Most of us are familiar with the concept that in order to feel good about someone else, we must first feel good about ourselves. Poor self esteem leads to feeling as though no one could possibly like you, or find you attractive, or think you’re worthwhile. Yes, there’s a close correlation between self confidence and feeling as though you could be attractive to someone else.
As a therapist, I’ve witnessed patients who are sad and bewildered, wondering why they are still un-wed, or why they go without dates. These people knew that they were as attractive, intelligent, and responsible as the people around them who seemed to be enjoying relationships and family lives. It wouldn’t take long for them to admit that they had always lacked self confidence, or labeled themselves as a “poor catch.”
I would often hear them say, “What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t anyone want to date me?” Interestingly, at an everyday conscious level, they’d admit to having some wonderful characteristics. These comments would be noted while whining about how badly they felt. They just knew they’d NEVER find anyone.
There is an interesting occurrence in this dynamic. While this person feels so badly about him or herself, it is true that they really don’t feel good about others either. Although they initially mention all the great traits of their friends or acquaintances, they soon start to mention more and more negative characteristics. Dating prospects are all tainted with one bad characteristic or another. Their own negative feelings get “transferred” onto the other person.
How to change this?
- Take a self assessment and be as honest as you can be. Decide whether you have low self esteem and poor self confidence.
- Think about why this is so. Do a bit of self analysis. Ask, “How did this happen to me?”
- Read some books and articles on how to raise self esteem and self confidence.
- Have some conversations with yourself about your good traits and the fallacy of your reasoning.
- If all of this fails to budge your low self esteem, talk with a psychologist. Book some sessions to assess your issues. Psychotherapy is the treatment for this kind of thinking.
As your feelings about yourself grow more and more positive, there will be a growth in self confidence that allows for the addition of someone else in your life.
Mayo Clinic article: Self-esteem check
Reinventing Your Life: The Breakthough — Program to End Negative Behavior…and Feel Great Again [Paperback] by Jeffrey E. Young (Author), Janet S. Klosko (Author), Aaron T. Beck (Foreword)