Reassurance seeking means asking others, or more likely self-checking, for confirmation to feel better about something you're worried or unsure about.
It's like when you want someone to tell you everything will be okay when you're feeling scared or anxious.
But if you keep looking for reassurance, it can make your negative thoughts even stronger. And your reassuring negative thoughts can stick around for a few reasons…
First, getting reassurance only gives you temporary relief, so your worries come back later. This makes you think you always need reassurance to feel better.
Second, you start paying too much attention to your negative thoughts and ignoring anything positive. This makes your negative thoughts seem larger and more real.
Third, you might start only looking for information that agrees with your negative thoughts and ignoring anything that says otherwise. This makes your negative thoughts seem even more true.
Lastly, always relying on reassurance seeking behaviors can make you dependent on them and not believe in your own ability to handle things!
To stop this cycle, it's important to learn how to change your negative thoughts, be kind to yourself, and find ways to manage your worries without seeking reassurance.
Replace your negative thoughts with gratitude to be free from them. Learn how at Gratitude Gems: A Glorious Guide to Growth.
P.S. This was originally sent on May 30, 2023. Sign up today for Daily Emails and get our free OCD resource: Unstuck.