I used to be of the impression that I would find a boy and all my problems would disappear.
No more anxiousness. No more loneliness. No more pondering the purpose of my existence. And definitely no more angst about dating or having to impress someone.
Unfortunately, issues with self-esteem don’t end once you’ve bagged a partner.
They’re still present – they just look a little different.
In working on my self-esteem and self-worth, I’ve learned a few things that I want to share with you.
Turns out that having a low self-esteem can impact your relationship negatively in many ways.
So without further ado, here’s a list of 10 things that people with high self-esteem never dabble in:
1) They don’t lose their own identity
You know those couples that seem glued together at the hip?
They start finishing each other’s sentences.
You can literally never invite one to a girls night/boys night/friends night without the other tagging along.
They don’t seem to have any interest of their own. They golf together, paint together, cook together, read together…
It’s never-ending. If you look closely enough, you can see them blending into one big bubble.
Well, not for people who have high self-esteem.
They know the importance of maintaining their own sense of identity and their own interests, even when in a long-term committed relationship.
They take time apart from their partner, enjoy their own company, and pursue their own interest.
2) They’re not constantly badgering their partner about the future
It’s very hard to settle into the moment if you’re constantly being barraged with:
“Where is this going?”
“Do you think we’ll be together, forever?”
“Do you want to get matching tombstones?”
People with high self-esteem don’t waste time asking questions they know no one has the answer to.
They live in the moment and appreciate the involvement of those they love, knowing that they can’t force or cling on to people forever.
3) They don’t get jealous
I don’t mean in a cool girl/cool guy, ‘of course you can go on a week away and not text me, you live your life honey’ type of way (if you’re actually incredibly uncomfortable with that idea).
People with high self-esteem are good at setting and communicating healthy boundaries.
Knowing this and trusting their partner not to traverse these boundaries, they’re not the jealous type.
You won’t catch them interrogating you after nights out or tracking your every move.
They know their worth, and they know that if you mess up and break their trust, it’s your loss.
4) They don’t capture your every move on social media
I love it when couples go for the hard-launch and start posting couple-y pics.
But there’s also a point at which spamming your feed with pictures of your partner and making sure that everyone knows when you’re together leaves me with an eyebrow raised.
Feeling the need to broadcast your relationship to the world screams insecurity.
It’s a bit like a dog cocking a leg to mark its territory.
Secure partners with high self-esteem likely have a couple of cute anniversary pics up, but they don’t feel the need to shove their relationship in everyone else’s faces.
5) They don’t put their partners needs above their own
…all the time.
Sometimes, yes, that has to happen.
Part of being in a relationship is having to take someone else’s needs and desires into account when formulating some of the decisions you used to make on your own.
Terrifying for highly independent people.
However, people with high self-esteem are masters at weaving in the needs of their partners into their life, but not doing so to the extent that it comes at a cost to themselves.
They don’t people-please or try to bend over backwards to secure their partner’s affections.
Why would they?
They know their worth and don’t feel any need to overcompensate to convince anyone else of that.
6) They don’t take all the blame when they don’t deserve it
If you’ve ever suffered from esteem issues and an anxious attachment style, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
In a desperate attempt to secure your partner, you’re willing to accept the blame for absolutely everything.
Including things that aren’t their fault.
People with a healthy self-esteem know when to accept responsibility for their actions and apologize.
However, they will neither refuse outright to apologize because of their arrogance nor will they roll over and start apologizing profusely if it had nothing to do with them.
7) They don’t run from conflict
Again, if you’re suffering from low self-esteem, conflict can be scary.
Fighting with your partner can trigger a fight-or-flight wave of worry that they might leave you.
Often, you think you’d best avoid conflict altogether.
This obviously isn’t a great approach.
Those with a high self-esteem know when to pick their battles (or rather, when to bring up difficult discussions).
They don’t ignore them or sweep them under the rug. They know that there, they’ll only fester.
So, they have no issues with approaching their partners in a calm and considerate manner and navigating challenges.
They allow for their partner’s input and respect differing opinions, but also advocate for themselves and never run from difficult discussions.
8) They don’t base their self-worth off their partner
A person’s sense of self-esteem is easily crippled if based on external validation.
People with high self-esteem don’t look to external influences to dictate this sense of self-worth and value.
They still appreciate compliment and validation, but you won’t find them descending into a dark hole after their partner makes a snide comment.
If anything, they’ll address the reasons for why their partner should make such a nasty comment.
They have a pretty fool proof sense of worth, which is in no way dictated by how much their partner is texting them or how confident they currently feel in their relationship.
9) They don’t belittle their partner
A select few more toxic individuals in the world get a sense of pride and self-worth from belittling others.
If you’re feeling self-conscious about your intelligence…call your partner dumb!
That’ll make you feel better.
Alas, this negative pattern exists in many toxic relationships where gaslighting and negging run wild.
In the same way that people with high self-esteem don’t turn to their partner’s love to feel validated, they also never belittle or demean their partner to make themselves feel better.
If anything, they work that little bit harder to lift up others and encourage them to feel their best.
They never try to sacrifice the happiness of others to benefit themselves.
10) They don’t doubt what they bring to the table
Am I good enough?
Aren’t his colleagues prettier?
Isn’t she still in love with her childhood best friend?
These doubts you won’t find in the minds of confident people with high self-esteem
They’re not gods. They still experience anxiety and worry and doubt.
But they don’t dwell on feelings of inferiority and not feeling ‘good enough’ for their partners.
People with high self-esteem tend to be more than aware of the good qualities that they bring to the table.
They tend not to be boastful, but they’re quietly confident that whilst their partner excels in certain areas, they excel in areas.
Wasting time worrying about the person who has chosen you actually likes you or whether they could do better benefits no one.
In fact, this type of insecurity only leads a relationship to crumble.
If you fall within the category of someone with a high and secure self-esteem, I hope you’re able to bring that to your relationships and say with confidence that you relate to the above points.
You deserve feeling secure and confident, and knowing your worth will only help to solidify the connections that you build with others.
But if you’re a little more like me and sometimes struggle with feeling unworthy which leads you to question whether you’re good enough for your partner or whether you should compensate by sacrificing your own happiness to please them…
Well, take that as a sign that your self-confidence needs a little fine-tuning.
Growing increasingly confident and realizing your worth takes time and practice.
If you do lack self-esteem, it doesn’t have to mean that you shun any relationships until you consider yourself confident enough to navigate these issues.
Healthy relationships and secure individuals can help to build up our confidence and realize the good that lies within us.
So whether you’re embarking on this journey alone or you’re already within a relationship, try to remember your worth and value.
There’s really no one else out there quite like you, and whilst learning to sing your own praises takes time, having a healthy self-esteem does lead to the most fulfilling and enjoyable relationships.