‘’If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think’’ – T. Harv Eker
The feelings of low self-esteem can also negatively affect your mental health as well as other areas of your life. When you feel less of yourself, insecurities can begin to crawl into the way you behave to your partner and this may have a negative impact on both of you. This post centers on dealing with low self-esteem and how to improve self-esteem in relationships.
Healthy self-esteem is a prerequisite for healthy relationships. Glen R.Schiraldi, Ph.D., author of The Self-Esteem Workbook, describes healthy self-esteem as a realistic, appreciative opinion of oneself. Low self-esteem, or low self-worth, is the top cause of unhealthy relationships as well as a relationship killer.
Although, Self-esteem is not an essential need like the need for food and water, it is however it a necessity, as it can either make or mar your relationship. Over the years, it has been found that Low self-esteem sabotages relationships and causes one to feel devastated and broken when a relationship comes to an end.
On the flip side, having high self-esteem is not a guarantee for a trouble-free relationship; but it does help to identify what you want and know that you deserve what you desire. People with high self-esteem believe they are worthy of love because they are confident in themselves. If you’ve identified that you are struggling with low self-esteem in your relationships, then you need to do something about it before it ruins that precious relationship.
How to Be Confident In A Relationship
‘’ As is our confidence, so is our capacity’’ – William Hazlit
It does happen that sometimes, we feel insecure in our relationship. Even the most rock-solid couples feel insecure about their relationships sometimes. However, this is not the same as feeling insecure most of the time or all of the time. If you are choosing to constantly highlight the negative beliefs about yourselves and let others walk over you, you’ll diminish your self-esteem and have less to give in to your relationship.
Permit me to take you on a trip to learn a few steps on how to be confident. This understanding will help improve self-esteem in your relationship.
1. Feel Good
Do you feel good about yourself? Do you feel troubled most of the time? When you do not have a good feeling about yourself, low self-esteem begins to set in and it starts to affect your positive thinking and your actions.
Be happy, engage in things that make you feel relaxed and worry-free. If you spend time doing the things you enjoy, you’re more likely to think positively. Try to schedule in a little you-time every day. You can take a walk alone when you feel you need to clear your head. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself and not those always with a frown on their faces.
2. Value Yourself
It’s great to feel good, but you need to go a step further- value yourself. If you don’t value yourself, then be sure to always attract people who won’t value you either. Confident people value and accept themselves for who they are. They embrace the good and accept the not-so-good. As a result, they are attracted to quality partners and are able to connect on a real and genuine level, one that leads to a healthy and fulfilling relationship. This is a secret to staying happy and positive always.
3. Set Healthy Boundaries
Having boundaries is all about loving yourself enough to make decisions to your best interest regardless of the reaction from other people. By setting these boundaries, you create a room to connect with yourself where you can determine what you accept, what you share, and who you let come closer.
Establishing healthy boundaries within your relationships will help you feel relaxed and comfortable in yourself as a beautiful, worthy, and unique person. Doing this also strengthens your self-esteem.
4. Appreciate Others
Showing appreciation and respect for others shows how confident and secured you are. When you can appreciate someone else’s beauty, intelligence, creativity, humor, etc. you show a level of maturity in your dealing with others.
When you truly love yourself, you’ll not only accept yourself, you’ll also feel free to accept others and appreciate them for who and what they are.
5. Be Nice to Yourself
It’s okay, to always want to get things right. However, you’ll not always do everything rightly. Be sure to be nice to yourself, even at those times when everyone feels ‘you just bursted it’. Be yourself, and resist the temptation to always label yourself ‘I can’t do anything correctly’.
However, this is not to encourage mediocrity. Always strive to be the best version of yourself. While doing that, also remember that perfection is not always realistic.
6. Be Mindful
We can’t change anything if we don’t recognize that there is something to change. By simply becoming aware of your derogatory self-talk, you’ll begin to distance yourself from the feelings that come up with it.
Whenever you catch yourself staring at the mirror of criticism, cautiously remind yourself that “these are only happening in the mind, not a reality of my personality; and don’t stop there, try your best to get your mind off those negative thoughts.
