Low self-esteem

People who have low self-esteem often put themselves down. This can have a dramatic affect on a relationship, as it can cause issues with jealousy, and also make people feel as if they are ‘lucky’ to be with their partner, resulting in them constantly worrying that they may be ditched. Low self-esteem affects everybody, some more so than others, but it is how you deal with it that can prevent it from becoming a cog in your relationship. If you allow issues with self-esteem to run your relationship, then this can be the basis of its ruin.

What affect can low self-esteem have on a relationship?

The problems caused by low-self esteem can be great, but are often put down to other things. Below are some of the typical problems it causes:

  • Jealousy - Low self-esteem can cause individuals to constantly strive for the attention of their loved one. If your partner is merely communicating with a person of the opposite sex this can cause you to take things out of context.
  • Over-sensitive - Low self-esteem can cause you to take playful criticism too close to heart. This can cause a gulf in your relationship, as you may no longer feel close to your partner.
  • Self-worth - Low self-esteem can cause people to believe they are very lucky to be with their partner. This can lead some people to remain in an abusive relationship.
  • Memories - If you allow negative memories from prior relationships to affect you, then this can place great strain upon your relationship.
  • Sex - Feeling unattractive can result in you shying away from your partner’s advances.
  • Anger - Low self-esteem can cause negative feelings to build up, and this can be released through aggressive behaviour.

Turn things around

Overcoming low self-esteem is no easy feat. It is something that takes time, and which requires the support of your family and friends. But only you have the power to stop those negative thoughts from ruling your life. Below are some tips to help you stop low self-esteem from ruining your relationship:

  • Unique - You need to realise that you are a unique individual, and that you should not strive to fit any pre-conceived image of perfection you may have.
  • Communication - If you inform your partner that you do have low self-esteem, then they can understand why certain arguments arise. They can also provide valuable support.
  • Positives over negatives - Rather than concentrating on the negatives, think about the positives. If you think hard enough, you will be able to list several things you like about yourself.
  • No one is perfect - We all make mistakes. Don’t strive for an unattainable perfection.
  • Niggling thoughts - Do not allow the little things to constantly get you down. Think about things in perspective, and remember that one failure does not automatically make you a failure.
  • Listen - Do not take things out of proportion when you are offered criticism. If you believe that something said is unjustifiable, then say so, but contemplate what has been said before jumping in all guns blazing.
  • Face your fears - The only way to overcome the fears and anxieties that cause you low self-esteem is to challenge them. Start with the small ones and work your way up.
  • Don’t lash out - Do not repress any negative feelings as this will only lead to them building up, which can result in an outburst of aggressive behaviour. Take some deep breaths to calm yourself down.
  • Don’t strive for approval - People with low self-esteem will usually go all out to be liked by others. But you are not worthless, and if someone does not like you for whom you are, then they are not worth your time. Learn to be selfless at times.
  • The anchor exercise - This is a self-help technique, which involves the person thinking back to a moment when they felt great confidence. You need to allow this confidence to flow through your body. When the feeling of confidence is at a great level you pinch yourself, which acts as an anchor. Then, next time you feel you need a boost of confidence, pinch yourself. This will act as an on switch to those feelings of confidence.

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