The health and vitality and the level of emotional reward felt from our relationships a lot of times can be based upon the level of esteem or respect a person has for themselves. A person’s self-esteem can affect not only the harmony or health of a relationship but also the types of people a person would choose to relate to.
Trusting your Instincts
The dynamic of person-to-person relationships often times is a result of instinctual reactions a person may have about someone, the level of trust in that instinctual reaction and the behavior that results from that reaction.
The factor of poor or low self-esteem can cause a person who has an instinct to stay away from certain types of people because of a felt sense of a potential imbalance in a relationship or not being able to meet the expectations of the other person to undercut their natural instincts and engage in a relationship that is based on catering to another person’s needs or desires in order to maintain a false sense of peace.
Poor self-esteem can also affect the relationships a person already has because a person with low self-esteem may not feel comfortable asking for unmet needs to be fulfilled or feel deserving of being treated with respect or affection coming from a genuine place by the other person.
If you are in a relationship where you are having to fight and battle yourself to voice your wishes and concerns or restrain yourself from lashing out, it is possible that your self-esteem is not healthy enough to enable you to have the trust in yourself to act on your instincts for a healthier form of communication and well-being in your relationships.
If you do suffer from poor or low self-esteem or lack courage in acting on your instincts for a healthier relationship with whomever, there are a number of ways to build the internal fortitude to foster healthy relationships.
In a blog entry on the website, Strengthofus.org, titled, What Can I Do to Raise My Self-Esteem, one of the suggestions listed to improve self-esteem is to listen to what your body, mind, and heart are telling you. As some therapists say, ‘learn to trust the process’ or learn to trust the genuine impulses of yourself. If your impulses seem too powerful or too intense, this could be because your unmet needs have kind of ‘piled’ up on top of one another and they are trying to get met all at once. If this is the case, you may have to catch yourself and pause until you are able to gain composure and then proceed in a productive and responsible manner.
Treat Yourself Well
The same blog entry also mentioned to ‘treat yourself as your own best friend’. Looking at yourself in the third person is oftentimes a behavior of diva-like celebrities, but in this case it actually does do a lot of good to respond in kind and attentively to your own needs and responsibly to your wants. Like the saying goes, ‘You can’t be anygood to anyone else, if your no good yourself.’
It’s a misunderstanding of the Golden Rule if you treat people well for the sole reason of treating you well in return so that you feel secure. The more secure and reliable way to ensure that you and your relationships are harmonic and healthy is to treat yourself well and allow the wellness and warmth that you genuinely have for yourself to naturally flow to other people.
Engaging others from a place of genuine and secure respect and esteem for yourself from withing yourself lowers the chances that you will give to others and resent them for not giving back in the way you wanted and the chances that you will be a part of a predatory relationship because you will have been honest and open about your wishes and intentions with the other person.
If you don’t feel that you are acting on your own behalf enough, don’t fret. Listening to yourself and responding as close to the moment that you are triggered to act as you responsibly can will help. The change in behavior may seem difficult at first, especially if you are set in a pattern of defering your wishes to those of others, so start with small things, but try and be as consistent as you can be. Over time your attentiveness and courage will grow until you and your relationships will reach a satisfying and deserved level of respect and care.
If you are interested in learning more about self-esteem, you may be encouraged by a new workshop The Human Potential Center is offering.
Bob McGarey is offering a workshop called, Building Sound Self-Esteem, that will offer illuminating information about self-esteem gained from Bob’s decades of experience dealing with matters of human development and growth.
More information about the workshop can be learned by either visiting the website of The Human Potential Center at http://www.humanpotentialcenter.org/Calendars/April12Descriptions.html#BuildingSoundSelfEsteem25 or by calling The Human Potential Center at 512-441-8988.