Category: blog

How self-sabotaging behaviour affects relationships

Self-sabotaging behaviour is when an individual is consciously or subconsciously doing things that are harmful to themselves. The root cause of self-sabotaging behaviour stems from childhood. When infants are born they have no self-identity, or awareness of themselves. They learn and develop their self-worth through their parents. Consequently, their parents represent a mirror of themselves, and children develop a sense of identity from as early as four years old. 

Children develop their sense of self and self-esteem slowly as they mature into adolescents. Identity is highly imposed and encouraged by environmental and cultural factors. 

Once a child incorporates a negative learnt behaviour, it is likely that they will transfer this behaviour into adulthood. 

People with self-sabotaging behaviour often do things that are harmful to themselves and their relationships. 

In most instances, they have a negative view of themselves and feel that they are not good enough. As a result, they enter relationships that are toxic and often do not value or appreciate healthy relationships. 

Signs of self-sabotaging behaviour 

Continuously finding negative ways to numb your emotions

You avoid feeling and dealing with negative emotions by overeating or comfort eating, particularly when you have weight concerns. When feeling vulnerable you tend to eat to numb your emotions. You feel guilty for eating so much,  then eat more again to overcome the guilt. This repeated cycle could be addictive and hard to break. In addition, you take recreational drugs, use sex, over spending, or dependent on alcohol to feel better.

Procrastination 

There are 24 hours in a day and it’s important to utilise your time productively and wisely. When you keep putting things off and spend a lot of time doing unproductive things, it hinders your self-esteem this includes; spending an excessive amount of time watching TV, playing computer games, or speaking on the telephone. Making excuses and putting things off affects your personal growth and development and could lead to fear of failure (starting things but never finishing).

Attracting dysfunctional partners

When you consciously choose men or women that are emotionally unstable. You are only going to make your life miserable. If someone is emotionally, physically or financially unstable they are unable to provide the security that you need to compliment you within the relationship. For instance, if you attract men/women who are emotionally or physically abusive, then your relationship will always be based on fear and as a result, you could lose your sense of your self and begin to believe that their behaviour is acceptable or “normal”. You may subconsciously attract partners that are a negative reminder of your childhood. Consequently, your potential mate will continuously reinforce the negative emotions from your childhood, which could be a hindrance to your self-worth.

Desire to have promiscuous relationships 

If you have strong desires to have promiscuous relationships, particularly if you often don’t use protection or have risky sexual encounters, then you are putting yourself and relationships at risk of STDs and impacting your emotional well being in a negative way. Sex addiction including, pornography, paying for sex, escorts or prostitutes can affect your self-esteem and your finances. These experiences could lead to fear of intimacy and cause difficulties in being fully committed to one person within a relationship. 

Fear of commitment 

People with self-sabotaging behaviour often have a fear of commitment as they struggle to be fully committed to themselves. They become afraid when their relationship is getting intense or when their spouses are becoming close as they have a negative belief from previous experiences or childhood that “people that love you will hurt you”. In order to manage with this belief system, they develop a coping strategy of loving from a distance or hurting people that love them before they get hurt. 

Fear of failure 

When you have a fear of failure, you continuously keep putting things off and often not accomplishing your goals. You start things but don’t finish it. If you don’t set goals or pursue them, you’re only making your life unfulfilling. As goals give you a vision, purpose and direction in life.

Self-esteem in relationships

What is the meaning of self-esteem? Self-esteem defines how you treat yourself, what you think of yourself and the relationship that you have with yourself. A person can be confident but still have low self-esteem, as they outwardly appear confident. This could be based on external factors including:
appearance, marital status, class, occupation, etc. But inwardly they feel terrible. We all wear a mask, as we have certain aspects of ourselves that we do not want others to see or know.

You can fool people, but you certainly can not fool yourself. When you begin to fool yourself, then you are living in denial. Living in denial can be a painful process as you struggle to accept the reality or truth about yourself or the situation that you are in.

