- To become paralyzed by fear of rejection and failure. Avoid stressful situations and challenges, and the inability to make decisions because of the low opinion a person has about him/herself.
- Impact on your relationships. Intimacy can be difficult and even impossible. Because of this lack of intimacy, a person can become aggressive or passive with others. Defensive and many times behave in many ways to avoid a healthy and sincere communication in relationships.
- Poor self-image. You tend to act in certain ways because you feel worthless and become less desirable to friends, family and persons that are important to you.
These effects that I just explained above are important in your life. Have a negative impact on our lives and relationships in general. However; I found that among the most significant effects, there is one that we are not usually aware of. Typically the one that produces the most negative or positive impact effects in our relationships:
“We tend to feel most comfortable, most “at home”, with persons whose self esteem level resembles our own”.
After reading this quote that was written by Nathaniel Branden, I started to understand many relationship problems that happened to me that did not make any sense at the time. For many years I have been complaining about individuals with low self esteem and that it bothered me a lot to be around them.
I was not aware of this truth, and I surrounded myself with persons who have my same level. That hurts because in my case my reaction was: I am tire of meeting this kind of people. I do not feel comfortable with them. Why do I always have to be around them?. How can I avoid them?. Instead of questioning why I just wanted to get rid of this person in my life instead of confronting the low opinion I had about myself.
When I understood the most important low self esteem effects, I had to learn to confront this truth, and I did it by start working with the following steps:
- I began to integrate this dark side. There is a great book that had helped me a lot in this work: The Dark Side of the Light Chasers. Rather than reject the undesirable parts of ourselves, this book helps on how to confront our shadows. The purpose of doing shadow work is to become whole. Once you understand that you have weakness and virtue, you become whole.
- I recognized that I was meeting them because they were at the same level that I was. This is awareness. Once you become aware, you stop complaining.
- I accepted this fact and the negative effects in my life.
- I began to create for myself a healthier self esteem to attract more positive relationships instead of trying to avoid those relationships.
As Nathaniel Branden says in his book The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem:
High self-esteem individuals tend to be drawn to high self-esteem individuals. Medium self-esteem individuals are typically attracted to medium self-esteem individuals. Low self-esteem seeks low self-esteem in others.
So, next time that you find yourself complaining that you are attracting a lot of people with low self esteem, please, stop for a second and ask yourself this question: Do I have low self esteem at this moment?. What are the effects in my relationships?. Is there anything I can to stop creating this effects and have healthier relationships?. May be this is the right time to start building your self-worth and became more aware of your life.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves”. Carl Gustav Jung.
“I guess I can buy that low self-esteem people would seek similar types, BUT. in my experience two such people often have trouble together. One person’s insecurities can cause them to lash out, which hits the other’s emotionally sensitive “hot button”, which triggers a hot response, and so on.
A low self-esteem person might be better off with someone who can recognize when this is an issue and have the insight and strength to calm down and deflate the situation.” Andrew.
“This reminds me of when I was in high school, I remember my health teacher saying that angry people attract angry people and happy people attract happy people. I think that same can be said for individuals who have low self-esteem. And I do agree that we need to look inside ourselves more than what we may usually do”.Grant.
” I think self esteem is critical to living a productive life. Branden rocks and I have quoted him frequently in my blog, as well as doing the sentence esteem exercise from Six Pillars (of course I edited them before putting the answers in my blog). I am looking forward to spending more time reading your webpage. ” Chris.