Self-Esteem comes from within and is composed of two things; a belief and a feeling. The belief is a judgment about your overall worth, an evaluation of your traits, habits and abilities. The feeling is a sense of being either “good” or “bad”. Things like finding a healthy partner, building a career, or developing a support system of friends becomes so much harder when you feel like a bad or unworthy person.

A person with a healthy self-esteem is not dependent upon anyone else to make them feel good about themselves. Healthy self-esteem is the confidence and awareness of our many strengths and abilities and the willingness to share them with others. This does not mean someone with healthy self-esteem is conceited as they are also aware of areas needing work and growth, and an understanding that we all have strengths and weaknesses.

There is a strong relation between abused individuals and self-esteem. The longer someone waits to take the necessary steps to end the verbal, physical, sexual or emotional abuse, the more damage is done to their body, self-esteem and self-respect.

Many individuals have reported that verbal and emotional abuse feels even more damaging than physical, because it hurts their spirit. Verbal abuse effects on a deeper emotional level. Feelings of worthlessness and not knowing what to do or how to get out of the situation can be very challenging and frustrating. Self-esteem is often difficult to repair while in an abusive environment, but there are some skills that can be learned to regain strength to improve one’s life. Surrounding yourself with positive influences that may make a point of telling you what you are doing right is one option. The need for encouragement to do what you know is right decreases over time. Self-esteem cannot be shattered overnight and it will not be repaired over night, but it can be repaired so there is hope for those living with interpersonal violence and abuse.

Self-esteem is an on-going process that comes from recognizing and accepting yourself as you are and setting goals to improve your well-being where you feel necessary. There are several ways to work on self-esteem. Some of which include, meditation, learning new skills, finding some support and increasing self-awareness. It is a process of balancing our lives and looking after ourselves.

Poor self-esteem often results in depression and anxiety. Physical health suffers as well. Many times, individuals with low self-esteem don’t go for regular checkups, exercise, or take personal days because they really don’t think they’re worth the time. Physical health is often the first area to give attention to when setting goals to improve self-esteem.

Warning Signs:

  • When your partner blames you for theirs or others mistake.
  • Yelling and screaming at you.
  • Threatening with violence.
  • Calling you constantly, because they want to know where you are all the time.
  • Constant criticism.
  • Fluctuating mood.
  • Aggressive tone of voice.

There could be many other warning signs.


Learn more about Self-Esteem and Body Image here.