Poor Self-Esteem Limits Relationship
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Dear Christine,

My fiancťe is a wonderful woman with a heart of gold. Her only flaw is her lack of self-esteem.

At work, she thinks sheís a loser because her bosses keep passing her over for promotions. I think this could be remedied with a little confidence and a positive attitude.

At home, no matter how hard I try to convince her otherwise, sheís sure Iíll leave her some day. How can I assure her that sheís the only one for me? How can I help her think more highly of herself? -- TROUBLED TOM Ė TORONTO, ONTARIO

Dear Tom,

She must first love herself before she can truly love another person. Tell her that as long as she keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop, neither one of you can truly enjoy the love you share.

Itís difficult to help another person, unless they want help. But keep encouraging her. Show interest in the things she excels atóher work or hobbies. Provide support and honest compliments. Find ways to show her what a special person she is. Perhaps you could buy her a book on self-esteem. But alas, at the end of the day, itís up to her.


Dear Christine,

What is wrong with me?

I keep starting arguments with my boyfriend in front of our friends. He says it seems like I do this for a power trip. I donít notice that Iím doing it until he tells me later in private.

Iíve been going out with my boyfriend for 11 years. Iím not sure why I started doing this. Heís a wonderful man, and I donít want to purposely hurt him, embarrass him, or lose him. How can I stop? Why do I do this? -- MEAN GIRL Ė WESTLOCK, ALBERTA

Dear Mean Girl,

After so many years, perhaps youíre afraid youíve lost your sense of self. Perhaps you feel the need to be disagreeable to prove that you still have individual thoughts and opinions.

Finishing each otherís sentences and being like-minded on many issues can be comforting, but it can also become tedious. Itís hard to say whether youíre trying to assert your independence and show your friends how smart you are, or if you feel angry over something youíre not gettingólike respect, commitment, or intimacy.

You must stop nagging and get to the bottom of your anger. If you canít resolve it on your own or by discussing it privately with your boyfriend, then try counselling.

Have a question, a thought, or a story to share (anonymity guaranteed)? Email Christine at single@keynotebooks.com

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