Relationships suffer when you don’t like you.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Low Self-esteem

Low Self-esteem.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Low self-esteem poisons your other relationships.

In the aftermath of a failed relationship, many people come to counseling. One common theme is that they have low self-esteem. It’s a human tendency to try to use our relationship to boost our self-esteem and self-confidence.

People with low self-esteem are often like a leaky bucket. No matter how much love and affection their family or partner pours into them, they still feel empty. If you feel that something is lacking in your relationships, start by looking at yourself. People who are emotionally unwell tend to attract sick people into their lives.

Recovering people often find that as they become healthier, they develop more self-esteem. When you feel better about yourself, an unhealthy, dysfunctional relationship, will no longer be acceptable. Healthy people tend to attract other healthy people into their lives. Here are some ways that your low self-esteem may be damaging your relationships.

Low self-esteem makes you needy and dependent.

People who don’t feel good about themselves, don’t like or love themselves, are constantly hungry for approval from others. They seek out strong partners or friends to bolster their egos. That strong in control person you were dating can become that insufferable, controlling person. Extremely needy people drive other people away.

You may become pathologically jealous.

If you don’t feel good about yourself, you may doubt why your partner is staying with you. People who believe their mate has lots of options, while if they lose this partner, they are doomed to be alone, can become pathologically jealous.

When you don’t feel good about your self-worth you may begin to spy on your partner, follow them around, and endlessly question their behavior. If you’re becoming jealous ask yourself is this because you see real signs your partner is cheating on you? Or is this fear because you don’t understand why your partner is staying with you?

You become irritable and fight more.

People who don’t feel well, either physically or emotionally, become irritable and try to push others away. If you don’t like yourself, you may begin to doubt your partner. If you think your partner is likely to cheat on you and then leave you there is a risk you will begin to provoke fights, trying to make, the inevitable happened.

You are lonely even when you’re around others.

Loneliness is a powerful emotional complex. It drives people to associate with other people. If when you are alone, you feel frantic to be around others the problem may be that you don’t like yourself. People with low self-esteem don’t lose that lonely feeling even when they are in a crowd. How can you feel happy and connected when you expect others to dislike you, in the same manner, you just like yourself?

You attract negative people.

People with low self-esteem are hard to be around. They tend to drive away emotionally healthy people. When you’re feeling down, depressed, anxious, and unworthy, you become a magnet for other people with low self-esteem. People who are short on self-love are easy prey for narcissists, psychopaths, and other needy people who are out to use them.

Want healthy relationships?

Begin by improving your relationship with you. You feel better about yourself you will begin to view your relationships with others in a more realistic way. If you like yourself, you will begin to demand that others treat you well. Emotionally healthy people cut the harmful, toxic people out of their lives. As you become mentally healthy, feel better about yourself, you will either find your relationships improving or find it easier to let go of the unhealthy relationships in your life.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

David Joel Miller MS is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC.)  Mr. Miller provides supervision for beginning counselors and therapists and teaches at the local college in the Substance Abuse Counseling program.

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Advertisements

17 Ways to Boost Your Self-esteem.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

High self-essteem

Boost your self-confidence.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Common sense ways to increase your self-esteem.

Feeling badly about yourself? If you have low self-esteem this does not need to hold you back. There are many things you can do to crank up your belief that no matter where you have been or what your life has been like, you can move forward and accomplish good things. If “low self-esteem” has been getting in the way of having the life you want, here are seventeen ways to change your thinking and behavior and start creating a life you can be proud of.

1. Stop comparing.

Who you are is not some sort of contest. You do not need to be better than others to feel OK about yourself. One of the fastest routes to improved self-confidence is to accept yourself as you are and stop comparing yourself to others.

Most people have the bad habit of comparing up. You know that you do not look as good as someone on the red carpet. People with only a thousand connections on social media compare themselves to someone with 15,000 connections. More connections do not make you a better person. Life is not a popularity contest.

2. Hang out with confident people.

Hang out with insecure and non-affirming people and you become insecure. Want to be a winner? Hang with the winners. (No comparing now.) Associating with happy people and their happiness will rub off. You become, over time, like the people you hang with.

3. Build on your strengths.

Everyone has strengths. Find the things you are good at. Identify and name those strengths and then emphasizes those things that allow you to make use of your best qualities.

4. Develop your undeveloped strengths.

Some strengths are developed, more or less, and others you still need to discover. Look for strengths and then practice them. Try out new things. You do not need to be great at every new thing you try. Some will not be your cup of coffee. But among those things you try, you may discover the strength that can build you a better life.

5. Study successful people.

Study those people who have overcome adversity and achieved noteworthy things. Read books about those who had great accomplishments. Those people’s journey can inspire you to be the best you can be.

6. Look for “improvement opportunities.”

Reframe every undesired outcome. When you try and do not reach your goal this is a chance to learn more and practice some new skills. No matter where you start out life requires all of us to keep working on our skills and on ourselves.

7. Work with a coach, counselor or mentor.

No one is instinctively perfect. Most “naturals” got to be good by years of practice. Practice alone will not get you there. Not if you keep making the same mistakes over and over until they become automatic. You can’t see your own swing, but a coach can. An outside opinion, counselor or peer can help you find more “improvement opportunities.”

8. Do good stuff.

The more positive things you do the better a person you become. Think of this as moral or karmic exercises. Good people do not become good by doing one great perfect task after a life of awful actions. Little random acts of kindness and positivity nurture a positive person.

