Low self-esteem in a relationship makes it difficult to relax and feel confident.
- Low self-esteem causes imbalance in a relationship – you may do more for your loved ones and expect less in return.
- Low self-esteem can cause insecurity– you may fear “mucking up” and losing your relationship, or fear your loved one losing interest.
- Low self-esteem can cause arguments – you may be sensitive and reactive, later regretting your irrational response, which further affects your relationship self-esteem.
More here on How Low Self-esteem Affects Relationships, but for now we look at how you can improve your self-esteem in your relationship (if you need to improve your sense of security in your relationship, you may like to read blog post – How to Make My Relationship More Secure?).
#Tip 1. Fake it ‘til you make it.
That’s right, imagine if you were confident, what would you do differently in your relationship? Think of someone you know who is confident, and imagine what they would do differently in their relationship.
Would you drop your Saturday night plans last minute, because your partner was suddenly freed up? No!
Would you constantly ask for reassurance in your relationship? No!
Would you talk about what you need in the relationship? Yes!
The beauty about ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ is the sheer act of confident behaviours will influence how you think and feel about yourself. The more you treat yourself with respect, the more you will value yourself. Treating yourself with respect sends a message to the world (and your relationship) – “I am worth it, show me the love!”
#Tip 2. Pay attention to your thoughts about yourself in the relationship.
Low self-esteem shows up as self-criticism in your thoughts. Look out for this self-criticism, for example:
The “shoulds”: “I should try and be more…. carefree/interesting/thin, etc”
Blaming: “I always make mistakes”
Catastrophising: “I haven’t heard from [insert loved ones name], maybe they’ve lost interest”
Name-calling: “You’re an idiot”
You may find you have a critical voice.
Start to notice every time you say something negative about yourself. Become an observer of this critical voice. By observing rather than listening, you start to reduce the affect your critical voice has on you and your relationship.
#Tip 3. Ask your partner for more.
If you have low self-esteem, you probably hold back from asking for things or speaking about how you feel in your relationship. For example, you may not express your wish for your relationship to move to the next stage. Or, perhaps you need help with something (e.g. getting a lift home from the airport, help with some home maintenance, cooking dinner, etc) and avoid asking your loved one.
By holding back in your relationship, you are denying yourself the opportunity to “feel the love”. Chances are your loved one will enjoy helping you (if they can) and will want to meet your needs in your relationship. Sure there is a chance the love may not be reciprocated, but isn’t it better to know?
By also expressing your needs in your relationship, you are reinforcing good self-esteem, as you are saying to yourself “I am worth it!”
#Tip 4. Find a good psychologist.
Psychologists are great for improving self-esteem. They’re trained in therapies proven by research (such as, Cognitive-behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Schema Therapy) to improve self-esteem. Many of these therapies help you change the way you think about yourself and encourage steps towards self-respect and self-care. With improvement of self-esteem you should also notice improvement in your relationship quality and overall mood. Here are some tips on How to Find a Good Psychologist in Melbourne
How can Peaceful Mind Psychology help?
We are warm and empathic psychologists based in Melbourne, who are experienced and trained in helping individuals improve their self-esteem and relationships. If you would like some professional assistance contact us at Peaceful Mind Psychology.