With the word “self” in self-esteem, we naturally think of it as something that wholly has to do with self. However, we can’t ignore the role others play. Our relationships can have an impact on our self-esteem. Meanwhile, our self-esteem can have an impact on our relationships. Here, we focus on the latter: How our self-esteem (particularly having low self-esteem) affects our relationships.
As you read the five relationship dynamics that can result from low self-esteem, consider whether and how they may be affecting your own relationships.
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”Stephen Chbosky
5 Ways A Low Self-Esteem Could Be Affecting Your Relationships
- Thinking poorly of yourself leading to a belief that you don’t deserve to be loved.
- You’ve probably heard a saying that goes like this: If you can’t love yourself, how can you expect others to love you?
- Thinking poorly of yourself leading you to accept those who think poorly of you into your life.
- Their negative opinion of you appears to be justified. From your perspective of low self-esteem, their opinion doesn’t seem in any way unacceptable or objectionable. But it should be.
- Repeating negative “self-talk” (due to low self-esteem) resulting in not only accepting put downs from others but also forming relationships with those who put you down.
- To you, what they are saying may not be much worse than what you are already telling yourself.
- Not taking good care of yourself (due to low self-esteem) leading you to accept people who not only do nothing/little to take care of you but also do the opposite, such as emotional and physical abuse.
- The lower your self-esteem the more such lack of care and abuse is accepted and excused.
- Thinking poorly of yourself leading you to accept non-reciprocal relationships.
- Extending from a belief that you don’t deserve to be loved, you may find yourself in relationships where all the care, attention, burden, sacrifice etc. comes from you. However, you’re seldom on the receiving end of such things. And somehow, you’ve accepted that’s the way things should be because it’s what you feel you deserve.
If any of these relationship dynamics resonate with you, building your self-esteem should be among your top priorities. Meanwhile, be aware of these tendencies as you interact with others. Know that awareness is the first step in remedying the issue(s) you might be experiencing internally and interpersonally. Perhaps, it’s an awareness you can share with someone else who’s experiencing one or more of these relationship dynamics due to their lack of self-esteem.