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How To Regain Your Self-Esteem After A Break Up

Updated on June 4, 2017

A break up can lead someone to develop low self-esteem. It may feel you were never meant to be in a relationship. You may feel you can never do better in a relationship or you don’t deserve a lover.

If you have gone through several breakups it may feel you were meant to be single. There is a high possibility you may develop low self-esteem as a result of the numerous breakups you’ve undergone.

In addition, how your ex reacted during the breakup, especially the words he/she uttered, might lead you to develop low self-worth


If you don’t deal with your low self-esteem, the following effects may manifest:

  1. You will not engage in another relationship. It is not because you have decided to be single; you want to be in a relationship. It is the belief you have developed you were meant to be single because if you engage in a relationship it will not survive. You have come up with a list of why you are never meant to be in a relationship.
  2. You will miss opportunities in life because you feel unworthy of anything or any person. Opportunities will pass by because you feel you are not up to them. Several months or years after the last breakup happened you have avoided getting engaged in a relationship with a potential partner because of how you feel about yourself.
  3. It may lead to depression which is termed as a mental illness. When you are depressed there is a high likelihood you’ll commit suicide. This is why you need to deal with your low self-esteem. If you become too depressed you may feel no need of continuing living on earth.
  4. Lack of not trusting yourself will lead you to believing you cannot do anything. A person with low self-esteem doesn’t have confidence to do something. You will not be confident in what you are doing or be confident in wanting to do something thereby avoiding doing it. You will not be confident in engaging in another relationship.
  5. You will not enjoy your life. Your life will appear dull. You will have no motivation to do anything even fulfilling your goals. All of your time is spent being alone, wallowing in self-pity or avoiding the public.
  6. You will never recover from the breakup nor will the healing process take place. You will always have pain with you because the wound has not yet been treated. You will have developed negative emotions after the breakup which is a normal thing. Nonetheless, if you don’t deal with the negative emotions they will have disastrous effect in your life. Join these negative emotions and your low level of self-esteem, you will never heal nor recover from the breakup, and if you engage in another relationship it will be a relationship awaiting disaster.
  7. Your life will be spent trying to please others. You will not be living your life but other people’s lives. Even if you engage in another relationship, you will live the relationship trying to please your partner. You try to please your partner because you are not confident about yourself.


The fact,

How you perceive yourself differs from person to person. At times you might perceive yourself in good light while at other times it might be different.

How do you view yourself? How do you value yourself? Which thoughts do you keep entertaining about yourself? Self-esteem is how you treat or think about yourself. What does this mean? It all comes from your mind – how you have conditioned your mind what to believe and not to believe.

The mind is not the brain. Brain is tangible but the mind is not. The mind is in the brain, if it can be put in simple term. It is life events which affect our self-esteem or self-worth. People’s self-esteem may have been affected during their childhood, adolescent or later in life. How they viewed the events determined how they perceived themselves to be. An adult who in her childhood years used to be called names by her parents such as stupid and foolish would grow up believing she was stupid and foolish. An adult who used to be manipulated or bullied or despised in his teens or later in life such as in a relationship would live to believe the reason why he is despised is because he is unworthy, total rubbish.

Negative actions, negative words, mistakes and failures form the bulk of causes of people developing low self-esteem. They took the negative words and actions to heart, thought about them and acknowledged it is true the negative words that were spoken against them were true, and the negative actions done against them was due to the belief they were worthless. They ended forming a low opinion of themselves. They made their mind to believe they are worthless, valueless, insignificant, useless and rubbish.


It is up to you to decide to change how you think. You have to recondition your mind to think in a certain way. You have to entertain positive mentality. You have to stop thinking you are useless because you are not. You have to stop thinking when you engage in another relationship it will not work out because it’s not a fact. You have to stop thinking negatively about yourself.

If you were the cause of the breakup the best you can do is to ask for forgiveness from your ex. even if you ex doesn’t want to be in the relationship with you again, purpose to change your behavior and/or attitudes. We all make mistakes. We err. The best we can do is to learn not to repeat the same mistakes and to be the best we can be.

