Is It Normal For Someone To Have Low Self-Esteem After They Have Left An Abusive Relationship?

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While some people are going to be used to having relationships that are fulfilling, there are going to be others who are not. In this case, someone could find that they have the tendency to end up with people who are not right for them.

A Mismatch

This is not to say that they will treat them badly; what it comes down to is that they are not going to be on the same page, so to speak. They may find that there are times when someone looks right, or has the level of intelligence that they desire, for instance.

But although they have these attributes, as well as many others, there is always going to be something that is missing. If they were to think about each person individually, they might be able to say what it was, or they may find that this is not always possible.

The Right Track

When one is used to having fulfilling relationships, there is the chance that they are currently in one. This can then mean that there is going to be no reason for them to spend too much time thinking about this area of their life.

Yet, if they are not with someone, they will know that they have the ability to attract someone who is right for them. It could just be that they need to make a few minor adjustments.

For Example

The reason their last relationships ended could be because one of them had to move away, or perhaps only one of them wanted children. As a result of this, it had to end or it would have only created problems.

One could then have the desire to meet someone like their ex, but who is not going to be moving away. And they may want to meet someone who does/doesn’t want children, for instance.

The Wrong Track

On the other hand, when one is not used to being with someone who is right for them, this could be something that will consume their whole life. They might spend a lot of time thinking about what is going on, and they could believe that this will never change.

If they are relatively young, it might be easier for them to handle what is taking place; they could believe that it will change as they get older. But if they have gone past this point, it could be a lot harder for them to simply sit back and see what happens.

Time Is Of the Essence

There could be a sense of urgency within them, and this could cause them to look for answers. When it comes to how they feel about what is taking place, they could experience frustration, anger and even a sense of hopelessness, from time to time.

They may even wonder if they have what is takes to attract the right person, and this will show that their confidence has been affected. Still, one could simply acknowledge how they feel and realise that it is going to be normal for them to feel this way.

Moving Forward

However, if they are able to reach out for the right support, there is a strong chance that their circumstances will soon change. This is not to say that this will have overnight, but it will happen if they keep going.

And in addition to what they do, it will also be important for them to trust in the direction their life is taking. One will then be utilising their masculine and feminine aspects, and this will show that they are operating as a whole human being.

Another Experience

On the other side of the spectrum are going to be people who are used to being in relationships that are abusive. When they are with someone like this, they life is likely to be living hell.

If they are not being treated badly, they could be thinking about what they can do to get away from them. This could be easier said than done though, as their partner may have gradually worn them down.

Enough Is Enough

Nevertheless, the time will come when they are able to get away from them, and this is going to be a big relief. They might no longer need to see them anymore, and they might not have to hear from them again either.

Even so, this doesn’t mean that they will be able to carry on with the rest of their life, as they could end up being in a bad way. They could feel completely worthless, and they might not want to be seen by others, let alone go near them.

Destroyed

Yet, if they have been with someone who has abused them, it is to be expected that they will feel this way. If a fresh apple was dropped into a box of rotten apples, it would only be a matter of time before it ends up being the same as the others.

But while it is not going to be possible to change what has happened to the apple, this is not going to be the case when one has spent a lot of time around someone who is toxic. Regardless of what has taken place, they can gradually begin to change how they feel about themselves.

Changing Course

If one doesn’t take the time to do this, they could soon end up in the same position. Having said that, if one has been in a number of abusive relationships, this could be something that they are only too aware of.

It is then going to be vital for them to reach out for the right support, in order to put an end to what is taking place. As if one has the propensity to end up with people like this, they are not simply unlucky.

Awareness

They might not be aware of why they attract people like this, but if they were to take a deeper look into what is taking place within them they might soon find out. This is something that can take place with the assistance of a therapist.

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Source by Oliver JR Cooper

Pneumonia Helps With Self-Esteem

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It came as quite a shock to me to find that I could hardly walk because I was so breathless. Three days before I had run about seven and a half miles with a rucksack on my back and had no difficulty at all. Now I was almost helpless.

The following day, I was in hospital. I had never been in hospital as an in-patient before and I could barely believe that they wanted me to stay overnight – worse than that – they wanted me to stay for two nights. How was I going to manage with no access to the internet or to my e-mail? I know that some people will think such sentiment is laughable, but e-mail and the internet are a significant part of my life and part of the way I make a living. I use a computer every day of my life and I run a weekly newsletter, which is going to be late. All my accounts are accessed via the internet and while in hospital I had no way to earn any money. What was I going to do?

I am still in hospital as I write this, not after two days, but after two weeks of being completely disconnected from my life. It seems that somehow I had got an infection in my left lung, otherwise known as pneumonia. Four days ago, I had an operation to remove fluid from my chest cavity and to take a biopsy to determine the exact cause. I have a chest drain and despite some very powerful antibiotics, the infection is still hanging around, which means that the drain stays in and I still can’t go home.

Trust me, such a sudden change in my health had a big effect upon my self-esteem. Despite the fact that I write a regular self-esteem newsletter, it still took me a couple of days to convince myself that my heath or lack of it, my abilities or disabilities had no connection to my value as a person. Despite knowing that, I had never had my belief tested like this before and the change was so sudden and dramatic, I was left totally confused. But I did work through it and I am much stronger for that. Taking a firm approach, is much better than concentrating on my problem. If I concentrate upon the problem, I will tend to feel helpless and powerless. Concentration on where I want to be instead, is much more powerful and makes me feel better. I can even appreciate this illness for the things that it has taught me.

