Is your self-image harming your relationships?

All of life is about relationships with many different kinds of people:  family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, clients, bosses, grocery store clerks, hair stylists—anyone really.  Everyone you come into contact with, no matter how briefly, you are in some form of a relationship with. 

Unfortunately, through no fault of your own, you may have adapted right out of being able to have relationship success.  Statistically, at least 95% of us have feelings of inferiority and these feelings of “less than” are a part of our self image that originates in childhood.  Your self-image defines not only your personality but also your expectations, so therefore it directly determines how you interact with others and in turn, how they respond to and what they offer back to you.  A low or negative self-image attracts negativity and negative experiences.    

You can’t change other people you have relationships with, but fortunately, as an adult, you can use these relationships as a guide pointing you towards areas to transform within yourself.  Doing this you create opportunity to shift your unconscious beliefs about yourself in order to cultivate a more positive self-image and ultimately transform other relationships in your life.  Wherever there is strife, whether it be in uncomfortable business relationships, unhappy love relationships or unstable family relationships, use it as a signpost.  Become aware of how you feel within relationships, also noting your way of expressing yourself through your voice:

  • Are your inflections, tone and loudness inviting or off-putting?
  • Is your voice confident, solid, and knowing or regressed to sounding like a timid child or insecure adolescent?
  • Is your dialect or speech patterns off-putting (today there are a lot of people turning statements into questions.  This projects uncertainty sounding like you doubt what you’re saying so others will doubt you too.)

through your body posture:

  • Do you stand leaning in towards someone or are you leaning away from them?
  • Do you stand proudly and straight or are you hunched over as if to take up smaller space?
  • Are the clothes you’re wearing drawing people in with vibrant lively colors that accent you or are they dull and oversized hiding who you really are?

Even without the other person’s participation you can transform the relationship with them.  Not through force, that’s not how your self-image was formed, but through attention, redirection and repetition.  When you look within and let go of blame, shame and guilt using a curious nature to see how you can improve what you’re doing, you are taking brave courageous steps toward empowerment.  You are embarking on the one great journey that will move you away from the 95% who feel inferior into the group of the less than 5% who honestly and authentically are filled with a quiet confidence and who feel compassionate and capable within any relationship.  That’s adaptation for the purpose of having not only your best life possible, but also adaptation that helps all the people who you're surrounded by every day!