Low self esteem in relationships and how to help your partner
We have wrote at length about self confidence on the pages of this blog, but what are the repercussions of low self esteem in relationships? How can low self esteem in relationships jeopardise your happiness or the one of your partner? I consider myself a rather sensitive men, and I have learned to understand women and their emotional rollercoaster while facing a constant battle with an imperfect self image. In a way or another, society imposes unreachable standards and this is reflected in a low self esteem in relationships.
Mind me, not only women are involved in low self esteem in relationships, the same happens to men. It does not really matter what part of the fence you are on, what is important is to understand how low self esteem in relationships can endanger your happiness and what you can do do live a happier life.
Personal low self esteem is the root of low self esteem in relationships
Let’s make it clear: the low self esteem in relationships starts from the individual. Either my low self esteem or Faby’s may hit the couple, and if things get sour you have to remember that it is not the weakest link that breaks the chain, it is the strongest one that breaks the weakest. The lack of confidence is not something we decide to have, but it is the result of our lives, our childhood, our relationship with our parents. This is something we should always remember because when tensions arise in a relationship, blaming your partner lack of self confidence is all but wise. It is like blaming someone for being left handed.
There are things you can do if you keep this into consideration. While I would not advise to force your partner’s left hand behind his or her back to strengthen the right hand, I am of the opinion that only by being kind and supportive, helping your partner to gain confidence (and not blaming it) is the solution. Low self esteem in relationship is something the strongest in the couple can help mending.
Low self esteem in relationships is not a women’s prerogative
Another thing you should remember is that are not just women to live a low self esteem in relationships; men are as affected by it as women, and the idea that a man should “suck it up” is more a curse than a blessing, as it undermines men’s life silently. Women are more accustomed to admit the lack of confidence, while men are often told to “be a man“. This is dangerous, and thinking that low self esteem in relationships is about women is dangerous; it is dangerous for men, as they assume that women are the “weakest“; it is dangerous for women, as they leave their partner to suffer in silence, not even realising their sufferings.
How to improve your couple by helping the low self esteem in relationships?
Don’t ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country [quote needed] In reality, if you want to help your relationship, you need to help your partner. What are the things you can do that are going to help?
- listen to his or her feelings and acknowledge them
- don’t dismiss what he or she is telling you
- don’t minimise or mock what your partner is telling you
- offer support, not solutions
- don’t judge
One thing to understand is that low self esteem in relationships is not something that can be changed in minutes. These personal issues are often deeply rooted in someone’s past and take time to change. Support your partner, be there for him or her, don’t judge, be kind, have patience and your relationship will get better.
What if you are the one with a low self esteem in relationships?
The fact that you can accept your lack of confidence is already a huge step forward. The next step is to speak with your partner, made him or her aware of your feelings. Don’t wait for the right help, but ask for it; I am a “doer” and when Faby opens with me, I have the tendency to offer solutions, but she rarely looks for them. She looks for someone that listens to her, that understands her without judging her. Our relationship works also because we are honest with each other and we say what we expect, and now I know that I don’t need to offer her a solution.