Is Imposter Syndrome Showing up in Your Relationship?

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You may have experienced imposter syndrome when you got a promotion or are started a new job, but the lesser-known imposter syndrome is the one that can show up in your relationship.

You might feel like your relationship is too good to be true, or that your partner will change their mind about you. Perhaps you feel like if you show your true self, your partner will no longer want to be with you. Imposter syndrome, also referred to as imposter phenomenon, was coined by psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes in 1978. Essentially, it refers to the belief that you are not qualified, or do not deserve your accomplishments, and have fooled others into thinking you are worthy.

In relationships, imposter syndrome is the recurring feeling that you’re not enough or that you accidentally deceived your partner into being with you. These feelings can show up in either long-term relationships or on first dates. Read on for how imposter syndrome might be showing up in your relationship, and how to (finally) overcome it.


5 ways imposter syndrome might be showing up in your love life


1. Questioning someone’s intentions when they ask you on a date

Picture this: You’ve been swiping forever and you finally match with someone who you’re actually excited about. Your small talk is great and you enjoy chatting to them, but then they ask you out. Suddenly, doubt creeps in and you begin to wonder if they are actually interested in you (Is it just a hook up? Did they think you looked a different way?). When you do go out on the date, you spend the whole time worrying they will lose interest or that you are letting down their expectations.


2. Doubting that they really want you to join outings (even ones they invite you to)

You’ve made it to the meet-the-friends-and-family stage of the relationship (exciting!), and your partner begins to invite you out to group activities and events. Maybe they’ll invite you to a hangout with their friend group or a birthday dinner for their sibling. You’re excited to take that next step, but you catch yourself wondering if they want you there, or if they are inviting you for another reason (Are they just being nice? Did their friends/family pressure them to invite you? Did you make them feel like they had to?). 


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3. Seeking constant reassurance of your partner’s feelings

Most of us have experienced insecurity if we don’t get “enough” reassurance. Maybe you only feel secure when your partner is reassuring you and verbalizing their feelings about you. For example, if they haven’t told you that they love you in a day you assume they changed their mind, or you assume something’s wrong if you don’t hear from them for a short period of time (even if they told you they’d be busy studying). While words of affirmation is an important love language, requiring a constant reminder of your partner’s feelings in order to feel secure is likely a sign of imposter syndrome that can lead to toxic patterns. 


4. Being aware of how other people view your relationship

Sometimes the imposter syndrome doesn’t only make you question how your date or significant other sees you, but how other people see you two together. Do you ever find yourself out with your partner or a new date and feel insecure about what people around you are thinking? Maybe you assume that your date is obviously out of your league and other people can see it, or you assume that your significant other’s family members or friends will think you’re not good enough for them.  


5. Changing behavior out of fear of your partner or date’s reaction

Ah, the games we play in relationships. Playing hard to get is all too common in dating (important side note: Stop playing games and go after what you want!). You may be thinking the person won’t be interested if you come on too strong, or maybe you censor your personal beliefs out of fear that your date will think less of you. But a healthy relationship requires honesty and open communication. Changing who you are for hopes they’ll like you more is not only destructive to your self-confidence, but it’s a complete waste of time. 


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4 ways to overcome imposter syndrome


1. Practice self-awareness and identify triggers

Once you pinpoint these feelings of inadequacy and begin to recognize them, you can tune into what triggers them. For example, do you always question your relationship after being around a certain friend or family member? Or maybe you have trust issues from a past relationship so not receiving a text for a certain amount of time triggers negative thoughts. Once you notice where these thoughts are coming from, strategize how to limit triggers. It could be a matter of setting boundaries with certain people who bring out insecurities, or simply communicating your needs to your significant other. Social media can be a common trigger too. If you find yourself comparing your relationships to the relationships you see on social media, reevaluate the accounts you follow and which ones not are serving you.


2. Communicate

The balance between opening up about your feelings but not requiring constant reassurance can be difficult. The key is to communicate worries to your partner in a way that makes them know you want to move past it and do not want it to get in the way of your relationship. A conversation with your partner about your doubts (and where they come from) may be enough to feel reassurance in the future, without needing them to constantly verbalize it again. Communication is key. Plus, your significant other is more likely to give you those words of affirmation in the future now that they know it is important to you, but more importantly, you won’t be holding in feelings, which can make any insecurities worse.