But what about the operation? I teach people how to be relaxed when a stressful event is coming up in their lives. Do I know my stuff well enough to keep myself relaxed? I am always telling people that getting stressed out achieves no useful outcome. All it does is make you stressed, which is bad for you and makes you feel bad. Apart from that it achieves nothing. It seems to me that it is a waste of energy and if I am going to use up a lot of energy, I would rather use it on something more productive. So, having set that standard, could I achieve it. The answer is ‘yes’.

As there was nothing I could do to help the operation – apart from relaxing – there seemed little point in doing anything else. I tell people that there are only two kinds of things that you can worry about; those over which you have control and those over which you have no control. For those things over which you have control, the answer is simple; change it so that there is nothing to worry about. For those things over which you have no control, there is nothing you can do, so there is no point in worrying about it – it achieves nothing.

Going to the operating theatre is the second kind; I have no control over the procedure, which means there is nothing I can do and so worrying about it will achieve nothing at all. Therefore, I simply relaxed and put everything into the hands of the surgeon and his team.

When they took me down to the operating theatre, they told me that my blood pressure was a bit low (although my memory from this time is a bit vague) and I told them that perhaps I was too relaxed. They injected the anaesthetic into my arm and shortly after that, I lost consciousness. The next thing I remember was someone telling me I was in the recovery room. It was all over and so I could relax. I did too. They became very concerned about me because my heart rate and blood pressure were so low, yet I was not concerned in the least; I was chilled out. It was over five hours before I woke up enough to hold a conversation and even then they continued to monitor me overnight.

So how is my self-esteem now? Very good. All of my friends and family supported me in every way they could. If I had any doubt about what people thought of me, it was resolved while I was in hospital. I am very grateful to them all. The hospital staff were excellent and I am grateful to them as well. Internally I know that – regardless of what they all say – my intrinsic value is just as high as it always was. Remember that self-esteem is a value that you put upon yourself. If you think that you have little value to others, your self-esteem is low. Learn to appreciate others and as you do, you will start to appreciate yourself. You are no better or worse than anyone else, yet you are unique and you have a unique and very valuable function here on earth; whether you know it or not. Do whatever makes you happy, because your purpose is to be happy. As Nike say, “Just do it”.

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Source by William P Webb

Victims of Narcissistic Abuse – Ways to Rebuild Your Self-Esteem

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When you have a brief encounter with a narcissist, you might not realize that the person has a personality disorder which is typified by being very self-absorbed and lacking in empathy for others. However, when you are a target of narcissistic abuse, and are in a relationship with this person, your every day life becomes confusing and painful.

Before getting into ways you can rebuild your self-esteem, let’s take a moment to describe the behavior of a narcissist for those who might not be clear about what the term means. An individual with narcissistic personality disorder goes through life with an overwhelming need to be validated all the time, and told they are wonderful, smarter than anyone else and are entitled to only the finest treatment by everyone. They take offense easily, and get angry quickly if they interpret a remark as being an insult. In their craving for attention and approval, they are usually adept at being charming when they want something from someone else, and then if they are refused will have an almost instant transformation into being very angry. They are quick to judge other people as inferior, and enjoy using phrases that are racist, demeaning and derogatory of other groups of people.

For example, a narcissist, feeling he is superior to everyone else, will commonly say things like, “The masses are asses!”

While some people like to say that a narcissist is someone with excess self-love or vanity, that really doesn’t do more than give a surface definition. To know more, you have to understand a bit about how this disorder began, and it is typically stated in definitions of the disorder that it began with trauma early in childhood, during the phase when the child should have been developing a healthy sense of self. Instead, the child formed the opinion, usually as a result of abusive treatment including neglect, that he was not good enough the way he was and needed to create a “perfect” persona to show to the world to gain that all-important approval the child craved.

As an adult, the narcissist often has a public persona of being Mr. Nice Guy or Ms. Wonderful, because they enjoy (and need) the adoration they can elicit from others by being so fun and pleasant to be around. Typically, a narcissist does favors for others, but then expects even bigger favors in returns.

If you’ve been involved intimately with a narcissist you soon found that no matter how much attention and love you showered on this person, it was never enough. He or she always demanded more and more, while complaining that you are selfish, cold and unresponsive. It’s a no-win situation for you when you are in this type of relationship. Your self-esteem is pommeled every day as if you are his verbal punching bag!

In order to heal from narcissistic abuse, first you must end or limit the contact you have with this person. If you are married or in an intimate relationship with the narcissist, the best recourse for your own mental and emotional health is to leave. If the narcissist is a relative or someone you work with, learn to limit the time you spend in their company, and also learn how to set boundaries so that you can speak up for yourself assertively.

Now, on to 5 tips to help you start rebuilding your self-esteem and make it even stronger than it was before you got involved with the narcissist.

1. Understand that the narcissist is a sick person. That is not an excuse for their behavior, but it is an explanation that will help you release their comments and treatment of you instead of holding on to the pain. Realize that even though their attacks felt very personal, those comments in a narcissistic rage were the acting out of a sick individual who has no skills for true love. The comments they made are not a true assessment or evaluation of who you really are as a person.

2. Spend some time over the next few days or weeks writing in a journal or computer document about hurtful episodes or specific statements he made that keep coming to mind. Write those down. And then look at them as if it was something a stranger said. Usually, narcissists make wild accusations and irrational comments that are meant to cut you off at the knees, make you feel bad about yourself as if you are worthless. But now what I want you to do, is look at a few of those examples you’ve written, and ask how you would have reacted if a stranger said that to you. Most of the time, what you’ll discover is that the comment was completely ludicrous! The power they held over you was in the body language and in the tone of voice they used, and in the way they mocked things that you held dear to your heart. This exercise will help you release all those old hurts and simply let them drift off on the breeze. Don’t continue to repeat his words in your head again and again, puzzling out what he could possibly have meant, because that keeps the pain fresh as if he is still abusing you. What he meant was to hurt you. The words were simply the weapon he used to control and dominate you. By dominating you, he felt more powerful for at least a few moments while you cowered or reacted, and in that power he had a short experience of feeling that he was “all right” instead of the horribly inferior person he believes he is but will never admit to.

