Low self-esteem and its dangers.
July 11, 2012 1:43 PM Subscribe
How to deal with a (somewhat close) friend's extremely low self-esteem?
posted by Trexsock to Human Relations (17 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
There are certains behaviours (which they have repeated time and time again) which irritate me beyond belief and have led me to feel somewhat resentful towards them. Such as:
. Apologizing for every. single. thing they do. I've been told I used to behave like this, with the contant apologizing/begging for forgiveness but it's only now that I actually realize how incredibly annoying it is. Even if there is absolutely nothing to be sorry for, they'll add the word and act apologetic/downcast around me, which drives me batty! Especially when it involves them being sorry for things they cannot possibly control/external influences.
. Being extremely (impossibly so!) defensive of anything I perceive as not okay/perfect. For example, if they tell me something I am not completely okay with (which I assume is normal among friends, or at least, that's been my experience thus far) or I refute their ideas, they'll just refuse to take in my opinion or will constantly change theirs just in order to continuously refute mine. (changing their tune, or at least that might be the best expression to describe it).
. Refusing confrontation. There are times when I (being a fairly headstrong and fiery person) will get in a situation where a confrontation/friendly discussion should happen and instead of talking to me they'll just withdraw and keep to themselves, which inevitably ends up with each of us resenting each other. Of course, I don't expect them to just discuss with me, though I do think that would be the healthiest course for some of our interactions.
I suppose none of these things would matter much. However, we talk pretty much every day and I feel like I have to constantly censor myself in order to maintain a conversation with them. And yes, of course there are friends/acquaintances this ends up being inevitable. The thing is, they're one of my closest/best friends and over the months/years I've grown more and more fed up with their behavior. I'm not saying this is their fault or anything, I know how difficult low self-esteem can be to overcome, and I'm not asking (nor will ask) for them to change themselves for me...
What I'm asking is help in finding a way of helping ME deal with it/them. How to be more okay with the way they are, etc. (For the record, they didn't use to be like this. When we first met I thought they were extremely confident. It's only recently that their self-esteem seems to have degraded.) I'm pretty sure they are in therapy as well.
I'm also not looking at just ending the friendship. Besides these issues I really do like them!