You can't have too much self-esteem. It's like saying there's too much glitter in a hologram nail polish or too much pizza at a pizza party. Not possible. So ways to improve self-esteem while you're in a relationship are just sprinkles on the icing on the cake. Because relationships are healthiest when everyone involved has all the self-esteem they can get. Lucky for you, being in a relationship with someone you care about is the perfect setting for a mutual love and self-love explosion. There are literally more opportunities to improve each other's self-esteem in a day than you will be able to take advantage of. And when you're not spouting rainbows and hearts at each other, you can be basking in the glory of having them spouted at you. Because you are a beautiful land mermaid and you deserve it.
When I worked as both a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate and Planned Parenthood Certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, I got to witness the magic that self-esteem worked on excellent as well as broken relationships. And that's not all hyperbole. It's truly almost like magic. When people have more self-confidence and self-esteem, they blossom. They like life more, they command more respect for themselves, they make better choices, and they demand better for themselves. When you and your partner are both going through this together, you'll unlock the true potential of your relationship and the endless possibilities of your lives together. Or, at least, it will feel that way. Self-esteem is powerful stuff.
Here are 11 surprisingly easy, little things you can do daily to improve each other's self-esteem. Go get it, you awesome cheerleaders in love.
1. Express Your Appreciation At Everything
I'm sure you're the type of person who has manners and says "thank you" whenever your partner does something nice for you. But do you really? When this question was first posed to me, I was like "of course I always say "thank you" what kind of person do you think I am? Then I paid attention, and really there were a bunch of things my partner did for me throughout the day that I didn't acknowledge. Make it a point for both of you to show your appreciation as often as you can, and it will help you both feel valued, useful, important, happy, and loved. All those things do wonders for the self-esteem
2. Dole Out The Compliments Like It's Your Job
You know those annoying couples who are all "I love you more" and "no, I love you more" and "you're the best" and "no you're the best!" Well you should add a little but more of that in your life. Just randomly tell your partner how amazing, smart, sexy, funny, talented, good at math, and nice to animals they are. There are so many opportunities to compliment each other throughout the day that you might even become sick of how cute your own love story is. Just kidding. But seriously, never underestimate the boost a simple compliment can give someone.
3. Get A Little Self-Centered
When your partner does something nice for you, like holding a door open or waking you up with fresh coffee, do you think "aw, they're so sweet!" Probably. Unless you really hate being woken up, in which case, your thoughts might center around murder more than gratitude. Anyway, instead of thinking of everything our partner does for you as a reflection of their awesomeness, think of it also as an expression of yours. So instead of thinking "They're so sweet!" you think, "They're so sweet and they are doing this for me because I'm awesome and I deserve it." Because that's the full truth of what's happening.
4. Learn Something Together
When you're learning a new skill together, you get the boost of doing something new, you get a shared experience, but you also get plenty of chances to give each other self-esteem boosting encouragement compliments, praise, and high-fives. You can take up one hobby that you learn long-term, or you can take a bunch of different classes, workshops, or even online how-to videos. If you're strapped for ideas, look into meet-ups, craft stores, community colleges and your local gym for ideas on things to learn or do.
5. Support Each Other Like Good Spectators
Part of raising each other's self-esteem is being good cheerleaders. And what better way to do that than to, well, actually cheer lead each other? If you partner plays sports, go to a game, watch, and cheer like crazy. If your partner loves Instagram, like and leave sweet comments on every pic. If there's anything your partner does, and any way you can support them, make a point to do it in the best way you know how.
6. Help Each Other Beat A Fear
Conquering your fears gives you a tremendous self-esteem boost. Once you've done something that you've been afraid to do forever, you feel like you can do anything. Have a chat with your partner about each other's fears, and see if there's anything you can safely do to help them beat those fears. It may not seem so scary if you both know you'll be there together. Once you've faced the world together as a team, encourage each other to face some fears on your own. Like a boss. Because you're awesome.
7. Flirt Like Madly Sprung Teenagers
Something simple that boosts the self-esteem that you're probably already doing is making each other feel loved. Be affectionate. Express your feelings. Flirt with each other in private and in public. Brag to each other's friends and families about how great the other is. Never miss an opportunity to make your partner feel loved and supported. Knowing that someone loves them so completely and unconditionally can give people confidence, strength, and joy.
8. Go To Therapy Together
Therapy is great when you're having problems, but what most people don't realize is that it's even better when you're not having problems. A therapist can help you learn communication skills, mediation skills, and ways to express yourselves that you would have never figured out on your own. You can delve deep into the relationship issues of your past and see what might be causing lowered self-esteem so you can work past them together. It's like getting a toolbox for your relationship and most people don't even take advantage of it, which is nuts, if you ask me.
9. Go To Therapy Separately
When you are in therapy alone, you can say things you're not sure how to say to your partner yet. You can discuss things that are critical to your individual journey. You can work on your best self without the worry that comes with baring your soul in front of your partner. Therapy is a fantastic way to improve your self-esteem. Even though this is an individual activity, the benefits will translate well into your relationship, and you can share the tips you learn with your partner. Sometimes it has to be just about you.
10. Travel Together
When I first met my partner, I have never been more than a state or two away from home. Then we went on this epic cross-country road trip. Just being so far away from home, seeing the world, surviving, and knowing I was doing something amazing gave me an incredible self-esteem boost. I felt like I was capable of so many more things when I got back, and that I wasn't such a small town girl anymore. Travel with your partner, as far away as you can, as often as you can, and see how opening up the world to each other opens you up inside.
11. Call Each Other Out
Part of improving self-esteem is to tackle the negative thoughts and feelings that creep up on the regular. When you or your partner hear each other say negative things or suspect some inner negative self-talk is happening, you have to call each other out. Remind each other that negative self talk isn't real, or true. Talk things out and replace negative thoughts with positives. You'll have to do this a lot at first, and less over time, as it gets easier and you both get more self-esteem.
These tips will get #teamus to #relationship goals and #selfesteemgoals in no time flat.
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