When you have low self-esteem, learning to love yourself can be one of the most difficult things in the world. Everything about you just doesn't seem good enough. While getting into a relationship with someone who makes you feel loved and supported can help, when you're still lacking self-confidence, research shows it can really do a number on you and your feelings toward your partner. According to a study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, people with low self-esteem end up regretting the sacrifices they make in their relationships and end up feeling unappreciated and unsupported by their partners.
Social psychologist, Francesca Righetti from the VU University Amsterdam and colleagues conducted a study of 130 couples in the Netherlands to see how people with low self-esteem feel after making personal sacrifices for their relationship. Would these people end up regretting those sacrifices and how would it affect their overall wellbeing?
People with low self-esteem don't see their personal sacrifices as being beneficial for their relationship.
Couples who've been together for at least four months were told to fill out emotional assessments every two hours for eight days straight. They also kept a daily diary, which they filled out at the end of the day. After those eight days were up, participants were then contacted a year later.
As the study found, there's a link between self-esteem and regret. In this case, people with low self-esteem don't see their personal sacrifices as being beneficial for their relationship. Instead, they regret those sacrifices to a greater extent. Researchers believe one of the main reasons behind why some people end up regretting their sacrifices is because they don't believe their partners really appreciate or support them. "It's really difficult at times to be in a relationship with a partner who has low self-esteem," Dr. Lisa Herman, licensed psychologist and owner of online mental health therapy site, Synergy eTherapy tells Bustle. "But there are ways to help."
If your partner is struggling with low self-esteem, here's what you can do: