low self-esteem in a relationship symptoms

21 Odd Signs Of Low Self-Esteem In A Relationship

Ever hated yourself so much…?

That sometimes, you feel so ugly and inferior

I mean, you despise yourself so badly. And the worse part is, you don’t even know how to stop it.

Ever felt… worthless, unworthy of love, like a failure, and depressed?

Perhaps, you hate your looks or/and body, too.

You’re tired of trying to prove to people that you’re beautiful and sexy.

And now, you feel something is wrong with you…

Because not only is your life falling apart, but it’s also affecting your romantic relationships

Because you’re always showing your insecurities and pushing men away

I understand how that feels because I used to struggle with low self-esteem.

The bad stuff is easier to believe, right?

It’s not your fault. In this article you would find out the root cause of low self-esteem

If you are ready, let’s dive in.

21 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem In A Relationship

1. Negative Body Image

Low Self-Esteem In A Relationship

Ever hated yourself because you’re fat?

Or you feel others have gorgeous bodies, and you don’t.

Or you’ve got stretch marks all over your legs, boobs, and hip?

Sometimes, you just wish you had perfect skin or body.

Well, having a negative body image is a tell-tale sign of low self-esteem.

And you’re going to project that unto your partner and relationship.

This is the sole reason the beauty and make-up industry is a multi-billion dollar.

Studies say, almost 70% of women are ready to take pills to attain ideal body weight.

2. Attention Seeker

One of the signs you have low self-esteem in a relationship is when you constantly seek attention.

It’s like a void or a black hole inside you that you need to fill.

If this is you, you will do anything unhealthy to get attention.

For example:

You’ll create drama to get attention.

You’ll keep texting your partner –even when you know they’re busy…

And when they don’t text you back, you will get offended.

Or, you’ll make them feel bad about themselves for not spending time with you.

And pretend your feelings are hurt, just to get attention.

Instead of creating good memories, you’ll constantly create drama.

Trust me; none of these behaviors are healthy.

3. Self-Deprecating Internal Dialogue

How do you respond when people make remarks about you or your work?

Do you always scold yourself when you make mistakes or call yourself names?

Are you always rationalizing how bad things would go?

Or you tend to focus more on your weaknesses rather than your strength?

If yes, negative self-talk is a damaging sign of low self-esteem.

If you’re in a relationship, for example, and you constantly think about how your boyfriend might leave you for someone else because you believe you’re not beautiful or good enough…

Then, you’re sure suffering from low self-esteem.

Your negative self-talk will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

4. Lying

You probably haven’t thought about this,

But lying to yourself (and others) and living in self-denial is a result of self-hatred, which has its root in low self-esteem.

I mean, what else would make anyone lie?

It is reasonable to assume that if you dislike yourself, you would lie to become what society or your partner expects you to be.

Constantly fabricating lies also means you’re trying to protect other people from the horrible part of you you’re ashamed of.

This can make you become desperate for approval or get you into people pleasing mood.

Neither of them is good.

5. Afraid To Set Boundaries

For me, boundaries are the first rule in the playbook of love.

They communicate your standards and what you’re willing to tolerate.

They set the tone for how your partner treats and perceive you

Sadly, women with low self-esteem are too afraid to lose their partner…because they believe they might not find someone else.

So, they’ll accept all manner of ill-treatments and destructive behaviors from their partner…that are far from ideal.

If you fear telling your partner how best to treat you, my friend, you have low self-esteem.

6. Putting Forth More Effort Than Required

Okay, I’ll be honest with you…

I used to be guilty of this myself.

Naturally, I’m a very positive and enthusiastic guy.

I always want things to work out…doesn’t matter whatever I’m involved in…Business, relationship, whatever!

So, I have this tendency to want to do more just to make everyone satisfied and happy.

I’d go the extra mile…Work as a volunteer…Believe the best about people and give them the benefit of the doubt…Be the first to show affection and all.

But along the line, I realized there’s just a tiny line between doing more than my fair share of what’s required and people-pleasing.

More often than not, I always cross this line.

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t believe the best about your partner or put more effort to make your relationship work.

