Reassurance Seeking

On the surface, reassurance seeking seems harmless. In reality, it’s anxiety’s fuel.

Getting reassurance that a fear won’t come true is like a drug: We need more of it to get the same level of calming effects as before.

It’s important to remember, reassurance seeking is a form of avoidance and reinforces the anxiety cycle.

Anxiety will lie and tell us a different story though:

  • “Reassurance = self-care”
  • “What’s so bad about getting support from a friend?”
  • “This time is different, we need reassurance because…”
  • “Just one more time. Getting reassurance this way will be the answer we need”

If your intention for seeking out reassurance is to get the truth, arrive at a conclusion, accept uncertainty and take action, then this is likely helpful long-term. However, if the main intention is to reduce anxiety, its discomfort, and attempt to find certainty, more often than not, it’s reassurance seeking and will reinforce the anxiety long-term.