Self-acceptance is the most powerful experience you can gain. To truly love yourself, it is important to accept everything about who you are as a person, including the good, the bad and the ugly. After all, no one is perfect. People with low self-esteem, often do not respect themselves and they consistently attract spouses that disrespect them. They put up with unreasonable behaviours including; cheating, domestic violence, serial liars, emotional abuse and highly selfish partners.

These individuals have a strong desire to be loved, so they often attract spouses that do not love them the way that they deserved to be loved. Consequently, reinforcing any negative experiences from their childhood. This makes a person live in constant fear of the worst outcome, which reinforces more negativity within intimate relationship experiences.

It is always best to have good relationships with yourself before committing to a serious relationship. After all, how will your potential spouse understand you if you do not understand yourself?

Building your esteem within relationships

  • Learn to respect yourself.

Self-respect is key within all your relationships. The reality in life is that you will meet people who genuinely do not like or respect you the way that you should be treated. However, you have a choice not to accept unreasonable behaviour. If you put up with people constantly disrespecting you, then these individuals may feel that it is OK. If you do not like how you are spoken to or treated, then speak up.

  • Avoid people pleasing.

Repeatedly pleasing others in order for them to like or love you is emotionally draining and never works. You subconsciously give your power away and this could make you feel worthless. People have to like or love you for who you are. If you feel that you need to please others for love then, it is time for you to give yourself what you want from others, (love, reassurance and happiness) so you can break the cycle.

  • Learn from previous mistakes.

Life is like a school and our experiences teach us a lot about ourselves. Always learn something positive from your mistakes, these mistakes help you to do things better next time. So, instead of being hard on yourself because of mistakes that you have made or living in regret, learn something valuable about yourself.

  • Never allow another person to control you.

When you allow people to control you, you are actually giving them your power. Set boundaries within all your relationships. Controlling people are normally not in control and only want to feel like they are in control.

  • Analyse the type of spouses you attract.

You often attract people that are very similar to your character and the type men or women that you attract is a reflection of where you are at emotionally. For instance, co-dependents attract narcissistic mates and victims always attract perpetrators. Find out the patterns of the type of spouses have been attracted to. Make a list of the characteristics and consciously try and make better decisions when choosing your potential mate.

  • Explore your relationships.

Are you often giving more to your relationships than what you always receive? If so, ask yourself why do you give so much and yet get so little back. It is good to give but if you are the only one always giving, you became a “doormat”, so learn to get the balance right.

  • Create a happy list.

Make a list of all the things that you enjoy doing, that makes you happy and ensure that you do them as often as possible to make yourself happy, whether or not you are in a relationship.

  • Learn to conquer your fears.

Everyone is afraid of something, that is the reality of life. However, living in constant fear could leave you feeling stuck, and allow life to pass you by. Life is a risk and the more you take healthy risks that are not self-sabotaging impacts your esteem. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Coping with Depression

Depression is a real illness and it can happen to anyone regardless of his or her age, gender, class, race,  sexuality or religion. 

It can affect people in different ways and can cause various symptoms including: low moods, anxiety, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, tearfulness, restless, isolation and being unable to relate to others, finding no pleasure in things that you usually enjoy, low self-esteem, feeling hopeless, having memory difficulties or difficulties concentrating on things, sleeping differently or sleeping too much and feeling tired most of the time.

There are several things which can cause depression and it varies from person to person. Here are some common causes of depression:

  • Childhood experiences such as; physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect.
  • Bereavement.
  • Traumatic events.
  • Relationship breakdown.
  • Family problems.
  • Drugs/alcohol abuse.
  • Serious illness.
  • Life changing events, including losing a job, starting a new job, having a baby, extreme pressure from studying.
  • Genetics.
  • Social exclusion or anxiety.
  • Being bullied.

These experiences can have a huge impact on one’s emotional well-being and esteem.

