Healthy Relationships
and Low Self Esteem

For people with low self esteem, having healthy relationships can be quite difficult, laborious, if not impossible and there are many causes for this.

The first would be that those with low self esteem have the tendency to seek and enter into relationships for the wrong reasons like:

  • The fear of dealing with loneliness.
  • Expecting a partner to make them feel good about themselves.
  • The need to depend and to rely on someone else.

Relationships are not made to solve individuals' problems and issues or to feel socially more adequate, but to complete already grown lives.

Moreover, healthy relationships are made of healthy individuals.

The basics of healthy relationships

How would you describe a healthy relationship? Some would say that it is a big puzzle with a lot of pieces. People are different, so it can be complex to find the perfect harmony with a loved one. However, there are some basic grounds that are necessary for a relationship to grow and blossom rather than deteriorate and rot. Here are a few of them...

  • Mutual respect - Including the acceptance of different opinions and feelings.
  • Mutual support and encouragement - In the good times as well as the bad ones.
  • Equality - Both partners are at the same level, have the same rights to think, speak and make decisions.
  • Trust and honesty - Those two are the foundations of a strong relationship and need each other to survive.
  • The freedom to be yourself - Being in a relationship does not mean giving up on the self. As individuals, we still have our own thoughts, friends, hobbies and interests.
  • Good communication - The difference between swimming in clear, transparent water and swimming in obscure, gloomy water is communication.
  • Enjoying each others company - And a desire to set aside time for the relationship only.
  • Sharing equally - A partnership means sharing responsibilities, chores, decisions, etc... This keeps a sense of equality within the couple.

Low self esteem in relationships

People with low self esteem, by definition, do not put a high value on themselves and as a result may enter in relationships where they are ready to compromise excessively, accept bad treatment and abuse because they do not believe they deserve any better.

You need to respect yourself first and then expect nothing less from others.

They also need and expect the partner to make them feel good about themselves, they need to be constantly lift up and supported. In this case, the focus is mainly directed to only one individual. This put pressure on the significant other and leads to unhealthy relationships. For example, if the partner does not respond as expected or wants to spend time with his own friends or engage in some activities of his own interest; the one who needs the constant attention and support will feel threatened or even jealous.

In healthy relationships, attention and support are equally given and both partners have the freedom to keep their individuality, to have their own time and their own interests. These are individual boundaries and need to be respected.

Unhealthy relationship due to the lack of communication

Those who suffer from low self esteem may have difficulties communicating because they are often inhibited, non-confrontational and despise rejection. Even if the partner is willing to listen, they will avoid speaking up, engaging a debate and asking for what they want. A relationship without clear communication is like walking in a dark room, you find the furniture and the walls when you knock yourself against them.

Expecting a partner to guess what your feelings are and what you want is just making things more difficult and complicated.

Another characteristic of people with low self esteem is the need for approval. They see themselves through the eyes of others which mean how they value themselves is always in accordance with how others see them. There are two types of those. The first type is the passive, the pleaser, always trying hard to be the perfect partner forgetting about his/her own wanting and self growth. The second type is the aggressive, always trying to put himself up by being arrogant and trying to diminish others. Both types are not independent thinker; they need the recognition of others so they are fishing for compliments and praises creating a sense of inferiority or superiority (depending on the type) within the relationship. Either way, the result is not healthy or constructive.

As you can see, low self esteem is not a very good help in relationships. It is more like a bad seed that spread unseen in the background and contribute in deteriorating any relationship.

A relationship will not fix anyone's personal issues like low self esteem, not in the long term anyway. Too many jump in wrong relationships in the hope that it will make them feel better or to avoid loneliness and too many others jeopardise happy relationships because of their own self issues.

Healthy relationships enhance individuals' lives. We all need to love and feel loved, but a relationship should also promote and induce compassion and respect. It should allowed both partners to grow individually and be themselves as well as being part of something bigger than themselves.

As the individualities grow and bloom with self respect and happiness, they can then contribute positively to a better relationship and expect in return the best from it.

Healthy relationship represented by a happy couple

Jealousy in relationships

Trust issues in relationships

Ending relationships

Dealing with loneliness

Low self esteem

Effects of low self esteem

Improving self esteem

Return from healthy relationships to my self esteem, my life home

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