Need Someone To Feel Good About You?
Do you need someone to love to feel good about you? On the surface of this question, your reaction might be to say, of course when I have someone to love I feel better about myself. If you take a little deeper look into the implications of this question, you’ll find the problem of love being used to prop up a less than adequate self-esteem. Let me explain what I mean.
The love someone has for you should never be the source of the love you have for you. Why? Because when you hand over to someone else the responsibility for keeping up your self-esteem you are basing your feelings about yourself on someone else’s emotional whims.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that in many cases the people in your life do a pretty lousy job of being 100% consistent in how they feel about you and each other. Guess what, a lot depends upon how their day is going.
Depending upon what is happening during my day, my mood might be a bit more positive at one point and a bit more negative at another. Given this reality, imagine depending upon how I feel about you to determine how you feel about yourself. Under these conditions, the variation in you can feel hurtful to say the least.
This sort of painful variability in self-esteem takes place all the time in love relationships where two people are depending on each other to keep each other’s self-esteems up. If you are doing this sort of thing in your love life, you’ll be happy and feeling good about yourself when your love partner loves and feels good about you. That’s the good part.
Things get a bit dicey when he or she, for some reason or another, doesn’t like you or loves you less temporarily. The pain is going to come from the dip in your self-esteem when the feedback you are getting about yourself is negative. Now to expect your love relationship to be consistently positive is, let’s face it, a fantasy.
Love relationships naturally have ups and downs. It’s the nature of the beast. If your self-esteem is going to plummet each time your love partner disagrees with you, argues with you, or simply likes you less on a particular day for a highly particular reason that has little or nothing to do with you, you’re in trouble. When your self-esteem is dependent on the emotional status of your love relationship at any particular point in time, not only will it be painful for you as I have illustrated, but you’ll have to consider the unhappiness your love partner will have to deal with as well.
The point is, being in a state of negative self-esteem is no fun for anyone, especially you and your lover. The solution to this love life trouble is to build your self-esteem independently of your love relationships. What this means is, how you feel about you should come from and be replenished by what you do for yourself. If it is coming from how your lover feels about you, you’re setting yourself up for trouble.
Doing healthy things for yourself can be as simple as figuring out what you need and setting up your personal circumstances to get it. It can also involve treating yourself well, and taking care of yourself as a standard part of your everyday life. Figure that, if you tend to your own self-esteem, you won’t need your love partner to do that for you.
When you take care of your own self-esteem it automatically frees up your love relationship for other things with a better chance of making the both of you happy. In the wise words of my old friend Ben, “How you feel about yourself is a private experience that should never be farmed out to anyone else.”
Comments? Welcome. Dr. Tom Jordan