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How Low Self-Esteem Affects Relationships

December 10, 20234 min read

Low self-esteem is a common issue that affects many people. It is a feeling of worthlessness, inadequacy, or insecurity about yourself. Unfortunately, low self-esteem can have a significant impact on relationships, causing problems that range from communication breakdowns to the inability to form close connections with others.

When you have low self-esteem, you may struggle to communicate your needs, wants, and feelings effectively. This can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts in relationships. Additionally, with low self-esteem, you may struggle to express yourself assertively, which can cause you to feel unheard and unsupported in your relationships.

You may struggle to believe that your partner truly loves and cares for you. You may constantly seek reassurance and validation, which can create a sense of neediness and clinginess that can be annoying. This can cause your partner to feel overwhelmed and suppressed, leading to a breakdown in the relationship.

As a result of low self-esteem, you may also avoid close relationships altogether, or you may sabotage an existing one by pushing your partner away. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can make your feeling of worthlessness even worse.

How to improve your self-esteem

When you feel good about yourself, you are less likely to depend on others for validation and can enter relationships from a place of confidence rather than insecurity. So, here are some tips for improving your self-esteem:

1. Self-care. Practicing self-care is not just about looking physically good, but also truly feeling emotionally and mentally alive and healthy. Your self-care routine can vary from others, but most of the time, a self-care routine involves:

  • Time for exercise

  • Healthy eating

  • Healthy hobbies

  • Meditation

  • Seeking professional help

2. Boundaries. I can’t stress this enough. Boundaries are non-negotiable in making progress towards healing and improving your self-esteem. We’re talking about boundaries in your relationships with others - parents, siblings, friends, partner, classmates, workmates, etc.

Healthy relationships require boundaries, and setting them is a sign of self-respect. Be clear about your needs and communicate them respectfully. This could mean saying no to requests that don't align with your values or taking time for yourself when you need it. When you set and maintain boundaries, you show others that you respect yourself and expect the same from them.

3. Be kind. Treat yourself with kindness first, then you are better able to extend that kindness to others. If you say nasty things to yourself, you will notice that people will also start seeing you the way you see yourself. So, be kind to yourself and say positive words like you would say to a friend who needs encouragement or comfort. Practice active listening and seek to understand yours and others' perspectives. Show compassion to yourself when you make mistakes so you can do the same to others who make mistakes or are struggling. When you are kind and empathetic towards yourself, it will overflow to others, which then builds stronger, more meaningful relationships.

4. No comparisons. One way or another, you may have spent hours thinking you’re not good enough compared to this or that person. Be attentive when it happens so you can stop the thought pattern. If you’re not attentive, your mind will keep playing it on repeat – that you’re not good enough; that the other person is better than you, etc. Catch the thought and put it away forever. See the other person as an inspiration rather than a competition.

5. Therapy. Seeking help from a professional therapist to improve your self-esteem is not weakness or cowardice. It’s the opposite because you are stepping out from your isolation and entrusting your story in someone’s hand—the good thing is you’re entrusting it in the capable hands of a caring professional. A therapist can help you get from point A to point B, and maybe more.

What are the benefits of having high self-esteem?

For the record, self-esteem is not about being arrogant or selfish. It is not putting others down for your own interest. A high self-esteem is quite the opposite. It is helping others succeed without feeling threatened by their success. It is showing kindness knowing that kindness is not weakness. It is being sure of yourself not in a cocky way, but from a position of confidence that comes from knowing yourself and understanding the world around you more deeply.

When you have high self-esteem, not only will you be confident and sure of yourself, but you will also show the following:

1. You have meaningful connections with others and have strong relationships.

2. You understand your purpose and you are working towards fulfilling that purpose.

3. You have the drive to succeed without vanity—and the good news is you do succeed.

4. You are a great communicator.

5. You have the heart to help others in need.

6. You are not afraid of new challenges.

These are some of the benefits of having high self-esteem. So, are you ready to improve your self-esteem and see these benefits manifest in your life?

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Jeanne Prinzivalli is a licensed psychotherapist working with adult individuals. She supports people on their journey to self-awareness, self-care and overall wellbeing.

Jeanne Prinzivalli

Jeanne Prinzivalli is a licensed psychotherapist working with adult individuals. She supports people on their journey to self-awareness, self-care and overall wellbeing.

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Phone: (323) 879-7809

Copyright@2023 Blossom Wellness Spa, Inc.