It's not unusual to feel completely lacking in self-confidence at the end of a relationship, especially if you are not the one who ended it. There is a sense of loss, dreams dashed and an unknown future lies ahead. It's no wonder you become uncertain and fearful. Friends and family telling you to go out and meet people is easily said but not easily done when all you want to do is curl up in a fleece with the TV and a cup of hot chocolate.
Self-esteem is being able to hold a favourable appreciation or opinion of oneself, and when someone isn't getting their essential emotional needs met then they can feel unworthy of care and affection.
Everyone loses confidence in themself now and again and recognising this is the first step in regaining your self-confidence. For some who don't recognise this, their lack of self-confidence can slip into depression. Whether it's at work or at home everyone can benefit from feeling good about themselves and their abilities.
Some signs that someone may have low self-esteem:
- They avoid challenges and opportunities
- They avoid responsibilities
- They are overly dependent on others
- They rely on others to make decisions for them
- They put themselves down
- They isolate themselves
- They are highly emotional, possibly depressed
When you feel good about yourself it's easy to value yourself and regard the world as a great place. It is too simple to imagine that by just telling someone to be positive they will start to feel better about themselves, and it is far from useful to agree with them that all is doom and gloom. We all have choice but someone with low self-esteem may not be able to see anything other than the darkness of no confidence. The trick is to enable someone to take responsibility for themselves.
Some tips for raising self-esteem:
- Appreciate yourself - make time to relax and unwind, give yourself a 'gift'
- Accept that you have limitations
- Stop criticising yourself
- Recognise what you have achieved and are good at
- Pamper yourself
- Focus on good feelings, remember times when you have been happy, relaxed and at peace
- Accept compliments when they're given
- Remind yourself of your good qualities and of times you have been successful
- Try not to think in black and white terms, explore the grey!
- Set yourself realistic goals
- Start an exercise regime
How Relate can help:
A Relate book that can help is Loving Yourself, Loving Another: The Importance of Self-esteem for Successful Relationships by Julia Cole