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Self image and self esteem are central for a happy and healthy life; after all, why would you want to take care of yourself if you don’t believe you are worthy or deserving of the effort to do so?

A negative self image and low self esteem don’t just hurt us but they also hurt people who are close to us. If you are in love, or if someone is in love with you, and you currently suffer from low self esteem, you are probably causing someone else to share your pain. The best thing you can do for your partner is to work on loving yourself, because only after you love yourself can you truly love someone else. Low self esteem causes insecurity. Insecurity can bring with it relationship issues. 

When insecurity is rampant in your world, you are constantly seeking love, attention, reassurance and other self serving actions. We all need love and occasional reassurance from others, especially those we share intimate relationships with, but when we can’t love ourselves, we often have unrealistic expectations for the people we love.

We expect them to provide us with everything: comfort, happiness, attention, love, and affection, and while all of these things should be provided by someone we love, we should not expect them these things from them all the time. Being incomplete and unhappy with ourselves places an unfair burden on another person; as we seek to fill the void within ourselves, our insecurities can rob our relationships of their magic.

When low self esteem is an issue in our relationship, it can cause us to reject the love and affection that others give us. In a strange dichotomy, we expect them to provide us with the love and affection that we don’t feel comfortable giving to ourselves, but because we don’t feel we are worthy of love and affection, we will often reject what our partner gives us. We can become paranoid, angry, or even saddened by the attention that someone else gives us, which in turn will make others less likely to give us the attention that we crave.
Overwhelming insecurity and low self esteem can cause us to fear the connection with others.

Because we believe that we are deserving of love and affection, we often imagine thoughts like: they don’t love us, they are being unfaithful or that they lie about things. By holding onto doubts about ourselves and who we are, we begin to doubt those around us, and that includes the people we love.

When our affection and attraction for another person are built only on the way they treat us and make us feel, it makes it hard to love them unconditionally and truly appreciate them for who they are. Low self esteem often causes us to project an image of who we think we should be with onto the person we are with; we often unknowingly project high or low expectations onto them.

When we fall in love with the idea of someone, we neglect loving the actual person. In the ultimate trick of love, we can fall in love with someone we have never even truly seen and block any chance of a true connection. Can you think of someone who turned out to be completely different than whom and what you thought they were?

Nkosingphile Ntshalintshali

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