How Poor Self Esteem Affects Relationships


The following blog, along with previous blogs written, is based on issues from various patients I have worked with over the years. If you wish to no longer receive these blogs, merely e-mail me at, stating “Do not email future blogs” and your name will be deleted from the mailing list.

How often have we seen perfectly competent people at their place of work?  Yet when it comes to personal relationships they are extremely dysfunctional. You must have asked yourself more than once “How could so and so be in such a destructive relation and not get out?” The sad part is that many know they are in a dysfunctional relationship and still don’t get out.

All too often, people in such relationships often believe the problem lies with either the other person or that it’s totally their own fault.  The bottom line is that, on a deeper level, they may not believe they deserve better. This all goes back to their possessing a poor self concept, which leads to poor self esteem.

People with poor self esteem generally don’t feel good enough about themselves and think that they fall short of expecting that good things will happen to them. They end up settling, instead thinking they are worth more than they think.  As a result, they make choices in relationships that ultimately reinforce negative results. If this consistently repeats itself, it reinforces a particular way of relating to the world, particularly in relationships.

Staying in or repeating relationships that go nowhere good is often viewed as better than not being in any relationship.. These people usually begin each new relationship thinking it will be better than the last but it rarely is.  That is because they bring their unchanged self into the relationship which ends with the same results. They rarely understand that getting different results in a relationship has to first begin with changes within themselves.


Begin by becoming aware when you deny or don’t get in touch with your core values and wants in a relationship. It is crucial that you identify those core values and realize that you are worth enough to have those values met.  This is in spite of being programmed to believe otherwise.  This means getting out of the relationship when those core values and wants are not consistently and appropriately met. You must understand that core valves need not be selfish or narsesistic.  They can include being in a relationship that is mutually respectful, emotionally supportive and  affirming and validating of each other.

Once identified, begin to articulate you’re values and wants in a relationship to your partner.  It may feel overwhelming to even think about doing this.  You may feel anxious, wanting to avoid any potential conflict.  You may  feel too insecure to even believe you are entitled to having such wants.  However, no matter how difficult taking that first step is, the price for not being open and honest results in not being true to yourself.  Reluctance  only reinforces you’re feeling badly about yourself.

In order to counteract this negative self concept, you will need to commit yourself to.  embarking on the journey of changing your negative thoughts. A good place to start is by noticing how often you negatively  talk to yourself.  Repetitive negative self talk becomes a matter of rote in your brain,  If you’re constantly engaging in negative self talk, it becomes a way of life,  It, in turn, influences the kind of people you are attracted to.  These kind of people usually reinforce the negative self image you possess. Therefore, you need to counteract those negative messages, You can do this, interestingly,  by not fighting the negative self talk. Merely replace those negative thoughts with positive messages about yourself.  You will need to consistently do this, whether you believe them or not..

You can train yourself to have conscious, positive thoughts that will help take place in your mind  those negative thoughts. The more you practice this, the more you’ll cultivate your confidence. The increased confidence will not only improve your self esteem but also help make better choices in your relationship.


Working on improving your self esteem and its affect in your relationship, does not have an ending.  It is an ongoing process throughout your life. As you work on your self esteem, it is common for your partners to resist your changing. Let this not deter you.  Your primary goal in life is to resolve the struggle between what others try to make you and what you truly are. Let’s hope before you pass on you discover, accept and embrace your authentic self.

Readers are invited to comment, share thoughts, ideas or suggestions about this blog or any other previous blogs. Readers can e-mailing me at or mailing me at lifesourcecenter, 710 Main Street, Plantsville Connecticut, 06479.