But you have to understand that…

The tendency to always go above is a surefire sign you are trying to please people.

Especially when your partner isn’t invested as much as he should

A one-sided relationship will never last.

7. Constantly Doubting Yourself

how to fix low self-esteem in a relationship

Ever said any of these…

Or something similar to your partner?

“I hoped that this weekend we might be able to go on a date. Unless you decide not to, or have no time.”

“I was wondering you could spend some quality-time with me today if that’s okay. If not, no problem. I can stay home all by myself.”

Acting like every idea you have isn’t important unless it’s what your partner want is a sign you have low self-worth in a relationship.

8. Obsessing About Your Looks

I once met a girl who felt so ugly that she had to doll up to feel good about herself constantly.

Even if she’s going to her neighbor’s house across the road, she has to make herself up.

She was so obsessed with her appearance.

You see, if you only let people see you when you look like a beauty queen, you might have low self-esteem…

You are literally telling yourself that you only have self-worth when you look a specific way,

If you worry that other people won’t appreciate you unless you’re at your most beautiful state.

9. Over Sensitivity

Oversensitive is one of the signs of low self-esteem.

I mean, people with low self-esteem can make small comments like…

“Oh no, he hates my cooking. He never appreciates anything I do for him.” And stuff like that.

It’s critical that you learn to desensitize yourself if you have a tendency to lose your temper easily or feel demoralized by remarks made about you.

10. Feeling Worthless

Sure, at some points, we doubt our abilities in certain areas of life.

However, a deep-rooted sense of worthlessness comes from believing that somehow, we aren’t as valuable as others.

If you constantly downplay your gifts, talents, and uniqueness, that’s a sure-fire sign you have low self-esteem.

Take this from me…

It’s extremely hard for someone who believes they’re worthless to accomplish anything significant in life – including a meaningful relationship.

11. Perfectionism

No doubt, it’s a good thing to have high standards.


Not to the point where you’re constantly tearing yourself down all in the name of tough love.

You may think that by being your own worst critic, you could probably motivate yourself to get better.

But in reality, all you’ll end up doing –especially in the long run – is making yourself feel like a shit…and start viewing yourself as shit, too.

One of the most damaging symptoms of low self-esteem is the need to constantly be perfect.

If you’re a perfectionist, you experience constant worry and anxiety… Because you never feel like your accomplishments—no matter how great or impressive—are enough.

That alone can ruin any romantic relationship because you’ll project those behaviors unto your partner.

Thereby making them feel they aren’t good enough for you.

Trust me; nobody wants that.

12. Always Asking For Permission

As I previously mentioned, Low self-esteem usually masks itself in humility.

There’s nothing wrong with conversation starters like…

“Is it okay if I…?” “Do you mind if I…?”

Sure, those can be healthy conversation starters…


When you ALWAYS ask for permission for everything,


Permission to visit your family, hang out with friends, do fun stuff,

Then, you’re either in a controlling relationship or seeking validation or approval because of low self-esteem.

Living a life you love shouldn’t be such an inconvenience to your partner that you always feel the need to ask for permission to live it.

13. Being Clingy Or Needy

Ever said any of these…

“I don’t want to lose him. Because if I do, I won’t be able to find someone else.”


“I have never felt such strong chemistry and intense attraction for any man in my life…And if I lose him, no man will ever make me feel this way.”

You ignore red flags and everything when he does things you disapprove of because you’re scared of being alone.

People with low self-esteem and deep insecurities feel undeserving and unworthy of love,

And as such, they’ll do everything to hold on to a guy –even when he isn’t treating them right.

These people are so scared of being alone. They only feel good about themselves when they’re with someone.

That’s an identity problem.

14. Rejecting Compliments

You probably aren’t aware of this…

Most women don’t feel comfortable receiving compliments from men…

Even when it’s genuine

Sure, they’re men who flatter women.


Frequently rejecting compliments instead of just saying “thank you” can mean you don’t believe those things are true about yourself.

Yeah, you could be humble, but know that rejecting compliments is another example of negative self-esteem.

