Anonymous asked realsocialskills:Do you think that reassurance-seeking is always a bad thing? Because some of your posts seem to imply it.realsocialskills said:I didn’t realize my posts sounded that way, but I see what you mean now that you point it out.No, seeking reassurance isn’t always a bad thing. It can be really good to seek reassurance, and I think everyone needs to do that at least occasionally. If you are afraid that something is wrong, it’s ok to want to check. And it’s ok to do that with the expectation that things are probably ok and that you just need to hear it.What’s bad is when people seek *unconditional* reassurance. When people seek unconditional reassurance, they want to be convinced that things are ok at all costs - even if things are horribly wrong. That’s dangerous, and destructive. (And particularly dangerous if the thing that’s wrong is the result of something they’re going, but it’s destructive even when the problem is in no way their fault).
Sometimes when I am having anxieties I will straight up ask, “Can you reassure me that _ is ok?”
Maybe that’s unusual but I think it’s the best approach for me, I really don’t know how else to get that clearly across. But it’s definitely okay to ask for reassurance sometimes. (The only thing is that if someone does say something is not okay, you need to listen to them and acknowledge that and talk about it.)
Yes, that’s often an entirely reasonable thing to do.
If you are relatively sure that the thing is ok, and that the person is ok with it, and that it’s just your anxiety clouding your judgement, explicitly asking for reassurance can be a really good idea.
It’s particularly ok if the thing isn’t really to do with the other person, eg:
- “Remind me that it’s ok not to be into all of my friend’s fandoms?”
- “Remind me that nothing bad will happen if I eat food I like?”
- “Remind me that I’m allowed to say no?”
I’ve found that when it *does* have to do with the other person, it can be helpful to phrase it in a way that acknowledges that there might actually be a problem and that if so it’s ok to say so:
- “I feel like I messed something up. Did I do something wrong, or are things ok?”
- “I feel like you’re mad at me. Are you, or are things ok?”