9. Make positive self-talk the rule.

Calling yourself names will not make you work harder or build self-esteem. What you tell yourself your mind will try to make come true. Use positive affirmations, what you tell yourself becomes who you are. Remember to tell yourself you can and then go out and see how much you can do today.

10. Get acquainted with your feelings. Call them by their real names.

Feelings are not evil creatures to be banished. You fear is telling you something, so is your irritation. Learn to recognize and listen to what information those feelings are giving you, but do not let their voices drown out your thinking. If you are afraid examine this carefully. Is this really a dangerous situation or are your childlike feelings just needing reassurance that you are in control?

11. Life is about the journey, not the contests you win.

No one wins everything every time.  In life, there will be some second and third places and sometimes you may finish last. Those are not failures. Not being the best at something this time does not mean that you are flawed. Accept that life is about trying on new activities to see which fit you. You do not need to win every game to enjoy playing.

12. Enjoy being a beginner.

One way to cripple yourself self-esteem is to expect to be great at everything the first time. You learn a lot more by being the beginner and mentally observing yourself developing skills.

13. Be proud of your scars.

Victories come with a price. Sometimes that is pain, sometimes you have to fall down and get back up. Love yourself scars and all. You will have life experiences that are painful. You may not want to repeat some experiences but accept that they made you who you are.

14. Work hard at being you. Do not live to fulfill someone else’s dream.

Be sure that the yardstick you use to measure yourself is yours and not someone else’s. Better still toss those yardsticks and stop the measuring. Explore life and get acquainted with you. Live to be you not to fulfill someone else’s ambitions.

15. Stop hiding your mistakes.

Mistakes and imperfections do not diminish your value as a person. Don’t be afraid to look at your shortcomings and to admit them. Especially admit them to yourself. Looking at these less than perfect outcomes can help turn them into improvement opportunities.

16. Remember to love yourself.

You don’t take good care of things you don’t like and you shouldn’t be spending a lot of time with people who dislike you. You will spend the maximum part of your life with you. Make sure you grow to enjoy your company. Mostly that will happen when you stop criticizing you and begin to accept that however you are is perfectly fine.

17. Take good care of yourself, you deserve it.

This one got left for last. It could easily have been first on the list. Others will not treat you any better than you treat yourself. If you want to feel better about yourself start treating yourself better. You deserve to be treated well.

Self-worth is something you should have regardless of what you do. Remember you are a human being, not a human doing. You are more than the list of things you do.

There you have it, some of my suggestions for giving up self-judging and looking at yourself in a more positive way. Try these on and see if you don’t begin to feel just fine about yourself.

Check out the other counselorssoapbox.com posts on Self-esteem.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

9 ways to be your own worst enemy

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Undesirable person

Undesirable person.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

With a friend like that you don’t need enemies.

Do you treat yourself in a way you wouldn’t take from anyone else? Do you Self Sabotage? There are lots of things we do to ourselves that are not very affirming. You should strive to be your own best friend, not your own worst enemy.

Here are some things that you may be doing to yourself that you would never do to a friend and you probably wouldn’t and shouldn’t accept from someone close to you.

Lying to yourself.

Do you lie to yourself? Make excuses for why it is OK to do things that harm yourself? It is easy to let yourself do unhealthy things. We encourage our family and friends to live healthy all the while ignoring our own self-care.

Overdoing and not saying no.

Are you often overworked, overloaded and behind schedule? Do you have trouble saying no to others and take on more than you should? Sometimes we are afraid to say no to others when they ask us to do things. It is easy to keep saying yes and doing more and more until one day you reach the breaking point. Do you stop and draw boundaries or do you work yourself to death?

Not learning anything new.

Are you uninformed? Do you avoid learning anything that might make you more confident and successful? Self-improvement takes time and effort. Do you invest in yourself or are you so unsure of your self-worth that you neglect to develop and sharpen skills?

Taking time for pleasure.

Is it O. K. for you to enjoy yourself? Do you do things that are just for fun? It is not selfish to take good care of yourself. We all need a little pleasure and relaxation from time to time.

Refuse credit or compliments for things well done.

Do you belittle your own accomplishments and fail to give yourself credit for the things you do well. It is easy to notice and praise others when they do something noteworthy but we often feel uncomfortable accepting praise for things well done.

Put yourself down.

If you repeatedly run yourself down and say negative things about yourself you will start believing those statements. Someone who is called fat and stupid by those around them may begin to think of themselves as fat and stupid. Years later after the bullies and tormentors are gone you may still be calling yourself those names and you may believe that this is the way you really are. If you believe something negative about yourself you may create it happening.

Make sure to say good things about yourself. Do you say good things to yourself every day? Do you praise yourself?

Listen to criticism or let it stop you.

People who are sensitive may be hurt by listening to criticism. Learn how to listen to criticism and decide which things to take and which to leave. Learning to self-monitor and change your behavior are valuable skills. Avoiding criticism may be neglecting to use a valuable source of information.

Let others decide for you.

Do you get your sense of self-worth from outside? People who are constantly looking for others approval look helpless and over needy. You wouldn’t like someone that needy and if you do this you won’t like yourself.

Do anything to get people to like you.

Constantly trying to get people to like you can result in your not being true to yourself and becoming someone so fake that even you would not want yourself around. The more you are acting the way you want to be and the way you want to be is the way your beliefs tell you that you should be the more mentally healthy you will be.

Consider all the ways you may be your own worst enemy and decide to stop self-sabotaging and become your own best friend.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.