If during the relationship or breakup you were called negative names, don’t take those words into heart. Yes. It is hurting. You will feel pain when your ex talks negative words against you. Still, you should not ponder on them. The long you ponder upon them, the more you’ll feel hurt. This will hinder the healing process from beginning which indicates your self-esteem will be jeopardized even further.

Symptoms of Low Self-Esteem

  1. You feel you are worthless, of no value. You tend to believe no person will be interested in you.
  2. You don’t like yourself. You loathe yourself. You don’t appreciate yourself. You hate yourself so much.
  3. You blame yourself for things that were not your doing. The cause of the breakup was your ex and he was the one who dumped you. In spite of this, you blame yourself for being the cause of the breakup.
  4. You believe you don’t deserve to be happy. Why should you be happy when you are the one who hurt your ex?
  5. You believe no one likes you therefore no one is interested in you. Therefore, you wouldn’t want to engage in another relationship.
  6. Whatever you do you do to please others. Even in the relationship you’re in, all you do is in order to please your partner. After the breakup you do things to please others so they may not think badly of you. You feel in order to gain someone’s assurance you need to please him.
  7. You lock yourself in your cubicle. You don’t want to face the world. You want to live alone, by yourself. This stems from the belief no one likes you, people are mad at you or what they will think about you once they see you.
  8. You worry what people are thinking about you, not only your ex. While it is alright to ponder what your ex is thinking about you and the relationship, worrying what your ex is thinking about you is another matter.
  9. You feel guilty even for little mistakes for a long period of time. The breakup happened six years ago. Even so, you still feel guilty even if you were not the cause of the breakup.
  10. You pretend to be fine in front of people when deep inside you’re hurting. You put on a fine-everything-is-good-smiley face when the reality is opposite.
  11. You don’t take genuine compliments to heart. You brush away the compliments believing they are not meant for you. You wonder why the person complimented you instead of first of all appreciating the compliment.



Business Dictionary defines Beliefs as “Assumptions and convictions that are held to be true, by an individual or a group…”

According to Psychology Today, “…. a belief defines an idea or principle which we judge to be true.”

We tend to form beliefs by assuming something is true therefore believing it because we have made it to be true when it is not. As stated above, we have conditioned our minds to believe something of which it is an assumption, not a fact.

It is until we change how we think about ourselves then can we realize how potential, of value and unique we are. We have to disseminate the beliefs we have built up of which they aren’t true. It is true in life we live by rules of living which we have come up with as individuals. Even so, we have ended including rules of living which don’t apply because they are made up of assumptions not facts. We have to dissect between facts and assumptions.


The following quotes will help in raising your self-esteem and driving the point home.

  1. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. (Sharon Salzberg)
  2. You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. (Sharon Salzberg)
  3. One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered. (Michael J. Fox)
  4. To me, self-esteem is not self-love. It is self-acknowledgment, as in recognizing and accepting who you are. (Amity Gaige)
  5. Negative thinking patterns can be immensely deceptive and persuasive, and change is rarely easy. But with patience and persistence, I believe that nearly all individuals suffering from depression can improve and experience a sense of joy and self-esteem once again (David D. Burns)
  6. Someone else's opinion of you does not have to become your reality. (Les Brown)


Something You Need To Know

It is not all people who develop low self-esteem as a result of the breakup, only a few. The majority of those with low self-worth has to do with the negative/difficult/stressful events they faced in their lives – childhood, teen and adulthood – which led them to think ‘low’ about themselves. Therefore, they engaged in a relationship while still having low opinion of themselves. Depending with the nature of the relationship, it may have worsened their self-worth and the breakup may have aggravated it further.

In the case of people who their low self-esteem stemmed from none other than in the relationship and the breakup, they need to sit down and find out the root of why they feel ‘low.’ Once they locate the cause or root of their low self-esteem then they need to deal with it. Were you used to be bullied while you were in your teens? It might be the cause. Did you have abusive parents? It may be the cause. Were used to being neglected by your parent(s) when you were young? It may be the cause. Find the root, deal with it then begin thinking positively about yourself.


“The beliefs you have about yourself often appear to be statements of fact, although actually they’re really only-opinions. They are based on the experiences you’ve had in life, and the messages that these experiences have given you about the kind of person you are. If your experiences have been negative, your beliefs about yourself are likely to be negative too.”


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