Depression is often a low mood that lasts for a long time, which affects your everyday life. People experience depression in many ways including feeling:

  • Down, upset or tearful.
  • Restless, agitated or irritable.
  • Guilty, worthless and down on yourself.
  • Empty and numb.
  • Isolated and unable to relate to other people.
  • Finding no pleasure in life or things you usually enjoy, such as hobbies and interests.
  • A sense of unreality.
  • No self-confidence or self-esteem.
  • Hopeless and despairing.
  • Self-sabotaging behaviour.
  • Suicidal.

Severe depression can be life threatening because you may feel that you’re not good enough and your life is not worth living. As result of this, you could feel suicidal. Some people describe depression as being stuck, it’s like being in a dark place, isolated with no interest in things that usually makes them happy, others describe it as feeling sad.

Self-care for depression 

Visit your GP

It is advisable to always contact your GP for medical advice if you think that you are depressed. 

Seek professional help

There are many trained counsellors that you can seek to give you the support you need. You don’t have to go through the difficulties or challenges on your own. Talking about your problems can make a big difference. 

Get enough sleep  

Sleeping well can help to improve your mood and increase your energy levels. 

Eat well 

Having a balanced and nutritious diet can help you feel well, think clearly, increase your mood and energy levels. 

Exercise 

Keeping active helps increase your happy hormones, helps you to feel energised and helps you to sleep better.

Personal hygiene

Small things, like taking a shower/bath and getting fully dressed even if you are not going out of the house, can make a difference to how you feel. 

Avoid recreational drugs and alcohol

Using drugs or alcohol to cope with any difficult emotions could make you feel worse and numb your emotions. 

Avoid isolating yourself 

Speak to family and friends that you trust about what you are going through and how you feel. 

Keep a journal of your thoughts and feeling

Keeping a journal will help you to offload any negative emotions and enable you to be more self-reflective.

How loving yourself helps you to love others

Perhaps you have grown up in a home where you didn’t receive love from one or both parents? Maybe you were not raised by your biological parents, and you were adopted/fostered or even raised by other family members? It could even be that the experiences that you witnessed at home were unpleasant and negative? These experiences could have had an impact on your self-esteem and the types of relationships that you attract.

We all have an intense desire to be loved and nurtured. Love gives us the reassurance that we are not alone. Consequently, the motivational force behind finding love is to be in a relationship, have children, experience and share our love with our spouse or children. Research shows that love and belonging are vital in aiding a person’s growth, to reach their self-actualising tendencies. There is no drive to achieve anything in life without love. When you examine the existence of human beings, the key motivational force behind it is love. A child is born in the world where they need love to thrive and have a sense of belonging. This child later goes to school, college and university to educate themselves to equip them in search of a career. Then the child may decide to work and earn money to support their day to day living, including renting or buying a house which at some point they would like to share with the special person that they love. It’s very natural to expand that love by having a family who you can share that love with. As result, it is apparent that the love is the foundation of the human existence.

When an individual hasn’t had or experienced love from their childhood they subconsciously crave for it in many ways other than themselves, including relationships, children, and external validation. Although this is normal and often healthy, it can also be unbalanced if you became dependent on another person to love you. This behaviour can be addictive, which is similar to being addicted to a substances, food, sex or alcohol. However, in this case, you are addicted to another person to love you. 

The foundation of true love starts from loving yourself first. No one is truly going to love you if you don’t love yourself.

Simple ways to love yourself:

  • Avoid seeking approval from others.

When you seek approval from others, you are subconsciously asking people if you’re good enough.

  • Set boundaries within all your relationships.

The secret is, people will only treat you based on the relationship that you have with yourself. If the relationship that you have with yourself is mostly negative, then that is what you will receive from others.  If there are no boundaries within your relationships, then don’t be alarmed when people treat you as if you’re insignificant or like a “doormat”. If you are not happy with how you are being treated by others, then speak up. If you are constantly putting up with unreasonable behaviour, then others will believe that that is how you deserve to be treated.

  • Take responsibility for your happiness.

The only person that is responsible for your happiness is you. You are setting yourself up for disappointment when you expect other people to make you happy.

