Effects of low self-esteem on intimate relationships
Today, let’s talk about Self – Esteem.
Lack of or low self-esteem is one of the things that can get in your way of enjoying this season.
About 18 months ago, I signed up to coach a very high-profile client who was a very successful, rich, beautiful, top entrepreneur with flawless skin.
This drop-dead gorgeous 6 feet 2 inches chic at the time, was having multiple serious relationship problems.
In the 3 years, preceding her coming to see me; She had been in eight different relationships, and gotten her heart broken four times. Three of the guys physically, emotionally and verbally abused her, one cheated on her with her friend, another with her cousin. One borrowed a huge sum of money from her and absconded with the money. Her relationship life was full of woes. Imagine what emotional state she was in during our first session when she had to tell me about her experiences over the last 3 years.
Though successful in most other areas of her life, Helen’s intimate relationships were her Achilles heel.
Can you relate to Helen’s story?
Do you know anyone like her?
What do you think was her problem?
When I delved into Helen’s matter, I started out by getting her to take my self-esteem quotient test, we then found out that the root cause of her relationship problems was not the guys, but Helen’s lack of self-worth and esteem which was caused by 2 major experiences in her upbringing.
One of the two problems is that she was sexually abused and molested when she was 12, 15 and 18 years old.
After six sessions with Helen, we were able to tackle and resolve her problems head on.
For the last 1 year, Helen has been in a very solid, respectful, harmonious, positive and supportive intimate relationship, something that had never happened before in her life.
I’m sure you too exclaimed.
Research shows that lack of or low self-esteem influences the kinds of people you attract, the quality of your relationships and your level of relationship satisfaction.
When you feel bad and insecure about yourself, these negative energies will influence you and your partner’s perception, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, decisions, behaviour, expectations etc.
The results of research in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology about self-esteem and its effects on relationships were astounding. People with low self-esteem were threatened by their partner’s imperfections, they viewed their relationship in black-and-white i.e. all good or all bad terms. These highly polarized views created a lot of insecurities and unpredictability, factors that were found to be very critical indicators that affected the quality of intimacy shared by couples. In other cases, low self-esteem created fear, worry, anxiety etc. in and about relationships generally. Some people were constantly afraid of their partner leaving them, which led to palpitations, panic attacks or extreme possessiveness and jealousy.
So, what exactly is self-esteem?
Self-esteem is your own personal view of yourself, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
It is an overall evaluation or appraisal of your own self-worth.
It is most importantly the gift and permission you give yourself to succeed.
Everyone has a different view of themselves (positive or negative), but keeping a positive outlook will benefit you more than a negative one.
Many individuals suffer from low self-esteem for a variety of reasons and need to build their self-esteem in order to succeed in their relationships and life.
Interestingly, you’re the only one who can make you excel, no one else. The only person who can build up—or consequentially tear down—your self-esteem is you. Although other individuals may aide the process, the ultimate decision is yours.
People have low esteem for a variety of reasons.
Some individuals suffer from poor body image and focus on all the negative traits of their physical appearance. Others have emotional issues that make them feel unhappy and unworthy. Some others were verbally and psychologically beaten down all through their early years and upbringing.
For whatever reason, you’re struggling with your self-esteem, the key to building it up again is to find your own root problems and the effects of low self-esteem in your life.
Think of self-esteem like a house, if you build a stunning house on a poor foundation, the entire structure will crumble. However, if you take steps to ensure the foundation is strong and capable of holding anything, the process may be slow, but the house will be built soundly.
There are many phenomenal self-help books, webinars, and seminars out there.
For some people, you need to seek immediate professional help from life coaches and psychologists to help you boost your self-esteem.
A main contributor to low self-esteem is negativity. Negative thoughts and beliefs can destroy your confidence and crumble your self-esteem.
If you find yourself constantly surrounded by negative people or negative situations, you need to quickly change your environment.
If you’re in an abusive relationship, a negative work environment, if you work for an abusive narcissistic boss, if you have friends that are consistently negative; It’s time to choose yourself and leave that environment and get help quickly.
Whatever the source, distancing yourself from the negativity will help you begin the journey towards regaining your self-esteem.
Secondly, change your environment by surrounding yourself with positive people.
Join a WhatsApp group or any other platform, a support group of people with positive values, ethics, behaviours and vision.
You can choose to start rebuilding your self-esteem, start today!
Be thorough, consistent and patient with the process, give yourself the permission to feel worthwhile, choose yourself, and understand how much you need your own help in this process as most of the work is on you.
I am The Catalyst.