Is low self esteem killing the romance?
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Joanna Bieszczad MSc, PgDip, BSc (Hons), BABCP (Accred)
3rd June, 20180 Comments
Most of us tend to think our self-esteem is great. We can stroll on into a room full of strangers with our heads held high; we can hold court with the best of them. Seriously, we are super confident, strong women who are rocking the world, right? However, if you have trouble finding a long-term partner, then it might be worth checking the list below. All of these are indicators that actually our self-esteem is life battered and lower than we might first have thought. The good news is that if you can release some new behaviour patterns, you might be on track to finding your perfect partner instead of a string of near misses. But more on that later, first have a look at this lot and see if you recognise yourself.
Do you try too hard
Obviously, a relationship is a two-way street, and we like to do nice things for our partners. However, it is crucial that you get to be yourself and that we know how to be together even when we are at our worst, which is going to happen from time to time over the course of a long-term partnership. If you’re always trying to impress, go out of your way to be kind, and back down when you are really upset to avoid causing a scene, then you might be a people pleaser. It might sound harmless, but discontent can breed. It is really tiring to sustain, and you deserve to be yourself and have your feelings taken into considerations.
Do you say sorry too much?
Sure, if you mess up or hurt someone's feelings you should say sorry, we all know that. But some people make apologising an art form. If you find yourself constantly apologising to the point you are saying sorry for even existing, then you likely have self-esteem issues. You only need to apologise when you are in the wrong, so if you are with someone that makes you feel like you have to keep saying sorry, the chances are the relationship won’t last.
Do you feel insecure
When a relationship starts it can become quite intense, you spend a lot of time together, and your friends might feel a little neglected. However, if you start to panic every time your significant other wants to pop home for a change of clothing or can’t stand the idea of him going out with his mates, then you might have a self-esteem issue. People who cling and tend to be insecure are also in danger of making the wrong relationship choices and seeing more relationships come to an end than last.
Do you ask for permission?
Relationships are all about give and take, and we naturally try and keep our social calendars in sync so that we aren’t upsetting the other party. However, some people seem always to be asking for permission to do anything. Controlling relationships cannot last and are also symptomatic of self-esteem issues. Some partners feed on the ability to bully and control, so you need to avoid that trap.
Do you enable someone?
Another symptom of low self-esteem is enabling other people and their habits or bad behaviour. From continually subbing them money to feed an addiction to allowing them to do everything for them, then you have become an enabler. While this might not sound like a self-esteem issue on your part, the fact that you are allowing someone else to make bad choices is not good for your own self-worth.
Do you fear being alone?
While having a partner is a life goal many of us have, it is essential that we can still spend time alone. Co-dependancy and the fear of being alone are also indications that your self-esteem could do with some work. Be sure that you can still cope with time on your own, as not being able to do so can be a definite sign that you are low in self-esteem. Clinging or co-dependent behaviours are not healthy on either side and the reason many relationships do not last the distance.
So, if you recognise yourself in any of the behaviours above it might be time to get to work on your self-esteem.
About the author
Joanna Bieszczad has been working in mental health for over ten years in a variety of roles– as a counsellor, a senior CBT therapist, and an EMDR therapist. During this time she was struck by a commonality among her single clients and developed techniques that were able to address the most common problems on their path to finding love.
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