15 Make-Or-Break Ways Your Self-Esteem Affects Your Relationship

Here's the damage.

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When you're in a long-term relationship, it's easy to have low self-esteem. After all, it's probably been some time since you've gotten all gussied up for the sake of attracting the opposite sex.

But did you know that when you have low self-esteem, you can actually harm your relationship?

Fortunately, the converse is true as well, because self-confidence can enable your relationship to thrive.

Here are 15 make-or-break ways your self-esteem affects your relationship.

1. Low self-confidence limits you.

If your self-confidence is too low, you will be unable to ask for what you want or set limits on what you don't want.


2. But confidence is empowering.

Becoming self-confident allows you to be assertive, ask for what you want, and set limits on what you don't want. That includes asking for a commitment if that's what you're after.

3. Low self-esteem can stress you out.

When your self-esteem is not high enough, you'll be too anxious to please, and you'll hide your own thoughts and feelings to avoid disagreements. Your partner may not know who you really are, and, as a result, you'll be unable to resolve interpersonal conflicts.

4. But high self-esteem equals self-expression.

With healthy self-esteem, you can express your own thoughts and feelings, and feel free to reveal who you really are. You will be able to tolerate differences and agree to disagree.


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5. Low self-esteem is self-destructive.

Without self-esteem, you lack the belief that you deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. You will tolerate hurtful behavior from others too often and for too long.

6. Being confident in yourself means self-respect.

With self-esteem comes self-respect, where you feel you deserve to be treated respectfully and considerately. You will then find it easier to treat others with respect as well.

7. Low self-confidence is unattractive.

With low self-confidence, you might be projecting neediness and desperation. That is certainly not attractive.


8. But feeling confident is attractive to others, including your partner.

When you project self-confidence, you are attractive. Your partner finds you all the more alluring and may want to make a definite commitment, realizing how attractive you are to others as well.

9. Low self-esteem involves fear.

Without enough self-esteem, you will be afraid to trust or show your vulnerability. Too much self-protectiveness limits the extent and depth of intimacy you can have with your partner.

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10. High confidence includes self-acceptance.

With healthy self-esteem, you can accept both your strengths and your weaknesses. You can feel all right about being less than perfect and unafraid to show vulnerability.


That kind of authenticity can deepen your intimate connection with your partner.

11. You feel whatever you focus on.

If you focus on what an amazing woman you are, that's exactly how you'll feel. The opposite of that is true as well.

If you need a little shot of confidence and self-esteem, just close your eyes and remember a time you felt confident, and allow yourself to remember and feel all the details of that time.

12. Your beliefs determine your state.

What story have you been telling yourself about why you are or are not feeling confident? What would you have to believe in order to tell yourself those things? What would happen if you began telling yourself the truth? What will it cost you if you don't stop lying to yourself?


13. Low confidence results in misunderstandings.

It's important in any relationship to be able to express what you need. Maybe it's a desire to cuddle or to have some alone time at the end of the day to decompress.

If you don't share those needs because you're afraid of your partner's response, you'll become increasingly frustrated and he'll just feel hurt or confused.

14. More confidence means less drama.

Have you ever heard a guy complain about his girl being too "low-maintenance"? Chances are, it's just the opposite.

When you feel secure about who you are and what you have to offer, your man doesn't have to walk on eggshells and your relationship becomes a drama-free zone.


15. More confidence equals more fun.

The better you feel about yourself, the less you'll worry about what others think of you. You can relax and enjoy yourself and that kind of authenticity and lightness of spirit is irresistible.

Let it shine through in silly, midday texts to your guy, surprise weekend plans, and playful antics in the bedroom.

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Deborah Roth is a career/life transition coach, relationship coach, and interfaith minister with over 35 years of experience coaching, training, and speaking.

Nancy Philpott, R.N., is an emotional health coach, hypnotherapist, the CTO for the HeartSyncWellness Center, and Founder of the Compassionate Care Project.

Shirley McNeal has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon. Since retiring as a psychologist, she is now a life coach and hypnotherapist.