Self-esteem is something that everyone struggles with at one point or another. It’s never an easy thing to see yourself as the amazing person that everyone else sees you as. However, sometimes these feelings of self doubt may get in the way of new things we try to pursue. Relationships are not only hard to pursue but also hard to keep if you’re constantly having feelings of self doubt. If your problems with self-esteem are ruining your chances at love, here are some things to keep in mind:
Don’t compare yourself to others
Although this may seem cliché, it’s important to remember not to compare yourself to others. In the case of love, try not to compare yourself to the exes or previous crushes that your new potential partner may have mentioned. One of the best ways to avoid comparing yourself to others is to remember that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses and no one starts at the same point. Everyone is different and it doesn’t make sense for you to compare yourself to other people. This is something to always keep in mind when you find yourself sinking into deep thought about how you aren’t good enough.
Sabrina Lau, a junior at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, gives some insight into what could happen. “I used to always talk myself out of even trying to start a relationship because I assumed they wouldn’t feel the same way,” she says. “Once I looked at their exes and how they were I convinced myself that they weren’t going to be interested when they were,” Often times our low self-esteem can not only distort the way we see ourselves, but also change the way we think people see us. Don’t let this happen no matter how hard it may be.
Don’t overthink things
We know, it’s a lot easier said than done. It’s true, when we are alone, we tend to overthink every single little thing. One slight change in tone from a potential new beau or significant other or may give us the impression that they have lost interest in us. However, remember that this is just your low self-esteem talking. Unless there are clear signs that they are losing interest, don’t automatically think the worst.
Megan Le, a sophomore at the Southern Methodist University, says this is something she struggled with all the time. “I’ve always had the tendency to overthink and jump to conclusions,” she explains. “I always thought that if my boyfriend wasn’t answering all day that he just lost interest in me because he found someone better. However, once I began to think rationally there was always a reasonable excuse.” Most of the time, it’s better to wait for an explanation before overthinking things. If you automatically think it’s because of the fact that you’re not good enough, it’s most likely just your low self-esteem taking over.
Find someone who encourages you
One of the most important things to remember is that a relationship is a two-way street. Even though self-esteem is an internal problem, it’s not something that you have to deal with on your own and it is definitely not dependent on solely your own thoughts. Finding someone that builds you up is an important thing to have in order to conquer self-esteem. However, this doesn’t mean that you need someone who is constantly showering you with compliments, but rather someone who shows you how amazing you are by their actions. Although every partner should do this, it’s especially important to make sure that if you have low self-esteem that you do not have someone who constantly makes you wonder if you’re good enough.
Heather Peart, a junior at the University of Texas at Austin, says that she didn’t realize she was in a toxic relationship for a while. “A toxic relationship doesn’t always mean that they’re abusive or insanely jealous,” she explains. “I realized that my relationship was toxic because I was constantly worrying about how they felt about me because they didn’t treat me as a priority. It drove me crazy and it definitely was not good for my self esteem.” Having someone who knows your true worth is one way to make sure that your self-esteem is not an issue.
One of the key things in a relationship is communication. Not only does it remove conflict in any relationship, but it also helps if you’re struggling with self-esteem. One of the hardest things about having self esteem issues in a relationship or a potential relationship is the constant question of reciprocated feelings. However, being straightforward about your feelings toward one another is one of the best ways to eliminate this issue.
Keele Johnson, a sophomore at Collin County Community College, says that this really helped her relationship. “I think one of the hardest things about having low self esteem is that I would always question how he felt about me,” she admits. “Once we started to be open with each other, I found myself trusting him a lot more. This helped because my self-esteem wouldn’t get in the way anymore because there was always a clear cut answer.” Communication is by far a great thing to have in any kind of relationship.
Love yourself first
Here it is, the biggest cliché of all time. However, it’s an important one. Before you start any relationship, it’s important to make sure that you know your worth. Everyone is going to have a bit of low self-esteem every once in a while; however it’s important to have a strong foundation of knowledge on your worth before you let anyone else tell you. Being grounded and knowing who you really are to yourself is vital in saving yourself from heartache.
Caroline Stevens, a freshman at the University of Oklahoma, says that this is important. “I used to try to get into a relationship in order to raise my self esteem,” she says. “However I realized that this was not a healthy thing to do. You can’t depend on someone else to tell you your worth because people are constantly changing. You’re the only one who really knows you.” We couldn’t agree more.
At the end of the day, having low self-esteem may stop you from a lot of things. It can tell you that you’re not good enough, that you can’t do something, and that you’re different than anyone else. However, it’s important to use these things to grow. Instead of letting these things stop you from doing something, remember that you can be good enough, that you’re going to do it anyway, and that being different is what makes you great.