This is a byproduct of the anxiety and stress activating the pituitary-adrenal-cortical system, which leads to numerous health issues. It also leads to unhealthy attempts at coping.
During the “friends with benefits” stage at the end of the relationship, as well as my time being single, I found myself struggling to sleep. So I would hop on the Internet and try to find girls to sleep with. I would text any girl who I thought would come over, and when I didn’t succeed, I was only able to sleep after having a few drinks.
Research shows that people who are more concerned with how others evaluate and perceive them tend to do all sorts of unhealthy things. And in spite of doing them, the person is still lead to depression.
I highly doubt you’ll get as sick as I was, but I share these horrible experiences so you don’t have to deal with the pain I suffered, the money I spent, or the thoughts of suicide I had.
The anxiety and fear of not being enough is toxic to our relationships. Most importantly, they are toxic to ourselves. I can’t tell you how many doctors said my problem stemmed from toxicity in my body and severe emotional patterns. I wholeheartedly believe that my low self-esteem and perception of myself lead to my downfall.
What I’ve come to realize is you cannot go out and meet girls with the hopes that this one will make you happy, or that one would be perfect for you. You need to make yourself happy first so you’re coming from a place of non-neediness, not insecurity. Instead, you’re offering value to her versus taking value from her. She should be the same way with you. That’s an authentic and healthy relationship.
We must fill up our own meter
Low-self esteem comes from comparing ourselves and deciding our value. It’s our decision to accept the self-created belief that we are worthless. Not anyone else’s decision. It’s your image in your head that is causing you to compare your real self to your ideal self. You created that.
So what’s the solution?
1.Transform how we measure ourselves from external sources to internal sources.
The benefit is this not only makes you happier, but it improves the quality of your relationships because you’re no longer using your partner. Rather, you’re choosing to be with them consciously. By shifting our source of self-worth from approval to compassion towards others, minor setbacks in a relationship are not alarming because they no longer threaten your sense of self.
This allows you to be vulnerable about what you need, and allows you to create a growth fostering relationship with your partner that encourages both of you to reach self-actualization. To sum it up, it’s beautiful, bro.
2. Develop self-compassion.
People with low self-esteem go Mike Tyson on their own ear. Dreading themselves, causing doubt and even undermining their self-confidence.
I’ve struggled with this for years. This voice stems from our comparison to our ideal self.
As men, it’s weird for us to be compassionate towards ourselves. To love ourselves. I mean, we’re men. We don’t need that kind of fuzzy stuff. If we wanted that, we’d go pet a damn bunny.
As much as I like the concept of manhood, the degrading nature of masculinity causes us to reject parts of ourselves. It wasn’t until I learned to be compassionate with myself that I began to build my self-esteem and feel better.
Self-compassion allows you to nurture your “I’m pathetic” mindset with self-kindness, rather than more harsh judgment. For me, I had to tell myself that many other men struggle with what I struggle with. It gave me a sense of humanity rather than I am an isolated man off to battle the world by myself. 8
When you use self-compassion and experience an event that causes you to harshly judge yourself, you become gentle towards yourself. You recognize that you are not alone. Rather, all people suffer at some point or another. The amazing thing is by developing self-compassion for yourself, you develop self-compassion for other people in your life. As a result your relationships become much deeper and more meaningful.
Before I go, I want to make this very clear – no woman will make you happy if you are first not happy with yourself.
If you want to transform conflict into material to build a stronger and more connected relationship then read Kyle Benson’s conflict blueprints here.
- Murray, S.L., Holmes, J., MacDonald, Ellsworth P., (1998) “Through the Looking Glass Darkly? When Self-Doubts Turn Into Relationship Insecurities. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol.75, No.6, 1459-1480. ↩
- Oh, how ridiculous inhuman fantasies can be. I’ll be writing an article on this soon! ↩
- Crocker, J., & Park, L. E. (2004). The Costly Pursuit of Self-Esteem. Psychological Bulletin, 130(3), 392-414. ↩
- Crocker, J., & Knight, K. M. (2005). Contingencies of Self-Worth. Current Directions In Psychological Science, 14(4), 200-203. ↩
- See Footnote 3 ↩
- Not cool. ↩
- I believe my view of myself within my relationships caused my health issues. See Footnote 3 for research. ↩
- Neff, K. D. (2003). Self-Compassion: An Alternative Conceptualization of a Healthy Attitude Toward Oneself.Self And Identity, 2(2), 85-101. Also check out Dr. Kristin Neff’s Self-Compassion exercises here. They have really helped me and some of my clients. ↩
Written by Kyle Benson
Originally appeared in Kyle Benson
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