How do you regain your self esteem after an emotionally abusive relationship?

 

It was a question from somebody who married an undiagnosed BPD (Border Personality Disorder).
Self esteem is all about loving yourself and taking good care of yourself.  When you don’t have it, it seems so hard……when you do have it, it seems effortless.  I’ve been on both sides of self esteem and I can give you a plan to regain your self-esteem.  It’s not an overnight fix, but once you have mastered it, no one will ever take it away from you again.
1st:   Never get your sense of value or identity from others.  We tend to be “people pleasers” and berate ourselves if someone doesn’t like us or is mad at us.  So, the first thing you’ve got to do is learn that you don’t care what other people think, you can’t help it if they don’t like you, and you could care less if they gossip about you.     Once you have self esteem, you can go back on this one and realize how much you do want to be kind for others, but always remember that others do NOT define who you are and what you think about yourself.
2.  Decide who you want to be.  Who is someone you admire?  What are the traits in other people you admire?    Make a list of what you would be like if you were someone you could truly be proud of………and then make out a plan to step by step to get there.   If a nice body is what you define as something you admire, then get your butt into a gym everyday and get your body in tip top shape.  If you can’t afford a gym, then start doing sit-ups and push-ups at home and take long walks in your neighborhood or local mall.   If being a kinder person is what you admire, then check out lots of books at the library about how to be gracious and how to win friends…….there are tons of books on this subject. If you would like to have lots of friends, then the #1 thing you need to learn is how to be a good listener…..people LOVE to talk about themselves, so learning to become a good listener will endear you and make you very popular.   Anyway, that’s just a few………so, list the traits you want
to be and then become it.   It is possible, but it may require effort, time, and work…….but it can be done!
3.  People tend to treat you like you treat yourself.  Remember that.  If you are always saying bad things about yourself, others will too.  If you have respect for yourself, others will too.   It takes time, but you have to keep repeating “People will
treat me like I treat myself.”   So, if you don’t like how you are being treated, stop treating yourself that way.
4.  If you are in an emotionally abusive relationship, get OUT!! People say that “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never harm me” but those dummies probably were never the target of a verbal abuser.  Words can hurt, and
they do……and emotional abusers will eventually turn into physical abusers.  You can’t change them…….but you can change where you are.  Get out!  Ask for help! Tell people you need help. Get out! You are a person who has value and deserves to be treated with respect……..if someone doesn’t treat you with respect, then they don’t deserve to be in your life.
Get out!
5.  Do things for yourself.  Fix your hair nice.   Iron your clothes and make sure you look nice.  It’s amazing how changing your outside appearance can affect how you feel inside, so do what you can afford to make your outside appearance as pleasing to “you” eyes as possible. Remember, you are pleasing yourself, so if no one comments or notices, who cares because you are
never again going to base your sense of self on what others think. What you think is what matters. Ok, that’s enough to get you started.  It is possible to become a person with high self-esteem…….there are also tons of books about it.  You can do it!
Don’t go another day where you let someone else define who you are and how you feel about yourself!
Go for it!
Sincerely,
Robin_in_Tennessee

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