Your partner might not even be aware that their words and actions are having a negative impact on your self-esteem.
There was a time when you knew who you were and you were not afraid to be unapologetically yourself. Relationships are supposed to nurture our self-esteem and make us feel respected and loved. But if your natural confidence has dipped since your relationship started, you have to act quick. Because, after all, nothing or no one is worth losing your self-worth for.
Here are 7 signs that your partner is consciously or unconsciously hampering your self-worth.
You do not need to be prettier, smarter, more skilled and efficient to earn your partner's love. If you find yourself constantly trying to be better than what you are now, it's possible that your relationship has become strenuous and is impacting how you see yourself. Does your partner have an impossible standard of perfection that you just don't fit no matter how much you try? Save yourself the heartbreak and walk away. Love should make your self-acceptance grow, flaws and all. Not make an enemy out of yourself.
This behavior is pretty easy to observe. Is your partner the first person to stand by your side and tell you how well you are managing all the roles you play? Or, are they the first to point out all your mistakes and weaknesses? Every relationship will reach a point where partners get more honest with each other and point out where you need to do better. But if their criticism overrides genuine appreciation, then the relationship is bound to make a dent on your confidence.
This is a classic case of narcissistic behavior. Compliments feel good and boost your self-esteem. But those who like to play mind games often pretend to give you a compliment while they slip in a mean remark under it. Such statements are often followed by "I was just kidding" or "Can't you say thank you?" If your partner's words make you feel less unsure of yourself, take note of it. Don't let them fool you into thinking you are too serious or uptight to take a lighthearted remark.
Facial expressions play a huge role in all forms of communication. Experts state that 70% of all communication is non-verbal. Let's say you had a long day at work and you just need someone to hear you out. Does your partner turn toward you, gives you the attention you need, and expresses genuine concern and regard for your feelings? Or do they raise their brows, or let out a sigh before they ask you what's going on with you? These subtle cues can make you feel unsupported and make you wonder if you are not worth your partner's time or attention.
Let's be honest. Even the most confident and self-assured folks do doubt themselves at times, especially when it comes to their body. While this is natural, a relationship built on respect and love should help you nurture self-love. If at any point your partner's words or actions make you wish you were a different size, shape, color, or form than what you are, this is a red flag. If your partner pushes you to be healthy, great. But if there is a pressure to become "better" than what you are, it could change how you see yourself in the mirror.
How were you before this relationship began? How did you relate with your friends, family, colleagues, and others outside the social circle of your partner? Have you changed how you perceive yourself or how you think people perceive you? Do you find yourself second-guessing your ability to accomplish something at work, which wasn't the case before? If so, your partner's choice of words and appreciation, or the lack of it often plays a huge role in it.
If you identify with more than four of these points, it is time to reassess your relationship. It is possible that your partner is unaware of their actions or how it impacts you. Or it is possible that their own insecurities are being projected onto you and they cannot handle you in all your strengths. Whatever be the case, take some time off for yourself to observe and reflect on the dynamics of your relationship. Nothing or no one is worth losing your self-worth over and love should be nourishing, not draining you of your self-esteem.