Forgiving others is doing you a favor; forgiving yourself is doing you a double favor. Whoever you forgive, it is to your advantage. Holding on to grudges and nursing bitterness will keep you walking in the circumference of a circle.
Crucifying yourself over and over again will hold you bound in the city of shame, surrounded by the wall of self-pity and self-rejection. If not dealt with, your self-esteem will begin to suffer. The way to move forward is to reduce the weight in your heart through forgiveness.
“Forgiving self and others has been found to improve self-esteem’’- Schiraldi, because it connects us with our innately loving nature and it also promotes an acceptance of people, despite our flaws.’’
Things to Tell Yourself to Boost Your Self-Esteem
How do you see yourself, when you look at the mirror? Are you always happy with what you see or do you criticize yourself and look out for the bad sides than the good ones? Improving your self-esteem isn’t up to anyone else but you.
Below are some of the things you can always say to yourself to brighten you up and improve self-esteem in your relationship.
8. I Have Worth
As earlier mentioned, when it comes to your self-worth, the only true opinion that really matters is your own opinion. Low self-esteem can often lead us to feel unimportant or worthless. Whenever you feel that way, just remember that you are alive and so you have worth. You can express yourself in the best possible way and your needs are as important as everyone else.
‘’Successful people often exude confidence. It’s obvious that they believe in themselves and what they are doing. It isn’t their success that makes them confident, however, confidence was there first’’. – Travis Bradberry
9. I Am Beautiful
Unfortunately, most people confine their self-esteem to their looks alone. Though in actual fact, your looks do not define your worth, it’s still very important to tell yourself that you are beautiful even when you don’t feel like it or when you hardly get someone to tell you how beautiful you look.
‘’Confidence is everything. Confidence is what makes that simple white tee and jeans look good’’-Ciara
The less you worry about your looks, the uglier you appear and the more energy you drive into other things. So, always tell yourself that you’re beautiful no matter what. Mind you, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. You’re the exact definition of beauty for someone somewhere.
10. I Am Unique
‘’ Always be yourself and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and try to duplicate it’’ – Bruce Lee
While you may feel like comparing yourself to other people, have it at the back of your mind that you are different from others, and believe me, that’s awesome. Celebrate your uniqueness. Just because you lack something someone else has doesn’t mean you should tune in to comparison.
Comparisons only lead to negative self-talk and which in turn leads to anxiety and stress. Recognize what your strengths are and the feelings of confidence they engender. Believe that you have something very special that’s all yours and don’t forget to enjoy it.
11. I Decide What’s Good Enough For Me
When you are feeling down about something you’ve said or done, remember that no one else is the judge of what’s right for you. Do not look externally for approval. Peter T. Mcintyre said it like this, ‘’Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong’’
Never try to impress anybody, the only person you need to impress is you and just you alone; and you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself because of it.
Am I saying you should turn deaf ears to people’s suggestions for improvement? Certainly not. Rather, you must know what’s good for you and don’t feel bad about going for it. In Stewart Stafford’s word, ‘’Confidence is when you believe in yourself and your abilities, arrogance is when you think you are better than others and act accordingly’’.
12. There’s Always A Second Chance
If you are feeling a bit dissatisfied, remember that tomorrow is another day to improve. Give yourself a second chance to breathe and tell yourself that you can start again tomorrow. You’ve got to make mistakes in order to learn and grow, so try not to beat yourself up. Life is full of second chances and you have to keep reminding yourself of that so you can always dust yourself off and try again.
13. I Am Not My Circumstances
Do not define who you are by what you’re going through. Learning to differentiate between your circumstances and who you are is key to improving your self-worth. ‘’Recognizing inner worth and loving one imperfect’s self provides the secure foundation for growth’’ says Schiraldi.
Do not allow anyone or anything measure your worth by what you’re going through. Understand that things can get out of hand, and that doesn’t mean you’ve become worse. It just means that you cannot always be in control of your circumstances.