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3. Ask for help

While there are many steps you can take on your own to help improve overall confidence and improve the way you feel about yourself in your relationship, we don’t have to (and shouldn’t) do anything alone. Confiding in your friends or the people closest to you might help put your insecurities into perspective so you can see your relationship from an outside perspective, but a therapist or dating coach can help you overcome a lot of the negative thoughts or patterns holding you back. If all else fails and you don’t feel comfortable reaching out, imagine what the people you love would say. What would your mom tell you if you were worried your significant other was too good for you, or what would your best friend say if you needed constant reassurance? Even if you don’t believe it, the most positive beliefs will eventually replace the negative ones. 


4. Keep a running list of compliments about yourself

At the end of the day, imposter syndrome comes down to confidence and knowing what you deserve instead of questioning whether you deserve it. Instead of questioning yourself in relationship to your partner, focus on you as an individual. You know how people say to make a list of everything you want in a partner as a way to manifest your ideal relationship? Make one about yourself. Keep a list of everything you love about yourself and that you are excited to share with someone else, including all the things you’re proud of as well as all the wonderful things that make you unique. Write out all your favorite qualities and refer to them when you are feeling doubtful.


What Is Your Attachment Style and How Is It Affecting Your Relationships?





Career Tips: 10 Ways to Be More Confident at Work

We’ve all been there: Maybe you’ve been asked to take charge of party planning for your coworker’s birthdays or go on a coffee run (even if you said goodbye to the “intern” title years ago). Or perhaps one of your colleagues keeps talking over you in meetings (been there, done that!). You know you should be strong and confident, but maybe you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to empowerment in your career. 

We know what it’s like to feel undermined in the workplace, and we’re here to help you feel like your best self at work. We partnered with our bubbly of choice, La Marca Prosecco, to help you overcome challenges and feel confident in your career. La Marca Prosecco believes in celebrating the joy in everyday moments, including all the work that so many women go through to make their dreams come true. We are proud to partner with them to bring you advice on how to overcome challenges and feel confident in your career. 

With everything from imposter syndrome to dismissive bosses, it might be hard to feel like the powerful badass that you are at the office. La Marca Prosecco is the perfect accompaniment to celebrate the boss that you already are and how bright your future career can be. Grab your La Marca mini and read on for 10 behaviors to be aware of in order to be your strongest self at work.


1. Instead of apologizing, share your perspectives with confidence. 

Admit it: You’ve responded to an email or sat in a meeting and said something along the lines of, “I’m sorry, but I disagree because…” You felt compelled to share your point of view, but you didn’t want to hurt your colleagues’ feelings in doing so.

You don’t have to agree with everyone else in the room or on the project, and you certainly don’t have to feel sorry for feeling differently. Your view is essential and additive, and you can meaningfully contribute to the conversation without worrying about how others might respond to your opinion. Instead of apologizing before stating your truth, try saying, “Let’s talk about this through a different lens.” This approach welcomes varying perspectives without the unnecessary apology.


2. Rather than be the designated notetaker in every meeting, help empower others to do the job.

Somebody has to be responsible for taking notes in meetings, but it shouldn’t always be you unless your job description clearly states that responsibility. There’s an assumption that women are more equipped or “better at” these types of tasks and duties, so they often fall into our laps without our permission. 

If you’re always the assigned note-taker, consider recommending that this responsibility gets divided amongst meeting attendees or alternates. And if you still find that colleagues call on you because you “do it best,” offer to show them your note-taking strategies and say, “I’d be happy to teach you the strategies I use while taking notes so you can try them during our next meeting.” 


3. Finish your thoughts and don’t hesitate to call out interrupters.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been interrupted or talked over during a meeting or presentation (We’re all raising our hands, right?). Interruptions are disheartening and happen to the best of us. It’s best to nip this behavior in the bud right away to eliminate the precedent that you will accept it in the future.