3. Get busy, get active with exercise, sports, reading helpful books, going out with friends, learning a new hobby or how to cook a new dish you always wanted to try. Avoid sitting around feeling sorry for yourself and wondering what is wrong with you. Most likely, the narcissist chose you as his or her target because you have so many wonderful qualities they are missing and actually envy you for having. You are probably a very kind-hearted and compassionate person, and the abuser played off that generous spirit of yours, knowing they could count on you to stay and forgive their behavior again and again.

4. Are you still breathing? A relationship with a narcissistic abuser can feel devastating, but notice that you are still alive, and that means there is more for you to do and enjoy in this life, free from abuse. Part of your birthright is that you deserve to enjoy a life that you truly love wherein you make your dreams come true and feel happier than you ever believed possible. You can achieve this switch from victim to victorious by refusing to let the abuser win. Dismiss all those negative things he or she assaulted you with.

5. Every day, repeat this affirmation to yourself several times, out loud if possible so that you hear a voice telling you this: “I do enough, I am good enough, I am enough.” Use the power of positive affirmations to build high self-esteem so that you will gradually replace those old negative statements that you accepted as true just because an abuser said them so often with great authority.

It is not an overnight process to rebuild your self-esteem when you have been repeatedly abused by a partner or parent with narcissistic personality disorder, but don’t give up. Keep your focus on building a life for yourself where you only attract loving people and loving events to you, and you will soon find yourself smiling and enjoying peace of mind and glowing, healthy self-esteem.

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Source by Evelyn Roberts Brooks

The Effect of Self-Esteem on Romantic Relationships – Based on Recent Psychology Research

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Self-esteem, a sense of personal value, affects every aspect of our lives. Our level of self-esteem influences the way we see the world and how we interpret each situation we find ourselves in. Self-esteem is therefore crucial for our everyday well-being, but yet few people are aware of its importance. We complain about not achieving the results we want in our careers, with our bodies or with our friends. Most of all, we complain when our most intimate relationships do not work the way we would like them to. In these situations it is easy to blame our partners, but perceived relationship difficulties may instead be due to our own low levels of self-esteem. Without a high level of self-esteem, romantic relationships can become frightening disappointments rather than sources of security, support and happiness.

Mental wellbeing

Flourishing relationships are to a large degree dependent of positive moods and attitudes of the partners involved. For example, Srivastava, McGonigal, Richards, Butler and Gross (2006) found that optimism is an important contributor to relationship long-term success and satisfaction. Unfortunately, people with low self-esteem experience negative emotions more often than people with high self-esteem (Conner & Barrett, 2005; Wood, Heimpel, & Michela, 2003), and they are less motivated than people with high self-esteem to repair their negative moods (Heimpel, Wood, Marchall, & Brown, 2002). Likewise, low self-esteem individuals have poorer mental and physical health, worse economic prospects, and higher levels of criminal behaviour, compared with high self-esteem individuals (Trzesniewski, Brent Donnellan, Moffitt, Robins, Poulton, & Caspi, 2006). In contrast, high self-esteem promotes happiness, mental health (Taylor & Brown, 1988) and life satisfaction (Kwan, Harris Bond, & Singelis, 1997). Thus, at least a moderate level of self-esteem seems to be a prerequisite for healthy human functioning, which in turn is a prerequisite for prospering romantic relationships.

Selection of partner

Level of self-esteem seems to be implicated, not only in how we behave in our relationships, but also in our selection of partners. By comparing participants’ attachment style dimensions, Collins and Read (1990) found that individuals tend to be in relationships with partners who share similar feelings about intimacy and dependability on others. However, people do not simply choose partners who are similar on every dimension of attachment. For example, individuals with low self-esteem and high levels of attachment anxiety do not choose partners who share their worries about being abandoned. Similarly, Mathes and Moore (1985) argued that individuals with low self-esteem seek to fulfill their ideal selves by choosing partners who they believe have the qualities they lack. Consequently, people choose partners with attachment styles that compliment their own.

Coping with problems

Level of self-esteem affects the kind of personal feedback people seek. On the one hand, some studies have found that people prefer to interact with others who view them as they view themselves. Hence, individuals with high self-esteem seek positive feedback and therefore prefer to interact with people that see them positively, whereas people with low self-esteem seek negative feedback and therefore prefer to interact with people that see them less positively (e.g. Swann, Griffin, & Gaines, 1987; Swann, de la Ronde, & Hixon, 1994). On the other hand, Bernichon, Cook and Brown (2003) found that high self-esteem participants seek self-verifying feedback even if it is negative, but low self-esteem participants seek positive feedback, even if it is not self-verifying. The truth behind these conflicting findings seems to be that people with low self-esteem are more hurt by negative feedback and therefore try to avoid it. However, to successfully avoid negative feedback they first have to find it, and they therefore constantly look out for it. For example, Brown and Dutton (1995) found that personal failures make low self-esteem participants feel worse compared to high self-esteem participants, probably because low self-esteem participants are less apt than high self-esteem participants to use effective coping mechanisms such as making external attributions for their failures (Blaine & Crocker, 1993) or emphasise their strengths in other domains (Dodgson & Wood, 1998). Furthermore, people with low self-esteem tend to over-generalise the negative implications of failure (Brown & Dutton, 1995), and they are more likely to make internal, global, and stable attributions when they encounter negative life events (Tennen, Herzberger & Nelson, 1987). As a result, people with low self-esteem adopt a more self-protective approach to life by aiming to avoid negative feedback.

