What affects self-esteem in a relationship is what really matters to us. What affects our self-esteem when someone else makes a judgment on us or on our character? What affects self-esteem when we don’t get a chance to hear what someone else has to say about us? What affects self-esteem when we have the “shoe” of someone else hanging on our every word?
When we are talking about the effects of what affects self-esteem in a relationship, it’s really all about how our early childhood experiences impacted our perceptions of who we are and of what we are capable of. We learn through our childhood experiences that we are loved, that we are wanted, that we are smart and that we are worthy of happiness and success. All of those things are false. They are only the beliefs we grow into adulthood under the constant persuasion of our parents, peers, society and religion. Our childhood experiences shape who we are as individuals, as potentials for greatness and as humans.
It’s important for our self-esteem to recognize that there is no “good enough” self-image – only the self-image we adopt as adults. What affects self-esteem in a relationship with toxic relationships is that toxic relationship poisons our self-image. Think about it – your toxic relationships have you feeling good about yourself, but not enough to be happy and successful. It’s like wearing sandals – you may feel great on the soles, but the bottom of that sandal is raw, dry and hard. Eventually the sandal crumbles to dust and you’re left feeling even worse about yourself.
What affects self-esteem in a relationship with unsupportive parents can be just as devastating as the sandal with the cracked side. Parents can’t help their children more than they help themselves. They can’t infuse their love, enthusiasm and commitment into their kids; they can’t give them a clear vision of what they want for themselves and they can’t encourage or motivate them to get smarter, more ambitious and to set goals and go after what’s important. So, as kids get older, the messages that their parents speak to them about who they are won’t change.
In short, the “mess” that most children have when it comes to their self-image are generally the result of two things: childhood experiences which shape who they are as individuals and the overall self-esteem messages parents send them about who they are. It’s the cumulative effect of many bad childhood experiences that leaves a young person with low self-esteem. In a toxic environment, there is simply no escape from the poisonous self-talk. What affects self-esteem is the extent to which we are willing to cut ourselves loose from those poisonous conversations.
Childhood experiences that shape who we are as people: It seems to follow a logical order that the more negative we were treated as children, the less likely we are to become adults with high self-esteem and the more likely we are to be less attracted to others because we have been cursed in that environment. If you look at the way the world works today, it’s pretty much obvious that the more we are subjected to negativity, the less we like and respect others. We become less willing to put our self-image and our own needs ahead of the needs of others. Therefore, the more we reject someone because they don’t look like us, the more likely we are to get older with low self-esteem and low self-confidence.
The maturity principle also means that if you have been cursed in childhood, you are unlikely to get smarter, more ambitious or more socially responsible as an adult. This is because in a world where acceptance, empathy, forgiveness and kindness are the norm, we are less inclined to pursue new opportunities and set ourselves up for success by actually taking the chance. Instead, we are much more likely to back away, try to stay safe, or use the threat of violence to get someone to change their mind. Therefore, if we want to get older, and become more mature, it is important that we find a way to develop and enhance the ability to treat others with fairness and care. We need to learn to be good role models, we need to learn how to build better relationships within our families and communities.
Self-esteem and general self-image affect two specific domains of functioning. The first domain is how we feel about our own self-image. The second is related to how we feel about our relationships with others. Overall self-esteem and specific domains of social behaviour and motivation are positively correlated with each other, and there is strong evidence that they will remain that way in future research. Therefore, there is a growing body of evidence that indicates that we are shaped by our early social environments.