Your self Image and how it Affects your Relationships

Your self image is your picture of yourself – including your self esteem – your body self image – overall what you think you are worth as a person. It is obvious that your self image is going to have a major effect on your relationships because it is a very important part of who you are as a person.

Having a poor or low self image can cause alot of problems in a relationship. If we cannot value ourselves, then others are likely to jump on the bandwagon and not value us as highly as we deserve. This may result in the person being treated unfairly , being ‘walked all over’, because they don’t think they have the right for fair treatment – which of course they do.

Also those with a poor self image tend to be shy and introverted when it comes to making contact with others. They feel that it is unlikely that someone will want to have a relationship with them – they feel they are too boring or unattractive etc. This can become a self-fulfilling prophecy because if you have difficulty in forming relationships – you may well blame some unchangeable aspect of yourself for this and thus your self-image will become even worse.

Our self image is hurt when we are rejected or someone is chosen over us – or maybe we are betrayed. How difficult is it to pick up the pieces once you have had such a blow to your ego? The answer is, it takes time to heal, and you can start again, at the point that your self image recovers sufficiently for you to have renewed optimism about yourself and your prospects.

So, a healthy self image is very important in both forming and maintaining relationships. Those with a poor self image can tend to be very oversensitive to criticism – which will occur in a partnership at some point, let’s be honest. This oversensitivity can be damaging because the other partner then doesn’t really feel free to talk about their frustration with some aspect of the oversensitive person’s behaviour.

A relationship must involve give and take, so it is clear that we must be able to take as well as give. It is not easy to take anything from another person – gifts, advice, even love, if you don’t feel you are worth those things. It is good to feel that someone wants to take something you have because it makes you feel what you have is worth taking! So a major aspect of a relationship may not be there if you don’t think you are worth what the other partner has to give.

So we need a healthy self image in order to enjoy a healthy relationship. How do you get a healthy self image – from healthy relationships! It’s another self fulfilling prophecy isn’t it?

As a starting point maybe we can try the mantra, ‘I am glad to be me’, and hope that the rest of the world catches on as soon as possible.