This self-protective attitude and lack of appropriate coping mechanisms have important implications in romantic relationships. As people with low self-esteem are less able to cope with negative feedback, they are also less able to cope when problems arise in their relationships. In three studies, Murray, Rose, Bellavia, Holmes, & Kusche (2002) led participants to believe that there was a problem in their relationships. Although the methods for doing this are questionable for the first two studies, the last study led participants to believe that their partners (who were physically present) spent an excessive amount of time listing qualities in the target participants that they disapproved of. As indicated on questionnaires completed after this threat inducement, low self-esteem participants read too much into the perceived problems, seeing them as signs that their partner’s affections were waning. In contrast, participants with high self-esteem showed increased confidence in their partners’ continued acceptance. The authors thus concluded that people with low self-esteem perceive signs of rejection too readily when threatened by relatively mundane difficulties in their relationship. A suggested reason for this is that low self-esteem individuals’ occasional failures activate an ever-present worry that their partners will eventually discover their “true” selves and their affections might then diminish. This way in which low self-esteem individuals over-generalise consequences of minor difficulties apparently inhibits the development of trusting relationships. These findings therefore indicate how important self-esteem is for successful romantic relationships.

Protection against rejection

Murray et al. (2002) found that low self-esteem participants reported less positive views of their partners and diminished feelings of closeness after perceiving a threat to the relationship. Instead, high-self esteem participants coped with the problem by embellishing the positive qualities of their partners and drawing closer to the relationship. The same results were found by Murray, Holmes, MacDonald, & Ellsworth (1998). Consequently, it seems that people with low self-esteem attempt to protect themselves against potential rejection by devaluing their partners and thus downplaying the significance of what they stand to lose. By finding faults in their partners, the prospect of rejection appears less threatening because the partner is now seen as less desirable (Murray et al., 1998; Murray et al., 2002). Obviously, this strategy of coping with difficulties has detrimental effects on relationships. It is therefore understandable that dating partners of low self-esteem individuals report decreasingly positive perceptions of their partners, less satisfaction and greater conflict as their relationships progress (Murray, Holmes & Griffin, 1996). By devaluing their partners, low self-esteem individuals may thus bring about the end of the relationship, which is what they are trying to protect themselves against.

Interestingly, in the study by Murray et al. (1998) it was also found that low self-esteem participants devalued their partners and doubted their partners’ affections after an experimental manipulation intended boost to self-esteem. The authors suggested that this phenomenon might be because when low self-esteem participants received positive feedback (high scores on a questionnaire said to measure how considerately they behaved towards their partners) they activated thoughts of conditionality. In other words, low self-esteem participants might have started to think that their partners’ continued acceptance was dependent on their possession of specific virtues, rather than who they are intrinsically. This hypothesis is supported by findings by Schimel, Arndt, Pyszczynski, and Greenberg (2001), who found that positive social feedback based on what one considers to be intrinsic aspects of oneself reduces defensive reactions (such as distancing oneself from a negatively portrayed other), whereas positive social feedback based on one’s achievements does not. Thus, well-meaning attempts to soothe insecurities in low self-esteem partners by pointing to their virtues may instead exacerbate the insecurities.

The ways in which people with low self-esteem react to self-esteem threats can also be understood in terms of the sociometer theory (Leary et al., 1995). A threat to their self-esteem indicates a threat of social exclusion, and thus requires measures to eliminate this threat. As a result, individuals devalue their partners and distance themselves from them to make a potential rejection less threatening. This theory is also supported by the types of feedback people with high and low self-esteem seek following a threat to their self-esteem. As demonstrated by Vohs and Heatherton (2001), high self-esteem individuals seek feedback relating to their personal competence (e.g. intelligence) after a threat, whereas low self-esteem individuals seek feedback relating to whether or not others accept them. High self-esteem individuals become more independent after a threat, but low self-esteem people become more interdependent. Hence, level of self-esteem influences people to focus on different self-aspects after a self-esteem threat, so that high self-esteem individuals focus on personal aspects and low self-esteem participants focus on interpersonal self-aspects. However, although the sociometer theory states that a threat to self-esteem indicates a threat of exclusion, it does not say that people with low self-esteem automatically feel excluded when they encounter a self-esteem threat. Feelings of exclusion lead to lower self-esteem, but low self-esteem may not necessarily lead to feelings of exclusion, merely the anticipation of feeling it. For example, Leary et al. (1995) only found that exclusion leads to lower self-esteem and that perceived exclusion and low self-esteem are correlated. They did not demonstrate that low self-esteem leads to perceived exclusion. Consequently, it seems that low self-esteem per se may not necessarily make individuals feel excluded, but by constantly anticipating it, individuals with low self-esteem react in ways that eventually make their partners more likely to reject, and thus exclude, them.