  • Create and enjoy your hobbies.

Having hobbies enables you to have a balance and time away from your work, or family commitments, allowing you to recharge and enjoy your company or socialise with other people

  • Create quiet time to reflect.

Being constantly busy will distract you from having time to reflect and connect with your emotions.

  • Learn to enjoy your own company.

It is essential to enjoy your own company, if you don’t, unfortunately, one else will. Avoid constantly distracting yourself from being on your own.

  • Begin to make decisions on your own.

When you’re overly indecisive and highly dependent on others to make a decision for you, you become emotionally reliant on them, this pattern of behaviour could impact your self-esteem. Indecisiveness causes self-doubt, and self-doubt is the root cause low self-esteem. Start off gradually, by making small decisions, and then expand to bigger ones.

  • Learn to forgive others.

Unforgiveness causes bitterness, although you may think that you are hurting the person that has hurt you, you’re actually hurting yourself by holding a grudge. Learn to let go of the emotional pain, even if you choose to remember experiences.

  • Never compare yourself with others.

Comparing yourself with others can blind you from your own beauty, full potential. Take time to find out who you really are and your natural gifts.

Fear of intimacy

Everyone wants to find that special spouse who is loving, warm, share special memories and to be loved. However, there are times when we have a fantasy of having the relationship that we desire, but afraid of the reality of what it entails. Many men and women complain that they are not able to find the right spouse for whatever reason. 

The reason for the lack of success in the search for “Mr right or Mrs right” could be endless. But there could be one thing that may be preventing you from meeting the right person, which could be fear of intimacy. Firstly, children that have grown up in an environment where one or both parents were emotionally/physically unavailable or didn’t see or sense closeness from both parents, subconsciously repeat these learnt behaviours in relationships.

As result of this, you are more likely to attract men or women who are emotionally unavailable, struggle with intimacy or closeness within a relationship. People that have fear of intimacy often have issues associated with low self-esteem and are more comfortable loving from a distance. Although they crave for closeness, they are too afraid to consciously pursue it. As getting close to someone is risky, uncomfortable, boring, unsafe and often scary.

The fear of intimacy phobia is known by several other names such as aphenphosmphobia (which is the fear of being touched) as well as philophobia (which is the fear of love). The sad reality is that people want to experience love but struggle with it when they feel or sense it. 

To be completely intimate with someone requires a conscious effort on sides. It is also worth having a deep understanding of the root cause of this fear, which is more likely to have transpired from childhood experiences or past relationships. Having an awareness is key to enabling you to turn this around. 

Signs that you suffer from fear of intimacy:

1) You attract spouses that you can fix

You often attract spouses who are emotionally unavailable to you. This means that these individuals are unable to totally connect or understand your emotional needs. It could be both men or women who have had a troubled or difficult childhood. As being with people with emotional issues keeps you insecure and busy trying to fix them. The more you work hard trying to fix them, the more you subconsciously distract yourself from your own emotions and as a result, your spouse will not be able to meet your emotional needs.

2) You avoid feeling 

When you are overly busy and not taking the time to reflect, being still and processing your emotions, is a form of avoidance. When you avoid feeling, you can never really understand your emotions and will not able to understand yourself. How can someone love you, if you don’t even understand your feelings or yourself?

3) Attracting spouses that represent your childhood experiences

Choosing a partner that often causes you emotional pain, so they subconsciously repeat the negative emotional cycle from childhood. This could be a physical or emotional pain. When you subconsciously choose partners that have characteristics of the people that have abandoned, rejected, abused or not have been physically or emotionally available to you. This learnt behaviour becomes difficult to break and becomes the pattern in your relationships. Instead of experiencing love you experience pain. 

4) Discomfort with love

You attract people that treat you bad and get very uncomfortable with spouses that truly love you for who you are. 

5) Avoidance 

You use things to avoid feeling your emotions, particularly negative ones, this includes sex, food, alcohol, drugs, being overly busy all the time and engaging in none productive activities.

6) You’re afraid of being alone 

You find being alone very uncomfortable and being alone represents stillness and connecting with your emotions. So you subconsciously try to not be alone or find ways to distract yourself when you’re alone.

7) Being second best 

Choosing marriage partners is more exciting than taking a risk to find the right person for you. As you are subconsciously attracted to the drama.

 

Coping with Stress

Some levels of stress are healthy and normal in life and can help to challenge us or allow us to come out of our comfort zone.

However, extreme long-term stress is related to feeling under too much pressure, emotionally or mentally, which can impact your health.

There are many things that can cause stress including; work, relationships, health, studying, moving home, family and money problems. Short-term stress associated with these things can be normal.

However, long-term stress could lead to other mental and emotional issues such as anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, heart disease, stroke, headaches, loss of appetite and loss of concentration. Stress is not an illness but if long-term stress is not managed, it could be extremely unhealthy.

There are also certain situations or events that can trigger stress, particularly when we have lots to do, thinking too much and not having control over these situations.

An extreme amount of stress could also lead to you feeling irritable, affect your sleep or having low self-esteem.

Ways to avoid stress:

Avoid working long hours without having breaks. Having a regular break enables you to recharge yourself.
Talk to a counsellor to help you if you’re feeling too stressed and feel that you are unable to cope.
Avoid over worrying by writing down the main things that are causing you to worry.
Take simple steps to feel less stressed, such as breathing techniques and being more physically active. Exercise helps to release endorphins, which can help you sleep better and lower your stress levels.
It’s important to ensure that you get a restful sleep every night to recharge yourself.
Engage in your hobbies and interests.
Avoid taking on too much responsibility from others, learn to say no if you feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. Know your limits, whether in your personal or professional life.
Create a to do list and prioritise your work or responsibilities by an order of priority.
It’s important to figure out where the stress is coming from, as doing so will enable you to take the appropriate action.
Begin to manage your time well, so you create time to rest and unwind.

Why ignoring negative emotions can be dangerous

Emotions are a strong feeling deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others. Your emotions represent who you are, it can help you to make sense of self, environment and the relationship that you have with others.

Emotions can be both positive and negative. Regardless of whichever one it is, it is important to understand and feel it. People who have grown up in an environment where they were not allowed to express their views or talk about their emotions, often struggle to deal with negative emotions. For instance, people who have anger problems may have suppressed their emotions for a long time, particularly towards people who have hurt them as a child. As result of this, they often get very angry at anything and everything as adults since they have not been allowed to express their views or emotions as children.

In addition to this, children who have experienced or been exposed to severe emotional pain during childhood, subconsciously develop a coping mechanism to emotionally shutdown, when feeling negative emotions, such as; fear, loneliness, vulnerability, sadness, jealously, failure, rejection or abandonment.

Often, individuals that do not know or acknowledge these emotions use, people or other things to distract themselves, including food, inappropriate sexual activities, drugs, alcohol, and even dysfunctional relationships. Our emotions represent who we are and often tell us many things about ourselves. It is not always easy to understand your emotions, but doing so will enable you to build your esteem and take more control of your

wellbeing. It is important for you learn to understand and take control of your emotions since avoiding them can lead your emotions to control you. If this habit is not tackled, it could lead to mental/ emotional issues such as: anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, dysfunctional relationships, addiction, self-harm, and suicidal idealization.  

 How to deal with your emotions positively

It is important to identify and acknowledge the emotions, which you are feeling, rather than ignore them. Emotions are very powerful and can influence the way that we behave and the type of people we attract.

Keep a journal of your thoughts and emotions to gain a deeper perceptive and understanding of the root cause of what you are feeling or where it is coming from.

Try breathing or relaxation techniques, if you feel overwhelmed by your emotions.

Talk to positive family members or friends about your concerns and how you are feeling. If you feel that you want to speak to someone neutral, then seek professional help from a therapist to explore your emotions.

Emotions do not always represent the reality of what we feel. For example, you may feel that people will abandon you, this may not be the reality. However, there may be underlying issues that may be associated with your childhood or past that has not been addressed.

