“Hope for love, pray for love, wish for love, dream for love… but don’t put your life on hold waiting for love.”
~ Mandy Hale
Do you feel like your partner does not recognize your worth?
The first question to ask yourself is “Do you?”
If you find yourself feeling devalued, demeaned or disrespected, ask yourself how you have gotten into that situation. People who recognize their own worth project a high self-esteem and others tend to treat them accordingly. People can sense when you have self-respect because of the way you carry yourself- with dignity and respect for yourself and others.
An important part of self-respect is also treating others with respect.
This means that you treat others with respect regardless of how they treat you. Usually, the way we treat ourselves will line up with the way we treat other people. So it initially has to start with us, and then it will flow out on two other people with whom we have relationships.
- How do you treat yourself?
- Do you respect your own needs, values, and wants?
- Do you practice good self-care?
- Are you kind, loving and nurturing towards yourself?
- Do you eat when you’re hungry, rest when you’re tired, and give yourself a break when you need it?
Usually, the way we treat ourselves will line up with the way we treat other people.
Good self-care involves attending to your sleep, exercise, nutrition, and mental health care.
This will raise your self-esteem and help you to put your best foot forward in all areas of your life. When you take good care of yourself, you are able to treat other people well, and then it comes back to you again. Thus, the circle of relationships is like a mirror.
We read one another unconsciously, and most people will treat you the way you treat them.
So if you want him to realize your worth, you need to realize at first, and make yourself worth it.
You do not need to prove yourself to anyone. If you truly have self-worth, the key to making others realize it is to carry yourself with dignity, courtesy, and respect. If you have done your part, and he still does not recognize your worth, it may be time to move on and find someone on your level.
Anita Gadhia-Smith, PsyD, LCSW-C, LICSW – www.drgadhiasmith.com
I completely understand why women might get caught up in a pattern in their relationship of trying to prove their worth or trying to “keep a man.”
However, this is concerning to me particularly as a therapist who believes that relationships function best when they have equal standing of the partners.
When one partner feels that they need to “keep” or “prove” their worth to the other, it sets things up to be inherently unequal in terms of power and who has a voice in the relationship.
This often will lead that person to defer to their partner’s wishes, desires, decisions, etc. rather than expressing their own.
For a while this might work just fine, even for both people involved but over time, there is likely to be a growing resentment.
The person who is giving up their voice might feel unseen, devalued, or not heard in the relationship. And interestingly, the person who has all the control might feel that they do not have an equal partner and might feel alone as well.
Relationships are the healthiest when you have two people who both come to the relationship feeling their own worth and value as well as recognizing the worth and value of the other person.
If we can hold space for our own worth and the inherent worth of our partner and our relationship, then we have a better chance of working through our challenges in a more healthy and productive way.
- What I think might be most important to consider is why you are in a relationship with someone who does not inherently recognize your value and worth?
- What is going on for you in your relationship with yourself that you are putting yourself in a position to feel inherently unequal or not worthy?
- Is this pattern what you want for the rest of the relationship?
Perhaps reminding yourself that you are a worthy partner and deserve someone who recognizes this would be helpful.
It might even help to talk with a therapist about why this is happening in your life as it can sometimes be difficult to find clarity on our own.
Erica Wollerman, PsyD – www.thrivetherapystudio.com
If I could change one thing about how I defined myself growing up, it would be to rely less on other people’s opinions about me, especially men, for my sense of self.
I always struggled to feel good about myself:
- Was I pretty enough?
- Was I clever enough?
- Was I smart enough or maybe was I too smart to be acceptable to my peers?
I know that this struggle is common in young people. Acceptance by the peer group feels so incredibly important, and maybe it’s a painful but somehow necessary step in the process of growing up. But if I really could do it over, I would hope to find a way to just be ok with who I was and not worry so much about what others thought of me.
This focus on others stunts your ability to figure out who you are and what makes you unique as a person.
If you ‘re always looking for external approval you can’t take on the journey of self -discovery that could allow you to know yourself and pursue your own passions. Seeking external validation creates a lot of anxiety and that anxiety really gets in the way of personal growth.
You should never have to make someone realize your worth.
The only person who needs to realize your worth is you! Once you’ve come to embrace yourself for the unique person you are, there will be other people who will also recognize your value. That’s really how it works.
It starts with self-acceptance.
Of course, not everyone will like you and you won’t be compatible with everyone but that’s just the reality of human differences. Your value is not and never should be in question and you should never have to prove your worth to another person.
Sally LeBoy, MS, MFT – www.sallyleboymft.com
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