“To accept ourselves as we are means to value our imperfections as much as our perfections.” – anonymous
Self esteem is a very important part of being happy in a relationship. We’re often made to believe that you can’t have self esteem if you want to have a happy relationship.
This is nothing but a myth as it is very much possible to balance self esteem and happiness.
You only need to know how to do that and we’re going to tell you just that in this article.
Before moving ahead, it is important to understand the concept of self esteem and its benefits.
Let’s get started:
What is Self Esteem And How Does it Benefit Relationships?
Self esteem is defined as “an individual’s evaluation of their own worth”. It’s a subjective phenomenon that tells us how someone feels about themself.
In addition to beliefs one has about himself or herself, it also includes emotional states, such as pride, shame, triumph, and despair.
Self esteem can be positive or negative. The environment we live in or how others treat us can have a solid impact on how we perceive ourselves.
Positive self-esteem is vital to one’s mental health. Poor self esteem can result in relationship issues as people who do not feel great about who they are often find it difficult to be happy.
They also often struggle to relate to others and can end up feeling sad, angry, or depressed.
This is why it is important to strengthen one’s self-esteem. Doing so can result in happy and healthy relationships.
We must also mention that you cannot uplift your self esteem alone as it largely depends on how others see you. This is why to improve your relationship, you must work on improving your partner’s self esteem.
People in a relationship look at their partners to gauge their own self esteem. However, it doesn’t mean that those without a partner do not have self esteem. They do, but it isn’t dependent on their partners.
How to Improve Self Esteem in Relationships
Here are a few things you can do to improve self esteem in relationships:
1. Avoid Fighting, Shaming, or Blaming Each Other
Shaming, criticizing, and blaming is a part of most unhealthy relationships. Persistent criticism can result in people feeling chronic shame.
Some experts believe that ‘shame’ can be beneficial as it helps people improve but if all you feel is shame then you will begin to feel guilty all the time. Such feelings can take a toll on your self esteem and make you feel miserable.
However, there’s a difference between shame and guilt. While they both come from making mistakes, guilt refers to a feeling of understanding your mistake and shame refers to someone making you feel you’ve done wrong.
The former can be good to an extent but the latter can be very bad for your self esteem and mental health.
2. Give Compliments to Each Other
When you compliment your partner, they’d begin to compliment you as well. This can result in a chain reaction. However, for complaints to be beneficial, they must be true.
Fake compliments can be bad for your self esteem and ego. In fact, some reports suggest that fake compliments can make people feel bad as they give the idea that one’s not worthy of a real compliment.
Compliments do not have to be major, you can praise your partner for how they talk, look, dress up, etc. But, again, don’t go overboard with compliments and do not always expect the same in return.
Also, compliments related to general attributes tend to be more beneficial than compliments related to specific accomplishments.
Statements like “Your imagination and creativity is amazing” or “I love how responsible you are” can really do the trick.
3. Accept Your Partner the Way They Are
Do not ask your partner to change, instead appreciate them for who they are. If you do not like a certain quality in your partner, you must make sure to highlight it without making them feel bad about it.
For example, if you do not like your partner’s aesthetic sense, you can go ahead and give suggestions instead of criticizing their decisions or recommendations.
4. Do Not Compete with Each Other
Couples who compete with each other often end up having relationship issues. It is best to join hands together and complete challenges or tasks as a team.
A little bit of competition is okay for as long as it does not make you feel bad about who you are. Also, the competitive spirit should be limited to games.
You should never compete on who’s a better parent, partner, worker, etc. Such behavior can lead to long-term issues in a relationship and also affect your self esteem.
5. Help Each Other Learn More
Grow the habit of inspiring and motivating each other. The more things you learn, the better will be your self esteem.
Learning together will not only bring you two closer but it will also make sure you both are on the same level of self esteem and that there’s no difference between the two of you.
But, remember that you shouldn’t try to outdo each other when it comes to learning a new skill.
Lastly, if you’re teaching something to your partner then make sure to always be positive. Inspire them instead of making them feel bad about not knowing something.
Reminder: Remember Your Self Esteem Depends on What Your Partner Thinks of You
The better your partner feels, the better will be your relationship. People who are genuinely happy tend to have longer and healthier relationships than people who are depressed or low on self esteem.
Put in the effort that you need to uplift your self esteem but make sure to not reach a point where you begin to feel superior to others including your partner as feeling proud or treating others like pariah can be very bad for your relationship.