Toxic Relationships, Low Self-Esteem, Anxiety and Depression with Dating.

So, my last relationship is what you could describe as toxic. It could be described as abusive. And I was lucky enough to get out. However, if you’ve ever been in a toxic relationship, you will know that it changes how you react to people every day.

A lot of people have low self-esteem and I was not spared. My self image has been ruined by years of being told I was fat or looked bad by mother. By never being the one the guys chose and being told that “my friends are hot” but never myself. So, when someone says they like you. It’s hard to believe.

Anxiety controls the life of so many people and it is truly awful. Everything can make you worry. A reply that takes to long, or a simply a “never mind” can trigger the warning signs in your brain. Worst case scenarios play over and over again and may never be resolved.

Depression affects every day. Although people with depression are able to be happy, there are definitely days where you are laying in bed, not caring at all about life. This can put a strain on relationships when you have a significant other that may want to go out, but you are in a mood where nothing sounds like a thing you want to do.

So when all of these things combine, it can be hard to date someone. So, if you are dating someone with these traits, here’s how you can possibly help. If you are someone who has trouble with these issues, like myself, maybe this can help you think about dating in a different light.

Compliments. When you have low self-esteem, compliment can be very hard to accept. You don’t believe it. It may feel nice to hear the compliments, but it’s hard to acknowledge. Don’t get mad or upset if someone can’t accept the compliments, maybe they truly don’t believe it. Not everyone is searching for attention when they call themselves ugly or put themselves down, they may truly believe it. On the other hand, if you have a hard time accepting compliments, it’s easy to start with a simple “thank you”. Just responding positively to a compliment can put you on the first steps to starting to actually believing those compliments.

Physical Touch. Whether it’s something as simple as a hug or holding hands, or something much more intimate. When you are in a toxic relationship (especially one that was sexually abusive like mine) anything physical may just be too much. It opens you up to be vulnerable and when you had a bad relationship, it is hard to be vulnerable. Your trust levels are down. It’s okay to start small, you don’t have to jump in all at once. And always find someone who will respect that and won’t push you to do more. If I hold hands or anything like that for too long, I tend to feel vulnerable, so it’s important that whoever you are with understands and respects that.

Conversations. Anxiety can make conversations a real hassle. Also, talking to someone with anxiety isn’t that easy. When the worst case scenario is constantly in the back of your mind, it is hard to focus on the positives. If this is you, remember that, for example, if someone says “never mind” or drops a conversation, it’s not always against you. Sometimes people just don’t think it’s important or just change their mind. Don’t feel bad to remind them that you have anxiety if they do it an excessive amount however, this works both ways. Because it works both ways, if you are dating someone with anxiety, keep in mind that may need reassurance. If you drop a conversation, you can explain why or even just assure them that it isn’t important. Just try not to drop conversations too much.

Going Out. When someone has depression, depending on how bad it is, they may go days without any motivation. They don’t feel any need to do anything and may just want to lay in bed. It is important not to force the person outside. They may not mind if you come and sit or talk with them, but never force. Rarely does this help the situation. Sometimes they just want to lay there, and you can let them. If it stretches out for weeks, that is a different story. But some people with depression just don’t have any motivation some days and that’s just how it is.

That’s my experience with these issues and dating however. Every person is different! If you know any other tidbits that may be helpful, feel free to comment below. I do love comments! (:

~Charlie Pond~

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