrome.
Keep in mind that a relationship requires honest and direct communication to function. As long as you and your partner are open with each other, then your bouts of Imposter Syndrome won’t get in the way.
* * * * *
Imposter Syndrome is a debilitating phenomenon that is unfortunately experienced by
many. Addressing and resolving this issue may be difficult, but it needs to be done if you
want to keep your romantic relationships happy, healthy, and stable.
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