The anxieties that low self-esteem individuals hold about being rejected can also be understood in terms of their anxious or avoidant adult attachment styles. Adult attachment researchers, such as Collins and Read (1990) and Srivastava and Beer (2005), have found that low self-esteem is correlated with high levels of attachment anxiety and avoidance. Anxious and avoidant adult attachments are thought to spring from inconsistent or avoidant care-giving throughout childhood, during which individuals learnt that love and support is not constantly available. Participants with these attachment styles therefore have relationships marked by emotional highs and lows, jealousy, and either less intimacy or obsessive preoccupation with their partners as they are afraid of losing them. People with secure attachments styles, on the other hand, have relationships characterized by happiness, trust, and friendship (Collins and Read, 1990). Hence, the insecurities and consequent inadequate coping strategies demonstrated by low self-esteem participants in the studies by Murray and her colleagues (e.g., Murray et al., 1998; Murray et al., 2002) may be due to anxious or avoidant attachments established during their childhoods. Attachment styles of partners in a relationship also predict relationship satisfaction. Collins and Read (1990) found that greater anxiety in women was associated with lower satisfaction in their male partners. Because anxious women are less trusting and more jealous, their partners feel more restricted and therefore less satisfied. In contrast, women showed higher satisfaction when their men were comfortable with closeness and intimacy. Men are often stereotyped as less comfortable with intimacy, so a man’s willingness to become close may be particularly valued by women (Collins and Read, 1990).

Perceptions of partner’s affections

People with low self-esteem assume that their partners see them in the same negative light as they see themselves. Consequently, they cannot understand why their partners would love them. On the other hand, people with high self-esteem assume that their partners see them as the great people they believe themselves to be, and their partners’ affections are therefore no mystery to them. In a study by Murray, Holmes and Griffin (2000), couples described themselves, their partners and how they thought their partners saw them. The results revealed that low self-esteem participants dramatically underestimated how positively their partners saw them. Participants who underestimated their partners’ regards also had more negative perceptions of their partners. The converse was found for high self-esteem individuals. Consequently, perceived regard seems to be the link between self-esteem and relationship satisfaction, so that self-esteem influences perceived regard and perceived regard influences relationship perceptions. However, it seems that even low self-esteem individuals want to be positively seen by their partners. For example, Murray et al. (1996) found that individuals are happier in their relationships the more positively their partners see them. Thus, although low self-esteem individuals wish to be positively regarded by their partners, their own negative self-perceptions prevent them from feeling this positive regard.

To get a clearer understanding of this issue, Murray et al. (2005) investigated the effects of pointing out strengths in the self or flaws in the partner. For example, when low self-esteem participants were led to believe that their personality traits fit easily with many potential partners, and hence, were in high demand, they reported higher self-perceptions, greater security in their partners’ positive regards and more commitment to the relationship. This finding is interesting because it goes against earlier findings by Murray et al. (1998). As discussed earlier, these researchers found that pointing out specific virtues in low self-esteem individuals made these individuals doubt their partner’s affections, probably because they felt that their partners’ positive regard was dependent on their continued possession of certain virtues. The reason why the first study found different results seems to be because they focused on specific personal strengths (considerateness) rather than on general interpersonal strengths (more intrinsic characteristics) as in the later study.

Furthermore, Murray et al. (2005) found that low self-esteem participants felt better about themselves and valued their partners and their relationships more when flaws in their partners were pointed out. As a result, this study suggests that the reason why low self-esteem people underestimate their partners’ affections is not necessarily only because they assume that their partners see them as they see themselves, but also because they feel inferior to their partners. That is, seeing faults in their partners gives low self-esteem individuals reason to expect greater tolerance from their partners of their own faults. Moreover, by emphasising own interpersonal virtues, the feeling that the partner is out of their league diminishes. Perceived security in a partner’s continued positive regard and commitment thus depends on the perception that each partner is bringing comparable personal strengths and weaknesses to the relationship.

Conclusion

Self-esteem plays a very important role in romantic relationships. People with low self-esteem experience more negative emotions, whereas people with high self-esteem experience more happiness and life satisfaction. Level of self-esteem influences who we select as partners and how we view them. Individuals who have negative perceptions of themselves also have more negative perceptions of their partners. Also, because they feel inferior, they cannot see any reason to why anyone would like them. Low self-esteem individuals therefore doubt that their partners actually love them, and consequently they take minor relationship difficulties or failures as signs that their partners’ affections are waning and that they will put an end to the relationship. At the face of such problems, people with low self-esteem distance themselves from their partners and devalue them even further, because the prospect of rejection becomes less threatening if the partner is seen as less desirable. On the other hand, people with high self-esteem value their partners more highly and even in situations of difficulties they maintain their confidence in that their partners will continue to love and support them. Consequently, low self-esteem poses a serious threat to successful relationships.

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Source by Liv Miyagawa

Self-Esteem – Are You Morally Straight But Mentally Crooked?

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You are not going to get anything that you don’t really believe you deserve. It is not enough in life to live morally and ethically.  You must also be mentally straight. You must have a positive self-image in order to receive the blessings of life! I am often asked the question, “Why Do The Righteous Suffer?” In other words, “Why do seemingly good people suffer?”

You can be morally and ethically straight and correct, but if you do not know how to positively relate to your emotions and the processes of your mind, you will suffer. 

And this is what happened to Job in the Biblical story:

Job’s children were taken away, his health was taken away, and his wealth was taken away.   Why did all these things happen to Job, a righteous man? I ask you, was Job really righteous (meaning right thinking) or was he simply religious? 

A Fearful Mind Draws Suffering

Job said, “The thing I greatly feared has come upon me.” (Job 3:25) And that is exactly what got Job – “The thing he feared.” Just like some of you, you don’t know why you feel so bad.  But you go around afraid of what might happen; filled with worry and anxieties, you go around with your feelings dragging in the dirt.

It Isn’t Enough To Be Moral And Ethical

You must have the correct self-awareness. You must know yourself and learn how to control your thoughts and feelings.  This is what I mean by ‘righteous’.  You must be mentally straight! You have to learn how to lift up your feelings – how to lift up your emotions.  Learn to control your own thoughts and feelings and beliefs about yourself. You have to learn to go inside yourself and develop a positive self-image and positive self-esteem.

You Get What You Believe You Deserve.

