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11/27/2013 9:48:19 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
People with low self-esteem have their major difficulties in relationships with others. This is because they are unable to establish healthy boundaries or limits with people. The reason, for this inability, is that with low self-esteem comes a variety of irrational thoughts, emotions and actions which leads people to lose themselves in relationships with others. This absorption of self into others leads to a loss of personal internal control. People with low self-esteem have a weakened "internal locus of control" and become dependent on a strong "external locus of control." They become victims to being controlled by how others think, feel about and act towards them. People with low self-esteem are dependent on others' approval and recognition and are therefore fearful of rejection by and conflict with others. It has been estimated in the self-esteem literature that over 90 percent of us are suffering from low self-esteem at one degree or another. Therefore most people in relationships are currently suffering from low self-esteem or recovering from it.

People with low self-esteem often have the irrational need to have "perfect" relationships and as a result they are often in competition for control to make their relationships be the way they think they should be. This competition results in the relationships' health deteriorating and eventually the relationship partners finds themselves in vacuous relationships with deep resentments and hurts. The partners find that they resent the others because of the belief that after giving and giving and giving they have nothing left of themselves to keep the relationships alive and well.

How about your relationships? How well are your physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual boundaries established and maintained in your relationships? How successful are you in protecting and maintaining your boundaries when your relationship partners are highly intrusive and persistent? How hooked are you by your relationship partners' manipulations to lower your boundaries in these relationships? Do you use unhealthy, compulsive or addictive behaviors as a barrier or unhealthy boundary to protect yourself from intimacy with your relationship partners? How well do you stay unhooked and detached when your relationship partners are working you over to lower your boundaries in the relationships? Does your inability to maintain healthy intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual boundaries with your relationship partners frighten you? When you consider trying to maintain healthy boundaries in your relationships without the use of body weight, food or some other compulsive behaviors to protect and medicate you in the process, are you scared? Would you prefer to stay stuck in using your unhealthy distancing techniques than to work on learning how to establish healthy boundaries in your relationships? If the answer is that you need to strengthen your boundaries with your relationship partners to enrich or regain the health of your relationships, then read on.

To maintain healthy intimacy in your relationships, you will need to first establish healthy intellectual, emotional and physical boundaries with your relationship partners. With healthy boundaries established, you will be able to establish and maintain a healthy intimate, physical, emotional and "Spirit filled" relationship with your relationship partners. First you need to identify if you have healthy intimate relationships with your relationship partners at this time. These are some of my thoughts on a healthy relationship.

The goal in an intimate relationship is to feel calm, centered and focused. The intimacy needs to be safe, supportive, respectful, nonpunitive and peaceful. You feel taken care of, wanted, unconditionally accepted and loved just for existing and being alive in a healthy intimate relationship. You feel part of something and not alone in such a relationship. You experience forgiving and being forgiven with little revenge or reminding of past offenses. You find yourself giving thanks for just being alive in this relationship. A healthy intimate relationship has a sense of directedness with plan and order. You experience being free to be who you are rather than who you think you need to be for the other. This relationship makes you free from the "paralysis of analysis" needing to analyze every minute detail of what goes on in it. An intimate relationship has its priorities in order, with people's feelings and process of the relationship coming before things and money. A healthy intimate relationship encourages your personal growth and supports your individuality. This relationship does not result in you or your relationship partner becoming emotionally, physically or intellectually dependent on one another. An intimate relationship encourages the spiritual growth of both relationship partners and makes room for God in center of the relationship.

As a Christian who wants to be in a relationship, these are some questions you should ask yourself if you get into a serious relationship.

* Is this true in our relationship?
* Do we have good times together, but fail at being emotionally, spiritually and physically intimate?
* Do we have an openly affectionate relationship with healthy emotionally based communication or do we just do things together, with no communication or affection giving?
This post is just some food for thought. Thanks for reading.
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11/27/2013 1:54:34 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
This passage also appears on The Livestrong Website:

I think that it is fairly solid advice, not just for Christians (I'm not Christian), to understand how self perception impacts your interactions with others. It is important to cultivate "internal" as well as allow "external" controls in your life. But there has to be a balance. It can be very tempting to replace your own internal dialog with outside affirmation or condemnation... But this is not always healthy.