Loving Someone With Low Self-Esteem
I wish I can say it’s not difficult loving someone with low self-esteem, but saying that will mean being insincere. Low self-esteem affects how people communicate and deal with issues. In fact, it affects how they receive love. People with low self-esteem believe that your love cannot be pure and without strings attached. They feel this way because, somewhere in their mind, they think they are not good enough to be loved.
Yes, building healthy self-esteem depends a lot on the individual; however, as a loving partner, you can help in the process. Helping to boost your partner’s confidence requires a more creative approach than just giving compliments, although it’s one of the ways to improve self-esteem in a relationship.
Check out some ways you can help that your partner dealing with low self-esteem.
• Be Proud of Your Partner
Whenever you have the opportunity, tell your friends and family about your partner both in their presence and absence. This will not only improve their self-esteem, but it will also improve the way others see your partner.
Be proud of your partner and let him/her know you’re proud to be his/her partner. Help them to feel good about themselves and you can do that by showing them off to friends and family alike.
• Accept Unconditionally
Nothing is as powerful as unconditional love! Who doesn’t want to be loved unconditionally? The expression of unconditional love is a proven way to make people have this ‘feel-good’ feeling.
Let your partner know that no matter what he/she has done, he/she still deserves to be loved. Doing this will help your partner become aware that he/she deserves to be loved, thereby boosting your partner’s self esteem.
If your partner is telling you how they feel about themselves, please listen. You might not understand, but by listening to them, you make them realize they have value and that makes them feel validated and supported.
You don’t need to agree with them over everything said, simply allow them to talk freely, and then, you can now offer to get some help or make them understand that it’s not how they see it but you accept how they feel.
• Accept Defensiveness
Your partner may seem overly sensitive and defensive. It’s normal for people with low self-esteem. They can quickly react if they feel you are putting them down or attacking them in some way. They are fragile and you must take note of that.
Also know and accept that defensiveness is a protection for them whenever they feel vulnerable. Simply allow them to feel justified sometimes. You don’t need to always be ‘objective’.
• Notice the Little Things
Noticing the little things they do for you goes a long way to boost your partner’s self-esteem and feelings about themselves. Start saying things like, ‘’Wow, that was so nice’’ or ‘’ Dear, guess what? This dress looks so beautiful on you’’. After saying so, if you could see into her mind, she’ll probably be jumping up.
More so, your comments to your partner about positive things you notice will cause them to reflect and this will help stirs up positive feelings in them thereby creating more motivation and that feeling of ‘I can do good things too’.
• Show Consistent Support and Confidence
When your partner appears to be struggling with a particular issue or task, make a real effort to show them support. This can be termed ‘’taking the heat’’. Doing this helps to create a feeling of commitment within your relationship.
For instance, if your partner is trying to lose some weight and has been disappointed with the results, let her know you see her efforts and that you believe they will pay off. She will feel encouraged and cherished to know you’re there for her and that you understand what she’s going through.
In summary, as a partner, you cannot fix your partner’s self-esteem all by yourself like its some work of magic but you can have a big impact in helping to support them while they are working on building it. Though, you are not expected to be perfect and always say the right thing but being aware of the situation will help you know how to express yourself.
It’s also important to demonstrate your love and affection with actions that help boost your partner’s self-esteem and positive feelings about him or herself.
Don’t also forget to keep your self-esteem in check. Self-care is one of the most important parts of a good relationship and a happy life. You have to take good care of yourself just as much as you take care of others.
Related Post: How to fix relationship problems
I’ll like to use Wayne Chirisina’s words-‘’Stand in front of a mirror and you will see the source of great potentials this world is yet to see’’. You are unique. You have so much values lurking inside you. Follow these steps on How to Improve Self-Esteem In Relationships; apply them intentionally and in no time, you’ll begin to walk with squared shoulders everywhere you go.
I sincerely hope that my attempt to take you through this creative journey will go a long way to spur you into confidence and encourage you to reach out for greatness. Let me know by leaving a comment. Sharing this, would help many folks too.