It is best not to respond immediately to negative emotions such anger in the moment. Always take time out to calm down or reflect before responding to negative situations. Often, you may say or do something that you may later regret.

Self-care can increase your ability to deal with negative emotions, such as exercising. Exercise can help to increase the happy hormones and help you to be more mentally at peace with yourself.

 

 

 

Dealing with challenges in life

There is one thing that is certain in life, you will have challenges. These challenges could be related to; work, relationships, family, health, finances or even bereavement. 

No matter what challenges you’re going through, there is always hope. Sometimes you experience challenges to stretch your character. If you don’t go through any challenges or problems in life you will not grow. For example, if a baby is learning to walk, if he or she falls and refuses to get up and take further steps, how is that child going develop and master walking, and eventually start running? It is impossible without determination and consistency.

I am not saying that it is easy when you are enduring a challenge, not at all. It is very emotionally painful and dealing with any insecurities associated with the issue can at times be emotionally overwhelming. Especially when you encounter unexpected situations that may be outside your control.  We live in World where most people want instant answers to their problems. Sometimes it’s best to process things that are causing you emotional pain, to have a deep understanding of the root cause and be more self-reflective, to enable you to understand how to avoid a similar situation in the future. 

The emotions that one could experience when dealing with a challenging issue may include; sadness, anger, loneliness, resentment, anxiety, stress, fear or even depression. It’s okay to feel one or more of these emotions at the same time. Being vulnerable is not a weakness, it is a strength. As it is easier to use many things to avoid feeling our emotions including; drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, excessive about non-productive activities, and food. It is more difficult to deal with your emotions, but it is even more destructive to avoid your emotions as you are not facing the issue but rather running away. Going through vulnerable emotions and accepting them actually strengthens you. 

How to deal effectively with challenges

Support

It’s important that you get the right support, including friends and family that will encourage you. Talking about your problems makes it more easier to deal with. Not speaking to anyone and trying to deal with overly challenging situations can cause anxiety, stress, fear and even depression.

Feel the emotions

Using things such as alcohol, drugs, sex, food and watching an excessive amount of TV, is not going make the issue disappear. You’re only avoiding it and living in denial, hoping that it’s going to go away, it wouldn’t. If you feel like crying, that’s fine.

Positive mindset

The difference between a victim and a courageous person is simply their mindset. A positive attitude makes all the difference, it helps you to see a problem that is insurmountable, less of a challenge. When you spend too long focusing on negative thoughts, it makes you more fearful.

Learn from the challenge

Challenges help us not only to grow but learn some valuable lessons about ourselves and the issue that we are facing. Always ask yourself in the midst of any challenge, how you have contributed to the situation that you are in. Self-reflection helps you to take responsibility for your behaviour instead of blaming others.

Focus on things that will build you.

Engage in your hobbies and interests, If you don’t have a hobby, then this is the best time to start.

Don’t give up

No matter what is going on around you, don’t give up on yourself. Whatever you are going through is temporary.

Codependent relationships

Codependency is described in the dictionary as a relationship, in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another. People who are codependent are mainly givers and their primary objective within a relationship is to take care of their spouse. They are also known as pleasers or fixers. Consequently, codependent people are predominantly attracted to spouses who are takers/controllers. These individuals are known as narcissists, they are self-centered and selfish. Within a romantic relationship, a narcissist leads and codependent follows.

You may be in a codependent relationship if you have a deep desire to often sacrifice things to make your partner happy, where the relationship is one sided. People enter these relationships unconsciously for many reasons, including, being dependent on and seeking approval from another for self-identity or approval, their emotions are dependent on another person. It’s like losing yourself in another person’s body, where you are completely detached from yourself and your whole identity.

