Issue #12: Self-sabotage

Over the next few weeks, I am looking at common thoughts that people with low self-esteem have, found within this Buzzfeed article, and how we can possibly address them. For the full list, click here.


Unfortunately this one sounds familiar!! Having low self-esteem can lead to sabotaging your own good fortune, including relationships with family, friends and partners.

A common action to take is to display somewhat mean or distant behaviour and push a loved one to ‘test their commitment’. Will they stay with you despite these actions? You are perhaps convinced they will leave you eventually anyway, so you might as well deal with the loss now rather than getting closer and the situation hurting even more. Unfortunately often this does end up pushing people away and you could end up with a lot of regret from these losses.

Deep down, perhaps you don’t truly believe you deserve love and you may also feel a need to stay in control of a relationship and how it affects you.

So what can you do to stop yourself pushing people away? There are plenty of websites out there with advice and these suggestions are my own thoughts, including things that have helped me.

  • Everyday (or every 2 days, every week if this is what you can manage), note something good about what you bring to your relationships. Be specific – for example, if you made your friend laugh, or if you did something kind for your partner. Read this list whenever you feel like you don’t deserve a particular relationship – it should show you that you bring a lot of good to people!
  • Don’t expect perfection – every relationship will have its challenges and sometimes you might cause the problems. This doesn’t mean the relationship is bad as a whole and it certainly doesn’t make you a bad person. Learn from mistakes, accept that life cannot be perfect and neither can you.
  • Talk to people – if you can, talk to your loved ones about your feelings. Admit to them that you feel down about yourself and are acting differently because of this. It will help them to understand why you might push them away sometimes, and it will help you because talking your problems out always does…

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