It isn’t enough just to be a good person.  You must have a proper self-identity. You must believe that you deserve God’s goodness. So “Why do good people suffer?”  Because they don’t believe that they deserve God’s goodness.  They ask for God’s goodness in their prayers, but down deep, they don’t believe they deserve it. If you don’t believe you deserve God’s goodness, what do you believe then?  At the subconscious level are you believing you deserve the opposite of good?  Maybe that is why you aren’t getting the good you desire.

Nothing Can Come To You Unless You Draw It

Many times, things happen to good religious people and people who think they are righteous, and they don’t understand why. They say, “Now why would this person do me out of this? Why do these ‘things’ happen to me?” If somebody is always doing you out of something, watch out.  It means that somewhere in your subconscious psychology, there is some kind of negative belief.  It could be the belief that you are not deserving. Nothing can come to you unless you believe you deserve it, and nothing can go from you unless you believe you don’t deserve it.

You are not going to get anything that you don’t really believe you deserve

And if you do appear to get something that you really don’t think you deserve – you think it’s too good for you – don’t worry, it will slip away.  Somebody else will come along and take it off your hands. So it is very important that you think you deserve the best.

You Are A Child Of God

Your belief about yourself should be based upon your knowledge of who and what you are in God, and who and what God is in you.  You deserve the best because you are a child of God.

Say This Affirmation and Believe It: 

Say to yourself, “I deserve the best because I am a child of God.”  And when you pray, believe this.  Believe you deserve all of God’s goodness. Don’t just say empty words. Affirm to yourself: “I deserve the best because I am a child of God. I don’t deserve the best because I’m better than anybody else. I deserve the best because I am God’s child and I deserve all of God’s goodness.”

These affirmations will help you to get ‘right with yourself’, and when you are right with yourself, everything else will be right with you.

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Source by Frederick Eikerenkoetter

Being Bullied – A Lack of Boundaries and Self-Esteem

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When most people hear the word bullying, they normally associated it in terms of people being hurt emotionally and physically, and being that it is such a detrimental and devastating act, it affects a person’s self-esteem for most of their life. Bullying whether it happened when you were still young or at work will affect performance at school and at work/home and as we all know bullying over a long period of time, causes many emotional and health issues. Ultimately, it can destroy you mentally, emotionally and physically.

What most people do not realise that bullying occurs when there is a lack of healthy and protective boundaries, because that is why a person is hurt emotionally, physically or mentally.

Why boundaries are important

Boundaries help to keep you safe, and stop people from hurting you. It’s like having a fence (not a wall) around you. It sets limits on what people are allowed to do and not do to us, how they should behave around us, how they talk and treat us.

So why is it important to have healthy boundaries? You only fight for what you believe in, what you value and what your attitude is. If you don’t think you deserve to be treated respectfully you won’t stand up for your rights. Boundaries essentially are a reflection of how you see, feel and think of yourself (your self-esteem). Healthy boundaries will help you establish a good sense of self-esteem that will in turn help you in stand up for what is right in your life. Such as not settling for second best in relationships and thinking that it’s better to be in an abusive relationship than to be alone. Healthy boundaries can also help you change the way you act at work, perform 100% better; communicating far more effectively then you ever have. You will also be able to quickly pick up when your boundaries have been violated and be assertive enough to do something about it.

Boundaries are a set of rules that we set for ourselves about what we will or will not allow in our lives. These rules are found in our beliefs and values, therefore they define the way we interact with others and the way we behave in all situations. However, during our journey through life, some boundaries may have become blurred, or completely disappeared. Maybe they were never present in the first place. It is so essential to have healthy boundaries, because the only way you will become assertive, have peace and stay safe is to have healthy boundaries in place.

Some examples of boundaries

* No physical or verbal abuse

* I will not allow an addiction to control me again

* I will treat myself and others with respect

* I will be spoken to with respect

* I will not allow others to embarrass me

* I deserve to be paid a fair wage

* I should not fear speaking up about what I believe in

To explain in more detail what boundaries are and how they affect our life, I have explained them in more detail below.

Internal Boundaries

Internal boundaries are about what you will accept for yourself. Internal boundaries include knowing your own beliefs, values, thoughts, feelings and attitudes. They are about the decisions and choices you make for yourself and the experiences you participate in. For example you internal boundary may be that you will not implicitly trust someone you have only just met. You won’t just hop into their car, go to their home etc. until you get to know this person and learn to trust them more.

External Boundaries

Interpersonal boundaries are about what you will accept from others. They are the limits we set with those around us based on certain people, times and places. They are about what behaviours we will accept from other people and those which we will not accept. Another example may be that you will not accept someone at your work to yell at you or call you names.

Rigid Boundaries

People with rigid boundaries allow very little in and out about themselves (you need to reword this so that it makes more sense and links with the following statements). They leave little or no space for intimacy with other people. If you struggle with rigid boundaries you may appear withdrawn, unavailable or false to others, or you mask your emotions with an “Everything’s fine” attitude.

Signs of rigid boundaries

* Unable to change views or perspectives

* Unwilling to hear out others

* Blaming others

* Wanting to win at others detriment

* Unable to accept that you are wrong

Weak Boundaries

People with weak boundaries let other people walk all over them. If you have weak boundaries you will often do anything for other people as you may be fearful or feel guilty to say no. You lack a definite line of where your personal responsibility ends and other people’s responsibility begins. You could often be seen as ‘a follower’. If you have weak boundaries you may also blame others for your misfortunes and you may feel others are responsible for maintaining your emotions and behaviours. Also you may not respect the boundaries of others.