You can shut down interruptions through a variety of tactics. In one-off situations, try continuing to talk or raising your hand to finish your thoughts. If you’re dealing with a repeat offender, address the behavior with specific instances of interruption in a private setting and talk it out. 


4. Don’t feel pressured to say “Yes!” to everything.

There’s a difference between being a helpful team player and being taken advantage of at work. Women in the workplace tend to take on tasks such as planning for birthdays, cleaning up the kitchen, ordering lunch for a group, sending out meeting invites, and more. While you might think volunteering to do the “stuff no one else wants to do” is going to make you more likable, you might be unintentionally undermining your value. 

If you turn down tasks every once in a while, does that mean you’re not helpful? Absolutely not. If you get asked to do one of these tasks, offer a group of team members the rundown on how you’ve made it successful previously, and then hand it off for good. You can say something along the lines of, “While I’ve volunteered for these tasks previously, my bandwidth is currently full, but I’m happy to onboard someone else to the task.”


5. Don’t minimize your accomplishments—celebrate them!

Look, there’s a difference between bragging and owning your successes. Women are known for downplaying their work and not giving themselves enough credit. Imposter syndrome brings about feelings of unwarranted self-promotion, but advocating for yourself and promoting your achievements aren’t bad things.

Take getting a promotion or landing a new role, for example. We say things like “I got promoted, but it’s no big deal!” instead of sharing these achievements with honor. Next time you catch yourself getting ready to downplay your success, try to focus on sharing the update paired with feelings of excitement: “I got promoted, and I’m excited about this new opportunity!” Celebrate your success so others will celebrate you, too. La Marca minis are what we keep on hand to celebrate successes big and small. You deserve it!


6. You’re worth every penny, so don’t work for less money than you deserve.

We could spend all day talking about the gender pay gap and the history behind women getting underpaid in the workplace. While we continue to make progress towards equality, the reality is that compared to men, women are underpaid, and there are more significant wage gaps for Women of Color. Accepting unfair pay sends the message that your employer can get away with taking advantage of you.

All that’s to say that you don’t deserve to feel undervalued and receive less pay than what you’re worth. If you’re doing more work than your job description requires of you, ask for a raise. If you’re preparing to accept a job offer, consider negotiating your salary.


7. Communicate up rather than venting sideways.

We all have issues that come up at work. The truth is that no matter what the office environment is, miscommunications and misunderstandings are unavoidable. What matters is how you address them to remain as professional as possible in the workplace. 

If an issue arises at work, communicate up and have a healthy conversation with your manager about what’s going on rather than venting sideways. Your manager is there to help you and can support you in these situations. While venting to a colleague might help temporarily, sharing what’s going on with your manager can help build a strong relationship built on trust and can yield a long-term solution. 


8. Uplevel your emails by removing modifiers like “just” and “actually.”

The way we communicate verbally and in written communication is powerful, and adding modifiers can make you seem less competent and confident. The words “just” and “actually” are often unnecessary and can easily be eliminated for a stronger message. 

Instead of saying, “I just wanted to follow up on this!” say, “I am following up on this…” Rather than saying, “I actually have one more question,” say, “I have a question.” Practice reviewing your emails before you send them and removing these modifiers until you get in the habit of not including them.


9. Don’t worry that you aren’t making sense.

Have you ever spoken up during a meeting and shared your perspective thoughtfully and thoroughly, only to wrap up with a “Does that make sense?” at the end? I used to do this all the time. It can feel almost natural to close a point this way, but when you do, you imply that what you just shared makes no sense or that your audience is incapable, making you sound condescending. 

Try avoiding this phrase and replace it with something along the lines of, “I look forward to hearing others’ thoughts on this” or “I’m happy to answer any questions or provide clarity.” 


10. Your ideas aren’t silly or “out there,” so be proud to share them.  

Your ideas are not silly, and you shouldn’t lead in with a preface that discredits what you’re about to share. Whether your imposter syndrome is getting the best of you or you fear judgment and rejection, you need to leave the phrase “this might seem silly, but…” in the past. 

