Low self-esteem and relationships - Part 2

A disabled person often is described as someone who is physically restricted and may have challenges carrying out day to day tasks such as, walking, exercising and not having the ability to do things that most of us may take for granted. However, a person with low esteem could emotionally restrict themselves in many ways within personal/professional relationships, career choices, or not having the courage to pursue desired goals. 

Low self-esteem is often a root cause of unresolved issues from childhood, where one or both parents didn't love, nurture or speak highly of a child when they were growing up. These unresolved issues could also be a manifestation of childhood issues that a parent may have unconsciously transferred onto their children. Since when babies are born they have no self-identity or awareness of themselves. Consequently, they look up to their parents and mirror what they sense, see or hear. So if their environment is negative, child would often have a negative reflection of themselves. 

Unfortunately, when these emotions are not dealt with, it can have a negative impact on personal relationships. For instance, people with low self-esteem often look outwardly for love, approval, happiness and acceptance rather than within themselves. This process can be deflating as you are allowing another person to dictate your whole existence, including your happiness, emotional well-being and the choices that you make.     

People with low self-esteem, have a very strong desire to be loved, and can often demonstrate this by working too hard for love and giving too much of themselves to others. Although low esteem is a learnt behaviour from childhood or past experiences, I can reassure you that you can overcome it with the right support, patience and a positive mindset. 

Here are some useful tips: 

Avoid giving the best of yourself to others but not yourself. 

It is good to be giving and supportive but it can be unbalanced if you're giving the best of yourself to everyone one else, but not yourself. When you put others before yourself too often, you're unconsciously sending a message that you don't deserve the best and you are content with being secondary. If you want the very best from your relationships, you must learn to give yourself that too. If you are struggling with this approach then imagine investing the same time and energy that you give to others. 

Never settle for less in a relationship. 

If you settle for less within a relationship, then you cannot get upset when you get less. People treat you based on how you treat yourself. If you have a desire to be in a relationship, take your time and get to know if  the other person is right for you, instead of dating men/women that are married or emotionally unavailable to you. 

Find out what you want from a relationship before pursuing one. 

When you have a low self concept, you can get so consumed with not wanting to be on your own and overlook the characteristic of your new mate by unconsciously trying to seek approval or being overly focused on the relationship. Hence not taking time to evaluate if the person is able and will to meet your emotional needs. Consequently, you could discover the true characteristics of your mate later on, which you may not have been aware of initially. 

Never make your spouse more important than yourself. 

Two people are equal within a relationship. When you are always focused mainly on your mate, by doing too much to make him/her happy, including spending all your time thinking or talking about him/her even when you're away from them is not good. Consequently, you're making your partner too important and unconsciously distracting yourself from your our personal growth. When you make your partner more important than yourself, you are making them the main focus within the relationship and this will be the dynamic of relationship.

Set clear boundaries and maintain them.

Having boundaries within a relationship, helps a person to understand what is expectable and what isn't. Always speak up if someone crosses the boundaries, if you don't it will only get worse. 

Have time for your friends and family and avoid neglecting them because you are in a relationship.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Kate Megase MBACP accredited, registered Psychotherapist & Clinical Supervisor

I am a counsellor, coach and motivational speaker. I specialise in issues associated with relationships, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.… Read more

Written by Kate Megase MBACP accredited, registered Psychotherapist & Clinical Supervisor

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