Signs of weak boundaries

* Being submissive

* Unable to say no

* Accepting responsibility for other peoples actions and responses

* Focusing on other people

* Being over responsible or irresponsible

* Giving away your power or taking too much power

* Having no sense of privacy in a relationship

* Invading other’s rights sexually

* Emotionally dependent

* People pleasing

* Feeling confused

So how do you learn to implement healthy boundaries that keep you safe and in control?

Flexible/Healthy Boundaries

If you have healthy boundaries you can regulate your own reality. This means that you can choose what you want in your life and also what is not acceptable. In addition you are able to communicate these needs to those around you. You will also take responsibility for your own behaviours and not take on other people’s problems. We call this not taking on other people’s monkeys. You also understand which one is your own monkey, and which monkey belongs to someone else. Most importantly, you are able to adjust your boundaries based on different situations.

It’s also about you knowing what you want from others, what you will or will not except from others, understand how you want to be treated etc. This list could go on for ever. However, the most important part of learning to implement healthy boundaries in place, is to firstly believe that you deserve to be treated well and to implement a new set of beliefs about what you believe your rights as a human being is. In essence you need to believe and know your assertive rights. Once you have these in place, healthy boundaries will just about come naturally.

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Source by Nicolo Marcon

Perfume Smell and Self Esteem – A Guide to Self Improvement

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Self-esteem is one of those issues that everybody just has to deal with. We all go through spouts in our life when we feel down and unwanted. No matter what the cause of these self esteem problems may be, they seem to affect various aspects of life mush more than we want them to. So how do you combat these issues and start living a normal life again? Let’s take a look at what happens when discount perfume and self esteem get together…

Perfume and self esteem go together like peanut butter and jelly; one just seems to bring out the best qualities of the other. Sure, they can exist separately and function just fine, but together, they’re just so much better. You may be confused by the analogy a bit, but think of it this way: when you were perfume, you feel better about yourself just based on the way you smell. With good self esteem, you feel fine just based on your overall confident attitude. Put them together and what happens? Magic. You end up with a highly confident person ready to take on any stares the world wants to offer, bringing both the intoxication of the fragrance and the power of the self esteem to a whole new level.

It’s almost as if the combination of good perfume smell and self esteem cause a person to become invincible. Suddenly she has a sense of empowerment because she knows in her mind that she is attractive and interesting. There are other ways to achieve such empowerment, but what could be easier than spraying a few squirts of perfumes and walking out the door? It’s literally that simple.

So, if you lack the self esteem that you need to get yourself motivated in life, you should strongly consider investing in a good bottle of discount perfume. You will feel instant gratification after the first spray as people pass by thinking, “Wow. What was that fantastic smell?” Be prepared to get a lot of attention and use that as a way to build back your self confidence. You know that you are a wonderful person. Maybe some people just have to listen to their noses to find that out first. Take some advice and at least try to combine perfume and self esteem. See what results you come up with. Chances are, you’ll start walking with your head held high and your bottle at your side at all times.

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Source by Michael Rares

13 Tell-Tale Signs of Low Self-Esteem

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1. Guilt. This often takes the form of self-torture. Seeing your actions as unforgivable, your imperfections as permanent and believing improvement is impossible.

2. Fear and uncertainty. The hallmark of non-confident people is naked fear which they wear like a welcome sign on themselves. They fear everything for a host of reasons. They fear making mistakes, upsetting others or becoming ill. They fear not having material things and not living up to the expectations of someone else. They fear people gossiping and their secrets being known. They fear not being liked, being abnormal and having permanent or terminal illnesses. They fear being hurt, any kind of responsibility for their destiny and, of course, they fear change itself. They fear even being themselves, because of the risk of disapproval from the significant others they value or wish to impress.

Fears are fed and maintained by negative experiences, a lack of self-love, lack of self-belief and an absence of trust. People driven by fear are plagued by self-doubt, submissiveness, over-conformity, isolation, sensitivity to criticism, acute distrust, feelings of inferiority, being unloved or rejected. Based on an unrealistic assumption of perfection in others, this fear mainly shuts off the individual from essential social contact, leaving them feeling isolated and alone. This isolation is noticeable when we put ourselves above others and label them in negative ways to boost our individual egos.

3. Self-Shame. Keeping secrets about yourself which then makes you feel ‘awful’, ‘disgusting’, ‘weird’, ‘stupid’, ‘ugly’ or unworthy, especially as you would believe yourself to be the only one with such experiences.

4. Trying to be a perfect person. True self-confidence means an acceptance of your being, warts and all, with no desire to be anyone else. If you do not accept yourself, who on earth is going to accept you?

5. Unforgiving, unrealistic expectation of perfection in others. They never quite come up to your standard so, indirectly, they are not worth your acknowledgment, your attention, recognition, reward or forgiveness. However, such behaviour says more about a lack of trust in our own abilities and low self-esteem than about the capabilities of others.

6. Lack of trust . When you are isolated, it is easy to believe you have a monopoly of a given emotion or situation. When you never engage others honestly, it is hard for them to open their hearts to you. Yet, without openness, you do not get any feedback because others cannot relate to you. You also never discover that others struggle with the same problems as you do, nor do you learn their solutions, which might be helpful to you. Genuine communication proves there is nothing to be ashamed of in life itself. We are all humans who have to travel the same road together with all our imperfections. Life is more enriching, meaningful and enjoyable when we are more supportive and compassionate along the journey.

7. A focus on your perceived limits. This replaces the focus on your potential and the possibilities for growth and improvement. In this way you seldom welcome or enjoy new experience and also remain in the same fearful state wondering why you never achieve what you really want.

8. Misplaced humility. Not regarding yourself as equal to others, but actually less than they are. Humility is a positive quality. It avoids false pride and is often driven by active compassion for others. A lack of self-confidence is often self-centered (feeling sorry for yourself and looking for excuses not to change your situation). This only prevents positive action and personal growth.

9. Feeling constantly depressed. Indulging in self-pity and negative thoughts of your past without any action, particularly to abdicate responsibility, to seek attention or to control/punish others. Depression keeps you in regret without change.

10. Always anticipating and predicting what happens next. This is often done in a negative way. Without even listening to what is being said, you will tell others exactly what you think they are about to tell you, or inform them of how things will develop, and what needs to be done, even without familiarity with the subject area.

11. Believing that the world is a ‘bad place’. But the world has both good and bad aspects. Our world is often a mirror of what we think of ourselves. A negative world image and poor self-image are connected because they simply reflect what we fear, especially as our own negative actions do not add anything to the positivity we crave. The world is what we make it. If it is bad, it’s down to each of us to do our bit to make it better. For example, if everyone ignores one child behaving badly on a housing estate, because they can’t be bothered, they regard it as nothing to do with them or fear the consequences of addressing the behaviour, as night follows day that child will gradually attract a group who wishes to join in the ‘fun’ and will wreak havoc on everyone. This also confirms our negative perception of our world. Evil only gets worse when we fear or ignore it.

12. Skepticism and being over-critical. An unrealistic expectation of perfection which assumes that if you are not perfect, you are worthless. Skepticism and cynicism (sometimes labelled ‘crystallised forms of anger’) are often detrimental, as they encourage you to feel superior by focusing only on the faults of others. They rarely allow you to enjoy yourself or to accept people as they are.

13. Idolizing people. Overestimating the worth of others and putting them on a pedestal, which easily leads to underestimating and downgrading yourself. It also leaves you floundering in a state of perceived inadequacy as you try to measure up in a futile way.

How many of these factors actually affect you now? Most people have to contend with up to six or seven, with the most confident among us having up to three, maximum. If you find yourself with eight or more, you need to start working, urgently, on how you feel about yourself, because that dictates how others perceive you and treat you and, indirectly, the level of success and influence you can expect.

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Source by Elaine Sihera

Bragging May Be The Result of Low Self-Esteem

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Don’t get me wrong; there are many people that have earned bragging rights, such as, soldiers who have survived the war, or doctors that have provided a cure for a disease(s). These people have earned the right to brag and have learned to do it gracefully.

It is perfectly appropriate as an adult to brag when it is a testimonial speech but to call someone to tell them each and every time you are on your way to the beauty salon, nail salon, or clothes shopping is a nuisance.

Teenagers, please do not misunderstand me, it is perfectly appropriate for you to announce your mini adventures. It is not bragging when teenagers announce their every move, it is called “basking in the moment” and sharing that moment with your closes friends.

It has been my experience that adults who continuously brag about the minuscule things that has happened in their daily lives, grew up dirt poor and/or under privileged. These adults feel the need to brag in order to boost their self-esteem.

I know must of us did not grow up with a silver spoon in our mouths, as well as I. However, there were morals, values, and beliefs instilled in us, to teach us to conduct oneself gracefully in society.

Bragging will not increase your popularity within your adult community or circle. But turning your art of bragging into an interesting mentoring program, may help the under privilege children boost their confidence to know that they too can make it out of poverty, and have the things they desire.

So adult braggers, before you begin to announce your daily routines to your closes friends and colleagues, take a moment and think to yourself “is what I’m about to say worth listening to?” If the shoe was on the other foot, is the content worth taking time out of my busy schedule to listen?

Braggers, have you ever noticed that your closes friends and colleagues do not call you to broadcast their every move? Remember, if these people are in your community or circle, chances are they are as successful as you are, or on a higher level.

Braggers learn the attributes of a good conversation; this may improve your self-image within your community or circle. So unless you are calling to talk about the newest restaurant you have visited, or an exotic vacation, remember, time is valuable. No one wants you to call them and broadcast, each and every time you are on your way to get your nails manicured, or on your way to purchase new panties.

If you continue to feel the need to boast about your every move, you can now broadcast on a “social media” outlet.

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Source by Kyla Sekots

How Does Your Self-Esteem Affect Your Choice of Partner?

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Did you know that your level of self-esteem, not only affects how you will behave in a relationship, but it also affects who you will attract and select as your partner? Psychologists have found that people tend to be in relationships with partners who share similar feelings about intimacy and dependability on others. However, people do not seek partners who are exactly like them on all dimensions. For example, it has been found that individuals with low self-esteem seek to fulfill their ideal selves by choosing partners who they believe have the qualities they lack.

This might suggest that people with low self-esteem always go for partners with high self-esteem. However, this is not really true. Actually, people with low self-esteem usually attract other people with low self-esteem into their lives so they don’t even get the opportunity to date the high self-esteem people. A person with low self-esteem only considers herself/himself worthy of socializing with people who are equally “bad”. Being with people with high self-esteem is far too stressful for people with low self-esteem because it constantly makes them feel inferior.

The whole picture might therefore look something like this: people with low self-esteem seek out others with low self-esteem to socialise with and they are in return also sought out by other low self-esteem individuals. Out of this group of acquaintances with low self-esteem they then select those who complement them by having different strengths and weaknesses from themselves.

Unfortunately, a relationship between two people with low self-esteem rarely ends well. People with low self-esteem tend to have shorter and less fulfilling relationships compared to people with high self-esteem. The good news is that you CAN raise your self-esteem, and it doesn’t even have to be very difficult. As you raise your self-esteem you will also start to attract people with higher self-esteem than those you have been dating in the past. This will make your relationship much more likely to succeed.

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Source by Liv Miyagawa