One investigation conducted in 2017 and reported in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that…

The inability to receive or benefit from others’ compliments is strongly tied to having low self-esteem.

15. You Avoid Self-Expression

How often do you speak up when you’re offended..?

I mean, not to explode with an outburst of rage or something…

But to bring your partner’s attention to something done to you that really hurt you.

If you always wave things off or make excuses for people because you’re afraid of confronting them, you’ll become mad at yourself for taking shit…

That might be a sign of low self-esteem.

16. You Compare Yourself With Others

You’ve been there, right?

I mean, we all play the comparison game sometimes.

Nowadays, it’s easy to see photos of cute couples on Facebook, Instagram, and all…

And be tempted to want to be like them.

You see the highlight reels. You’re like…

“OMG! They look so great together. I love what she’s wearing. I want to have that, too.”

Or something to the effect of…

“My boyfriend never buys me stuff… Or take me out often. Look at how Mr. X is treating his girlfriend on social media.”


“Aww…they’re so much in love. I wonder if my boyfriend loves me that much.”

Social comparison can sometimes help enhance your sense of self.

However, it can also play a role in damaging your self-esteem or exposing your low self-esteem.


Comparing yourself (or your relationship) to people you think are better than you on social media can leave you feeling inadequate or hopeless.

It makes you believe there’s something you’re missing out there…

Or that the grass is greener on the other side, more often than not, isn’t true.

17. Cheating

Why do people cheat in a relationship?

Of course, it happens for a lot of reasons…

But, it’s usually tied to low self-esteem as a means of self-sabotage.

I’ve discovered that people who feel unlovable or worthless find many ways to destroy potentially serious relationship…

And one way is by cheating.

Cheating is a sysmtoms of low self-esteem

Because they believe they aren’t enough,

Cheating is also a way to make someone with low self-esteem feel better about themselves by padding their ego with successful pursuits.

The more people they sleep with, the more they feel good about themselves.

Some even brag about it.

18. Losing Your Interests

I can’t say this enough…

One major self-esteem problem I’ve seen is people letting their relationship define them.

This is far too common –with women.

When you have low self-esteem, you let your partner or relationship define who you are.

And when this happens, the first things that you tend to lose are your interest.

All of a sudden, because you’re in love,

You stop hanging out with your friends.

You stop hitting the gym as you used to.

You often cancel your plans because you think there’s a chance you’ll get a call from him.

You say “yes” to his entire request just to please him.

And so on…

19. You’re A Drama Queen

Be honest with me…

Are you a drama queen who always loves to stir things up?

Are you quick to get caught up in emotions and upset?

I mean, the only time you feel good about yourself is when you get attention by starting a fight,

Or finding problems where there are none.

If that’s you, then just know that low self-esteem is what is making you to create necessary trouble.

Trust me; you want to be your man’s peace…not his nightmare.

 20. Co-dependence

On the surface, this looks like deep love – and connection.

Something like:

“We can’t do or live without each other kind of love.”

But it isn’t.

Co-dependence often happens when both parties have low self-esteem.

You depend too much on your partner or on each other.

This can look like never going anywhere without each other or feeling unable to live without each other.

However, people with healthy self-esteem maintain their identities and live independent lives.

21. Falling Head Over Heels, Too Fast

First off,

I want you to understand that I don’t believe in “love at first sight.”

But sure, I have met quite several girls I got attracted to on our first date.


Not to the point where I started declaring my undying love, imagining our wedding, naming our unborn kids in my head, or fantasizing about our new home.

Come on!

If you met a guy, and within a couple of weeks, you’re already future pacing your lives together…

Dreaming about how you can’t wait to spend the rest of your life with him might signify you have low self-esteem.

Remember, you don’t even know this person well enough yet.

So, if you’ve been wanting to know how does a woman with low self-esteem act in a relationship?

Or low self-esteem sabotaging relationships; there you have it.

How To Build Self-Esteem (How To Grow Confidence)

Here are some strategies that might help:

1. Identify The Root Cause

signs of low self-esteem in a woman

There’s always an underlying cause for every behavior.

