As a counsellor, I have two areas that I specialise in, these being relationships, and depression/self-esteem. Often when couples present for help with a relationship issue, there is one partner who is suffering from either depression or has low self-esteem. In order to help the relationship, we also need to address these individual issues in order to create a healthy, strong relationship.
While you can’t fix your partners self-esteem, you can go a long way to supporting them as they heal themselves and this ultimately benefits everyone. Some people are aware that they have low self-esteem and their partner is also aware. At other times, the behaviour of the partner with low self-esteem is put down to other things and they are ‘blamed’ for these behaviours.
What are the signs of low self-esteem?
- Struggles to accept compliments, often deny or push the compliment away
- Seems very needy in some ways. Perhaps affection or always looking for validation
- Not comfortable in some social situations
- Doesn’t achieve career wise as you would expect them to, based on their capability
- Not willing to try new things
- Reacts angrily to any possible negative comment about themselves
- For women, often wearing a lot of makeup to leave the house or even within the home
- A real focus on how they look and needing validation around this
- For men (some women), talking a lot of assets they have
- Rarely initiate intimate affection
- Need to check on you when you are out
- A lot of questions about what you are doing when you are not with them
These are just some signs, and not all of these on their own indicate low self-esteem. But, chances are, if your partner ticks a few of these, then they may have low self-esteem. Supporting them to get to a healthy place for themselves, will ultimately help the relationship too and make your life easier. [Read more…]