People with codependent tendencies, cannot be on their own. They need to be in a relationship to feel complete, as result of this; they will leave one relationship to the next, without having time for self-reflection. Hence, repeating the same negative patterns in all your intimate relationships. The desire to be in a relationship is very strong for a codependent person, as they feel that they cannot identify with themselves, when they are on their own, hence, they need to be in a relationship most of the time. This behaviour can be very addictive. It’s similar to being addicted to a substance. However, in this case, you’re addicted to another person, even if he or she is not good for you.

Tips on how to avoid codependent relationships:

Take time out, get to know yourself and enjoy your own company after a break up of a relationship.
Always have time to reflect and heal from relationships, before pursuing another, so that you don’t repeat any negative patterns of behaviour that haven’t worked for you in the past.
Relationships are a two-way process. Ensure that your needs are met.
Avoid, men/women who are highly selfish, as the only person these individuals value and see within a relationship is himself or herself.
Avoid trying to do things to distract yourself, as it will hinder your personal growth.
All that you’re looking for in another person is actually inside of you.
Take time to discover your natural gifts and talents.

Low self esteem and relationships – Part 2

A disabled person often is described as someone who is physically restricted and may have challenges carrying out day to day tasks such as, walking, exercising and not having the ability to do things that most of us may take for granted. However, a person with low esteem could emotionally restrict themselves in many ways within personal/professional relationships, career choices, or not having the courage to pursue desired goals. 

Low self-esteem is often a root cause of unresolved issues from childhood, where one or both parents didn’t love, nurture or speak highly of a child when they were growing up. These unresolved issues could also be a manifestation of childhood issues that a parent may have unconsciously transferred onto their children. Since when babies are born they have no self-identity or awareness of themselves. Consequently, they look up to their parents and mirror what they sense, see or hear. So if their environment is negative, child would often have a negative reflection of themselves. 

Unfortunately, when these emotions are not dealt with, it can have a negative impact on personal relationships. For instance, people with low self-esteem often look outwardly for love, approval, happiness and acceptance rather than within themselves. This process can be deflating as you are allowing another person to dictate your whole existence, including your happiness, emotional well-being and the choices that you make.     

People with low self-esteem, have a very strong desire to be loved, and can often demonstrate this by working too hard for love and giving too much of themselves to others. Although low esteem is a learnt behaviour from childhood or past experiences, I can reassure you that you can overcome it with the right support, patience and a positive mindset. 

Here are some useful tips: 

Avoid giving the best of yourself to others but not yourself. 

It is good to be giving and supportive but it can be unbalanced if you’re giving the best of yourself to everyone one else, but not yourself. When you put others before yourself too often, you’re unconsciously sending a message that you don’t deserve the best and you are content with being secondary. If you want the very best from your relationships, you must learn to give yourself that too. If you are struggling with this approach then imagine investing the same time and energy that you give to others. 

Never settle for less in a relationship. 

If you settle for less within a relationship, then you cannot get upset when you get less. People treat you based on how you treat yourself. If you have a desire to be in a relationship, take your time and get to know if  the other person is right for you, instead of dating men/women that are married or emotionally unavailable to you. 

Find out what you want from a relationship before pursuing one. 

When you have a low self concept, you can get so consumed with not wanting to be on your own and overlook the characteristic of your new mate by unconsciously trying to seek approval or being overly focused on the relationship. Hence not taking time to evaluate if the person is able and will to meet your emotional needs. Consequently, you could discover the true characteristics of your mate later on, which you may not have been aware of initially. 

Never make your spouse more important than yourself. 

Two people are equal within a relationship. When you are always focused mainly on your mate, by doing too much to make him/her happy, including spending all your time thinking or talking about him/her even when you’re away from them is not good. Consequently, you’re making your partner too important and unconsciously distracting yourself from your our personal growth. When you make your partner more important than yourself, you are making them the main focus within the relationship and this will be the dynamic of relationship.

Set clear boundaries and maintain them.

Having boundaries within a relationship, helps a person to understand what is expectable and what isn’t. Always speak up if someone crosses the boundaries, if you don’t it will only get worse. 

Have time for your friends and family and avoid neglecting them because you are in a relationship.