“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
In relationships, we can receive positive validation that can enhance our self-worth,which is a healthy benefit to being in love.
However, if we rely too heavily on the other partner’s opinion we start to believe their truth solely and not our own. Letting the partner’s belief of you dictate your self-worth can lead you into a trap of doubt, if and when the relationship ends.
If you sense the partner isn’t into you, you might start to feel out of control.
The less control we have the more we tend to pursue to gain control back.
We might then think it is necessary to convince them to stay with us, so that we can regain our self-worth and feel validated again.
Unfortunately, we can’t control another person’s feelings towards us, despite how much we try to prove them wrong.
In our weaknesses as humans, we can tend to view rejection or denial of a relationship as a sign that we aren’t good enough. This negative belief we have of ourselves is then associated with negative self-talk. The negative self-talk keeps fueling that distorted belief that we aren’t good enough. The cycle continues which then compromises our self esteem and we begin to devalue our worth.
In our low self-esteem, we can find ourselves acting out of desperation in need for someone to validate us and make us feel “good enough”, instead of turning to ourselves to believe we are “good enough”.
Ultimately, if you choose to value yourself by acknowledging your strengths and what you have to offer someone, the best partner for you will see your worth without any convincing. You will be able to be free to be yourself in good times and bad, and have a safety and security that they will accept you for you.
Having a healthy self-worth is acknowledging that your value isn’t dependent on others, but ourselves alone.
Wouldn’t you want to be in a relationship where you don’t have to convince the other person of who you are, they just get you and accept you for you. That is what a healthy relationship looks like. When you don’t have to work so hard to make the other person reciprocate feelings.
If you find yourself doing all the work in the relationship, that is a sign of us compromising our self-worth.
If we choose to only focus on making someone else happy versus what makes ourselves happy we let the other partner’s value compromise ours.
When you believe in yourself and what you have to offer your desired partner, you will be able to stand without the dependency of another’s validation. When you believe the positive beliefs of yourself, then you will be able to let go of someone that doesn’t make you feel valued and significant.
Tips to strengthen your self-worth:
1) Journal– utilize this space to acknowledge your strengths, accomplishments and what makes you special. This will start to strengthen that positive self-talk when our value is doubted.
2) Positive Self-Talk – find positive inspirational lyrics, quotes and phrases you can use daily to motivate your inner positive voice. Try starting every morning by looking yourself in the mirror and speaking to your positive self-worth. Write it on your hand or a bracelet to remind you how amazing you are.
3) Support System – lean on positive people who love you for who you are. They will help ground you and continue to help you see the amazing women you are. Those we trust and love unconditionally have a way to remind us of what we deserve.
4) Professional Help – consider talking to a therapist that can provide you the support, tools and skills to increase your self-worth and attract healthy relationships.
The next time you feel a relationship slipping away, spend less time convincing them of your worth and more time believing in yourself. Relationships come and go, but all you have through it all is your amazing self!
Candice Michael, LMFTA – www.lotuscounselinggroup.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
You may not, except with express written permission, distribute or commercially exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system.