Have you ever been in a relationship where your significant other has too many insecurities? No matter what you try to say or do to appease their doubts and fears, they always seem to manage to belittle themselves. A friend of mine once shared this type of problem with me. She was dating a guy back then, and it seemed that this guy had too many issues with himself.
They met at a party. We were in college, and a friend hosted a party at his house and invited a band to perform, for entertainment. He was the band guitarist. My friend has this weakness for musicians so naturally, she’d gone ahead and done everything she could to get the guy, which eventually, she did. I was under the impression that everything’s going well between the two of them until my friend started to confide in me. They were having problems, she’s thinking of ending things with the guy, and she wants my opinion.
“He’s really getting on my nerves”, “It’s really annoying”, and “I wanted a relationship, I didn’t sign up to be a psychologist” — these were some of my friend’s words to me. Her boyfriend doesn’t believe in himself, doesn’t trust his own capabilities and doesn’t seem to appreciate anything that happens in his life. Always on the negative. It got to be a problem. My friend couldn’t handle the toxicity so they parted ways.
We have been told that healthy self-esteem is essential for a healthy relationship, that if we don’t have sufficient self-love, we are not capable of truly loving others. Research suggests that while how we feel about ourselves can influence how we feel about others (and vice versa), there’s a more complicated connection to it. There’s enough evidence that feelings of worthlessness and self-hatred can interfere with our relationships. People who suffer from low-esteem have the tendency to underestimate their partner’s love, and view their partners in more negative terms.
What my friend went through is a perfect example of this. No matter what she did, or what she said to show support and love for her boyfriend, it didn’t seem to matter to the guy. It’s gotten to a point of exhaustion that my friend didn’t have any other choice but to let him go. It’s such a shame since they really looked good together, and we all thought that they’d end up with each other. She’s now moving to London to have a change of scenery and away from the love toxicity.
Maybe it’s not so much about high self-esteem or sufficient self-love, but more on self-acceptance. We all have different looks and personalities, and we all have our own weaknesses and strengths. We just have to remember to always celebrate our own individualities.
A self-accepting person is less likely to burden a partner with either excessive reassurance-seeking or excessive criticism. Try to view yourself as a basically good person, who is worthy of love, without the need to always outshine others. Believe in yourself more. Give yourself credit where it’s due. You deserve happiness and love. When a person compliments you, thank them and accept the praise. Know that you’re worth it.