Look, if you don’t believe in your ideas and present them confidently, how do you expect others to believe in them? Sure, sometimes we all come up with ideas that might seem like a stretch, but there’s no need to say it out loud. Next time, jump straight into sharing your concept without any preface and ask for feedback after sharing it. 


La Marca Prosecco is an elegant sparkling wine grown in the heart of Italy’s Prosecco region. La Marca Prosecco believes in celebrating the joy in everyday moments, including all the work that so many women go through to make their dreams come true. A focus on career empowerment has always been part of The Everygirl’s mission, and our partnership with La Marca Prosecco has helped us take that mission into the real world with live and virtual events, small business grants, and more. Let’s raise a glass to that!


This post is sponsored by La Marca Prosecco but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl Media Group editorial board.




How pH Balance Could Be Destroying Your Hair

The Everygirl’s product selections are curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, at no cost to you. We only recommend products we genuinely love.

Source: Liubov Ilchuk | Unsplash

In the last 10 years, I’ve probably spent a quarter of all of my earnings on my hair. Between consistent cuts, changing colors, new products, tools, and about a thousand shampoos and conditioners, I’ve forked up a considerable amount of cash to keep my hair healthy and looking good. But I’ve recently discovered that my efforts have likely gone a little unnoticed because I was missing a crucial part: making sure my hair had a healthy pH balance.

“I’ve seen many adverse effects on my clients’ hair over the years from consistent lack of pH balance,” said Nina Lemtir, a previous salon owner and hair and wellness coach. If your hair is feeling just a bit “off,” pH might be to blame.

Meet the expert
Jill Turnbull
Turnbull is a professional hairstylist and the founder of Jill Turnbull Beauty.


What is pH?

Taking it back to chemistry class, potential of hydrogen (what we know as “pH”) refers to the activity of hydrogen ions (molecules that carry a negative or positive charge) in a water-based solution. A pH is considered acidic if it’s anywhere between 0 and 6.9, while 7 is neutral and anything from 7.1 to 14 is considered alkaline. The scalp has a natural pH of 5.5, meaning it’s acidic. How does this impact your scalp? Well, our skin is mostly made of water, and the pH can change how our skin retains it, including the skin on our scalp.


Source: Stocksy


Why is a pH-balanced scalp important?

“If you’re not using pH-balanced hair care, you’re likely doing unintentional damage to your hair and scalp,” said professional hairstylist Jill Turnbull. “When you use hair care that is not pH balanced, your hair becomes temporarily acidic or alkaline, depending on the pH level. This causes the cuticle to stay open and become more receptive to damage.”

This is impactful regardless of hair type, but it’s especially important in the natural hair community. To keep your curls moisturized and defined, your scalp naturally produces more oil than straight or wavy hair, making your pH even more acidic. Using a product with a pH of 7 or higher is prone to causing extra frizziness in your curls, scalp dryness, and irritation.


How do we keep our hair pH-balanced?

It’s normal for our hair’s pH balance to sway back and forth a bit due to water (which has a natural pH of 7), our environment, the sun, and more. When our hair is consistently put in an alkaline state thanks to our products, that’s when we experience dryness, irritation, flaking, itchiness, and more. 

If you want more of a quick fix, trichologist (someone who studies and focuses on hair health and scalp) Shab Reslan suggested using apple cider vinegar alone. “If somebody wants another natural way to lower their hair’s pH, they could do an apple cider vinegar rinse using three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a bottle of water and rinsing their hair with that.”

On the other hand, making sure your regular hair care routine keeps your hair and scalp pH-balanced can reduce frizz, prevent breakage, keep hair looking and feeling moisturized, make your color last longer, and prevent your scalp from getting greasy.


Source: Karolina Grabowska | Unsplash


Unless you pH-test all of your products yourself, the only way to know the pH of a product is if a brand provides it or by doing your research from those who have used it in the past. Don’t worry if you feel confused. Many brands still don’t include the pH of their products on their websites, but always check the FAQ for the brand, do your research, and feel free to reach out to the brand for that information if you’re unsure.


Products to Try


Shampoos and Rinses

Using a pH-balancing shampoo once a week can help bring your hair back and keep you from irritation in the future without having to overhaul your entire routine. 


Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

You can use this instead of shampoo to clean and clarify your hair without stripping it. Our editor’s favorite way to use this is in between washes when you need a quick fix (like after a hard workout class) that’s a little more than dousing your hair in copious amounts of dry shampoo.

If you have fine hair, dpHUE just launched a Lite ACV Rinse that is a little less moisturizing and won’t weigh your hair down iIt’s already a holy grail in our beauty editor’s shower).

Shop it now


Detox Shampoo

This product contains apple cider vinegar, which naturally lowers the pH of the product, leaving your hair feeling ultra clean without stripping it of its natural oils.

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Hydrate Shampoo

Pureology is one of those rare, unicorn brands that discloses the pH of its products, and every shampoo in their line has a pH of 5.3 (even below the recommended 5.5!). This shampoo is super moisturizing and soothing on the scalp (thanks to green tea and jojoba oil) but still ideal for fine hair types.

Shop it now

Mielle Organics

Babassu Oil Conditioning Shampoo

This will nourish all hair types but is especially recommended for curly and coily hair textures that need lots of moisture from root to tip.

Shop it now


Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo

This is one of the only products on the market actually targeted at being acidic and balancing your scalp’s pH. Our editor reviewed this product, and she thinks it even works better than Olaplex on her damaged, blonde locks.

Shop it now


Leave-Ins and Treatments

If you want to add a few other pH-balanced products to your routine, focus on products that stay in your hair, like leave-ins, or low pH treatments that get a long time on your hair (like a mask). 


Volu Hair Mist

This has a balanced pH that will leave your hair soft and shiny without leaving it feeling crunchy.

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Curl Charisma Frizz Control Gel

Fight frizz, define your curls, and keep your hair healthy? Briogeo is a mainstay in our editors’ hair care routines because their products pack a punch, all without sulfates, silicones, and parabens.

Shop it now


No. 3 Hair Perfector

The classic Olaplex No. 3 has a low pH, which is one of the ways it’s able to actually repair your hair’s damage over time instead of just masking it by making the hair appear more moisturized. Those with extremely damaged hair from relaxers and bleaching swear by Olaplex for bringing their hair back to life.

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Scalp D(pH)ense Daily Nourishing & Protecting Serum

This scalp serum protects your hair against all those environmental factors (like water, pollution, the sun) and life factors (heat damage, chemical relaxers, coloring your hair) from damage from being in an alkaline pH.

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I Realized My Cleanser Was Sabotaging My Skin—Here’s How


Why You Should Be Using a Scalp Product—and Which Ones to Try




The 16 Best Glycolic Acid Treatments for Brighter Skin

16 Best Glycolic Acid Treatments to Brighten Skin in 2021  Expert Picks

Allure/Clara Hendler

Treating breakouts, evening out skin texture, and removing dead skin cells all at once may seem like a big ask from a single beauty product — but there's one potent ingredient that can tackle all three concerns (and more) all on its own: glycolic acid. "The water-soluble alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), of which [glycolic acid] is the smallest, is most often used as an exfoliant in skin-care formulas," explains cosmetic chemist Stephen Alain Ko.

While providing powerful exfoliation, the powerhouse AHA also improves skin tone, texture, and minimizes hyperpigmentation. You can also expect some boosts to skin's collagen production —and since the acid helps remove dead skin cells and prevents other buildup from clogging your pores, products with the ingredient can help stop acne breakouts. In short, there's very little that glycolic acid can't do. 

If you're new to glycolic acid, it's best to ease into using the chemical exfoliant. "Start using it slowly, with a lower concentration of 10 percent or less, or with a glycolic acid cleanser," says Corey L. Hartman, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama. As your skin adjusts over time, you can start adding products with the sloughing acid into your regime in higher concentrations. However, if you have sensitive skin, it's best to err on the side of caution and check with your dermatologist before using the ingredient at all.

No matter what the season, using glycolic acid will keep your skin clear and bright year-round. Ahead, we've gathered up 16 of the best glycolic acid treatments — recommended by dermatologists and Allure editors — in a range of concentrations and formats, to help get you glowing no matter what the state of your skin at the moment.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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