Low self-esteem has a tendency to taint all areas of your life.
It affects your work, your mental state, the relationship you have with yourself, and your romances.
However, many people don’t even realize that their issues are caused by a lack of self-confidence, so they become stuck in their ways.
Here are 12 mistakes people with low emotional self-worth make in relationships.
If you recognize yourself, it’s time to do something about it.
1) Ignoring red flags
People with low emotional self-worth look for validation in all the wrong places.
When someone gives them attention, they latch on to them, hoping that this person will finally make them feel better about themselves.
Even if that person is a walking red flag.
The need for validation temporarily overrides objectivity, so they end up with someone who isn’t just wrong for them but downright toxic.
While everyone has at least a few red flags, it’s crucial to stay away from people who:
- Are overly controlling
- Are physically or emotionally abusive
- Have an anger management issue
Additionally, people with poor self-confidence can easily fall prey to love bombing, and they’ll be even more devastated when the relationship inevitably ends.
2) Committing too early
On a similar note, people who don’t truly value themselves are likely to commit to relationships too early.
They invest in unworthy partners because they’re not aware of what they have to offer, so they think that only by having someone around they can prove worthy of love.
Unfortunately, this ends up backfiring: when you commit to the wrong person, the relationship doesn’t make you feel better about yourself.
You can be ecstatic in the honeymoon phase.
But once the rose-colored glasses come off and you understand that your significant other doesn’t fulfill you, you go back to wallowing in self-pity and beat yourself up for not making a better choice.
In other words, your self-worth drops even lower.
3) Ignoring their own needs
People with low emotional self-worth always put their significant other first.
They neglect their own needs, even when their partner specifically inquires about them.
They either do this because they don’t think they deserve to have their needs met or because they’re afraid that coming across as “needy” will have their partner running away.
Whatever the case, not asking for what you want builds resentment, giving the relationship no real shot at surviving long-term.
You’ll wake up one day feeling famished and realize that you’ve been starving yourself for no good reason at all.
4) Hiding their true self
There’s a difference between trying to impress your partner in the early days and hiding who you are.
If you have low emotional self-worth, there’s a good chance you’re guilty of the latter.
You constantly catch yourself playing the part of a person worthy of love.
Because, surely, you yourself don’t deserve to be showered with affection.
The irony is that this behavior will push your partner away.
As humans, we’re naturally drawn to authenticity.
By hiding away bits of yourself, you don’t give your significant other a chance to fall in love will all your perfect imperfections.
5) Avoiding conflict
Do you actively avoid fights and try to keep the peace in the relationship no matter what?
Then you might be suffering from a severe lack of self-confidence.
You’re probably afraid that by offering a different point of view or sticking up for yourself, you’ll scare away your partner.
If they leave you, this would only further cement the idea that you weren’t worthy of them in the first place.
Conflict is inevitable.
If your partner cares about you, trust me: they won’t run away at the first sign of disagreement.
6) Becoming too clingy…
Another mistake people with low emotional self-worth make in relationships is becoming way too clingy.
They forget about their hobbies, interests, and goals.
Instead, they become dependent on their significant other and feel disillusioned when they’re apart.
This can escalate to the point where they feel empty and unfulfilled on their own.
Needless to say, your partner can’t drop everything to be available 24/7.
And they shouldn’t have to.
7) … or too possessive
Just as worse, people who don’t value themselves might become possessive.
They worry that if their partner spends too much time with friends or alone, they’ll eventually begin to think that their relationship isn’t enough.
As a result, they can act jealous, snoop on their partner to make sure they don’t stray, and try to monopolize their sweetie’s attention.
8) Playing the victim
People who struggle with self-esteem might also see themselves as the victim.
Instead of taking responsibility for their circumstances, they shift the blame and act like the universe is against them:
- Bad things always happen to me
- Things can’t possibly get better, so why try?
- No one truly loves me or ever will
This inevitably affects their romantic relationships, causing them to believe that their partner doesn’t actually care about them or wants them to be happy.
Consequently, they’re inclined to sabotage the relationship just to prove themselves right.
9) Putting their partner on a pedestal
When you don’t think highly of yourself, you’re grateful to anyone who gives you the time of day, your significant other included.
Feeling gratitude can morph into idealizing everything about your partner and failing to notice their shortcomings.
They become this perfect being who can do no wrong, so you’re quick to forgive any kind of bad behavior.
Additionally, you’re always the one to sacrifice because you see yourself as “less than.”
Paradoxically, this puts a lot of pressure on your partner as well. They can become scared of failing to meet your unrealistic expectations.
10) Comparing themselves to others
People with low emotional self-worth often compare themselves to others – and fall short.
In romantic relationships, they see themselves as inferior to their partner’s exes or other potential suitors.
Besides causing jealousy, this inferiority complex makes their self-worth plunge even further.
It’s a vicious circle.
11) Settling for good enough
When you don’t value yourself highly, it’s tempting to settle for good enough.
You stay in bad relationships because you doubt you’ll find something better.
You tolerate toxic partners because you don’t think you’re entitled to being with someone who treats you right.
You stop looking for all-consuming, exhilarating, healing love because you don’t believe that you’ll ever find it.
You’re missing out.
12) Believing they need “saving”
Finally, people with low emotional self-worth are often on the lookout for someone to “save” them.
Fix them. Take their pain away. Make them feel whole.
It might be why you make most of the mistakes on the list – because you’re desperate for someone to swoop and turn your life around.
Don’t be a burden. Strive to be a true partner.
The only way you can do that?
By saving yourself.
The good news?
Self-confidence is a muscle. The more you train it, the stronger it grows.
Now that you know what the problem is, you can take steps to improve your emotional self-worth.
Build a better support system, go to therapy, learn to appreciate yourself.
There’s no wrong path to take – unless you do absolutely nothing.