As Jim Kwik rightly puts it, “all behavior is belief driven.”

I agree with him.

You see,

What you believe about yourself becomes your experience.

And what you believe about your experiences drives your behavior. And your behaviors shape your experience. Vice versa

It becomes a perpetual cycle.

Guess what?

If you believe you aren’t good enough, you’ll act it out in your behavior…sooner or later.

Hence, belief is the autopilot of your life.

Your behaviors are simply the echoes of your belief system…which ultimately shape your experience.


In order words,

You’ll keep repeating your negative experiences until you change your underlying beliefs about them.

We are powerless to change anything for which we refuse to accept responsibility.

So, here’s what you need to do subsequently…

It would help if you become more aware of how your beliefs affect your behavior.

I suggest you get REAL with yourself about what’s making you feel less of yourself.

2. Switch Up Your Internal Dialogue

How do you do that?


What you say about yourself (self-critic) fuels self-hatred.

So, what you want to do is to silence the pessimistic voice inside your head.

That’s why I said you must improve your awareness.

Whenever you catch yourself using self-demeaning words, try to consciously make yourself repeat a positive response for every negative thought you have.

It’ll take some time to get good at this, but it’s worth it.

Come to think of it,

Why be your worst critic when you can be your own best friend?

3. Always Forgive Yourself For Your Mistakes.

Why are you always hard on yourself?

How come you never see anything good in yourself?

You always blow your (little) mistakes beyond proportion.

We all have flaws. We all make dumb mistakes. Even the best of us do.

So, no one is ever all good or all bad.

Making a mistake your regret doesn’t make you an awful person. Likewise, doing something good doesn’t make you a saint.

Once you realize that making (dumb) mistakes is part of the human experience, how you see your mistakes will change.


Promise yourself that you will forgive and allow yourself to be beautifully human.

4. Set Realistic Expectations For Yourself

The thought of always wanting things to go as you plan is ridiculous.

Haven’t you realized that in most cases, life doesn’t go as you planned?

Then you have to learn to adjust your sail constantly.

Consider how reasonable and manageable your goals are

Always remember that no plan ever goes according to plan

5. Failing Doesn’t Make You A Failure

The biggest mistake I see most people make is that…

“They don’t know the difference between failing as an event and failure as a person.”

Let me explain:

Failing at something you do is an event. But when you take your identity from failing, that’s what makes you a failure.

Here’s what separates people who see failure as an event and those who see themselves as a failure:

“It is their perspective of and response to failure.”

My thoughts on failure:

Failure doesn’t harm you. Instead, it arms you with life’s lessons

See failure as a feedback

Treat failure as a friend, not as a foe

Understand that failure isn’t final, and neither is it fatal.

Know that failure is an external result, not an internal reality. Hence, never internalize your flaws, flops, fouls, falls, or faults.

Failure is a teacher, not a threat.

6. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

Perfectionism is a myth.

The earlier this realization hits you, the better for your self-esteem.

Perfectionists tend to nitpick at the small stuff instead of focusing on the big picture.

Your life will only improve when you choose to enjoy your journey…rather than allowing fear of failure to stifle your sense of self-value.

That said,

 Here’s what you can do if you’re struggling with negative body image…

7. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

People who constantly compare themselves with others never give themselves credit for their accomplishments.

Indeed, comparison is a thief of joy and happiness.

If you want to improve your self-esteem, you’ve to understand that everyone is different…

With areas of strengths and weaknesses, too

Yea! Including your favorite celebrities

The challenge is focusing more on your weakness (es) or what you believe is a disadvantage.

And the bad part is…

Whatever you focus on magnifies.

The more you look at your weaknesses, the less you pay attention to your areas of strengths.

And before you know it, you become depressed.

Because you become more of whatever you give your attention to.

Instead, you want to focus on those little things you’re good at and amplify them.

Nelson Whetat is a dating coach who is fascinated by human psychology and passionate about helping single women understand men, increase their desirability and attractiveness so they can get their dream man. He’s also a marketer and direct response copywriter who enjoys crafting attention grabbing and emotional compelling content and stories to sell digital products

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