According to the old adage “You can’t love someone else until you love yourself” or can you?
Low levels of self-worth often impact on the type of partners you attract, as well as the overall happiness or success or your relationship, says psychotherapist Melissa Wilkinson. “When someone has low self-esteem, they often put themselves down and are thus more likely to accept partners who deride them. Furthermore, they are likely to sabotage relationships with partners who do respect them.”
How low self-esteem could impact your relationship
• You are less inclined to choose a partner who respects your self-worth and value system, which often results in unhealthy relationships plagued with poor communication, a lack of fulfilment and a further diminished self-esteem.
• You may be willing to stay in an unhealthy, abusive relationship, as you don’t believe you deserve better.
• Poor self-esteem often leads to feelings of insecurity and jealousy, as you strive for your partner’s constant attention, which could result in constant misunderstandings and fights.
• If you’re not comfortable in your own skin, it may lead you to shy away from intimacy, which could lead your partner to feel detached from the relationship.
• If you don’t feel good about yourself, you may struggle to relate to your partner or lack the confidence to communicate effectively.
• You are likely to be over-sensitive and not take criticism well, which can result in a disconnection in communication between you and your partner.
• Always playing the victim will be draining to your loved one.
• Low self-esteem often leads to outbursts of anger and aggression.
Ways to better your self-esteem and your relationship
• Don’t harp on negative past experiences and failures. Try to gain closure on what’s happened and view it as a lesson learnt. It will enable you to make better decisions in the future.
• Stop comparing yourself to others and putting yourself down. Write down all the physical and intrinsic qualities you like about yourself and make an effort to accentuate the positives. Use this list as affirmation when you’re feeling down.
• Face your fears by tackling them head on. With time, your anxiety levels will decrease.
• Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s important to realise that everyone fails, does something stupid or embarrasses themselves at some point. You are just like everyone else. So let it go!
• Be assertive and communicate with people. Try joining a group of club that involves activities you enjoy. You will find it easier to connect with like-minded people.
• Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself.