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Self Worth and Relationships

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How your partner treats you can influence your sense of self worth in important ways.

Does your partner...

...accept and appreciate you for who you are?

...treat you with kindness, concern and affection?

When our partner acts in these ways it generally helps us to feel good about ourselves (not to mention helping the overall quality of your relationship!).

Or does your partner...

...insult or disrespect you?

...intentionally try to make you feel...unattractive, dumb, incompetent...?

When our partner acts in these ways it can make us feel pretty badly about ourselves.

In fact, once we've had a partner who treats us very poorly, the negative impact on our self esteem can potentially take years to overcome, even if our next partner treats us very well. So pay attention to how your partner treats you and how you treat your partner.

The bottom line is that everyone deserves to be treated with respect in their relationships.

Insulting a partner or intentionally doing things to make them feel badly about themselves are NEVER acceptable, and they are harmful to the relationship and the partner.

If you're in a relationship where one or both of you are not treating the other with respect, you need to change those patterns of behavior IMMEDIATELY.

And if your attempts to change aren't successful, you should probably consider ending the relationship. That's how significant a problem lack of respect is.

Our sense of self worth influences how we act in relationships.

Having a healthy sense of self worth improves the quality of your relationship.

It's a two way street.  Our partner can influence how good we feel about ourselves, but it goes the other way as well -- our internal sense of ourselves will influence our behavior towards our partner or potential partners. 

Have you had thoughts like these?

  • "Who would possibly want to be with me?" - Low self worth may cause us to avoid trying to date or find a partner.
  • "It's just a matter of time before he gets tired of me and finds someone better." - Low self worth may cause us to be more pessimistic about our relationship lasting.
  • "I'm lucky that anyone wants me, so I can't complain too much if she isn't nice to my family." - Low self worth may cause us to be more willing to "settle" for something that really doesn't meet our standards for what we'd like to have in a partner and relationship.
  •  "We just had a fight, and now I'm sure he wants to break-up." - Low self worth may cause us to overreact when something negative happens in the relationship, so when problems develop we may just give up and not try to fix them. 
  • "She said she's always had a problem with my weight, and I can't blame her; I am fat." - Low self worth may cause us to seek out partners who share our negative view of ourselves.

Having a healthy sense of self worth makes it more likely we'll have a healthy relationship.

No one can make you feel inferior without your permission. - Eleanor Roosevelt

When we feel better about ourselves, we're:

  • More likely to require that our partner treats us with respect.
  • More likely to treat our partners with respect - sometimes those who feel badly about themselves treat others poorly (insulting them, trying to control them) as a way to boost their own sense of self worth. 
  • More likely to try to work through problems in our relationships, and feel that we can successfully resolve conflicts when they occur.
  • Less distrustful of our partners, and more willing to go to them for support when we need it.

There are many things we can do to help maintain a positive sense of self worth. Take charge of your self. 

Go to Quizzes 'n More: Recharge Your Batteries for self-esteem boosting activities. 

Move on to learn about Your Family Background and how it may be influencing you and your relationships.....



Move On!